More on the Bible’s Confused Relationship with Science

More on the Bible’s Confused Relationship with Science February 12, 2020

I recently analyzed claims made by some Christian apologists arguing that the Bible correctly anticipated modern scientific discoveries. It becomes plain that these were simply science-y sounding verses cherry picked (after the fact) to satisfy a Christian agenda when you see that none taught us anything new about nature. Any insights came exclusively from science.

Augustine (354 – 430) rejected the quest for science in the Bible. He said, “We do not read in the Gospel that the Lord said, ‘I am sending you the Holy Spirit, that he may teach you about the course of the sun and the moon.’ He wished to make people Christians, not astronomers.”

But many Christians ignore Augustine, and the flurry of claims continues. The previous posts analyzed Bible verses that seemed to accurately reveal science. Let’s move on to another category, science claims within the Bible that don’t line up with what modern science tells us. Do they reveal startling insights that modern science must explore, or are they simply the superstitions of primitive pre-scientific people?

We do find startling things in the Bible, but they’re not very scientific. Let’s start with claims about cosmology and the structure of the earth.

1. The earth is immoveable

The world is firmly established, it will not be moved (Psalm 93:1; see also Ps. 96:10, 1 Chronicles 16:30).

Real science tells us that the earth is anything but fixed; it orbits the sun, the entire solar system orbits the galactic center, and the Milky Way galaxy itself moves through space.

2. The earth rests on a foundation

For the foundations of the earth are Jehovah’s; upon them he has set the world (1 Samuel 2:8; see also Ps. 102:25, Ps. 104:5, Zechariah 12:1).

We’re also told what this foundation is made of.

He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble (Job 9:6; see also Job 26:11).

Apologists might say that “pillars” simply refers to mountains or bedrock, but a more plausible conclusion is that the literal interpretation was the intended one and that the Hebrew cosmology imagined a flat earth surrounded by or suspended on an ocean, as was popular in ancient Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India.

3. The sky is solid

The cosmology in Genesis makes clear that the earth rests between water underneath and more water in a dome above. We see this in the Noah story when “the fountains of the great deep burst forth and the windows of the heavens were opened” (Genesis 7:11). For details, see my post on Noah and Hebrew cosmology here.

That dome must be solid to hold up the water. We also see this elsewhere in the Old Testament:

Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies (Ps. 148:4).

When He made firm the skies above, when the springs of the deep became fixed (Proverbs 8:28).

What is this dome made of? Job suggests that it’s made of metal:

Can you, with him, beat out the skies, strong as a mirror of cast bronze? (Job 37:18)

“Beat out” (“spread out” in some translations) is the verb used for hammering out metal.

We get one more clue from the equivalent Sumerian cosmology. (The Babylonian captivity from 597 – 539 BCE could be where the Hebrews picked it up, or it might have come through trade.) The dome might’ve been made of what the Sumerians called the “metal of heaven,” the metal we call tin.

4. The earth is flat

We’ve seen a flat disk of earth before.

[God] sits above the circle of the earth (Isaiah 40:22).

Our previous analysis showed that this is no reference to a spherical earth (they had another word for “ball” or “sphere”) but simply a flat disk. We also find other clues:

And there was evening, and there was morning, the third day (Gen. 1:13).

The six-day creation story assumes a flat earth because a time reference would’ve been necessary on a spherical earth. To see this, suppose God began creating the plants in the morning on Day Three based on the time in Mesopotamia. If the earth were a sphere, this would mean that God began this project in the evening of Day Two in much of the rest of the world (parts of North America, for example). Only with a time standard (“according to Mesopotamian Standard Time”) would this be unambiguous.

We also find a flat earth in the New Testament:

The devil took [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor (Matthew 4:8).

A high spot to see all the world is possible on a flat earth but not on a spherical planet. And consider that a mountaintop from which you could see everywhere on the earth could itself be seen from everywhere on earth. So go outside and look around. It’s there—the claim that it’s on the horizon somewhere is as reliable as the Bible itself.

5. The earth is at the center of the solar system and the universe

Here’s another verse we’ve seen before that makes clear that the sun moves around the earth.

The sun rises and the sun sets; and hastening to its place it rises there again (Ecclesiastes 1:5; see also Ps. 19:6).

Two more examples are when God played games with the sun, stopping its motion for hours so Joshua could continue killing Amorites (Joshua 10:13) and then moving it backwards to give a sign to King Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:8–11). It’s one thing for God to move things across the sky over a flat earth, but it gets complicated in a heliocentric solar system when “stopping the sun” would require stopping the earth’s rotation.

Could God have used magic to stop the earth’s rotation so that its inhabitants didn’t notice the deceleration and subsequent acceleration (and report it in the biblical accounts)? Could he have maintained the earth’s protective magnetic field that would’ve been lost if the molten iron core stopped rotating? Sure, but the much simpler explanation is that the human authors of the Bible wrongly thought that the earth was at the center of the universe, just like in neighboring societies.

6. Confused creation order

According to the six-day creation story in Genesis 1, God created the earth and land plants in the first three days, but the sun wasn’t made until the fourth. Photosynthesizing plants obviously couldn’t survive without the sun.

Compare the order of creation with the order we’ve learned through science. In Genesis, it’s first earth, then land plants, sun and moon, fish, birds, land animals, and finally humans. Science instead tells us that it was the sun first, then the earth, then the moon. Single-celled organisms were the only life for several billion years. Then photosynthesizing organisms, then land plants, fish, land animals, and finally birds. The Genesis story fails. (The six-day creation story and the Garden of Eden story have many incompatibilities).

Nature is a jigsaw puzzle, and the Bible is the picture on the box top. We’ve been slowly putting the puzzle pieces together for centuries, and we now know the picture on the top is completely wrong.

Concluded in part 2.

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God
who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect
has intended us to forgo their use.

— Galileo Galilei

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(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 11/30/15.)

Image from Andy Murray, CC license

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  • Kurt 20008

    John Slattery writes in the liberal journal ‘Commonweal’:

    Science has not always aligned so well with modern values of equality and the common good. The history of science includes not only racial hierarchies, but also Western cultural supremacy, the militarization of scientific knowledge, and the subordination of scientific research to corporate profits.

    In the mid-nineteenth century, racist ideas pervaded the scientific, philosophical, and religious worlds. Atheists and religious alike owned enslaved people, as did prominent scientists, politicians, and philosophers. While revolutions raged in Europe, the industrial revolution brought remarkable advances in technology and wealth, largely on the backs of the enslaved. Into this social context Charles Darwin introduced his theory of “evolution by means of natural selection” in 1859. At the time of publication, most scholars still believed in the immediate creation of all human life by God or by Nature. Some, like Darwin, believed that all humans were one species, an idea called monogenism. Others, like David Hume, Louis Agassiz, and Josiah Nott, believed that humans were created as multiple species with different levels of intelligence, a theory called polygenism. While most abolitionists were monogenists and most pro-slavery advocates were polygenists, there were exceptions. Plenty of people who believed in monogenism (including many abolitionists) held that white Europeans carried the ideal form of humanity, and a few who believed in polygenism were in fact abolitionists themselves, arguing that the different human species were all equal. In the final line of Origin of Species, … Darwin’s idea of natural selection helped explain why white European men had conquered the world and were thus the most advanced examples of humanity….the program of eugenics would allow humans to do intentionally what nature does randomly: favoring the most biologically capable, the “fittest,” and gradually ridding the world of the unfit. Thousands of scientific experiments were performed on people against their wills, and countless laws inspired by eugenics were passed in the name of scientific progress.

    • Greg G.

      John Slattery writes in the liberal journal ‘Commonweal’:

      Is it a liberal journal because its mission statement calls for “civil, reasoned debate on the interaction of faith with contemporary politics and culture”? Is it the “reasoned debate” that qualifies it as liberal?

      In the mid-nineteenth century, racist ideas pervaded the scientific, philosophical, and religious worlds.

      Yes, science and Enlightenment philosophy were the new kids on the block in a society with a long history of Christianity which was always denouncing sinners, other religions, other Christianities, and so on.

      While revolutions raged in Europe, the industrial revolution brought remarkable advances in technology and wealth, largely on the backs of the enslaved.

      But the slave owners used the OT as a template for slavery laws.

      the program of eugenics would allow humans to do intentionally what nature does randomly

      Eugenics has more to do with animal husbandry and the results of the monk Gregor Mendel than Darwin’s theory. Darwin’s theory had to do with natural selection while eugenics is unnatural selection.

      • Kurt 20008

        Is it a liberal journal because its mission statement calls for “civil, reasoned debate on the interaction of faith with contemporary politics and culture”? Is it the “reasoned debate” that qualifies it as liberal?

        Possibly. Or it is a liberal journal because its editor line is generally center-left.

        Yes, science and Enlightenment philosophy were the new kids on the block in a society with a long history of Christianity

        Germany and England became Christian around 800 CE and the Enlightenment developed around 1700, so a few centuries. Hellenistic philosophy never went totally out of fashion.

        But the slave owners used the OT as a template for slavery laws.

        No. Roman and ancient era slavery was nothing like the race slavery of British North America. To say so really insults what was done to African-Americans. The Enlightenment era philosophers invented the new word “serf”, an anachronism as serf and their overlords never used the term. They just said “slave.” The Abolitionists however, did use the template of the OT for their crusade, such as the liberation of the Hebrews from Egypt.

        • flan man

          No. Roman and ancient era slavery was nothing like the race slavery of British North America. To say so really insults what was done to African-Americans.

          No, there was serfdom within the Hebrews, where a man could sell himself into indentured servitude. But people from foreign areas could be bought and kept as slaves and possessions, and inherited as property, and beaten, just like the African-American slaves.

          As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another. Lev 25:44-46

          “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.” Ex21:20-21

          Pretty much exactly the same situation – there was indentured servitude among whites, but Africans were bought and sold and inherited as possessions, just like it says it’s ok to do up there in Lev 25.

          The Abolitionists however, did use the template of the OT for their crusade, such as the liberation of the Hebrews from Egypt.
          And anti-abolitionists quoted Leviticus to justify their support of slavery.

        • Kurt 20008

          As does the extremely secular Donald Trump. the fact remains that the Abolitionist movement was far more religious than even the present day anti-abortion movement.

        • flan man

          Bea-u-tiful deflection! Not going to address anything of substance there, eh?

          the fact remains that the Abolitionist movement was far more religious than even the present day anti-abortion movement.

          And? The Anti-Abolitionist movement from the Bible Belt was even more religious than the Abolitionist movement.

        • Michael Neville

          In 1845 the Southern Baptists split from other Baptists specifically over the question of slavery. It wasn’t until 2009 that the Southern Baptist Convention apologized for supporting slavery.

        • Kurt 20008

          Correct. The Baptist denomination was anti-slavery and by 1845 that became intolerable to the Southern dissidents.

        • Michael Neville

          Which shows exactly how immoral certain Christians are. It would seem that being Christian does not make one a better person. Rather the contrary.

        • NSAlito

          In 1845 the Southern Baptists split from other Baptists specifically over the question of slavery.

          It’s the economy, stupid. Human brains can find in the Bible whatever rationalization is needed to protect their tribes or self-interest. Abolitionists were freer to choose the Jesus “who is my neighbor?” and ignore the Ezekiel approach to black Africans as their northern industries didn’t rely on a plantation economy.

        • Michael Neville

          That people like William Wilberforce and William Lloyd Garrison (whose great-great grandson and namesake is an acquaintance) were religious adds nothing to your argument denying that the Hebrews practiced chattel slavery.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The Abolitionist movement came from *Progressives*…and NOT being an xtian at that time was a ticket to being either dismissed as irrelevant or actively persecuted.

          Your claim is up there with the idea that white European ancestry was strong in the movement…true, but irrelevant.

        • Kurt 20008

          You are contrast the quotes of few in opposition to the Christian domination of the movement to end slavery.

        • Greg G.

          It goes both ways. The Southern Baptists split from the Baptist Church over slavery.

          Then there’s George D. Armstrong’s The Christian Doctrine of Slavery
          http://www.unz.org/Pub/ArmstrongGeorge-1857

        • Ignorant Amos

          Have you ever heard of a black ex-slave Christer minister called Jacobus Capitein. He was a particularly interesting chap for all the wrong reasons.

          Jacobus Capitein’s role in history has long been neglected or dismissed as a curiosity because, as a defender of slavery, he was an unlikely role model for black emancipation. However, Capitein’s position on slavery should be viewed in the light of his time. Capitein’s views fitted in the 18th-century climate in which the church had adapted to the slave trade, which had become one of the pillars of the Dutch republic’s powerful economy. A rejection of slavery on principle was not considered an option, although some did decry the excesses of the slave trade.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobus_Capitein

        • Kurt 20008

          Interesting. What were the views of Dutch secularists towards slavery at the same time?

        • Ignorant Amos

          What were the views of Dutch secularists towards slavery at the same time?

          What does it matter?

          The Dutch were being ruled by a conservative elite. Abolition came late to the cloggies. It was driven by economics and it was for economical reasons it was abolished. Largely because of mounting pressure from the British. But the slave trade for the Dutch had already largely fizzled out in anycase.

          http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2236-46332016000300003

          The French were the first abolitionists and that came about as a result of post revolution secularism and the Enlightenment.

          During the Age of Enlightenment, many philosophers wrote pamphlets against slavery and its moral and economical justifications, including Montesquieu in The Spirit of the Laws (1748) and Denis Diderot in the Encyclopédie.[9] In 1788, Jacques Pierre Brissot founded the Society of the Friends of the Blacks (Société des Amis des Noirs) to work for the abolition of slavery. After the Revolution, on 4 April 1792, France granted free people of colour full citizenship.

          The Convention, the first elected Assembly of the First Republic (1792–1804), on 4 February 1794, under the leadership of Maximilien Robespierre, abolished slavery in law in France and its colonies. Abbé Grégoire and the Society of the Friends of the Blacks were part of the abolitionist movement, which had laid important groundwork in building anti-slavery sentiment in the metropole. The first article of the law stated that “Slavery was abolished” in the French colonies, while the second article stated that “slave-owners would be indemnified” with financial compensation for the value of their slaves. The French constitution passed in 1795 included in the declaration of the Rights of Man that slavery was abolished.

          As for the Dutch justification for slavery…

          Why did we trade black people as slaves instead of poor white people? That was purely a racist matter. We could barely see them as equal human beings and slavery was legitimated by the Bible. The Bible has always been a good tool to legitimize every morally objectionable activity, even though it presents itself as a moral guide. You could legitimize throwing gay people from flat buildings or not vaccinating your children and if you read it backwards it could even legitimize child abuse. Thank you Lord, for giving us the Bible!

          https://dutchreview.com/featured/dutch-slavery-our-dark-past/

        • gabrielle guichard

          Serfdom is the fact of pertaining to a land and not to the owner of the land. It’s not better, of course, but really different. And each time the question of serfdom is asked to the dalaï lama (would you take serfdom again if you ruled Tibet again) he tries not to answer. For what I know, he has not condemned serfdom yet. But I may have missed a declaration.

        • eric

          Roman and ancient era slavery was nothing like the race slavery of British North America.

          The classical period Greeks did it on nationality (i.e., you don’t enslave fellow Greeks, but you can enslave foreigners). That’s pretty race-based, the way they understood race.

          The exception was the Spartans. They enslaved Greeks as well as foreigners, and in fact kept whole populations – entire towns and communities – as slaves, not admitting any individual as a Spartan citizen unless they had the right parentage. That also bears some similarities to the antebellum south, with it’s “one drop” rule. (It’s also why essentially every male spartan citizen was a soldier rather than a farmer or other profession; they used slaves to do the farming, acted as overseers, and their primary ‘profession’ was using force to stop revolts and escapes).

        • Kurt 20008

          They didn’t enslave fellow citizens. They enslaves those of defeated entities. Your efforts to minimize the guilt of American slavery are simply not in accord with history.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Minimize? You might want to read Eric’s comment again, you might learn something. At the very least, you’ll hopefully learn to slow down and seek to understand, because you clearly failed to do so in this instance.

        • Greg G.

          Indentured servitude was a thing in the colonies. So were foreign slaves. The foreign slaves were treated like slaves, just like it says in the Bible.

        • Rudy R

          Eric is countering your false notion that OT slavery was a kinder form of slavery than American slavery. Are we to assume that it is moral to own another human being and to beat a slave with a rod so long as they recover after a day or two?

        • Greg G.

          beat a slave with a rod so long as they recover after a day or two?

          I think the verse actually means as long as the beaten slave doesn’t die within a day or two. They were allowed to treat their foreign slaves harshly so if they recovered, there was no problem. There would be no reason to add a verse to say that. It seems to be a translation thing to get around the harshness.

          Of course, the next day began at sundown, so that would probably good enough. They didn’t bother to specify a punishment.

        • Greg G.

          the race slavery of British North America.

          They bought slaves from foreigners per Leviticus 25:44-47. Their fellow citizens were indentured servants, per the Old Testament.

          To say so really insults what was done to African-Americans.

          I don’t defend slavery. It was cruel. But it followed the OT law. Leviticus 25:44-47 said they had to treat their fellow countrymen without harshness but foreign slaves were exempted from that restriction as the verse says they were to be treated like “slaves”.

      • NSAlito

        Post-modernism is usually considered an attack on science from the left, especially when science undermines a fluffy-bunny, nature-is-wonderful view of the world.

        [Ooh! My Covetton House catalog just arrived!]

    • flan man

      Not sure what the point is. Science has been misused? Of course it has. It’s just human beings doing it, and human beings can do all sorts of nasty things.

      The Bible is supposedly the divinely inspired Word Of Almighty God, and so presumably above simple errors like thinking that rabbits chew their cud and the earth is immovable and there’s a place on earth where Jesus could see the entire world. And tiny details like supporting slavery. It’s hard to see how the Word of Almighty God could make so very many mistakes. Of course, we can just view it as the mistaken views of mere mortals, but then I don’t see any reason to treat the Bible as anything other than a literary curiosity from the ancient world.

      • Kurt 20008

        The Bible is supposedly the divinely inspired Word Of Almighty God, and so presumably above simple errors like thinking that rabbits chew their cud

        What does that have to do with divine inspiration? Christianity has long taught that the Bible is divinely inspired as the message and family stories that God want to communicate to humanity. Is the Bible a history or veterinary book? Well, that is an assertion of Protestant Fundamentalism, which was a 19th century American development. It is rather Chauvinistic to think Americans have some superior right to speak for Christianity as well as thinking the 19th century has some special status.

        • flan man

          How could a god that created rabbits make such a silly error?
          Is the Bible a history or veterinary book? Neither. The fact remains that the Bible does make claims about things like rabbits chewing their cud. Why did God choose to include this erroneous bit of biology in his communication to humanity? His ways are strange.

        • Kurt 20008

          God didn’t make the error.

        • flan man

          Who did? The divinely inspired authors?

        • Kurt 20008

          Yes. Are you looking at the Bible as understood by some 19th century American Protestants (I understand you might be limited to only references of your own time and society) or as understood by the great majority of theologians?

        • flan man

          Well, then who knows what else they were wrong about. If they could be so very wrong about something so very simple, who would trust
          them on anything.

          I don’t really care a fig what a majority or minority of theologians think when they do mental gymnastics to resolve issues with the Bible. (I understand you might be limited to only references of your own time and society)

          And with your condescending comment, we’re done. Good day.

        • Michael Neville

          Theologians are in the business of making excuses for the inconsistencies, ambiguities and outright lies of their religion. Sometimes they can’t find a consistent, coherent rationalization for religious nonsense so they declare “it’s a mystery” and “there are some things men cannot know” or some such flimflam.

        • epeeist

          Theologians are in the business of making excuses for lying about the inconsistencies, ambiguities and outright lies of their religion.

          FIFY

        • Zeta

          What are theologians good for? How do they know whether their theology is “true” or not? Did they have a direct line to their god? Wikipedia lists a few hundred Christian theologians in history. Do you think they agree among themselves? When they disagree, how do they decide which one is the TRUE theology?

        • Lord Backwater

          “Theology is a subject without an object.” – Dan Barker

          I am more interested in what textual scholars think of the Bible than what theologians think about anything.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Demonstrate this ‘god’ actually *exists*, or that’s just so much gibberish.

        • Lord Backwater

          So Mr. Omniscient couldn’t find better translators, and inspite them not to make errors? Not much of a God, is He?

        • Kurt 20008

          You are referencing the theory of Biblical dictation, a 19th century understanding of the Bible held by a small minority or Protestants. I think it is unfair when some people claim that atheist led governments are responsible for mass murder (i.e. Stalin, Mao, etc). in that those leaders represent only a particular subset of atheism. Also unfair would be suggesting that the Dictation theory is anything but a minority or marginal part of Christianity.

        • Greg G.

          It the doctrine of Bible Inerrancy, and it is a sizable portion of Christians in the US to this day.

          Stalin and Hitler had mustaches. Mao and Pol Pot ate rice. The people responsible for 20th century atrocities had mustaches and/or ate rice. Those have as much to do with atrocities as being atheist.

        • Lord Backwater

          If a Being with infinite knowledge and infinite power wanted to deliver a clear message to humanity, but didn’t take any care to have that message dictated and transmitted faithfully, then what are we to make of that? Are His powers not as great as believed, or does He actually want people to burn eternally in Hell for not receiving the message clearly?

        • Kurt 20008

          I don’t imagine He wanted to give a clear message on animal husbandry. He gave us our wits for that.

        • Lord Backwater

          Anyone with sufficient wit will see that teh Bible is chock full of scientific errors, historical errors, moral errors, and contradictions. Are there any truths in teh Bible? Accidents do happen from time to time.

        • Lord Backwater

          He was apparently less generous to some than others.

        • Otto

          Or the Bible…

        • eric

          Is the Bible a history or veterinary book? Well, that is an assertion of Protestant Fundamentalism

          Untrue. Pope Pius XII declared that it is official Catholic doctrine, not rejectable by any lay member, that all humans descended from a single couple – Adam and Eve. He even declared that church doctrine of original sin would make no sense if this was not true (a statement which, I think, many nonbelievers would agree with). Supporting quote at the bottom of this post.

          So, first problem with your claim is that in saying this, the Pope – the head of the Catholic church – is treating the Bible as a history book. You’re just plain wrong in claiming that ‘treating the bible as a history book’ is just some Protestant thing. Catholics do it too. The Pope himself does it.

          The second problem is of course that the Pope got it wrong. Science has demonstrated that this is not true. So the ‘origin in Adam and Eve’ claim is another great example of what Bob is saying – i.e. that Christianity ignores Augustine, that they believe the Bible makes scientific claims…and that it gets them wrong.

          Quote: “37. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.[12]”-ENCYCLICAL HUMANI GENERIS OF THE HOLY FATHER PIUS XII, 12 August, 1950.

        • Kurt 20008

          The papal teaching was considered a rebuke of Fundamentalism, in that it rejected polygenism (of which racist theories are based) but accepted evolution.

        • eric

          It does more than reject racism, it insists all humans are descended from a single ancestral pair. Which is scientifically untrue. And it insists this claim is necessary for the faith.

          Seriously, the Pope is not unclear. Is there some part of his statement that you don’t understand? Or are you just ignoring that part of his statement it because you don’t want to address the issue?

        • Ficino

          the Bible is divinely inspired as the message and family stories that God want to communicate to humanity

          This is too vague to do any work. We have to start unpacking the stories. Shall we start with the world-wide Flood story? God wanted a do-over, because he somehow, being omnipotent and omniscient, set up a world that got screwed up from the get-go? So He killed bunnies and kittens and puppies and babies … but that’s OK?

          You can try to pull some morally edifying family story out of this, but I say that the morals it teaches suck.

    • So what caused that kind of thinking to be sidelined by modern science? Better science.

      • JustAnotherAtheist2

        Yes, religion shares every flaw except is has none of science’s accomplishments and no capacity for self-correction. But what good is this tu quoque fallacy if we aren’t gonna use it, amirite?

    • JustAnotherAtheist2

      Whoever this Slattery fellow is, he hasn’t the foggiest idea about evolution!

      • epeeist

        Whoever this Slattery fellow is,

        If you read this article by him you can see what his background is.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      So?

      What fixed it?

      Enlightenment values and MORE SCIENCE…*not* religion.

    • Geoff Benson

      This isn’t really a critique of science, rather it’s a philosophical discussion of ways in which science can be misdirected.

      • Kurt 20008

        I can accept that.

    • What article does this come from? Also, what point were you trying to make here? I think we’re all aware of these things.

    • NSAlito

      Science has not always aligned so well with modern values of equality and the common good. The history of science includes not only racial hierarchies, but also Western cultural supremacy…

      The unproven hypotheses of early scientists have been wrung out by the corrective nature of science itself. In The Mismeasure of Man Stephen Jay Gould gives several examples of human bias influencing the measurements and conclusions of early researchers into anthropology. Yet the very same physical evidence, handled under an increasingly more rigorous approach to measurement, actively disproved their early conclusions.

      Epicycles explained the motion of the sun and other planets around Earth, but the adopted approach of parsimony led to heliocentrism, which led to the understanding of gravity and space-time itself.

  • anxionnat

    One that always makes me laugh is in the section having to do with kosher laws: insects are grouped with four-legged creatures. This claim, of course, could be swiftly disproved by any first-grader with a fly swatter. And, yes, that’s what the reference says in the biblical Hebrew–I’ve read it. When that reference was read in my Biblical Hebrew seminar, there was stunned silence, then the whole group of grad students erupted in giggles. The prof swore he’d never teach that section again (I think it’s in Leviticus, which is batsh*t crazy anyway), as people in the department were laughing at him and his seminar for *weeks* after. The Bible never misses an opportunity to entertain, does it?

  • It is quite telling how literalism is a XIX century invention. That said, it would be better talk about what is not mentioned there, in “the book”, and known to exist (subatomic particles, the American continent, galaxies, etc). Listening Fundagelicals attempting to mix it with the Bible is often priceless, especially given its ignorance of even simple science.

    I also still remember a SDA who claimed in the comments section of a skeptic blog that “the Bible described the shape of the Universe” (read: it’s curvature) in Isaiah 40:22

    • flan man

      Huh?

  • D. C. Sessions

    Don’t forget four-legged insects.

  • Lynn-no-duh

    “Real science tells us that the earth is anything but fixed; it orbits the sun, the entire solar system orbits the galactic center, and the Milky Way galaxy itself moves through space.”

    Do you understand that “real science” (lower case “s”) is measurable, repeatedly?
    Belief in Scientism, on the other hand, is taken on faith, which appears to be what you are doing.

    If Earth is in fact spherical, then it’s curvature will be measurable over every large body of water, as water always seeks its level. That is not what we observe, however………anywhere. In fact, when we set out to measure this alleged curvature, what we find are shorelines, bridges and monuments that should be obscured by hundreds of feet, and sometimes miles, of curvature. The evidence does not fit the spinning ball Earth theory. No scientific experiment has ever proven Earth to be in motion. In fact, experiments setting out to such proved just the opposite.

    I suggest you consider the difference between actual science, which is measurable, repeated, and the religious faith in Scientism, doctrines preached by Ministers of Science from most every pulpit.

    • Michael Neville

      Take your flat Earth/geocentric nonsense and try to peddle it to the ignorant. We know that the Earth is a oblate spheroid.

    • Lord Backwater

      Methinks it is like a weasel.

      • epeeist

        Methinks it is like a weasel.

        Methinks it is another Kool Aid drinking füicking idiot.

      • TheNuszAbides

        I’ve already played Polonius twice, so I decline to respond appropriately.

    • RichardSRussell

      “When people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.” —Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), American science-fiction writer

      • Ignorant Amos
      • eric

        In this case, it’s arguably worse. When people think Trump is part of a grand conspiracy to fool them about the shape of the Earth, they are wrong. When people thought Nancy Pelosi is part of a grand conspiracy to fool them about the shape of the Earth, they are wrong. But anyone who thinks Trump and Pelosi could be working together to fool them about the shape of the Earth is wronger than both of them put together.

    • eric

      I lived in Australia for a bunch of years. Christmas in the summer was great, even if we always had to hang on to the Earth with one hand. 😉

      • Greg G.

        I lived in Australia for a bunch of years.

        Below is Jesus speaking. Could you tell us if verse 55 is objectively true?

        Luke 12:54-55 (NRSV)54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens.

        • eric

          Sadly, the first is an untested hypothesis. I don’t ever remember seeing a cloud rising in the west and then immediately stating “it is going to rain” to see if it did. Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cloud rising over the horizon at all.

          Right now I’m in the northern hemisphere, and the wind is currently blowing NW. But if it changes direction, I’ll try part II of the quote and tell you the result. Given it’s winter, I’m skeptical “scorching heat” will be the result…

        • Greg G.

          I am thinking the wind blowing from the south in Australia would be like the north wind here, bringing frigid air.

          I was in Melbourne and Sydney for a week and a half two years ago in January. The weather was beautiful and never changed.

        • Michael Neville

          “Scorching” is relative. In Canada, northern US and northern Europe that means “above freezing”.

        • Greg G.

          There are only two seasons: Winter and July 19th.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Here where I live, it’s not unusual to get all four seasons in the one day.

        • Phil

          And a ‘Crowded House’ song t’boot!

        • al kimeea

          That’s Newfoundland.

        • epeeist

          I don’t ever remember seeing a cloud rising in the west and then immediately stating “it is going to rain” to see if it did.

          Can’t find a good link, but you might want to look up the “cross winds rule”.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Is it the Urim or the Thummimnininner that Chosen Specialists need to see the south wind?

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Belief in Scientism

      YOUR KIND claim this ‘scientism’ *exists*…demonstrate that.

      *SCIENCE* provides results, including the internet YOUR KIND abuse to spread your superstitious memetic poison to afflict the unwary.

      • Lynn-no-duh

        Absolutely! Please, show me this alleged curvature, which is proving more evasive than Waldo!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Math is involved, so you wouldn’t be interested.

          Also evidence.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      If Earth is in fact spherical, then it’s curvature will be measurable over every large body of water, as water always seeks its level. That is not what we observe, however

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e4f3150ef1736a97f38e5331eec815059a13ac6a27961f02da4b1e26161c6dbf.jpg

    • gabrielle guichard


      If Earth is in fact spherical, then it’s curvature will be measurable
      over every large body of water, as water always seeks its level.” and it’s easy to observe: go to a 10km long lake, you at one end and a friend at the other. Your feet are at the same level, but you won’t see each other in your binoculars. And as the article “A First Rate Click bait” concludes: you discover that there are sloping lakes for water skiing.

      • Lynn-no-duh

        Clearly you have not tested your own suggestion. There are numerous experiments proving your claims false. We observe, and measure shorelines, bridges and monuments that would be obscured by hundreds of feet (sometimes miles) of curvature, if Earth were indeed spherical.

        • gabrielle guichard

          I know nothing about bridges and monuments of more than 10 km. But I know what it is to go sailing and looking at the people on the shore losing their feet, then their knees. (I never sail too far from the coast.)

    • Thanks4AllTheFish

      Hilarious, professor duh!

    • Contractions of Fate

      Huh?

      Did I sleep for 2 months and wake up on April 1st?

      I still laugh at the memory of Jeranism et al’s comment of “Hmm… Interesting….” when the laser across the lake did exactly the opposite of what the FlatTards predicted would happen on a flat plane, and precisely what they said it should do on a spherical planet.

    • Gord O’Mitey

      Y’all know I created the Earth six thousand years ago, eh. ‘Cus that’s whut is implied in My book, the Bible. An’ of course it’s flat, an’ it don’t feckin’ move, like it says in My book, eh. Ya un’erstand, I had ter keep it simple fer Bronze Age tribesmen, ‘cus they were feckin’ ignorant, an’ they wouldn’t un’erstand nothin’ complicated like modern astronomy, eh. An’ I wouldn’t either.

    • Geoff Benson

      What? Is this intended seriously?

      • al kimeea

        Hard to believe it’s not a Poe.

        • Geoff Benson

          Just checked comment history and it’s the real thing. What gets me is the complete denial of evidence, much the way creationists deny the evidence for evolution. It’s one thing to attempt to refute evidence with better evidence, but to deny it is weakness of character.

        • epeeist

          Just checked comment history and it’s the real thing.

          Yep, conspiracy theory nut-job.

          File under “Never argue with an idiot”.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your GBS quote is very apt on this occasion.

        • al kimeea

          Quite. It’s a characteristic found in any flavour of woo & that there might be better evidence, but it’s just a matter of opinion or belief.

          A counter-argument to the notion of the ‘scientific method’ revealing the true nature of something is that it is akin to faith because faith is required even after millions of supporting trials or applications – it might not work the next time. Imagine, one day hydrogen will cease to rapidly oxidise producing water, dooming the nascent industry relying on that process to power vehicles…

    • Kuno

      Just out of curiosity, how do you calculate how much of a building should be hidden by the curvature?

      • Greg G.

        Just out of curiosity, how do you calculate how much of a building should be hidden by the curvature?

        Probably with Roman numerals.

        • Otto

          I was thinking fingers and toes.

      • al kimeea

        There is “math” involved & “fisheye” lenses…

      • Lynn-no-duh

        Using spherical geometry.
        There is an “Earth Curve Calculator” [ https://dizzib.github.io/earth/curve-calc/?d0=30&h0=10&unit=imperial ], which provides the basis for its calculation there. I test that answer with an approximation using the Pythagorean theorem, as my trigonometry and calculus are rusty.

        I encourage you to ask a professor of Mathematics how to calculate the rate at which the circumference of a sphere drops.
        They will affirm that spherical geometry dictates a sphere with a diameter of 7917.5 miles will have topical curvature that drops at a rate of 7.98 inches for every mile squared. As with any exponential rate, the curvature will prove dramatically more pronounced with distance. This, however, does not jive with the measurements we observe, repeatedly. In fact, the lack of curvature is what is so remarkable. The only way the actual measurements could be in agreement with a spherical Earth is if Earth has been dramatically errantly underestimated in size. But you will only consider this information in light of the facts if you have a mind capable of freeing itself from the indoctrination we all were raised with. js.

        • Kuno

          I encourage you to ask a professor of Mathematics how to calculate the rate at which the circumference of a sphere drops.

          They will affirm that spherical geometry dictates a sphere with a diameter of 7917.5 miles will have topical curvature that drops at a rate of 7.98 inches for every mile squared

          Thank you, that was the answer I was expecting. Nice of you to show us that your idea of “[having] a mind capable of freeing itself from the indoctrination we all were raised with” is listening to and believing some guy on Youtube.

        • Lynn-no-duh

          While Mathematics Professors can have their testimony documented on YouTube, they are actual people.
          I am not a Mathematics Professor, though I have a fair grasp of mathematics. I encourage you to consider the formulas that apply. That is why I test the results using the Pythagorean theorem, for approximation of the result. YouTube has nothing to do with it.

    • Ignorant Amos

      Bwaaaaahahahahahahahahaha!

    • Rudy R

      Please cite the peer-reviewed scientific article documenting the measurable, repeated experiments that supports the non-spinning ball Earth theory.

      • Lynn-no-duh

        Why do you rely on other people’s reviews of experiments?
        Are you incapable of thinking things through yourself?
        I suggest you look into the Michelson–Morley experiment; the Bedford Level Canal experiment; Rob Skiba documenting the Chicago skyline from Michigan, to name a few.

        Now, name a single scientific experiment that has ever proven Earth to be in motion (and you can’t use NASA, as it’s readily proven that NASA lies.)

        • Greg G.

          Everybody who comments on this blog already knows that the world is a disc that rests on the backs of four elephants who stand on the shell of the Great A’Tuin, the Giant Star Turtle, of the species Chelys galactica.

          Your work is done. You can go elsewhere.

        • gabrielle guichard

          And there are turtles all the way down.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Bug nutty, bat shite crazy, barking at the moon, lunatic crackpots, like that fruitcake should not be given a platform. They are a danger, to themselves and the imbeciles that surround them.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why do you rely on other people’s reviews of experiments?

          That’ll be a no then.

          It’s not just other people’s reviews ya dipstick, they have to be experts in the field under review. It’s called, “checks and balances”.

          Are you incapable of thinking things through yourself?

          Spoiiiiiiinnnng!!!!

          I suggest you look into the Michelson–Morley experiment;

          Which one? Not the one dubbed the “most failed experiment ever”?

          https://flatearth.ws/aether-experiments

          the Bedford Level Canal experiment;

          You mean the one thoroughly debunked by Alfred Russell Wallace, who was an actual surveyor? And subsequently by Henry Yule Oldham…right?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Yule_Oldham

          Rob Skiba documenting the Chicago skyline from Michigan,…

          You mean the one that actually inadvertently demonstrates the curvature of the earth?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-_U5Yhlcck

          …to name a few.

          Among all the crackpots out there ya mean?.

          Now, name a single scientific experiment that has ever proven Earth to be in motion…

          Whaaaa? You mean you haven’t done the research ya Dime Bar?

          https://flatearthbusted.blogspot.com/

          https://flatearthlunacy.com/

          (and you can’t use NASA, as it’s readily proven that NASA lies.)

          Ah, a conspiracy theory nut job too…figures. Where’s yer tinfoil hat?

          Get lost, ya daft fecker.

        • Rudy R

          Just as I anticipated, you can’t cite any peer-reviewed scientific articles. And don’t you think you are hypocritical stating I am ncapable of thinking things through yourself all the while suggesting I look into other people’s experiments?
          The Michelson–Morley experiment, Bedford Level Canal experiment and Rob Skiba have been thoroughly debunked. What makes those experiments compelling?

          And are you really a member of the clan that believes NASA lies? That’s conspiracy theory stuff and relegates you to the children’s table.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Then YOU explain the evidence to support your assertion (NO, it doesn’t even rise the the level of ‘hypothesis’).

          Foucault’s Pendulum *works*…explain how if your ideas are correct…with MATH.

    • larry parker

      You have spent too much time in the no spin zone.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foucault_pendulum

    • al kimeea

      Book a flight to another continent. Get a window seat.

      • gabrielle guichard

        Commercial planes don’t fly high enough. That’s why the flatists can repeat they don’t see the curvature.

        • Luther Dorn (deplorable)

          Isn’t Space X supposed to be booking space flights now? What will the flat Earthers do to rationalize the view?

    • Geoff Benson

      Hmm..seems you really are a flat earther. Oh dear. I can only suggest you get some help as I have doubts as to your mental health. I don’t suppose you will but please don’t go telling kids your ridiculous ideas.

  • Lord Backwater

    Real science:

    Anesthetized Monkeys Wake Up Instantly When Researchers Stimulate Brain Region Linked to Consciousness

    Exciting news, but keep in mind that consciousness is poorly defined; and her it is used to mean “awakeness”, not “capability for self-awareness and abstract thought.”

  • Michael Newsham

    Some fundamentalist Muslims do this to the Quran, spinning passages to ‘prove’ it anticipates modern science, using the same techniques as Christian Fundies.

  • Connie Beane

    If the Bible’s “science” isn’t understood and accepted as valid until after Science discovers and proves it, what good is it?

    • TheNuszAbides

      A bunch of the worst motivated-reasoners will probably spin it as proof of concept. One of my favorite targets of mockery these days is the cluster of rigor-free, smug ‘ comebacks’ to the effect of “[societies dominated by] Christianity thought of it [or something that can be tortured to resonate with ‘it’] first!”, “the Creator of Everything, with whom I have a personal relationship, knows all the answers [so we don’t have to!]”, etc.

  • I’d say most modern Christians agree with Augustine (who also didn’t take Genesis literally-Biblical literalism really wasn’t common at the time). However, those with the contrary view are loud and prominent in the US, giving an opposing impression here sometimes.

    • Lord Backwater

      Contrary to popular opinion, however, Augustine believed in the young earth. As he writes in Book 12, Chapter 10 of the City of God:…

      link

    • Greg G.

      AIUI, Augustine thought that the six day creation was crazy because God could have done it instantaneously.

      • Yes, he did think that. Of course, this makes sense if you think an all-powerful deity exists. Unfortunately, in doing this he wrongly rejected Egyptian and Greek cosmologies which said this all took millennia (even more than Young Earth creationists today), which is nearer the truth. He can’t be blamed, though they can. Interestingly, he also dismissed another of their ideas, that the Fall caused actual changes in the universe. He stated that Adam and Eve were already mortal before this.

  • Anyone with scientific knowledge?

    Question: Are fountains of water underneath earth’s surface?

    • Raging Bee

      Question: Is there a point underneath your blithering?

  • Lynn-no-duh

    1. “Real science tells us that the earth is anything but fixed;”
    “Real science” is measurable, repeatedly. There has never been a single scientific experiment that ever proved Earth to be in motion. In fact, every experiment that set out to do so proved that Earth is stationary. Research the Michelson Morley experiment.
    2. “The Earth rests on a foundation…… but a more plausible conclusion ……”
    How would you know? Mankind’s equipment hasn’t even gotten a full 8 miles deep into Earth. If Earth were spherical, that is a mere 1/10th of 1% of its diameter. The fact is, we have no idea what lies beyond 8 miles.
    I suggest you stop mistaking opinion for science.
    3. “What is this dome made of? Job suggests that it’s made of metal:……strong as a mirror of cast bronze?”
    It’s sad I need to point this out, but the term “as” is a comparison; Job is by no means suggesting it is “made out of metal”.
    He is suggesting that whatever the dome is made out of, it is strong AS a mirror cast of bronze. He’s right. Have you watched a rocket hit the dome? It’s truly like hitting a solid mirror! Have you seen the “sky stones”? They are a mysterious, and capable of withstanding temperatures higher than any known metal without effect, and turns from blue to clear under a microscope. I suggest you stop regurgitating what NASA tells you, and begin thinking for yourself.
    4. Yes, the Bible points to Earth being flat, not spherical, but not because of the creation time-line as you suggest. The same concerns apply to both models.
    While the Sun and Moon were created on the 4th day, the Light was created on the 1st day, so prior to the 4th day, a single day does not mean our 24 hour day, and The Light, provided whatever light was needed.
    5. You are correct that Scripture supports a stationary, plane-like, Earth. The verses cited in Matthew, Joshua and 2 Kings would not be possible on a spherical Earth. Either the Almighty is lying or NASA is, and there is much proof that NASA lies.
    6. See #4.

    • Either the Almighty is lying or NASA is

      Or there is no Almighty, and it’s just primitive stories.

      • Ignorant Amos

        There’s been an unusual glut of the tinfoil hat brigade here recently…a wonder what’s been occurring?

        • Sunspots? The Covfefe-19 Trump-virus?

        • Ignorant Amos

          There’s something in their water, that’s for sure.

    • Raging Bee

      The Michelson Morley experiment? Are you f00kin’ kidding me? That was supposed to prove the existence of “aether,” and it failed because there never was any such thing. Take your flat-earth anti-NASA hate-on and shove it back where it came from.

    • Raging Bee

      Either the Almighty is lying or NASA is…or maybe lots of people claiming to speak for the Almighty are…

  • Sidenstepper,
    Which do you think is better?

    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/BOM/index.htm
    Or
    https://www.evilbible.com/

    Now tell me, in science, is their eternal truth? That is truth that will not be overcome or cannot change?

    • Fun! It’s like I’m on the playground in second grade. Thanks for not taxing my brain by giving arguments any more adult than your insults.

      1 + 1 = 2 might be an objectively true truth.

      Your turn: is there objective moral truth? If so, show us.

      • Seidnstepper –

        “1 + 1 = 2 might be an objectively true truth.”

        What if another anti-big bang happens and destroys everything, leaving us with nothing?

        Seidnstepper –

        “Your turn: is there objective moral truth? If so, show us.”

        OK, Has anyone ever lied to you?

        • GodWuvsMe!! – What if another anti-big bang happens and destroys everything, leaving us with nothing?

          Uh, that would suck?

          GodWuvsMe!! – OK, Has anyone ever lied to you?

          Yup. Show me that that’s objectively morally wrong.

          But first, define objective morality.

          Also: show that we humans can reliably access objective morality.

        • My question… OK, Has anyone ever lied to you?

          Your answer… “Yup. Show me that that’s objectively morally wrong.”

          When you were lied to, did your conscience tell you “that’s wrong” or “get you angry”?

          Your answer…

        • Sure, I thought it was wrong. Now, is it too much to ask that you answer my challenge? Show me that that’s objectively morally wrong.

          Then define objective morality.

          Then show that we humans can reliably access your objective morality.

        • Getting to end… recap and last question…

          My question… OK, Has anyone ever lied to you?

          Your answer… “Yup. Show me that that’s objectively morally wrong.”

          When you were lied to, did your conscience tell you “that’s wrong” or “get you angry”?

          Your answer… Sure, I thought it was wrong.

          My Question… Have you in knowledge in conscience lied on purpose to someone else?

          Your Answer…

        • Greg G.

          Are you still trying to prove objective morality by giving examples of subjective morality?

        • Greg,

          Bob and I are discussing matters in this thread.

        • Greg G.

          Bob and I are discussing matters in this thread.

          You are discussing matters in a public forum. There is a peanut gallery who can respond all they want. You can ignore those responses or respond to them.

        • Right. But, go read. It was a 1-1 between me and Bob. Troll harder next time.

        • Greg G.

          I am free to post. You are not required to respond. It’s called Freedom of Speech, that is limited only by the moderator’s patience.

        • Than, to your point, I support you.

        • Translated: “Stop being mean to me!”

          Sorry, bro. When you say dumb things, there out there for all to enjoy. And respond to.

        • I’ve never seen you troll this hard in a thread. It was me & Bob talking. It was like you flew onto a perch next to Bob and started dusting your feathers off.

        • Greg G.

          I’ve never seen you troll this hard in a thread.

          I am required to be where I am but I am limited in my activities. I was busy doing something more difficult but need to do something more relaxing. You are posting. I am responding to those posts. That’s about all there is to it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Troll?

          Fuckin’ typical Christer idiot doesn’t do irony either a see.

        • Griff Pryce

          It seems to me that a Christian proselytising on an atheist board is more trollesque.

        • ?? At this blog, when someone says something stupid, everyone has a chance to comment. Enjoy.

        • Bob, religion totally sucks. The Son of God came to give us life. If you base everything on religion, you will go to a building, and things will go wrong for you. Even atheist will do wrong by you. No address is listed in scripture for church. don’t place your trust in man. To get into the door & join the Church, just ask Jesus. Ask Jesus to save and live inside you, and you will have peace with death. Tell your family and those you care about. Peace with Jesus, the God of the Old Testament come in the flesh, happens when you call upon the Lord.

        • Why should I listen to you? Why not listen to the Scientologist or the Mormon or the Muslim? They all make the same basic promise.

        • Well, honestly, its not me. I can’t save you. You can’t pay me.
          Scientologist? Tom Cruise disciple?
          Mormom? Joseph preached another Gospel received from the angel moroni (Galatians 1:6-8)
          Muslim? And deny the Son, which every witness who came before Mohammed testified of? Psalms 2:12

          I never said listen to me, I proposed calling upon the Lord.

        • Scientologist? Tom Cruise disciple?
          Mormom? Joseph preached another Gospel received from the angel moroni (Galatians 1:6-8)
          Muslim? And deny the Son, which every witness who came before Mohammed testified of? Psalms 2:12

          I’m not sure where you’re going with this. Are you saying, “Are you crazy??”

          If so, perhaps you can understand my position.

        • you asked…

          Bob – “Why not listen to the Scientologist or the Mormon or the Muslim?”

          I replied.

          Why not go to God/Jesus instead?

        • Greg G.

          Why not go to God/Jesus instead?

          Mormonism has better evidence than Christianity, not good evidence but still much better.

        • Griff Pryce

          A back-handed compliment if ever I heard one.

        • Yeah, and I replied, Why not listen to the Scientologist or the Mormon or the Muslim?

          You’re making unsubstantiated claims like any other religious nut. I reject them all. Why privilege your silly supernatural views over someone else’s silly supernatural views?

        • Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

          Here I am.

        • Greg G.

          Did you know that 2 Peter copied from Jude? Did you know Jude quotes as scripture from the Book of Enoch, which is not considered to be scripture?

        • Is it like magic? I wonder why God needs to have some sort of appeal first. Can’t he see into everyone’s heart?

        • Griff Pryce

          It’s a lot like magic, actually. Or psychic powers, astrology, fairies, etc.
          Although I do consider myself an atheist, I find the term “atheist” to be somewhat inadequate because it means that one doesn’t believe in god(s). I often find myself having to clarify that I don’t believe in anything supernatural.

        • Agreed. The terminology is often inadequate or confusing. The “Brights” label is another–a well-intentioned effort that just adds to the muddle.

        • Griff Pryce

          I did some experimenting with religion during my misspent adolescence. I found the wacko Christian god/gods [see Trinitarianism] to be entirely unhelpful, spiritually or otherwise. Experimenting with sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll proved far more beneficial.

        • Greg G.

          don’t place your trust in man.

          Every writing in the Bible and every copy of it was produced by man.

        • written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God

          Some eyewitnesses…

        • Eyewitnesses? To the miracles in the NT?

          Prove it.

        • I’M GOING TO PROVE IT…

          HERE IS PROOF BOB SEIDENSTICKER THINKS IT WRONG TO LIE…(thread above)

          Bob – “Sure, I thought it was wrong. ”

          We have it in writing, thanks Bob. According to you lying is wrong, we have your words.

          NOW

          ACCORDING TO PETER, WE HAVE HIS WORDS, HE WENT TO THE DEATH TO TELL THIS…

          2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

        • Who wrote 2 Peter?? And when? Show me that this source is reliable.

          This whole evidence thing is tough for you to get your mind around, isn’t it?

        • 2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

        • Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ

          No, seriously.

          You know it wasn’t really Peter, right? Do a little research. To repeat my challenge to you, “Who wrote 2 Peter?? And when? Show me that this source is reliable.”

        • Greg G.

          2 Peter is a forgery. Why does one have to believe forgeries to remain in your religion?

          2 Peter 1:17-18 (NRSV)17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

          If the author of the Gospel of Mark got his story directly from Peter, why would Peter be quoting from Matthew about that incident? Matthew changes what Mark wrote by taking the words from the baptism scene, where Mark did some midrash on Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1.

          The whole scene is invented anyway. In most of Mark, everything happens immediately. But for the transfiguration pericope, there is a six day wait before they went up the mountain and heard the voice from a cloud, as if the author was deliberately imitating Exodus 24:13-18. Mark used the Psalm 2:7 quote and added the “listen to him”, possibly from Deuteronomy 18:15 (“you shall heed such a prophet”).

          “σου αὐτοῦ ἀκούσεσθε” –Deuteronomy 18:15 LXX
          “ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ” — Mark 9:7 mGNT

          Did Moses and Elijah have name tags? How would the disciples know who they were?

        • Rudy R

          Peter was lying. We have it in writing, thanks to me, that Peter lied. Now prove me wrong.

          See how easy that is!

        • Rudy R

          So, that colored fluid used to mark words in the Bible is not ink?

        • Griff Pryce

          And if you base everything on Abrahamic religion, you’ll never get laid.

        • BTW:
          Your calling the fact that someone lied to Bob at some point in his life, subjective.

          Or are ALL your feelings subjective?

          Now you can jump in an answer, since you we trolling me and Bob so bad.

        • Greg G.

          Your calling the fact that someone lied to Bob at some point in his life, subjective.

          No, I am saying that his response to the lie is subjective.

          Or are ALL your feelings subjective?

          Exactly. All of everybody’s feelings are subjective… by definition!

          sub·jec·tive
          /səbˈjektiv/
          adjective
          1. based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
          [Emphasis added]

          Compare to:

          ob·jec·tive
          /əbˈjektiv/
          adjective
          1. (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
          ~ not dependent on the mind for existence; actual.

          When you refer to “objective morality”, the “objective” part of the phrase is the second part of the definition above. When your argument involves how a person feels about some moral position, you are actually giving example of subjective morality, which undercuts your argument for objective morality. Since you don’t have any arguments for objective morality, why bother making the claim or trying to argue for it?

          In a universe with nothing but black holes, galaxies, and rocks, there would be no morality. Morality requires minds, therefore it cannot be objective.

        • Griff Pryce

          >In a universe with nothing but black holes, galaxies, and rocks, there would be no morality.

          I bet the black hole community is really offended by that remark.

        • My questions… in previous comments

          Your answer… crickets

          This one-sided monologue has been fun! Let’s do it again sometime.

        • so…
          Your answer…

          If your answer was YES, in conscience…

          STUDY Romans 2:1

          Go back and read our convo.

        • Griff Pryce

          >My Question… Have you in knowledge in conscience lied on purpose to someone else?
          >Your Answer…

          Of course! I’m lying right now!

        • Greg G.

          If lying was objectively wrong, it is wrong under all circumstances. If you can think of a circumstance where it is better to tell a lie than to tell the truth, it is not objectively wrong.

          We do not like to be harmed. If someone tells us a lie that harms us in some way, even harshing our mellow, then we do not like it. It is a subjective thing. Telling us a false statement does not necessarily harm us, sometimes it makes us laugh.

          When you were lied to, did your conscience tell you “that’s wrong” or “get you angry”?

          Using that argument is an appeal to a subjective reaction, which makes it a better argument for subjective morality.

          Since you have no better argument for objective reality, you may as well drop the idea. All you can argue for is subjective morality.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope. Not on every occasion. Which makes it subjective.

          Most children in western Christer society have been getting lied to for over a century on one subject alone.

          Is it immoral to lie to a child about Santa Claus?

        • Raging Bee

          What if another anti-big bang happens and destroys everything, leaving us with nothing?

          Um…we’d notice your religion hadn’t done anything to stop it?

          Oh, and what the AF do you mean by “ANOTHER anti-big-bang?” Was there another one that we didn’t hear about? If so, well, it didn’t “leave us with nothing,” did it?

          OK, Has anyone ever lied to you?

          Christians like you lie every day. We’re used to it. Your point…?

        • Griff Pryce

          >1 + 1 = 2 might be an objectively true truth.

          Not in binary.

      • Raging Bee

        The boy can’t even write a coherent sentence, but he’s asking questions he thinks atheists can never answer. And the only reason we can’t answer them, is because they’re all poorly written incoherent nonsense. “Can anything come between space and the wall? Have you ever smelled a unicorn fart? CHECKMATE, ATHEISTS!!!”

      • Raging Bee

        Is there objective moral truth? Yes, but it’s based on observation of actions and their consequences, not from any unproven supernatural source that only exists in some airhead’s imagination.

        • Which gets back to the need to carefully define “objective.”

          Over and over, I see Christians happily using words with fuzzy definitions–a rhetorical version of Muhammed Ali’s rope-a-dope.

        • Raging Bee

          The Christians should stick to their word, “absolute,” with all it’s unreal, essentialist, subjectivist baggage, and we should reclaim “objective.”

        • Griff Pryce

          The preferred term for that is “ethics,” as “morality” has been rather corrupted through massive abuse by people who are, among other things, really sexually repressed.
          I wouldn’t exactly call ethics “objective,” since its conclusions still depend on what consequences are considered desirable, but at least it attempts to be rational!

        • Raging Bee

          True, but consequences tend to be ruled “desirable” when they’re visibly beneficial; so that’s at least a little more grounding in objective fact and reasoning.

  • Don Camp

    Compare the order of creation with the order we’ve learned through science.

    You might want to look at my extended discussion of Genesis 1 and the order of creation. https://biblicalmusing.blogspot.com/

    I posted earlier about the remarkable similarity between the biblical order of creation and the description science has provided us. I’ll reiterate one point. In verse 3 the first act – after the creation of the heavens and the earth – was light. And it was light that separated the day into day and night. That can only be sunlight that divides day and night by the rotation of the earth.

    So why was the sun not described and why does it seem like the sun appeared only later?

    One, a motif of Genesis one is light and dark. Darkness is described in verse 2 as tohu v’bohu , best defined as the opposite of order. Darkness is not good. Light is good. The flow of the narrative moves from darkness (disorder) to order in the completed creation. The flow begins with light shining in the darkness in verse 3.

    It is not necessary to the author’s purpose to identify the source of the light in verse 3.To say that light is the beginning of the ordering of the earth by causing day and night is enough. It is, however, important to the author’s purpose to identify the role the sun and moon and stars play in the lives of people. They are signs of the seasons and sacred times. But what is not said would be glaringly obvious, to the immediate reader in the second millennium B.C. It would be that the sun is not God. The sun is created by God (verse 3) and plays a role in God’s creation at God’s design.

    Two, it suits the purpose of the author to focus on something that was more important. That is in contrast to the Egyptian religion of Ra (the Sun god) and the Babylonian religion where the sun is also a god. That contrast is the theological point of the passage, and it is the primary message of Genesis 1: God (Elohim) is God alone.

    Genesis one is not a scientific description of how God created. It is a declaration of who created and what was created. It is at the what that science and revelation overlap. And I think the Bible and science agree on the what.

    • epeeist

      Post a claim, see it demolished, disappear off to Croydon for a few days, press the reset button.

      Lather, rinse, repeat.

      • Don Camp

        I have not seen my claim demolished. I do not even think anyone here has been able to come to grips with what I am claiming much less demolish it. You all are stuck on or confused by the Young Earth Creation and Creation Science claims. And it appears that you are all trying to refute those claims. Okay. Go ahead. I’ll join you. But don’t confused me with Creation Science.

        • epeeist

          I have not seen my claim demolished.

          And yet both I, Ignorant Amos and Greg G. have pointed out where your claim doesn’t hold water (in the conversation ending here and in this response from Amos).

          I offer this image as the reason you haven’t seen your claim demolished:

          https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2p_frTaS61U/VNIkbZzyRBI/AAAAAAAADoU/CWJ1qA-4OL0/s1600/nelson.png

        • Don Camp

          So claim one: The Bible matches modern scientific findings. (From your post http://disq.us/p/279ujsu)
          To “refute” this claim you quote Einstein, but not anything scientific or even having to do with the subject. You quote his personal opinion.
          Claim two: “Man is the final stage in the series.”
          To refute that claim you write: “The fact that we have evolved from these species rather undermines your claim that we are the “final stage”.
          How so? What stage in man’s evolution is beyond us or followed us?

          BTW the biblical narrative includes man in a category that I would call Homo sapiens espiritu (spiritual man). The Bible describes man as body, soul (psyche) and spirit, and it was not until physical man (Homo sapiens) was infused with a spirit that he became man in the biblical sense.

          Now to Amos’s “refutation.”

          Amos rambles. He does not actually understand my claim or if he does he chooses to ignore it and goes back to referring to various other interpretations. I responded to his basic mistake in an earlier post.

          So epeeist, I don’t see any refutation. I see Amos ranting and you avoiding.

        • Raging Bee

          Claim one has been refuted countless times in countless documents and forums. Claim two is unfounded, because humans and the Earth still exist and show no sign of ending, therefore we’re still evolving, therefore there’s no evidence of any “final stages.”

        • epeeist

          The Bible matches modern scientific findings. (From your post http://disq.us/p/279ujsu)

          To “refute” this claim you quote Einstein,

          You know you really ought to read for comprehension. What I pointed out was that the conversation ended at that particular point, not that the particular post was the refutation. There are a whole stack of posts before the final one.

          How so? What stage in man’s evolution is beyond us or followed us?

          For us to be the “final stage” evolution would have to stop. Given that it has been going on for over 3 billion years that seems rather unlikely.

          BTW the biblical narrative

          The question is whether the narrative is true or not.

          Amos rambles. He does not actually understand my claim

          Amos’ criticism is trenchant. What it shows is what I have said before, you are torturing the text in order to get it to match current scientific findings. What would your claim need to have in order to have a good fit:

          1. Clarity and precision. We have seen you, for example, try to use the word “heavens” to encompass the original quark/gluon plasma, stars, extra-solar planets, galaxies, quasars, pulsars, dark matter etc. This is neither clear nor precise.

          2. Surprising predictions. The whole thing about good scientific theories (such as Einstein’s GR) is that it makes bold predictions, such as the existence of gravitational waves, gravitational lensing and increased muon lifetimes. Your claim makes no predictions at all, never mind surprising ones.

          3. Truth. By that I mean statements that correspond to the facts. None of the biblical narrative has any such correspondence.

          What you are left with is a tenuous parallel to the scientific findings and even then you are having to shore it up with ad hoc auxiliaries .

        • Don Camp

          The question is whether the narrative is true or not.

          Show me where it is not.

          you are torturing the text in order to get it to match current scientific findings.

          As I said before, you and Amos and others here seem to like the Young Earth Creation Science reading of the text. In my mind that is a torturing of the text to make it says something that that it does not.

          It has been an old interpretive paradigm that God speaks through two books, the book of nature and the revealed word of God. https://biologos.org/articles/the-church-fathers-and-two-books-theology When the books seem to disagree we go back and read and think more carefully. The likelihood is that we have misinterpreted one of the books, or the facts are not clear or conclusive.

          What would your claim need to have in order to have a good fit:
          1. Clarity and precision.

          You are asking that the “claim” be phrased in modern scientific language and with modern scientific precision. That is not possible in a book that is at least 3000 years old. The best that can be done is to determine what the ancient text said and how it was understood by the immediate audience by careful reading and comparisons with other texts and then translate that into something that fits modern ways of expressing the same reality or features.

          So when Genesis 1:1 says “heavens and the earth” that seems to be a term meaning everything. In modern terms that would mean all the things you listed and more. By more I mean that at the time Genesis 1 was written people understood that reality has more than one aspect. It is both physical and it is supernatural. The term “heavens and the earth” encompasses both. .

          2. Surprising predictions.

          That is an expectation of the scientific enterprise. None of what I have claimed about the similarities has been intended to frame Genesis 1 as a scientific statement or hypothesis. That being said, I think that Genesis 1 did predict. And at the time the prediction was surprising. It predicted that there was process involved in the development of the universe and specifically the development of the earth and life upon it.

          It predicted that this process could be seen as a series of stages, the six days. It predicted that those stages could be seen as three categories of things, at least when it comes to life, plants, life in the seas, and life on the land. I think that was surprising in the ancient world.

          And it did this in stark contrast to the creation myths of the ancient world. That would have been surprising for the ancients.

          .

          3. Truth. By that I mean statements that correspond to the facts..

          What facts do you mean? When the narrative describes a process of development that encompasses the whole universe and specifically the earth and life on it, is that not a fact? Isn’t that how we now understand the evolution of the universe?

          When the narrative provides a rough sequence from plant life to life in the sea to life on the land, is that not a fact?

          Granted the ancient text does not include that detail or the fine distinctions that modern science does. But expecting it to do so when the purpose is not to discuss the HOW of creation but the WHAT and the WHO seems to be overly fussy.

          The bottom line is that the creation narrative has broad similarity to how we now understand the evolution of the universe took place. And it departs radically from the other descriptions of creations we find in the ancient literature. And that is most surprising.

        • epeeist

          Show me where it is not

          I’ll say this for you, when you make an illicit attempt to shift the burden you are completely blatant about it.

          If you are claiming that the bible is true then it is down to you to demonstrate this.

          As I said before, you and Amos and others here seem to like the Young Earth Creation Science reading of the text.

          Both Amos and I (and now others) are simply pointing out that this is the mythos of a particular Middle Eastern tribe. It is you who is trying to fit the square peg of the mythos into the round hole of scientific findings.

          Our responses have nothing to do with a YEC reading of the text.

          The likelihood is that we have misinterpreted one of the books, or the facts are not clear or conclusive.

          Another alternative would, of course, be that this is simply a mythos like many others.

          You are asking that the “claim” be phrased in modern scientific language and with modern scientific precision. That is not possible in a book that is at least 3000 years old.

          And yet the Greeks had no problems writing with both clarity and precision.

          So when Genesis 1:1 says “heavens and the earth” that seems to be a term meaning everything.

          And yet again, the Greeks seem to have had no problems distinguishing between the different celestial elements.

          That being said, I think that Genesis 1 did predict. And at the time the prediction was surprising. It predicted that there was process involved in the development of the universe and specifically the development of the earth and life upon it.

          Was it surprising? After all, many other cosmologies (Greek, Babylonian etc.) made similar sorts of claims. The bible is not unique in its description of the way the universe develops.

          When the narrative provides a rough sequence from plant life to life in the sea to life on the land, is that not a fact?

          It depends on how “rough” your sequence is in its match. As it is it appears to be just as rough as any other mythos. In other words in claiming privilege for the bible mythos you are indulging in special pleading.

          The bottom line is that the creation narrative has broad similarity to how we now understand the evolution of the universe took place.

          As “broadly similar” to many of the other narratives that are out there.

        • Don Camp

          Yes. I am claiming a special status for the biblical revelation as opposed to other mythos. But that is not an irrelevant characteristic – from my point of view. I find great differences between the Middle Eastern myths and the biblical narrative.

        • Raging Bee

          And your claim is based on nothing but your personal preference.

          Oh, and the Bible contains Middle Eastern myths — that’s where all of those miracles took place, remember?

          You should read a paper by Martin Luther King Jr. titled “The Influence of the Mystery Religions on Christianity.” He wrote it in seminary school in 1950.

        • epeeist

          Yes. I am claiming a special status for the biblical revelation as opposed to other mythos.

          And yet, once again, you provide nothing that would support this “special status”. In other words, special pleading yet again.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Genesis of Genesis: Where Did the Biblical Story of Creation Come From?

          https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-where-did-creation-story-come-from-1.5404560

          And “BOOOOOOM!” goes Don’s “special status.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes. I am claiming a special status for the biblical revelation as opposed to other mythos.

          Ffs, we know. That’s the point. For millennia other woo-woo believers claimed special status for their creation myths too. They could make them fit the world around them also.

          Persian?

          The Bundahishn of the Middle Persian era tells of the world created by the deity Ahura Mazda. The great mountain, Alburz, grew for 800 years until it touched the sky. From that point, rain fell, forming the Vourukasha sea and two great rivers. The first animal, the white bull, lived on the bank of the river Veh Rod. However, the evil spirit, Angra Mainyu, killed it. Its seed was carried to the moon and purified, creating many animals and plants. Across the river lived the first man, Gayomard, bright as the sun. Angra Mainyu also killed him. Ouch! The sun purified his seed for forty years, which then sprouted a rhubarb plant. This plant grew into Mashya and Mashyanag, the first mortals. Instead of killing them, Angra Mainyu deceived them into worshipping him. After 50 years they bore twins, but they ate the twins, owing to their sin. After a very long time, two more twins were born, and from them came all humans (but specifically Persians).

          Stories, poetry, and the various literary devices are more powerful than informational literature, right?

          When you realize the reason why you don’t accept the stories, poetry, and the various literary devices that are more powerful than informational literature, in all other creation myths, you’ll understand why we accept as just the same stories, poetry, and the various literary devices are no more powerful than your woo-woo nonsense, preferring informational literature to inform our knowledge.

          But that is not an irrelevant characteristic – from my point of view.

          We know. And we don’t give two fucks. You are talking shite, and have been since you got here.

          I find great differences between the Middle Eastern myths and the biblical narrative.

          We are not interested in the differences. It’s the similarities that matter. Hebrews took elements of other cultures and developed their own narrative around them. That means the ideas are not original.

          Creation, Chaos, Time : from Myth to Modern Cosmology

          https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1604/1604.03332.pdf

        • Don Camp

          We are not interested in the differences. It’s the similarities that matter.

          I’m sorry, it is exactly the differences and contrasts that make the creation story “special.” It is to highlight those differences , in fact, that the creation story was composed.

          What you would like to do, it seems, is establish a dichotomy of verifiable scientific fact versus myth. That is a false dichotomy. There are other possibilities. However, I have a life beyond cyberspace right now. I’ll have to get back to this intriguing challenge tomorrow,.

        • Greg G.

          it is exactly the differences and contrasts that make the creation story “special.”

          Differences and contrasts make the stories unique. That is how we can tell one from the other. It is just the old “Telephone” game with multiple lines.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m sorry, it is exactly the differences and contrasts that make the creation story “special.”

          You are confusing the word “special” with the word “different”. Other religious folk will hold their creation myths “special” for the same reasons.

          It is to highlight those differences , in fact, that the creation story was composed.

          Now yer getting it..”differences”. You’ve been given reason, rhyme, and verse why those differences were made. They are “special” to you, because you find it was a supernatural explanation at the root.

          A belief in some such primordial element, of which there are traces in every culture, underlies man’s thinking about the history of the cosmos like a primitive universal symbol buried in the collective subconscious. This may explain the vague links which can always be discerned between this or that creation myth and modern scientific descriptions of the origin of the universe – for example, big bang theory. There is therefore nothing mysterious or surprising about these correspondences other than that certain ways of thinking about the world should be so ingrained in the human mind.

          For someone who claims to knowledge in the field of literature, you appear really ignorant when it comes to this subject.

          Mythical stories are a way of preserving collective memories that can be checked neither by the storyteller nor by the listener. Their function is not to explain what happened at the beginning of the world but to establish the basis of social or religious order, to impart a set of moral values. Myths can also be interpreted in many different ways.

          The plagiarism is so obvious, you have to put yourself into denial.

          Andrew R. George, a translator of the epic [of Gilgamesh] argues that the flood story in Genesis 6-8 closely matches the Gilgamesh flood myth in such a way that Genesis must have been derived from it. As Andrew notes, the Genesis flood story follows the Gilgamesh flood story “point by point and in the same order”. In the epic, the god Ea warns Utnapishtim of a great flood and told Utnapishtim to build a boat in order to save all the living things. Just like Noah, he builds the boat, puts all the living things and his family on it, experiences a storm, and after it was all over, he offers a sacrifice to God. Flood stories have been found in many texts which predate the Bible. It’s found in the epic of Ziusudra and the epic of Atrahasis (which is nearly identical to the epic of Gilgamesh). In Hindu mythology, texts like the Satapatha Brahmana mentions a great flood, in which Vishnu advises Manu to build a giant boat.

          What you would like to do, it seems, is establish a dichotomy of verifiable scientific fact versus myth.

          No Don, all I’m doing is shining the light on your nonsense. It’s a plain and simple fact of logic that without a Sun, ya can’t have sunlight. So whatever the light source in the first three days of your silly creation myth was, it wasn’t sunlight. So your attempt at trying to read science into the not scientific texts is creotard idiocy. If you are too dumb a fuck to comprehend that fact, it’s your problem, not mine.

          That is a false dichotomy.

          No ya moron, the false dichotomy is yours. And you are making a proper cunt of yerself by saying all this lying shite.

          There are other possibilities.

          Yea, I gave you them, but since you are such a dopey bastard and are arguing from a position of ignorance, the egg is on your face, not mine.

          The most obvious and pragmatic possibility is that the stories in the buybull are invented to give a people a back story. And it’s as plain as the nose on ones face, that the borrowed elements of the back story from other older cultures they’d come into contact with. The creation myth in Genesis is only “special” to you, but the real issue here is, even though you’ve admitted elsewhere that it isn’t history or science, you are hell bent on making it fit history and science. That is creationist thinking. And idiotic.

          However, I have a life beyond cyberspace right now.

          Yeah, don’t we all.

          I’ll have to get back to this intriguing challenge tomorrow,.

          Croydon beckons? We’ll see.

        • Don Camp

          Okay. I’ll try to make this brief enough for the forum yet complete enough to answer your question.

          I used “special” because that was the original question related to special pleading. For the rest of the post consider special and different synonymous.

          It would be helpful if you would cite your sources when quoting. I will assume that you are using https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1604/1604.03332.pdf

          I will confine myself to the Genesis 1:1-2:4 creation narrative.

          The Genesis 1 narrative differs from every other Middle Eastern creation myth and is special for that reason. It differs in content and cosmology, literary features/style, and durability.

          I will compare and contrast the Egyptian myths and then follow with the Babylonian/Sumerian myths in a second post. I will assume you know them well enough to follow.

          CONTENT: The predominate feature of the Genesis narrative is that there is one God and only one. This God had no beginning and exists apart from his creation.

          The Egyptian myths (there are many) all involve many gods. In some cases the myths differ as to which god was the creator. According to some myths Amun is the supreme god, in others it is Atum, or Ptah, etc.

          You can find a more extended description at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_creation_myths

          Featured in the Egyptian myths are chaos, water, land arising from the water and light and dark. All of those are also featured in the Genesis narrative. The difference is that Elohim creates them and orders them. It is done in such a way as to imply that the author intentionally juxtaposed the Genesis account with the Egyptian myths. to expose the myths as mere myth.

          There is another difference. In the Egyptian myths these elements or features are gods themselves. For example, Ra is the sun. In Genesis these elements are all part of the natural world Elohim is creating and ordering.

          So Genesis verses 1-10 are corrections of the Egyptian myths. But it does not stop there. There were 2000 or more deities in the Egyptian pantheon. The creatures that Elohim creates in the Genesis narrative were considered gods by the Egyptians. See for example, “Geb – God of the earth and growing things. Geb is the son of Shu and Tefnut, husband of Nut, the sky.” https://www.ancient.eu/article/885/egyptian-gods—the-complete-list/

          In contrast to the chaos of the Egyptian pantheon and myths, Elohim made all these things, and they are never considered gods but are rather simply features of the natural created world.

          LITERARY FEATURES: Of course, such a chaotic supernatural pantheon, especially one that differed from one city to another in Egypt, required some sorting out. Hence the Book of the Dead where all of this is somehow supposed to make sense, though it takes 190 chapters to do so.

          Contrast that with the one chapter in Genesis of very simple unembellished description, yet with a plan, one of the literary features of Genesis. Yes. Genesis 1 is organized into at least two parts. The first is the ordering of the newly created world. The second is the filling of that world with life including man. Is there any order in the Egyptian myths? None that I can discern.

          And where did man come from according to Egyptian myth? From the tears of Atum which when they dropped upon the earth gave birth to men and women. https://www.ancient.eu/Egyptian_Mythology/

          Of course, in Egypt all men were not created equal. The Pharaoh was at the top and was sometimes seen as a god himself. In Genesis, man (verses 26, 27) actually represents “mankind.” That being the case, all mankind is made in the image of God and are equal in value.

          DURABILITY: It is not hard to see that the Egyptian myths had no durability. They were focused on Egypt and its land and rivers and political system and they were so confused and chaotic that sorting them out was impossible. They were also so other worldly that only in a superstitious magical way did they relate to real life. In contrast the Genesis narrative is focused on the real world as the real world, not as a magic land.

          The Genesis narrative has demonstrated great durability. It is understandable and believable in any and every culture. It cuts through the superstition and is down to earth. It is known and loved and believed by billions today both the educated and the uneducated. And it does not conflict with any of the facts we are discovering about the natural world. Why? Because the natural world functions according to natural principles (reproducing after their kinds) not the whims of various gods. Can anything like that be said for the Egyptian myths?

          So on every level from cosmologies to literary features and understandability and durability Genesis stands out as different from the Egyptian myths. And intentionally so by an author who contrasted the myths with the creation on almost every level.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I used “special” because that was the original question related to special pleading. For the rest of the post consider special and different synonymous.

          In which case, all creation myths can plead “special” status.

          It would be helpful if you would cite your sources when quoting.

          It would be helpful if you bothered to read comments, or at least those that you do, read for comprehension.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2020/02/more-on-the-bibles-confused-relationship-with-science/#comment-4815314886

          I will assume that you are using https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv

          No need to assume anything of the sort, if ya could manage just to stay focused.

          I will confine myself to the Genesis 1:1-2:4 creation narrative.

          Not that it matters for now, but that is only part of the bigger picture. Which does matter. When taken in context, it can be seen exactly for its purpose.

          The Genesis 1 narrative differs from every other Middle Eastern creation myth and is special for that reason. It differs in content and cosmology, literary features/style, and durability.

          We know. That’s irrelevant. It’s the parallels that show us that it has used other cultures stories. Like I said, you are in denial. Fortunately not all scholars are as dishonest.

          Myth as Story and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible

          We find myth fragments like this throughout the Hebrew Bible, from the first pages of the Hebrew Bible in Genesis 1 to its latest compositions in Daniel 7. For example, many scholars agree that the Genesis 1 account of creation alludes to and transforms the Babylonian myth of creation Enuma Elish. There are the sea dragons (tanninim) in verse 21 but also tehom (usually translated as “the deep”), which is likely an allusion to the sea deity Tiamat of Babylonian myth, in verse 2, as well as other myth fragments. And the apocalypse of Daniel 7, written after the onset of the persecution of Jews under Antiochus IV in 169 BCE, features monstrous beasts from the sea (verse 3) and tells of the triumph of the Ancient of Days and the One like a Son of Man over them (verses 13–14), comparable to how El and Baal triumph over aquatic forces of evil in Canaanite myth. Elsewhere, we read of God who “crushed the heads of Leviathan” (Ps 74:14), of mighty waters that “lift up their roaring” against God the king (Ps 93:3), and of “the Arm of Yhwh … the Hewer of Rahab, the Piercer of Dragon” (Isa 51:9), among many other references to myth.

          https://bibleinterp.arizona.edu/articles/myth-story-and-metaphor-hebrew-bible

          This book examines the long-debated issue of the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and ancient Near Eastern myths. Using an innovative, interdisciplinary methodology that combines theories of metaphor and narrative, Paul Cho argues that the Hebrew Bible is more deeply mythological than previously recognized. Because the Hebrew Bible contains fragments of the sea myth but no continuous narrative, the study of myth in the Hebrew Bible is usually circumscribed to the level of motifs and themes. Cho challenges this practice and demonstrates that the Hebrew Bible contains shorter and longer compositions studded with imagery that are structured by the plot of sea myths. Through close analysis of key Near Eastern myths and biblical texts, Cho shows that myth had a more fundamental influence on the plot structure and conceptual framework of the Hebrew Bible than has been recognized.

          https://www.amazon.com/Myth-History-Metaphor-Hebrew-Bible/dp/1108476198/ref=sr_1_13?keywords=Paul+Cho&qid=1564677625&s=books&sr=1-13

          The creation story in Genesis is a late construct to bolster a monotheistic culture. The problem is, it is a well known fact that this is a retcon. The Hebrews were polytheistic until King Josiah’s Deuteronomistic Reform, and in some places, even after that.

          That fragments of myth can be found in the Hebrew Bible is clear to anyone who has read it. That these fragments in fact give shape to the narrative plot of pivotal moments in the Hebrew Bible may come as a surprise to some. What more, we have only begun to understand the ways in which myth animates the biblical vision of the world – the foundational events of creation and exodus and the ongoing hope for redemption out of the conditions of exile and the cataclysm of the eschaton.

          The fragments of myth are rewrites of other ANE myth to serve theo-political purpose.

        • Don Camp

          I will confine myself to the Genesis 1:1-2:4 creation narrative.

          Not that it matters for now, but that is only part of the bigger picture. Which does matter. When taken in context, it can be seen exactly for its purpose.

          Yes. I know it is part of the bigger picture. But as your source said the two creation narratives were written by two different people at different times. I would add that they are also two different genre. So it seemed best to consider them separately.

          That’s irrelevant. It’s the parallels that show us that it has used other cultures stories.

          I continue to disagree with you at this point. The Genesis 1 narrative was written as a rebuttal to the Egyptian myths. It naturally referred to features in these myths as it point by point made the statement that Elohim is the only God and that the gods of the Egyptians did not exist and did not do what the myths claim for them.

          In other words, as an explanatory story the Egyptian myths fail. That stakes out the difference between them.

          RE: the quote from “Myth as Story and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible.”

          Yes, there is mythological language in Bible. But that is a different topic and to be fair I woukd need to read Cho’s book and deal with each case separately. There is no mythological language in Genesis 1:1-2:4, except as allusion to the Egyptian myths. And that is the creation narrative we are now concerned with.

          The creation story in Genesis is a late construct to bolster a monotheistic culture. The problem is, it is a well known fact that this is a retcon.

          I would argue that it is not a late composition.The internal evidence, the allusions to elements in the myths it is intent upon demolishing, point to the Egyptian myths rather than the Babylonian myths. That would indicate the composition was early enough for that to be a significant concern. In Josiah’s time it was not. The exclusive use of Elohim rather than Yahweh also argues for an earlier rather than a later composition. But I wonder why that is important to the discussion. It certainly was not written on site by an eyewitness.

          It is, however, a declaration of monotheism. But I’ve said that all along. That is the main difference between the Egyptian and Babylonian myths and the Genesis narrative. It is the primary message of the passage.

          The Hebrews were polytheistic until King Josiah’s Deuteronomistic Reform, and in some places, even after that.

          Yes. The culture was a mix of polytheism and monotheism. But you don’t have to look to the scholars for that idea. It is written on every page of Old Testament history. More significantly, the entire force of the OT writings during that period from the exodus to the exile was to turn the Israelite people back from polytheism to the worship of the one and only God, the real world God. It was for that purpose the creation narrative was written. It was a correction.

          So far, Amos, you’ve not focused on the creation narrative. Neither you nor any of the sources you cited have made the case that the creation narrative is a myth. I have, on the other hand, made the point that compared to all the myths so far examined, the creation narrative is far and away the most realistic description and real world narrative. What do you or your sources have to say about that?

          BTW I have seen nothing that indicates you are acquainted with the Egyptian myths. I think that is an important first step if you are going to compare or contrast them.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes. I know it is part of the bigger picture. But as your source said the two creation narratives were written by two different people at different times.

          But that is not how it was presented, nor how it was/is accepted by most believers for most of the time. The stories were redacted together for the purpose of the bigger picture. So taking them as separate, while handy for you, is dishonest. Tradition has it that Moses wrote it. That is incorrect. Fail one.

          I would add that they are also two different genre.

          Who cares what you think? Your thinking has been demonstrated to be fucked here, time and time again. It’s your thinking that is being contested.

          So it seemed best to consider them separately.

          It matters not to the reasoning behind their construction.

          I continue to disagree with you at this point.

          I know. Me and a whole host of scholars.

          The Genesis 1 narrative was written as a rebuttal to the Egyptian myths.

          It was written as a rebuttal to all polytheistic cultures, including the Hebrews own.

          It naturally referred to features in these myths as it point by point made the statement that Elohim is the only God and that the gods of the Egyptians did not exist and did not do what the myths claim for them.

          You are kidding yourself. The Genesis narrative is post Deuteronomic Reform. It promotes a backstory of monotheistic belief back to the beginning. But this was not the case on the ground, as has been discovered by scholarship.

          In other words, as an explanatory story the Egyptian myths fail. That stakes out the difference between them.

          RE: the quote from “Myth as Story and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible.”

          Yes, there is mythological language in Bible. But that is a different topic and to be fair I woukd need to read Cho’s book and deal with each case separately.

          And as has been pointed out, and supported by numerous citations, you are talking bubbles.

          There is no mythological language in Genesis 1:1-2:4, except as allusion to the Egyptian myths. And that is the creation narrative we are now concerned with.

          Don, Genesis 1 is a creation myth, so by definition, it is all mythological language. And your insistence that it is only relevant in light of just Egyptian myths, is idiocy.

          The author of Genesis 1, probably a Hebrew scribe living in Babylon during the Babylonian Exile in the 4th century BCE, was apparently creating a new version of the old creation myth that could conform with the strict monotheism which was taking hold of Judaism at the time.

          I would argue that it is not a late composition.

          I really don’t care. You argue appallingly. I’m going to go with the experts on this issue.

          The internal evidence, the allusions to elements in the myths it is intent upon demolishing, point to the Egyptian myths rather than the Babylonian myths.

          Then present the evidence refuting others, while supporting your pet thesis.

          Comparative mythology provides historical and cross-cultural perspectives for Jewish mythology. Both sources behind the Genesis creation narrative borrowed themes from Mesopotamian mythology,[19][20] but adapted them to their belief in one God, establishing a monotheistic creation in opposition to the polytheistic creation myth of ancient Israel’s neighbors.

          Genesis 1–11 as a whole is imbued with Mesopotamian myths. Genesis 1 bears both striking differences from and striking similarities to Babylon’s national creation myth, the Enuma Elish. On the side of similarities, both begin from a stage of chaotic waters before anything is created, in both a fixed dome-shaped “firmament” divides these waters from the habitable Earth, and both conclude with the creation of a human called “man” and the building of a temple for the god (in Genesis 1, this temple is the entire cosmos). On the side of contrasts, Genesis 1 is monotheistic, it makes no attempt to account for the origins of God, and there is no trace of the resistance to the reduction of chaos to order (Gk. theomachy, lit. “God-fighting”), all of which mark the Mesopotamian creation accounts. Still, Genesis 1 bears similarities to the Baal Cycle of Israel’s neighbor, Ugarit.

          That would indicate the composition was early enough for that to be a significant concern.

          So why can the experts not all see what you see?

          In Josiah’s time it was not.

          I, and like thinking scholars, suggest it was written after Josiah’s time.

          The exclusive use of Elohim rather than Yahweh also argues for an earlier rather than a later composition.

          Nope. It does nothing of the sort. All it demonstrates is that there were obviously two different authors for the two contradictory versions.

          But I wonder why that is important to the discussion.

          You can’t see why the time, place, and whom of authorship is important to the discussion? Really?

          It certainly was not written on site by an eyewitness.

          Of course it wasn’t. It’s a made up myth ffs. It didn’t happen.

          It is, however, a declaration of monotheism. But I’ve said that all along.

          Yes, but why is it a declaration of monotheism?

          Judaism is traditionally considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world, although it is also believed that the earliest Israelites (pre-7th century BCE) were polytheistic, evolved into henotheistic and later monolatristic, rather than monotheistic.

          Which is why scholars see the myth as a late construction.

          Ancient Israelite religion was originally polytheistic; the Israelites worshipped many deities, including El, Baal, Asherah, and Astarte. Yahweh was originally the national god of the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. As time progressed, the henotheistic cult of Yahweh grew increasingly militant in its opposition to the worship of other gods. Later, the reforms of King Josiah imposed a form of strict Israeli monolatrism. After the fall of Judah and the beginning of the Babylonian captivity, a small circle of priests and scribes gathered around the exiled royal court, where they first developed the concept of Yahweh as the sole God of the world.

          That is the main difference between the Egyptian and Babylonian myths and the Genesis narrative. It is the primary message of the passage.

          Don, we know the god in Genesis was a declaration to monotheism, the reason where, when, why, and by whom, is the question.

          Btw, monotheism was a thing in Egypt during the mid 14th century BCE.

          Yes. The culture was a mix of polytheism and monotheism. But you don’t have to look to the scholars for that idea.

          Ah, but the buybull is telling the story from a hindsight perspective of one Hebrew cult, that of the Yahwists. That those who chose the not monotheistic worship of Yahweh, got punished, so ultimately were doing it wrong. The map doesn’t fit the terrain though.

          It is written on every page of Old Testament history.

          From the victors perspective.

          More significantly, the entire force of the OT writings during that period from the exodus to the exile was to turn the Israelite people back from polytheism to the worship of the one and only God, the real world God.

          Nope. That’s the impression the story is trying to make. The map is not the terrain.

          It was for that purpose the creation narrative was written. It was a correction.

          It’s a backstory to justify the current thinking of the time of the author.

          So far, Amos, you’ve not focused on the creation narrative.

          Don, there are a number. The one you are focusing on, is not the earliest.

          Neither you nor any of the sources you cited have made the case that the creation narrative is a myth.

          For fuck sake. It is a creation myth because it doesn’t represent our current understanding of the natural world. It is a representation by ancient folk who didn’t know any better. Unless you want to call it a lie? Because if you claim it is anything other than a myth, then you are making it a lie. It’s not history, it’s not science, and it didn’t happen. It’s a myth.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_creation_narrative

          “Myths of origin” or “creation myths” represent an attempt to explain the beginnings of the universe in human language.

          I have, on the other hand, made the point that compared to all the myths so far examined, the creation narrative is far and away the most realistic description and real world narrative.

          You are kidding yourself. Who cares? It is still a made up myth. It is still erroneous. And it still used other ANE ideas.

          Greek cosmology had a round earth before Hebrew cosmology caught up. So what, it was still wrong and not devinely inspired.

          What do you or your sources have to say about that?

          That your still talking ballix.

          https://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm

        • Don Camp

          But that is not how it [the two creation stories] was presented, nor how it was/is accepted by most believers for most of the time. The stories were redacted together for the purpose of the bigger picture.

          Maybe so, but they are enough different in all the ways I’ve described that they need to be taken individually. The author you have quoted recognizes that.

          The Genesis narrative is post Deuteronomic Reform. It promotes a backstory of monotheistic belief back to the beginning. But this was not the case on the ground, as has been discovered by scholarship.

          I don’t intend to play the New Bible Scholars’ conspiracy theory games. When and if they can provide some evidence-based reasoning for their theory, I’ll pay attention. Until then I am of the opinion that poor old Josiah is turning over in his grave at being made the scapegoat of the scholars’ theories.

          monotheism was a thing in Egypt during the mid 14th century BCE .

          Yes. Briefly. But why is that important? There are tablets from the Elba library dating back to the third century that imply not only a monotheistic cultus but a hint at the words of Genesis 1 that speak of God (El) and the creation the earth and of light. Monotheism was not created in the mid-second millennium.

          BTW I’ll begin reading your extended quotations when you begin to provide references.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I will compare and contrast the Egyptian myths and then follow with the Babylonian/Sumerian myths in a second post. I will assume you know them well enough to follow.

          I’m not interested in the differences. It’s where they are seen by scholars to be the same that is at the crux of the matter. Those similarities are why scholars think they’ve been inspired by other myths. That means they are not fully original. That’s my point. You can argue that those similarities are also god inspired, but that’s a different argument.

          CONTENT: The predominate feature of the Genesis narrative is that there is one God and only one. This God had no beginning and exists apart from his creation.

          So what? That is the changes made to make the myth tell the back yarn that the Hebrews were monotheistic from the get-go. It’s a fudge and a deceit.

          See, when you say stuff like…

          The Genesis 1 narrative differs from every other Middle Eastern creation myth and is special for that reason. It differs in content and cosmology, literary features/style, and durability.

          …you are just special pleading.

          You then spill much ink comparing the Genesis yarn to Egyptian yarns and cite where the differ. Who gives a fuck. You are going about this exercise all wrong.

          content and cosmology

          https://www.academia.edu/41189353/Rua%E1%B8%A5_Elohim_in_Genesis_1_2_in_Light_of_Phoenician_Cosmogonies_A_Tradition_s_History_JNSL_45_2_2019_51_78

          literary features/style

          https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/light-old-testament-ancient-near-east

          durability

          That is just ridiculous. Durability is no metric to veracity. By that idiotic logic, aboriginal “Dreamtime” blows you silly creation myth outta the water by circa 62,000 years.

          Dreamtime is the foundation of Aboriginal religion and culture. It dates back some 65,000 years. It is the story of events that have happened, how the universe came to be, how human beings were created and how their Creator intended for humans to function within the world as they knew it.

          How’s that for durability?

          As for the mandatory Christer fallacy of argumentum ad populum, billions of people believing in nonsense, make the nonsense no less nonsense.

          So on every level from cosmologies to literary features and understandability and durability Genesis stands out as different from the Egyptian myths. And intentionally so by an author who contrasted the myths with the creation on almost every level.

          Who cares? You are arguing a straw man. Many aspects of the Genesis creation myth are similar, if not identical, to other ANE myths. Scholars have long since recognised this fact. The Genesis myth is not from the beginning of time, or handed down from a universe creating entity. It is a human construct with all the failings expected in such.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composition_of_the_Torah

          The Genesis narrative has demonstrated great durability.

          As has others. For a lot longer. Many have withered away. Others still maintain. That doesn’t make it any less nonsense.

          It is understandable and believable in any and every culture.

          Absolute fuckwittery. Not in every culture. No more understandable than other creation myth woo-woo. But anyway, if you believe any creation myth, you are a gullible idiot. That says more about the believer than the myth.

          It cuts through the superstition and is down to earth.

          It’s idiotic fuckwittery.

          It is known and loved and believed by billions today both the educated and the uneducated.

          And other myths that you don’t believe also apply. Anyone who believes that Genesis is anything more than just a made up yarn, is a creotard.

          And it does not conflict with any of the facts we are discovering about the natural world.

          Despicable Dishonest Don talking shite and lying again. The Sun came before the Earth, most of the stars we see, came before the Sun and the Earth. The sky isn’t a solid dome that the Sun, the moon, and the stars were fixed to on day four. The story is a nonsense that you insist on torturing to fit what has been discovered about the natural world. While claiming that the tale is neither historical nor scientific, you keep insisting that it fits anyway. You are a creotard whether you’d like to admit it, or not. You are the only one here that can’t see it.

          Why? Because the natural world functions according to natural principles (reproducing after their kinds) not the whims of various gods. Can anything like that be said for the Egyptian myths?

          Creationist fucktardness. Reset button pressing complete.

        • Don Camp

          I will respond to your comments later in the day. But I wanted to quote here a piece of Myth as Story and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible that you failed to quote:

          Some may wonder whether these myth fragments render the Hebrew Bible itself myth. On the one hand, the Hebrew Bible well fits the broadest definition of myth I use: Myth is “a story about weighty matters involving deities, human beings, and other personalities that, in the understanding of its adherents, reveals something true about the real order of the world.”[1] On the other, the Hebrew Bible is not myth at the same register as the Baal Cycle or Enuma Elish mentioned above. In relation to myths such as these, we must insist that the Hebrew Bible contains myth fragments only because it does not contain a full-blown myth, a complete and continuous story about Yhwh’s conflict and triumph over sea monsters and deities that takes place within a mythological world. Rather, the myth fragments in the Hebrew Bible appear as part of a mosaic of varying genres, including historical memory, epic historiography, prophetic oracles, and apocalyptic visions.

          In sum, the Hebrew Bible contains myth fragments, but they do not on their own constitute a continuous whole. They punctuate biblical literature here and there as a part, if a significant part, of a whole with other types of literature. That whole may be understood as a type of myth, but it is not myth in the same order as the Baal Cycle or Enuma Elish – a topic for another time.

          I define myth broadly as any attempt to explain who we are and why things are the way they are. In that category I include the superstitious myths of the Ancient Middle East and the myths common in every ancient culture. I include the scenarios based on science. And I include the Bible. What makes the Bible different, and this is seen in Genesis 1, is that it is anchored in the real world. There are no gods behind every tree as in the ancient myths. But it also goes beyond science to explain WHY things are the way they are.

          Because “myth” can encompass a wide range of things from fiction to scenarios and is usually considered a negative term, I prefer to call them explanatory stories. Some are fiction. Some are projections or hypotheses. Some are revelation. I consider the Bible to be revelation.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Rather, the myth fragments in the Hebrew Bible appear as part of a mosaic of varying genres, including historical memory, epic historiography, prophetic oracles, and apocalyptic visions.

          That doesn’t mean they are historical memory, epic historiography, prophetic oracles, and apocalyptic visions. Ya fool.

          In sum, the Hebrew Bible contains myth fragments, but they do not on their own constitute a continuous whole.

          The Hebrew buybull contains myth fragments from other cultures, and weaves them together to form it’s own Hebrew myth. What part of this are you toiling with grasping?

          I define myth broadly as any attempt to explain who we are and why things are the way they are.

          Yes, an attempt.

          Myth:- a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.

          Myth:- a widely held but false belief or idea.

          In that category I include the superstitious myths of the Ancient Middle East and the myths common in every ancient culture.

          So you are now admitting that Genesis is a myth.

          I include the scenarios based on science.

          We know, that’s your major malfunction. You can’t seem to separate the two.

          And I include the Bible.

          Grand.

          What makes the Bible different, and this is seen in Genesis 1, is that it is anchored in the real world.

          Except it isn’t. You have the text tortured to see it that way. There is still no sunlight without a Sun. The Earth wasn’t created first. There was no two folk that started the human race,etc., etc.

          There are no gods behind every tree as in the ancient myths.

          There are no gods behind any tree anywhere at any time.

          But it also goes beyond science to explain WHY things are the way they are.

          I don’t care. It’s a loada ballix. Other loadsa ballix make the same claim.

          Because “myth” can encompass a wide range of things from fiction to scenarios and is usually considered a negative term, I prefer to call them explanatory stories.

          Call them whatever floats yer boat. They explain nothing of any value.

          Some are fiction. Some are projections or hypotheses. Some are revelation. I consider the Bible to be revelation.

          Again, I could give zero fucks. You are going down a different rabbit hole.

          You are special pleading with no justification. It is a practice engaged in by Christers historically.

          Since the term myth is widely used to imply that a story is not objectively true, the identification of a narrative as a myth can be highly political: many adherents of religions view their religion’s stories as true and therefore object to the stories being characterised as myths. Nevertheless, scholars now routinely speak of Christian mythology, Jewish mythology, Islamic mythology, Hindu mythology, and so forth. Traditionally, Western scholarship, with its Judaeo-Christian heritage, has viewed narratives in the Abrahamic religions as being the province of theology rather than mythology; meanwhile, identifying religious stories of colonised cultures, such as stories in Hinduism, as myths enabled Western scholars to imply that they were of lower truth-value than the stories of Christianity. Labelling all religious narratives as myths can be thought of as treating different traditions with parity.

          The buybull is a book of ANE myths, influenced by other ANE myths. And the details are at odds with reality. You are squinting very hard to make it something else, when you’ve already admitted it is not science, nor history. For some reason you are adamant that it reflects reality. Creationist thinking.

        • Don Camp

          That doesn’t mean they are historical memory, epic historiography, prophetic oracles, and apocalyptic visions.

          It actually doesn’t mean anything except that the author is guessing at the possibilities. .

          The Hebrew buybull contains myth fragments from other cultures, and weaves them together to form it’s own Hebrew myth.

          I would contend that it does not. I think that what we see are references to myths current in a highly myth oriented culture and a confrontation of those myths in the language that the believers in the myths would understand.

          So you are now admitting that Genesis is a myth.

          Not if you are talking about Genesis 1:1 – 2:4. I do not see anything that resembles myth in the sense that you mean it in that section. I see description of the real world.

          that’s your major malfunction. You can’t seem to separate the two.

          You have given me no reason to do so. A science based scenario is nothing more than a reasonable projection. It is not fact. It is a story. When it comes to answering the questions of who I am and why are things the way they are. science is out of its league.

          There are no gods behind any tree anywhere at any time.

          Of course there are not. And that is good reason to reject the myths like the Egyptian and Babylonian myths. They have gods everywhere. It is also the distinction between the Bible and those myths. There is only one God. The gods of the nations around them are never considered to be real.

          The buybull is a book of ANE myths, influenced by other ANE myths.

          You have every right to your opinion, Amos. If you wish others to be persuaded, you’ll have to do more than repeat your opinion over and over again.

          BTW if you wish me to read and respond to your quotes, you’ll have to include references. I want to read them in the context of the whole piece.

        • Don Camp

          After reading the “Ruah Elohim . . .” I do have one observation.

          In one of my original posts on this subject I suggested that the author of Genesis 1 was presenting a counter argument to at least two ancient myths. The first were the Canaanite myths which placed El as the chief god and the creator. I said that this confrontation of the Canaanite myth could be seen in the choice of Elohim as the only name of God used in Genesis 1. (Clearly Elohim has no counterpart in either the Egyptian or Babylonian myths.) The second counter argument is leveled at the Egyptian myths.

          However, in both cases the contrasts are what stand out rather than the similarities. Here is the section regarding the Canaanite myth:

          He [an ancient text quoted by Philo] posits as the source of all things a dark and windy (πνευματώδη) air or a gust of dark air and a muddy and gloomy chaos. These things were limitless and, for ages, had no boundary. He says, “But when the wind conceived an erotic desire for its own sources and a mixing together took place, that intertwining was called Desire (Πόθος). And this was the source for the creation of all things. It itself was not aware of its own creation. And from his entwining with the wind Mot came into being.

          The Canaanite myth has the Ruah (wind) as the initiating agent. and the source of creation. The Genesis narrative has Elohim as the initiating agent.

          In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.

          There is no erotic desire. or mixing. It is not even the Ruah that is the creator .It was Elohim.

          . 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

          The contrast seems obvious. The statement that Elohim is the Creator seems clear.And there is no other reference to ruah in the Genesis 1:1-2:4 text. Nor is there any suggestion that Mot had anything to do with the creation of the animals.

          The author of “Ruah Elohim…” continues:

          And from his entwining with the wind Mot came into being. Some say that this is mud, others the putrefaction of the liquid mixture. And from this mixture came all the sowing of creation and the birth of all things.

          In every case it is Elohim who speaks: “24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so.”

          The Genesis narrative remains distinct from the Canaanite myths as it does from the Egyptian myths. It declares over and over again that Elohim and not some other god is God and the source of all creation. And it does so in language that is at the same time simple but profound AND description that is very much real world. I don’t know how much further from the ANE myths this narrative can get.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don. I’m struggling to believe you have even a mediocre understanding of literature, let alone any advanced qualifications in the subject. You seem to be oblivious to what is understood as comparative mythology.

          When enough details in a narrative match the details in other narratives from an earlier period, it is accepted scholarship to associate the later as using the former.

          This was a thing in ancient times. And scholars have long since recognised the practice. Nothing you’ve said has overturned that position.

          The Hebrews borrowed bits of other older creation myths in order to construct their own. It isn’t an identical myth, otherwise it wouldn’t be their own, and no one is claiming it is, but similarities have been recognised. The texts are not wholly unique. You are in denial, because the consequences in accepting the matter is too grave for you to even contemplate.

          Comparative mythology provides historical and cross-cultural perspectives for Jewish mythology. Both sources behind the Genesis creation narrative borrowed themes from Mesopotamian mythology, but adapted them to their belief in one God, establishing a monotheistic creation in opposition to the polytheistic creation myth of ancient Israel’s neighbors.

          Genesis 1–11 as a whole is imbued with Mesopotamian myths. Genesis 1 bears both striking differences from and striking similarities to Babylon’s national creation myth, the Enuma Elish. On the side of similarities, both begin from a stage of chaotic waters before anything is created, in both a fixed dome-shaped “firmament” divides these waters from the habitable Earth, and both conclude with the creation of a human called “man” and the building of a temple for the god (in Genesis 1, this temple is the entire cosmos). On the side of contrasts, Genesis 1 is monotheistic, it makes no attempt to account for the origins of God, and there is no trace of the resistance to the reduction of chaos to order (Gk. theomachy, lit. “God-fighting”), all of which mark the Mesopotamian creation accounts. Still, Genesis 1 bears similarities to the Baal Cycle of Israel’s neighbor, Ugarit.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_creation_narrative#Mesopotamian_influence

          The fingerprints of other ANE cultures myths has also been detected in the buybull texts.

          Monotheistic belief in Yahweh is a recent phenomena, historically speaking.

          This is not a dilemma for the rest of us who understand that the Hebrew god is an invention over a protracted period. It was a promoted wee minor god who ended up the top cheese for political reasons. You’ve bought a pig in a poke.

          https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium.MAGAZINE-how-the-jews-invented-god-and-made-him-great-1.5392677

        • Don Camp

          You seem to be oblivious to what is understood as comparative mythology.

          I understand the principle of comparative mythology. I simply have serious reservations when it comes to the conclusions of some of the scholars.

          When enough details in a narrative match the details in other narratives from an earlier period, it is accepted scholarship to associate the later as using the former.

          The ere two problems with that idea as applied to the Hebrew creation narrative in Genesis 1:1 – 2:4. (And that is what I am confining myself to at the moment.) First, the pericope is obviously polemical. In order to distinguish the differences the author of Genesis needed to refer to the elements of the ANE myths he was refuting. So there are very brief references to mythological elements. They are not, however, adopted or even repurposed by the Genesis author. They are replaced by the author’s monotheistic explanation for why things are the way they are.

          Second, comparative mythology is an academic enterprise that ignores revelation or denies it entirely. That means comparative mythology misses the point of the Hebrew foundational stories of Genesis 1-11.

          Monotheistic belief in Yahweh is a recent phenomena, historically speaking.

          Yes it is. But how is that a surprise? Isn’t that implied pretty clearly in Exodus 6? What I would contend is that monotheism is not a particularly recent phenomenon. I did link the youtube video related to the creation hymn found in the Ebla tablets, didn’t I? Those date back to about 2200 B.C. and reflect an even earlier belief that has close similarity with the Genesis 1 narrative.

          https://youtu.be/-X07HQ5Ggx4

          That time period coincides with the earliest written Sumerian myths. In addition the core poem of the book of Job, which is not Hebrew in origin, reveals a monotheism independent of that of the Hebrews. The polytheism of the ANE myths and cultures has received the most attention because the texts are available and because the Old Testament is considered late in date by the New Biblical Scholars. However, the evidence is there for a monotheism that predates the Hebrews.

          And why would there not be monotheism? It seems like the more intuitive idea about God. That is what we see in the development of the ANE myths. Usually, ideas are elaborated and embellished over time rather than simplified. They are embellished to the extreme. That in itself argues for polytheism as a later development than monotheism.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I understand the principle of comparative mythology. I simply have serious reservations when it comes to the conclusions of some of the scholars.

          Until you can demonstrate those conclusions wrong, I’m going with the experts and not an internet Christer with an agenda to make shit up.

          The ere two problems with that idea as applied to the Hebrew creation narrative in Genesis 1:1 – 2:4. (And that is what I am confining myself to at the moment.) First, the pericope is obviously polemical. In order to distinguish the differences the author of Genesis needed to refer to the elements of the ANE myths he was refuting.

          Which is erroneous thinking Don. Taking the Genesis 1 narrative in isolation is the problem. The ancient Hebrews had an ANE creation myth similar to everyone around them. Until they needed a new one. The Genesis 1 version was created when the Hebrews were going all monotheistic, so the polemic was also against other non-monotheistic Hebrew thinking too.

          But that doesn’t address the similarities that aren’t part of any refutation.

          So there are very brief references to mythological elements.

          Which means they were using a prior existing older number of myths, even if to argue they were wrong.

          They are not, however, adopted or even repurposed by the Genesis author.

          The ANE cosmology of the time, was inserted into the Genesis myth. It was adopted. As were those other things scholars list. It wasn’t until later that the ancient Hebrews began ditch it, and to adopt the Hellenistic cosmology of a spherical earth and planetary bodies.

          They are replaced by the author’s monotheistic explanation for why things are the way they are.

          The monotheistic explanation has nothing to do with the individual elements. What caused the things, one god, or many gods, is not the issue, it’s the similarity in the things themselves and how. Can’t you read?

          Genesis 1–11 as a whole is imbued with Mesopotamian myths. Genesis 1 bears both striking differences from and striking similarities to Babylon’s national creation myth, the Enuma Elish. On the side of similarities, both begin from a stage of chaotic waters before anything is created, in both a fixed dome-shaped “firmament” divides these waters from the habitable Earth, and both conclude with the creation of a human called “man” and the building of a temple for the god (in Genesis 1, this temple is the entire cosmos). On the side of contrasts, Genesis 1 is monotheistic, it makes no attempt to account for the origins of God, and there is no trace of the resistance to the reduction of chaos to order (Gk. theomachy, lit. “God-fighting”), all of which mark the Mesopotamian creation accounts. Still, Genesis 1 bears similarities to the Baal Cycle of Israel’s neighbor, Ugarit.

          The narrative is dated to the Babylonian exile or shortly after. There is no way the authors weren’t influenced by the creation myth of there those that held them captives.

          Second, comparative mythology is an academic enterprise that ignores revelation or denies it entirely.

          That’s because woo-woo as an explanation isn’t acceptable. And you’re hoist by your own petard. Because Yahweh waited to late in the cultures development in order to invoke this so-called revelation.

          That means comparative mythology misses the point of the Hebrew foundational stories of Genesis 1-11.

          Nope. It treats them on the same level of all the rest of the worlds foundational stories. Special pleading isn’t allowed. Furthermore, Genesis is an update on the Hebrew foundational stories of the time for political reasons. From a polytheistic foundational narrative, to a monotheistic foundational narrative. The some would argue there are remnants of polytheism still to be found in the Genesis versions.

          Yes it is. But how is that a surprise? Isn’t that implied pretty clearly in Exodus 6?

          How does that help your argument with the Hebrews? The map conflicts with the terrain. The buybull might begin at Genesis, but there are older books, and older creation myths in them. The fact that Hebrew culture began as polytheistic means that monotheism had to be introduced. It was imposed later.

          What I would contend is that monotheism is not a particularly recent phenomenon.

          I never claimed it was otherwise. Anyone with even basic Googling skills will know that the first recorded monotheism was in Egypt, which is why I said a day ago…

          “Btw, monotheism was a thing in Egypt during the mid 14th century BCE.”

          First Monotheist Religion

          How did monotheism start? The first evidence of monotheism emerges from Egypt in the 14th century BCE (1353-1336 BC) during the reign of Akhenaten. The king was known to have worshiped Aten, the sun disk god (Figure 1). While initially, Akhenaten allowed the worship of many gods, as Egyptian kings had always done so, by the 5th year of his reign there was a decisive move that made the worship of Aten the only recognized religion in the kingdom.

          Ancient Judaism: Not Very Monotheistic

          <In Biblical chronology, we see that the establishment of the state of Israel would constitute the world’s first true monotheistic state. However, the reality is there is no evidence yet that shows monotheism existed or was beyond a limited minority either in Judah or Israel, the two main states of the Jewish people in the Bible.

          https://dailyhistory.org/How_did_Monotheism_Develop%3F

          Zoroastrianism was going one good god combating entities of evil at the time the Hebrews would’ve been in contact with them and developing their monotheism.

          The worship of Aten constituted the first monotheistic religion in the world.

          One could make an argument that there is your influence from another culture for the Hebrews. After all, if you believe the buybull, the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt at that time.

          I did link the youtube video related to the creation hymn found in the Ebla tablets, didn’t I? Those date back to about 2200 B.C. and reflect an even earlier belief that has close similarity with the Genesis 1 narrative.

          And how do you think that helps your argument? If anything, you are doing my work for me.

          Three tablets containing almost the same text have been found.[note 3] According to Pettinato, they describe an Eblaite creation hymn, and they have been translated by him as :

          Lord of heaven and earth:
          the earth was not, you created it,
          the light of day was not, you created it,
          the morning light you had not [yet] made exist.

          These lines seem to have points in common both with known Sumerian creation stories and with the biblical account. Nevertheless, Archi objected that the original text is unclear to the point of being incomprehensible (texts from Ebla are difficult to read in general), leading him to conclude that “there is no Genesis creation story” in the documents.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebla%E2%80%93biblical_controversy

          Hoist by yer own petard…again.

          That time period coincides with the earliest written Sumerian myths. In addition the core poem of the book of Job, which is not Hebrew in origin, reveals a monotheism independent of that of the Hebrews.

          Well, it doesn’t. But anyway, lets just grant you yer nonsense for a moment.

          So, all that means is that the ideas would predate the Hebrews. That is what has been being argued. The Hebrews plagiarised the Sumerians then?

          The polytheism of the ANE myths and cultures has received the most attention because the texts are available and because the Old Testament is considered late in date by the New Biblical Scholars. However, the evidence is there for a monotheism that predates the Hebrews.

          How the fuck you think this helps you is beyond me.

          And why would there not be monotheism?

          Because it didn’t fit well with human understanding of the world around them.

          It seems like the more intuitive idea about God.

          No it wasn’t. That’s why it took a while to catch on. People needed a god for all aspects of their lives. Which is why there was so many. Heck, Christers are at it to this ay. Fucking saints for everything under the Sun and more.

          That is what we see in the development of the ANE myths. Usually, ideas are elaborated and embellished over time rather than simplified. They are embellished to the extreme. That in itself argues for polytheism as a later development than monotheism.

          Now you are not even trying to disguise the pure unadulterated shite you are spewing at this point.

        • Don Camp

          I’m going with the experts and not an internet Christer with an agenda to make shit up.

          With an agenda??? Do you honestly think that your experts do not have an agenda? After a fair number of years in university and grad school my experience was that almost all the academics I met had an agenda. Some had strong agendas that were openly anti-Christian. Those were the most likely to be working in fields related to biblical studies. But the fact is that every professor has a personal agenda to advance his or her career. That requires publishing. And publishing requires that they have something to say that the journals would be interested in. Too often that resulted in exploration of obscure and arcane subjects and pursuing ideas that were novel. That is what you find in the New Biblical Scholars work to a large extent.

          Taking the Genesis 1 narrative in isolation is the problem.

          I am perfectly well aware that the establishing stories of Genesis 1-11 are organized in a sequence and all belong to the foundational truths the final compiler of Genesis thought significant. But they were also composed separately by different authors at different times in different styles and for different purposes. Even the final compiler of Genesis recognized this and separated them with a toledoth. It seem appropriate that we consider them separately before considering them together.

          The Genesis 1 version was created when the Hebrews were going all monotheistic, so the polemic was also against other non-monotheistic Hebrew thinking too.

          Of course it was. A simple reading of the Old Testament confirms that the Israelites were prone to mixing the polytheism of their neighbors with the new view – for them – of one God and only one. When they came out of Egypt, Exodus tells us the Hebrews brought with them the superstitions and religion of the Egyptians.

          The ANE cosmology of the time, was inserted into the Genesis myth.

          You’ll have to define more precisely what you mean by “cosmology” here. For the ancients cosmology meant what was going on in heaven or among the gods. Is that what you mean? That is different from what we usually mean.

          The monotheistic explanation has nothing to do with the individual elements.

          It has everything to do with the elements. If it was not for the thesis of the author that there is one God and only one, where would be no occasion for a different explanatory story.

          NOTE: Please remember to provide a reference for your quotes. I will disregard them unless you do.

          The narrative is dated to the Babylonian exile or shortly after. There is no way the authors weren’t influenced by the creation myth of there those that held them captives.

          That is the line of the New Biblical Scholars. Think critically for a moment. The Hebrews were western Semite people, as were the Canaanites. They were both immigrants from Mesopotamia sometime during the great migration of the early 2nd millennium or earlier.

          That means they were aware of the Sumerian myths long before the captivity 1500 years later. In addition, the captivity was all about God’s punishment for Jews’ adoption of the gods of their neighbors. And that discipline worked. They came back from captivity purged of polytheism. So why would they adopt the Babylonian super-polytheistic myths or elements of those myths? It is far more logical that they would regard them as repulsive – as they are – and distance themselves from them.

          Because Yahweh waited to late in the cultures development in order to invoke this so-called revelation.

          No. Read Exodus 6. Yahweh did not invoke the revelation that there is one God and only one. He identified himself as that God.

          2 God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord [Yahweh] I did not make myself fully known to them. 4 I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners.

          The Hebrew word translated God Almighty is El Shaddai. It is used of God in Job as well. That is the name Abraham used of God along with the other El Elyon. Both of those names refer not to a god in a pantheon but to the one and only God. Monotheism was the faith Of Abraham before God revealed his name Yahweh.

          Anyone with even basic Googling skills will know that the first recorded monotheism was in Egypt, which is why I said a day ago…

          The first monotheistic religion was in Egypt. But not the first monotheistic faith. That predated Akenaten. Religion is an organized thing. A faith is a conviction which may or may not have an organized religion associated with it. Abraham, for example, had no religion, but he did have a faith.

          One could make an argument that there is your influence from another culture for the Hebrews. After all, if you believe the buybull, the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt at that time.

          I have argued that myself earlier.

          Archi objected that the original text is unclear to the point of being incomprehensible (texts from Ebla are difficult to read in general), leading him to conclude that “there is no Genesis creation story” in the documents.

          Archi and the discoverer and translator of the texts, Giovanni Pettinato, disagree. The reality is that this find and location is in a place and a time that is highly charged politically. If the work was to be allowed to continue, it had to not upset the Syrians. Connections to Biblical places and beliefs would do that, since the Israelis and Syrians are at war and contending over the right of Israel to be in the land of Palestine.

        • Ignorant Amos

          With an agenda???

          Don, the agenda I’m talking about here is confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance. When a scholar writes counter to this, they can’t be accused of serving an agenda.

          The Dr. King paper is an example of this thinking.

          Do you honestly think that your experts do not have an agenda?

          They are not my experts. And they all can’t be accused of employing a religious bias and some sort of conspiracy theory.

          After a fair number of years in university and grad school my experience was that almost all the academics I met had an agenda.

          Yes Don, but the purpose of the agenda is important.

          Some had strong agendas that were openly anti-Christian.

          I’m calling liar on that one.

          Those were the most likely to be working in fields related to biblical studies.

          But the field of biblical studies is largely populated with self serving believers. It isn’t in their interest to be anti-Christian. As Hector Avalos points out…

          Avalos says, even in university religion departments the field was isolated, insulated, and semi-covertly confessional.

          But the fact is that every professor has a personal agenda to advance his or her career.

          You would think so, wouldn’t ya. But this isn’t always the case. So again, you are talking ballix.

          Just ask those who spiked their own careers by not toeing the party line.

          That requires publishing. And publishing requires that they have something to say that the journals would be interested in.

          And that’s another problem with biblical studies Avalos observes is now fucked up in biblical studies, and to which others agree…

          Avalos’s indictment of the Society and Journal of Biblical Literature, which comprises the real-life Sitz-im-Leben of American Biblical Studies rings true to me. [RGP] It is a “professional society” in both the best and the worst senses. The SBL is a Lonely Hearts Club for up-and-coming wannabes who haunt the meetings, trying to prove themselves worthy of employment (even though there are virtually no jobs for them) by presenting papers (with a due sense of pomposity) dealing with ever more microscopic minutiae. The more of them there are, the less there can be to say of an original or valuable nature, and so the farce continues and the field grows self-stultified. There are still new thing to be learned at these meetings and in their publications, but I think Avalos’s diagnosis is on the mark. The very “professionalism” of the profession is quickly reducing it to absurdity and uselessness.

          Too often that resulted in exploration of obscure and arcane subjects and pursuing ideas that were novel. That is what you find in the New Biblical Scholars work to a large extent.

          Who cares? That is irrelevant. Comparative mythology is a different subject. It is a discipline on its own.

          Of course it was. A simple reading of the Old Testament confirms that the Israelites were prone to mixing the polytheism of their neighbors with the new view – for them – of one God and only one.

          But the OT is the map, not the terrain. And it is a later made up map of a terrain that never existed according to the evidence being discovered.

          When they came out of Egypt, Exodus tells us the Hebrews brought with them the superstitions and religion of the Egyptians.

          But that is the story in the book. That’s not how it happened. That is theology, not history. They weren’t monotheists that later became polytheistic, before becoming monotheistic again. That’s the later invented backstory.

          You’ll have to define more precisely what you mean by “cosmology” here. For the ancients cosmology meant what was going on in heaven or among the gods. Is that what you mean? That is different from what we usually mean.

          Stop being a dick Don. You’ve been told more than once what is meant by ANE cosmology. Now read the following and see if you can detect your reflection glaring back in any part of the authors descriptions.

          https://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/ngier/gre13.htm

          It has everything to do with the elements. If it was not for the thesis of the author that there is one God and only one, where would be no occasion for a different explanatory story.

          Don, if two myths use a common element, they are deemed to be comparative. The later version is said to be using, or is inspired, the former.

          You are in denial.

          http://www.skeptically.org/oldtestament/id14.html

          NOTE: Please remember to provide a reference for your quotes. I will disregard them unless you do.

          Fuck off Don. Who do ya think yer talking to? I don’t care what ya do. You’ve been told before, I’m commenting in order to show others your blatant fuckwittery. And besides, it’s sheer hypocrisy to make that demand when you don’t do it yerself. You rarely support your assertions. When you do, you don’t support the quotes. And no, linking to your own blog of nonsense, doesn’t count.

          That is the line of the New Biblical Scholars.

          Yep, and what it’s based on is the evidence.

          Think critically for a moment.

          There’s irony for ya.

          The Hebrews were western Semite people, as were the Canaanites. They were both immigrants from Mesopotamia sometime during the great migration of the early 2nd millennium or earlier.

          No Don, that’s the buybull narrative. The evidence on the ground doesn’t support it.

          That means they were aware of the Sumerian myths long before the captivity 1500 years later.

          That is conjecture.

          In addition, the captivity was all about God’s punishment for Jews’ adoption of the gods of their neighbors.

          Nope. That’s the story created by the authors as an excuse.

          And that discipline worked. They came back from captivity purged of polytheism.

          They were polytheists before the captivity.

          So why would they adopt the Babylonian super-polytheistic myths or elements of those myths? It is far more logical that they would regard them as repulsive – as they are – and distance themselves from them.

          Because it was popular at the time. Or it was what the polytheistic Hebrews already believed, so a redaction was all that was needed. That’s where the older texts of creation in the buybull come into play. Something you are at great pains to ignore.

          Your incredulity is alarming. If I provided an essay for marking as my own unique work, with such similarities in motifs. I’d get an F if I was lucky.

          No. Read Exodus 6. Yahweh did not invoke the revelation that there is one God and only one. He identified himself as that God.

          Don, Exodus is a mythical story. It is a backstory. It didn’t happen.

          The Hebrew word translated God Almighty is El Shaddai.

          You’re making shite up again. That is what it has been conventionally translated as, but that’s not what it means.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Shaddai

          It is used of God in Job as well. That is the name Abraham used of God along with the other El Elyon.

          Who cares? God has lots of names in the buybull.

          Both of those names refer not to a god in a pantheon but to the one and only God.

          More made up shite.

          Psalm 97:9: “For you, Lord [Yahweh], are Most High [ʽelyōn] over all the earth; you are raised high over all the gods.”

          For some reason the buybull authors felt the need to specifically elevate this particular god.

          Monotheism was the faith Of Abraham before God revealed his name Yahweh.

          That’s the story. The map is not the terrain.

          The Abraham story cannot be definitively related to any specific time, and it is widely agreed that the patriarchal age, along with the exodus and the period of the judges, is a late literary construct that does not relate to any period in actual history. A common hypothesis among scholars is that it was composed in the early Persian period (late 6th century BCE) as a result of tensions between Jewish landowners who had stayed in Judah during the Babylonian captivity and traced their right to the land through their “father Abraham”, and the returning exiles who based their counter-claim on Moses and the Exodus tradition.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham#Historicity_and_origins

          Kal-El is superman’s name, until he was Clark Kent and later, by another name, Superman.

          The first monotheistic religion was in Egypt. But not the first monotheistic faith. That predated Akenaten. Religion is an organized thing. A faith is a conviction which may or may not have an organized religion associated with it.

          What we know and what might have been, are two different things.

          Zoroastrianism is an ancient Persian religion that may have originated as early as 4,000 years ago. Arguably the world’s first monotheistic faith, it’s one of the oldest religions still in existence. Zoroastrianism was the state religion of three Persian dynasties, until the Muslim conquest of Persia in the seventh century A.D.

          But I’m not interested in your conjecture. The oldest reference to monotheism is Egyptia.n

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotheism#Origins

          Before much of the archaeological evidence from Thebes and from Tell el-Amarna became available, wishful thinking sometimes turned Akhenaten into a humane teacher of the true God, a mentor of Moses, a Christlike figure, a philosopher before his time. But these imaginary creatures are now fading away one by one as the historical reality gradually emerges. There is little or no evidence to support the notion that Akhenaten was a progenitor of the full-blown monotheism that we find in the Bible. The monotheism of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament had its own separate development—one that began more than half a millennium after the pharaoh’s death.

          Abraham, for example, had no religion, but he did have a faith.

          Abraham was a character in a storybook. He wasn’t real.

          I have argued that myself earlier.

          Yeah, it is still stupid nonsense.

          Archi and the discoverer and translator of the texts, Giovanni Pettinato, disagree.

          Pettinato didn’t discover them. They were discovered in 1975, by the University of Rome professor Paolo Matthiae and his team of archaeologists. Giovanni Pettinato was the epigrapher that deciphered them…erroneously by the looks of things.

          But anyway, I don’t care. That is not the current understanding of the Ebla tablets contents. Here is an example of why it is of no purpose providing you with links to quotes. You don’t bother to read them, or can’t fucking read for comprehension.

          Giovanni Pettinato was talking as much rubbish as you do.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebla%E2%80%93biblical_controversy

          The reality is that this find and location is in a place and a time that is highly charged politically. If the work was to be allowed to continue, it had to not upset the Syrians. Connections to Biblical places and beliefs would do that, since the Israelis and Syrians are at war and contending over the right of Israel to be in the land of Palestine.

          Irrelevant to the contents meaning.

        • Don Camp

          I may or may not get around to replying to this post. It is too much quibbling over details than anything substantive. But I am ready to move on to the next piece in the foundational stories of Genesis 1-11, the Adam and Eve story.

          I’ve posted on my blog if you wish a more complete discussion, but the short form is that the Adam and Eve story is best understood as an allegory or at least a highly symbolic and allegorical story that illuminates and elaborates on the relationship between God and man. It is not a second alternative creation account. It is not a myth. Myths are not allegories, and allegories are not myths. It is not an attempt to describe creation in any scientific or physical way. There may be real world description of a few geographical features, but they are minimal.

          It is a story because story is the best way to convey truth about God and man. And it does an admirable job of that both as a piece of skillfully created literature and in the development of the deeper truths Of God and Man.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don, in 1895 a guy called H.G. Wells wrote a yarn called “The War of the Worlds.”

          There have been many adaptations of the yarn. The most recent of which was aired tonight. Hence the analogy.

          Now taking a look at the most modern rendition and the casual observer will struggle to find much that appears relevant to the 19th century version.

          Nevertheless, the modern version is absolutely based on the over a century old version. Beefed up with modern science. Even though the similarities are not as obvious to the general motif of Wells’ masterpiece..

          As a claimed scholar of literature, I struggle to see how this isn’t obvious. You must really be a very poor scholar of literature. You are an idiot. What else am I and others to think.

          I’ve posted on my blog if you wish a more complete discussion, but the short form is that the Adam and Eve story is best understood as an allegory or at least anallegorical story that iluminates the relationship between God and man.

          We’re not going to your dog sick blog…it is the musings of an idiot.

          Allegorical? Of course it is…because scientifically it is a clusterfuck. But until Darwin, and others ideas, it wasn’t seen as allegorical by most believers of Christianity. You are trying to square the circle. And nearly half of you yanks still don’t get it ffs.

          Wise ta fuck up ya silly old goatskin. Your ballix isn’t even profound at this stage ffs.

        • Don Camp

          If you’ll use google and do a little search, I think you’ll find that there have been Christians who have considered the Adam and Eve story as allegorical since early in the history of the church.But if you are having trouble, I’ll give you a little help.

          From wikipedia
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegorical_interpretations_of_Genesis#cite_ref-1

          Various Interpretations of Genesis Archived April 16, 2016, at the Wayback Machine”The creation account is an allegory; its message is the spiritual truth contained in the allegory. This is a very old position in Christian interpretation, although until the conflict with science developed the account was usually (but not always) thought to be true both literally and allegorically.”

          But I suppose you are not really interested in the history of Jewish and Christian interpretation any more than in my thoughts on the topic. As I wrote in the blog “the critics of the Bible who are frustrated by the story genre and see it as an evasion of the facts find a story troubling.” Better not to confront your confirmation bias, right?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Allegorical? Of course it is…because scientifically it is a clusterfuck. But until Darwin, and others ideas, it wasn’t seen as allegorical by most believers of Christianity.

          Christers have been fudging the nonsense since whenever. But there is no inclination in the NT that it is to be read as allegorical.

          However, when one studies the Bible it becomes clear that the historicity of Adam and Eve is essential to the message of Scripture.

          https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_696.cfm

          Was it the whole Adam & Eve narrative that was read as allegorical by those few early Christers, or just bits of the yarn?

          Based on the Christian doctrine of the Fall of man, came the doctrine of original sin. St Augustine of Hippo (354–430), working with a Latin translation of the Epistle to the Romans, interpreted the Apostle Paul as having said that Adam’s sin was hereditary: “Death passed upon [i.e., spread to] all men because of Adam, [in whom] all sinned”, Romans 5:12 Original sin became a concept that man is born into a condition of sinfulness and must await redemption. This doctrine became a cornerstone of Western Christian theological tradition, however, not shared by Judaism or the Orthodox churches.

          Over the centuries, a system of unique Christian beliefs had developed from these doctrines. Baptism became understood as a washing away of the stain of hereditary sin in many churches, although its original symbolism was apparently rebirth. Additionally, the serpent that tempted Eve was interpreted to have been Satan, or that Satan was using a serpent as a mouthpiece, although there is no mention of this identification in the Torah and it is not held in Judaism.

          Conservative Protestants typically interpret Genesis 3 as defining humanity’s original parents as Adam and Eve who disobeyed God’s prime directive that they were not to eat “the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (NIV). When they disobeyed, they committed a major transgression against God and were immediately punished, which led to “the fall” of humanity. Thus, sin and death entered the universe for the first time. Adam and Eve were ejected from the Garden of Eden, never to return.

          And it certainly isn’t taught to Christer kids as allegorical, in Sunday School, or mainstream RE.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8N3uL_6NKM

          Just in case someone else may be interested, you might look at this site https://biologos.org/common

          Ohhhhps!

          Like I said…Allegorical? Of course it is…because scientifically it is a clusterfuck. But until Darwin, and others ideas, it wasn’t seen as allegorical by most believers of Christianity.

          So a modern fudge had to be found. Still, most Christers aren’t buying the fudge. Because…

          The Bible consistently teaches that Adam and Eve were actual people, and that their literal existence is essential to understanding the remainder of Scripture. Any attempt to allegorize them, or to make them representative of mankind, places many major biblical teachings at risk.

        • Don Camp

          But there is no inclination in the NT that it is to be read as allegorical.

          You are mistaken. Two of the symbols show up again in the book of Revelation – itself an allegory. One is the Tree of Life (22:1, 2, 14, 19) and the other is the serpent (20:2). The serpent is explained:

          2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,

          And Paul makes a passing allusion to the serpent in 2 Corinthians 11. He does not mean that the Corinthians are encountering a literal serpent. He means they are encountering Satan’s activity in their minds.

          3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by its cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

          The thing about a well-known allegory is that when we reference it later we often use the symbol and not the referent. For example, when someone refers to Pilgrim’s Progress they probably with use the symbol “Christian” rather than say “any Christian and every Christian” even though that is what the symbol stands for. And from the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four we use “big brother” now to refer to any intrusive and controlling government. The symbols take on a life of their own.

          Was it the whole Adam & Eve narrative that was read as allegorical by those few early Christers, or just bits of the yarn?

          That varied from one interpreter to another. Some like Origen read all the Old Testament as allegory. Others read just Genesis 1-11 as allegory. I read each of the pieces of Genesis 1-11 differently depending on how I understand the genre.

          As the website on allegory that I linked indicated, some allegories are not perfect allegory. By that I mean they mix the allegorical with real world references. I think that is the case with the Adam and Eve story.

          Yes, I know very well that some interpreters are unwilling to read Adam and Eve as allegory. Primarily that is because of Paul’s reference to Adam in Romans five and 1 Corinthians 15. (I’ll come to that in my next blog. )

          And it certainly isn’t taught to Christer kids as allegorical, in Sunday School, or mainstream RE.

          No it is not taught as allegory to kids. But it is taught as a story. Kids are not capable of abstract thinking early on. So stories are used regularly in school to teach abstract concepts in a concrete manner. I have no problem with that. The problem come when kids (we) don’t grow up and learn to deal with the abstract concepts. (Actually, that is what Paul does later in Romans 5.)

          EDITED:
          The abstract concept taught in the Adam and Eve story is not how it all actually happened historically. It is the danger of disobedience toward God and the consequences as well as the remedy. These stories in Genesis 1-11 are all about who I am and why things are the way they are. They are not about physical facts.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are mistaken. Two of the symbols show up again in the book of Revelation – itself an allegory. One is the Tree of Life (22:1, 2, 14, 19) and the other is the serpent (20:2).

          Those don’t say the story of Adam & Eve are to be read as allegory. Even if we accept those symbols as being used as allegory in the NT texts. They refer to a literal tree of life that stood in the garden of Eden, and an actual serpent in the garden of Eden that wasn’t the Devil..

          That’s just Christer thinking.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRdG8W_Z5a4

          The tree of life is mentioned three times in Genesis 2, in Eden, and again four times in Revelation, three of those in the final chapter. These instances seem to refer to Eden’s literal tree of life. We’re told the tree of life is presently in Paradise, the intermediate Heaven (Revelation 2:7). The New Jerusalem itself, also in the present Heaven, will be brought down, the tree of life and all, and placed on the New Earth (Revelation 21:2). Just as the tree was apparently relocated from Eden to the present Heaven, it will be relocated again to the New Earth.

          https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/what-is-the-tree-of-life.html

          There is more than one tree of life in Revelation.

          If the Devil took the form of a serpent, and that serpent tempted Eve, then there was an actual serpent.

          But that’s not how everyone sees the subject.

          The serpent which now enters the narrative is marked as one of God’s created animals (ch. 2.19). In the narrator’s mind, therefore, it is not the symbol of a “demonic” power and certainly not of Satan. What distinguishes it a little from the rest of the animals is exclusively his greater cleverness. […] The mention of the snake here is almost incidental; at any rate, in the “temptation” by it the concern is with a completely unmythical process, presented in such a way because the narrator is obviously anxious to shift the responsibility as little as possible from man. It is a question only of man and his guilt; therefore the narrator has carefully guarded against objectifying evil in any way, and therefore he has personified it as little as possible as a power coming from without. That he transferred the impulse to temptation outside man was almost more a necessity for the story than an attempt at making evil something existing outside man. […] In the history of religions the snake indeed is the sinister, strange animal par excellence […], and one can also assume that long before, a myth was once at the basis of our narrative. But as it lies now before us, transparent and lucid, it is anything but a myth. ~Gerhard von Rad, Genesis: A Commentary (1973, Revised Edition), p. 87-88, The Old Testament Library, The Westminster Press,

          The problem remains, that there are many Christers that think the serpent was real, not allegorical. That’s all I need to support my position.

          In Genesis three, the serpent, or snake, is an actual creature. It is not to be understood as an allegory or as a representation of some other type of creature. This was an actual being who was with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Scripture nowhere gives any indication for this story to be understood symbolically.

          https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_705.cfm

          The thing about a well-known allegory is that when we reference it later we often use the symbol and not the referent.

          The problem is that the story is not well-known as allegory. And for much of history, even less well known as allegory. People started to see it as allegory, because now it is bonkers to see it as otherwise. Still, plenty of bonkers Christers about.

          That varied from one interpreter to another.

          And therein lies the problem.

          Some like Origen read all the Old Testament as allegory. Others read just Genesis 1-11 as allegory.

          The problem here is, allegory for what? Even as allegory, it is nonsense.

          I read each of the pieces of Genesis 1-11 differently depending on how I understand the genre.

          Like a said, a Rorschach test. With no justification for why. It is far from a satisfactory way to do stuff. The results are atrocious.

          As the website on allegory that I linked indicated, some allegories are not perfect allegory. By that I mean they mix the allegorical with real world references. I think that is the case with the Adam and Eve story.

          But how do you know? What method do you use? How has it all changed over time? If some is allegory, then why not all? What real world references do you see in the Adam and Eve crap?

          Yes, I know very well that some interpreters are unwilling to read Adam and Eve as allegory. Primarily that is because of Paul’s reference to Adam in Romans five and 1 Corinthians 15.

          As pointed out, it isn’t primarily because of Paul’s reference, it’s because…

          The Bible consistently teaches that Adam and Eve were actual people, and that their literal existence is essential to understanding the remainder of Scripture. Any attempt to allegorize them, or to make them representative of mankind, places many major biblical teachings at risk.

          No it is not taught as allegory to kids. But it is taught as a story.

          It is taught as a true story. It isn’t that, so it shouldn’t be.

          Kids are not capable of abstract thinking early on.

          I’ve news for ya, plenty of adults are incapable of it too.

          It shouldn’t be taught at all until the child’s thinking can cope with what you think it is. It’s not like Santa Claus yarn, where it is of no importance.

          Although you are still wrong anyway.

          From ages 2 to 7, children develop the ability to think symbolically, which may be the foundation for abstract thinking. They learn that symbols like letters, pictures, and sounds can represent actual objects in the real world.

          From age 7 until around 11, kids develop logical reasoning, but their thinking remains largely concrete — tied to what they directly observe.

          Sometime around age 12 and continuing into adulthood, most people build on their concrete reasoning and expand into abstract thinking.

          This stage includes the growing ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes (to use an abstract-thinking metaphor), learning how to empathize. The exercise of empathy is considered an abstract thinking ability.

          Abstract reasoning in school
          Many of the tasks students perform in school are tied to abstract thinking. Math skills are often abstract. They rely on the ability to conceptualize numbers and operations without always putting your hands on physical objects.

          The study of language often involves analyzing and expressing abstract ideas, making generalizations about human nature and conflict, and learning to write figurative comparisons like metaphors and similes.

          History, social studies, philosophy, and politics all require the ability to think generally about social problems and use ethical judgment. Science requires students to propose, test, and revise hypotheses and theories.

          Apart from the academic aspects of school, navigating the complex social situations presented during a typical school day also involves abstract thinking.

          https://www.healthline.com/health/abstract-thinking#development

          So stories are used regularly in school to teach abstract concepts in a concrete manner. I have no problem with that.

          Ya know what childhood indoctrination is, right?

          What makes this assignment all the more urgent is that you have a fairly narrow window of time in which to carry it out with maximum effect. There’s a brief period during childhood when kids are wide open to spiritual and moral training – when they’re full of wonder, curiosity and questions like, “Who made the stars?” and “What happens to grandma after she dies?” This explains why the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church has often been quoted as saying, “Give us a child until he’s seven years old, and we’ll have him for life.” During the pre-teen and adolescent years they may develop a typical teenage resistance to any kind of input from Mom and Dad, but at this stage of the game they continue to be like sponges – ready to soak up anything and everything you can dish out to them.

          https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-qa/religious-indoctrination-of-children/

          The problem come when kids (we) don’t grow up and learn to deal with the abstract concepts.

          It’s too late for many. They’ve already been brainwashed by indoctrination and heavily infested by the God Virus.

          (Actually, that is what Paul does later in Romans 5.)

          Whaaaa? Paul doesn’t grow up and learn how to deal with abstract concepts?

          Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned;

          a. Just as through one man sin entered the world: The Apostle Paul regarded Genesis 3 as totally, historically true. According to Paul (and according to Jesus, as He says in Matthew 19:4-6), Adam and Eve were real people and what they did has a lasting effect to the present day.

          i. It is important to understand that the Adam and Eve account is not an optional passage to be accepted or rejected, or allegorized away. According to Paul’s theme here in Romans 5, you can’t take away the truth of Genesis 3 without taking away principles that lay the foundation for our salvation.

          https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/romans-5/

          Don, you are fudging the fuckwittery. The bastardisation being done is ridiculous.

          I’m happy enough to accept that Paul couldn’t understand the abstract concepts of allegory, but that’ll cause all sorts of problems for Christianity.

          The gospel writers had a problem with it too.

        • Don Camp

          The problem remains, that there are many Christers that think the
          serpent was real, not allegorical. That’s all I need to support my
          position.

          I liked what Poythress in the video said about the tree of Life: “It is a concrete symbol and expression of communion with God.” He does think that it was a real photographable tree in the Garden of Eden, but he agrees that it is more than that.

          So what does that have to do with you observation that many Christians think the serpent was real, not allegorical? Well, like the tree, whether the serpent was real or not, it is more than a serpent. That is like saying it was a symbol. If it is a symbol, and I agree completely that it is, why is it necessary to posit a real Garden of Eden or to read the Adam and Even story as if it were a historical account? I don’t think that it is necessary. Not only so, but there are too many clues in the story that that point away from a historical reading and toward a symbolic to to ignore.

          When I was teaching literature to high schoolers they had a hard time grasping the concept of symbolism and allegory. They could not figure out how to distinguish a symbol in a story from simply a description of something real. They were of the opinion that the teacher was making it all up, just as you seem to think. But there are clues.

          When something in the story does not seem real – like taking Eve from rib of Adam or the talking serpent – that is a clue that it is meant to be read symbolically or as allegory. When the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is said to impart wisdom or the tree of life to impart life, that is are not what real trees do. That is a clue that they are not real but symbolic.

          When symbolism is the dominant characteristic of a piece of literature, we can say that it is allegorical.

          Now, many Christians do read the Adam and Eve story as real description of a historical place and event. It is how they learned it as children. And they as concrete thinkers accept the story as a real story about real people. They do the same with all their children’s stories. But gradually they learn to see the symbolism in it as Poythress does. In other words, they begin to read it as symbolic as well as real. They try to stand with a foot in both interpretive paradigms – until the boat begins to move away from the dock and they have to choose which paradigm is best. Are they going to stay with the concrete version or shift to the symbolic version?

          The text itself, when they have become more sophisticated readers, should make the choice easy. But it is hard to give up the children’s way of reading it. And for people like Poythress who have a responsibility to not upset the faith of even these little ones, it is best to allow them to gradually move to a more sophisticated interpretation as they are ready.

          But I am not speaking to people here who have faith or who are children. For that reason I feel no obligation to speak to you as children. I am going to tell you what most mature Christian scholars and what I myself understand about the Adam and Eve story.

          As for Paul’s theology, I’ll deal with that in my next blog. It is a subject that deserves more consideration than is possible in a forum post.

        • Ignorant Amos

          When I was teaching literature to high schoolers they had a hard time grasping the concept of symbolism and allegory. They could not figure out how to distinguish a symbol in a story from simply a description of something real.

          I’ve news for you Don….look in the mirror.

          You are jumping back and forward in this conversation.

          I am going to tell you what most mature Christian scholars and what I myself understand about the Adam and Eve story.

          I’m not interested. It’s a pile religious woo-woo crap. You are having to employ “soooofistikated feologoly” that didn’t exist back in the day.

          The beliefs and theologies have had to change as humanity has advanced. A few centuries ago, Christers weren’t allowed such luxuries.

          What I want to know is why you all have to lie about it? You know the problems, but are wholly reluctant to inform those gullible that don’t who are sitting in the pews.

          Why are you here wasting your time on this atheist board and not perusing Christian blogs, educating the ignorant that all this stuff they think is historical fact isn’t?

          It is well understood from the confessions of Ehrman and other seminary educated clerics that this is real problem.

          “One of the most amazing and perplexing features of mainstream Christianity is that seminarians who learn the historical-critical method in their Bible classes appear to forget all about it when it comes time for them to be pastors. They are taught critical approaches to Scripture, they learn about the discrepancies and contradictions, they discover all sorts of historical errors and mistakes, they come to realize that it is difficult to know whether Moses existed or what Jesus actually said and did, they find that there are other books that were at one time considered canonical but that ultimately did not become part of Scripture (for example, other Gospels and Apocalypses), they come to recognize that a good number of the books of the Bible are pseudonymous (for example, written in the name of an apostle by someone else), that in fact we don’t have the original copies of any of the biblical books but only copies made centuries later, all of which have been altered. They learn all of this, and yet when they enter church ministry they appear to put it back on the shelf. For reasons I will explore in the conclusion, pastors are, as a rule, reluctant to teach what they learned about the Bible in seminary.” ~ Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible & Why We Don’t Know About Them

          This is not a lone opinion. I’ve read similar testimony from others.

          Read the comments section after the OP below.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rationaldoubt/2014/09/how-can-seminary-educated-pastors-preach-the-bible/

        • Don Camp

          You know the problems, but are wholly reluctant to inform those gullible that don’t who are sitting in the pews.

          One reason is that the story read as a story with a message about who we are and why things are the way they are is perfectly adequate. And that is how Christians have read the story for a very long time. Only when critics began to shift the focus to the historicity of the story has that become important to Christians.

          One of the reactions to that shift of focus has been to retrench. That is what the Creation Science literalists did. But that is a relatively recent phenomenon.

          The other has been to reexamine the biblical stories of origins relative to what science was telling us about earth history and human history. The result of that has been to accept the fact of an old earth and an ages long development of life on the earth. An old earth doesn’t seem to us a problem for the biblical stories. That is, also, what the the folk at BioLogos.org have been doing. You would be surprised how many Christian teachers and pastors agree with the BioLogos position. So as the issues arise for our people in the pews we help them see how science and the Bible are not at odds but approach the question of orins from different directions, but arrive at then same point.

          What I have been surprised by is how many skeptics on blogs like this one are really disappointed Creation Science people. They find that paradigm doesn’t work. And I agree. But I didn’t come to the conclusion that I needed to throw out the baby with the bath water,. I see no reason to go in the direction Bart Ehrman chose.

        • nydiva

          What I have been surprised by is how many skeptics on blogs like this one are really disappointed Creation Science people.

          I find that you keep repeating this mantra over and over again. You like to generalize and stereotype skeptics especially when they challenge your theology. Please name the skeptics on blogs like this one who are really disappointed Creation Science people.

        • Ignorant Amos

          One reason is that the story read as a story with a message about who we are and why things are the way they are is perfectly adequate.

          Apart from the fact that you’ve repeatedly demonstrated that you are not happy with that position, it does nothing to answer the question you left out of the quote mine.

          “What I want to know is why you all have to lie about it?”

          And that is how Christians have read the story for a very long time.

          And there you go again. Making generalisations that you can’t support, and are easily refuted.

          “And that is how some Christians have read the story for a very long time.

          Is what you meant to say. Right Don?

          My point is, some other Christians have read the story as historical fact for a very long time too. That some didn’t, doesn’t negate that fact.

          But all you are demonstrating here, is that some Christians a very long time ago, realised the problems of reading the story as historical fact was silly. But then the stuff that Christians believed a very long time ago, ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, and still does.

          Only when critics began to shift the focus to the historicity of the story has that become important to Christians.

          Like the gospel writers you mean? What did they think Jesus believed? Are you saying that Jesus got crucified for a story? This is the elephant in the room.

          The RCC teaches…

          By his sin Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not only for himself but for all humans.

          Adam and Eve transmitted to their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called “original sin”.

          As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called “concupiscence”).

          No mention that it’s just a story. Though these days, in light of evolution, wiggle room is allowed. But it is one big massive fucking fudge.

          “In the past, the church’s statements regarding original sin have presumed that Adam and Eve were historical people,” the priest explained. “The question of monogenism and polygenism never occurred to” those writing the documents.

          https://www.archbalt.org/catholic-church-has-evolving-answer-on-reality-of-adam-and-eve/

          One of the reactions to that shift of focus has been to retrench. That is what the Creation Science literalists did. But that is a relatively recent phenomenon.

          An assertion without evidence. You are good at those. See RCC link above in rebuttal.

          The other has been to reexamine the biblical stories of origins relative to what science was telling us about earth history and human history.

          Whadaya know, science driving a change in religious thinking…for some anyway.

          The result of that has been to accept the fact of an old earth and an ages long development of life on the earth. An old earth doesn’t seem to us a problem for the biblical stories.

          Ffs Don. The six day creation is a complete clusterfuck. You’ve even been trying to ratify a story invented by ancients in order to explain the origins of everything. Daylight without the Sun, remember. Some Church fathers believed the literal truth of the Hexameron. Much ink has been spilt trying to fudge the nonsense. But sure it is just a story. Why not just put the problems down to literary licence? That just won’t do though, will it?

          St. Basil wrote…

          “I know the laws of allegory, though less by myself than from the works of others. There are those, truly, who do not admit the common sense of the Scriptures, for whom water is not water, but some other nature, who see in a plant, in a fish, what their fancy wishes, who change the nature of reptiles and of wild beasts to suit their allegories, like the interpreters of dreams who explain visions in sleep to make them serve their own end.”

          https://henrycenter.tiu.edu/2017/05/creation-time-in-basils-hexaemeron/

          That is, also, what the the folk at BioLogos.org have been doing.

          I don’t care. They are fucking trying to fudge the nonsense in the books with the reality of the world around us in order to rescue the fuckwittery. Just as you are trying here, but failing miserably.

          You would be surprised how many Christian teachers and pastors agree with the BioLogos position.

          No Don, I wouldn’t. I’ve been at this Malarkey enough years now in order to realise the depths that Christers will stoop to, in order to convince themselves they are right.

          So as the issues arise for our people in the pews we help them see how science and the Bible are not at odds but approach the question of orins from different directions, but arrive at then same point.

          By being dishonest ya mean. The old NOMA fuckwittery.

          “Science and religion are incompatible. Simply completely irreconcilably incompatible. And I can give you the bottom line message in case anyone needs to leave, and that is that; science and religion are incompatible in the same sense that the serious pursuit of knowledge about reality is incompatible with bullshit.” ~P.Z. Myers

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Non-Overlapping_Magisteria#Criticisms_of_Gould.27s_NOMA

          But like I say, you have been on atheist websites for years. Why waste the time, rather than get onto fundie Christer sites in order to “help them see how science and the Bible are not at odds but approach the question of orins[sic] from different directions, but arrive at then same point.”

          Is it because you know it is ballix, but are too stubborn to admit it.

          What I have been surprised by is how many skeptics on blogs like this one are really disappointed Creation Science people.

          Don, never heard of the term Devil’s Advocate”? You should Google it.

          You are the one struggling to employ “Creation Science” by torturing the texts to fit the real world. Your whole line of argument on how there was light without the Sun demonstrated that point. The story doesn’t comport to reality, so you made shite up.

          Creation science or scientific creationism is a branch of creationism, presented without obvious Biblical language but with the claim that special creation and flood geology based on the Genesis creation narrative in the Book of Genesis have validity as science. Creationists also claim it disproves or reexplains a variety of scientific facts,

          That’s you, whether you chose to admit it or not. When you say crap like…

          The abstract concept taught in the Adam and Eve story is not how it all actually happened historically. It is the danger of disobedience toward God and the consequences as well as the remedy. These stories in Genesis 1-11 are all about who I am and why things are the way they are. They are not about physical facts.

          …then elsewhere you try and explain the stuff in the story that are not real world observations, in terms of real world observations, like the light on the first day that must’ve been from the Sun, even though there was no Sun, you are employing creationist thinking and being dishonest.

          Don’t you understand literary devices and tropes in works of fiction, aren’t always perfect?

          Here, from a doctorate in literature, who understands literature.

          The final editing–and the addition of the P Text (Priestly Text) material–occurred during or soon after the Babylonian exile (597 and 587/586 BCE). At this time, the Judaic priests were probably desperate to retain their unique monotheistic beliefs in the face of overwhelming Babylonian influence, but they also faced the challenge of harmonizing their world view with that of the Babylonian tradition. Babylonian cosmology (like Egyptian cosmology) believed in a world-destroying flood and a transparent firmament in the sky. These ideas go back in the writings of the Babylonian conquerors to The Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 1800 BCE), long before classical Hebrew even existed as a separate language from Proto-Canaanite.

          At this point in their Babylonian captivity, the Hebrews incorporated a number of concepts into their later religious practice. Biblical scholars think these late religious practices probably included special treatment of the Sabbath day, elaborate food taboos regarding what is kosher, and taboos against writing down the name of God. Other features of the P text–such as the details of the Passover ritual, ordination ceremonies, and descriptions of the tabernacle–appear to have come from older (and now lost) manuscript traditions. These lost texts were updated and modified in the P tradition. The P text also gives much more prominence to priests such as Aaron (as opposed to the dominant role of Moses in the J and E texts), to the account of Moses’ death in Deuteronomy, to the legal materials of Leviticus and Numbers, and to a series of genealogies showing some influence from older Mesopotamian sources.

          At this time, the P-text editors also adapted elements of the Chaldean creation stories into the Genesis account. Some of the elements from the Chaldean creation stories include the flood motif, the idea of a firmament that holds up “the waters above” from “the waters below,” and certain characters and genealogical names appearing in both Genesis and The Epic of Gilgamesh, a much older pagan text first written down in cuneiform tablets about 1800 BCE. Additionally, many Aramaic (aka “Chaldee”) loanwords appear in the Hebrew text at this time and they are incorporated into the Hebrew Bible thereafter. This influence explains today why most biblical concordances and dictionaries (such as the 1979 version of Strong’s Comprehensive Concordance of the Bible) refer to their Hebrew sections as a “Concordance of Hebrew and Chaldean,” a “Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary,” or a “Hebrew and Aramaic Dictionary.” Christ will still be using some Aramaic terms 400 years later in the New Testament gospels, which show how influential and long-lasting the linguistic effects of the exile were on the Hebrew vocabulary. Biblical scholars think that Genesis 1:1-2:3 and other sections such as Genesis 6 come from the P Text, and these are probably the latest additions to the Genesis account. The loanwords mean the Hebrew texts couldn’t have been written before coming into contact with the Chaldeans–at least not in the form in which they come down to us today in surviving manuscripts.

          https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/Genesis_texts.html

          They find that paradigm doesn’t work. And I agree. But I didn’t come to the conclusion that I needed to throw out the baby with the bath water,. I see no reason to go in the direction Bart Ehrman chose.

          We know. We don’t care. You’ve got the God Virus really bad. You will go to extreme lengths of dishonesty in order to square the circles to justify holding onto the silly nonsense. It is intellectually bankrupt. Stuff that you would never accept from the believers of other religions.

          Go and educate all those silly Christers out there that have got it all wrong, in your opinion. Because your nonsense just isn’t cutting it here am afraid.

        • epeeist

          What I have been surprised by is how many skeptics on blogs like this one are really disappointed Creation Science people.

          This was despicable the first time around, never-mind the third time of asking.

          As has been pointed out to you previously, your attempt to associate the Genesis story with modern science is both feeble and non-specific. Just about any theistic cosmology could be made to fit as well.

          Your response to this? A mixture ad hominem and guilt by association moves. You had nothing to start with, you still have nothing, hence your attack on people rather than the arguments.

        • Don Camp

          I thought you might be interested in someone else who took the journey from creation science and a Young Earth theology to the Old Earth theology that accepts evolution. There really are quite few of us. https://biologos.org/personal-stories/questioning-the-answers-my-story-of-doubt-and-discovery

        • nydiva

          So what? That simply demonstrates that there are folks to think alike on this subject. Says nothing about whether or not what they believe is true or not.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I thought you might be interested in someone else who took the journey from creation science and a Young Earth theology to the Old Earth theology that accepts evolution.

          So what? You’ve still not give up on all your creationist thinking. So pah!

          There really are quite few of us.

          And what?

          There really are quite a few who’ve completed the journey to the next stage too.

          Professor Bart Ehrman and your nemesis, Professor Hector Avalos among them.

          Then there are the fuckwits that have gone the other way, albeit fewer and farther between. That dishonest numbnuts Dr. Jerry Bergman springs to mind.

          I’m struggling to see a point here. The majority of atheists here, were once upon a time Christers who accepted the Genesis account as a given. Then discovered their way out of the nonsense.

          That you think that because you’ve made the journey from Young Earth Creotard to theistic evolutionary, you are somehow intellectually superior and command the superior fuckwits high ground?

          At least the creotards are being honest to their scripture and religious history.

          And they don’t have a very good word to say about your dishonesty either.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkAxRY41ndU

          No one here is denying evolutionary creationists exist. Even in large numbers. But what it is, is a dishonest fudge to keep the woo-woo afloat in view of scientific discoveries. At it’s root, it is still silliness.

        • Don Camp

          There really are quite a few who’ve completed the journey to the next stage too. Professor Bart Ehrman and your nemesis, Professor Hector Avalos among them.

          Yes, they have. Though even for them the last chapter has not been written. Nor has it for you.

          Dr. Jerry Bergman

          There have been plenty of professionally qualified people who have seen problems with the details of the evolutionary theory. Bergman among them. For some that has led them to discard the idea of common descent entirely. For others it has led them to press on and allow the problems to be resolved eventually. I am speaking of both Christian and non-Christian scientists. For the EC people like Dr. Francis Collins et al. it is not a big issue.

          Neither is it a big issue for me, though I am interested. My present “resolution” is to see the many improbable events that had to contribute to evolution, even those totally non-biological, as providential. I’ll save you the time of looking that up: Providential. involving divine foresight or intervention.

          The majority of atheists here, were once upon a time Christers who accepted the Genesis account as a given.

          No doubt. But what is the point? There have been others who upon reading the Genesis account have found the truth of the message and looked further for the rest of the story – which is what the Bible in its entirety is.

          you think that because you’ve made the journey from Young Earth Creotard
          to theistic evolutionary, you are somehow intellectually superior and
          command the superior fuckwits high ground?

          Not at all. I am expressing my stage of the journey. I use you and other atheists, especially those who once were Christian, and my Christians brothers and sisters who hold different opinions than I do to sharpen my thinking. I don’t think of myself as having arrived at the absolute truth regarding creation or the Genesis stories.

          But more significantly, I don’t think it n necessary to have the absolute truth regarding the Genesis stories. My background in literature allows me to read them as stories, stories with meaning. That is where I think they have the most value and where they break the barriers of cultures and the winds that blow through the scientific community at any moment.

          My confidence in God and in Jesus Christ does not depend on Genesis. I find however, the story of Adam and Eve a wonderful, insightful, and inspired foreshadowing of gospel of Jesus – which ought to lead anyone who looks closely enough to wonder how that could be apart from God superintending.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes, they have. Though even for them the last chapter has not been written. Nor has it for you.

          Another unsupported assertion.

          There have been others who upon reading the Genesis account have found the truth of the message and looked further for the rest of the story – which is what the Bible in its entirety is.

          And that is irrelevant. Like has been said ad nauseam, the buybull is a Rorschach test. I could give zero fucks about the story. It’s how the ignorant fuckwits have interpreted the nonsense and used it it for nefarious fuckwittery on others who’ve disagreed or have no interest in the bullshit, that matters.

          Not at all. I am expressing my stage of the journey.

          And that’s all that I am commenting on. I’ve no idea if you’ll progress, or digress, all I can point out is what I think about where you are now.

          There are those of us that can look back to when we were at the same place and point in the journey and admit we somehow were intellectually superior and command the superior fuckwits high ground. We look back at that point and think of how ridiculous we once were. To the point of embarrassment.

          I use you and other atheists, especially those who once were Christian, and my Christians brothers and sisters who hold different opinions than I do to sharpen my thinking.

          How’s that been working out for ya? I’ve seen no sign of progress on a number of topics going back to those Debunking Christianity threads. At least none you’ve openly expressed as such.

          I don’t think of myself as having arrived at the absolute truth regarding creation or the Genesis stories.

          Well, given that there is no truth in the narrative, absolute or otherwise, I don’t see how anyone could. But that hasn’t stopped you repeating absolute nonsense and lies about the narrative.

          But more significantly, I don’t think it n necessary to have the absolute truth regarding the Genesis stories. My background in literature allows me to read them as stories, stories with meaning. That is where I think they have the most value and where they break the barriers of cultures and the winds that blow through the scientific community at any moment.

          We know. It’s the drum you keep banging. But the mantra isn’t demonstrated in your commenting history here, or at other places. Saying one thing, while doing another, doesn’t bode well for the claim.

          My confidence in God and in Jesus Christ does not depend on Genesis.

          I couldn’t care less. The whole ball of wax is nonsense.

          I find however, the story of Adam and Eve a wonderful, insightful, and inspired foreshadowing of gospel of Jesus – which ought to lead anyone who looks closely enough to wonder how that could be apart from God superintending.

          Of course you do. What part of infected with the god virus are you struggling to comprehend?

          Other folk find the holy texts of their religious beliefs, equally wonderful, insightful, and inspiring. And yours pitifully pathetic. Or at least severely lacking. Like you find theirs.

          The rest of us here, don’t anymore. Because we recognise it for what it all is. Whadaya gonna do?

        • Don Camp

          BTW I agree with the Discovery people. Evolution all on its own has many serious problems. The various speakers have done a good job of summarizing some of them. I personally think the high improbability of evolution-on-its-own arriving at anything as a the most serious problem. Even the driver of evolution, mutation with descent, is not a given based on chemistry and physics. How evolution on its own can give rise to novel features again and again and again without scientists being able to definitively explain it is a huge problem. And that says nothing about how life began.

          Those problems plague the evolution-on-its-own theory. Yet despite the problems the record of the earth is that evolution or something that looks at this point like evolution did happen. And it led to us. That is the highest improbability of all.

          Add to those improbabilities the development of the universe that created an environment for life and evolution to happen and we have a scenario, if we leave any intelligent designer out of it, so highly improbable as to be impossible. Still you probably believe it. I think of it as a modern myth.

          By far the most probable solution is that all of this we see before us has been designed and guided by an intelligence. That includes evolution.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So you are indeed a liar.

          You really are still just a creationist at heart. Thanks for confirming it though.

        • Don Camp

          Creation means simply that God did it. HOW and when is what I am interested in, though not anxiously. Just out of interest. So Yes, I am a creationist (with a small c).

          I am also well aware that what I say challenges your beliefs. Well, welcome to life. It is only by examining our beliefs that we work our way to what is true. Happy journey.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Creation means simply that God did it. HOW and when is what I am interested in, though not anxiously. Just out of interest. So Yes, I am a creationist (with a small c).

          Nah, you are just a liar.

          I am also well aware that what I say challenges your beliefs.

          Nothing you can say, challenges my beliefs Don. Contrary to what you might think about yerself, you just aren’t that smart.

          Well, welcome to life.

          Says the guy who came here to spout the biggest pile of irrational nonsense crap. You seem very insecure.

          It is only by examining our beliefs that we work our way to what is true.

          Yeah, but it has to be done honestly. Clearly that’s beyond your ability.

          Happy journey.

          Like I’ve said already, do us all a favour and do one.

        • Don Camp

          you are just a liar

          I am getting used to your calling me that. I think of it as your defense.

        • Ignorant Amos

          If the cap fits.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I think of it as your defense.

          Defence of what?

        • Ignorant Amos

          How evolution on its own can give rise to novel features again and again and again without scientists being able to definitively explain it is a huge problem.

          And I see you still haven’t a clue about the subject, and have gone and hit the reset button anyway.

          Does a favour Don, fuck off.

        • epeeist

          BTW I agree with the Discovery people. Evolution all on its own has many serious problems.

          And once more the reset button has been pressed. Just to make it obvious

          AN HYPOTHESIS STANDS ON ITS OWN MERITS NOT ON THE “PROBLEMS” WITH THE CURRENT CONSENSUS. IF YOU WANT TO CLAIM THAT AN “INTELLIGENT DESIGNER” (AKA, YOUR GOD) DID IT THEN YOU NEED TO PROVIDE EVIDENCE FOR SAID DESIGNER AND THE MECHANISMS IT USED.

          FURTHER, YOUR NEW HYPOTHESIS MUST PROVIDE AT LEAST THE SAME EXPLANATORY POWER AND EMPIRICAL FIT AS THE CURRENT THEORY AS WELL AS ACCOUNTING FOR THE ANOMALIES THAT THE CURRENT THEORY CANNOT EXPLAIN.

        • Sophotroph

          It doesn’t help that none of the problems he alleges actually exist in the science.

          Some people are reachable. This guy has a full library of false statements that make him feel smart. He’s not even engaging in argument. He could be replaced with a few lines of code.

          10 spout baloney
          20 spout bs reasoning
          30 if agreement == FALSE then GOTO 20
          40 declare victory and gloat

        • Don Camp

          AN HYPOTHESIS STANDS ON ITS OWN MERITS NOT ON THE “PROBLEMS” WITH THE CURRENT CONSENSUS.

          Okay. I get it. And broadly speaking evolution does stand on its own merits. There is both the DNA evidence but the evidence of the fossils that indicate evolution did happen. In the details evolution as proposed in the Neo-Darwinan theory does not stand.

          A good hypothesis is explanatory, right? So explain by empirical evidence how novel features arise. Give me some actual examples, observed examples, that go beyond simple adaptations or the loss of a feature rather than the gaining of a new one. Explain by empirical evidence how the many different body types arose in the Cambrian. While you’re at it explain how life arose from non-living matter. If that did happen by purely naturalistic means, why not demonstrate it by creating life? There have been a lot of attempts. So give it a shot. Prove it.

          I’ve read the journal articles on those subjects. It seems everyone has an idea. But none that I have read have empirical data that clearly identifies how any of those things happened. If you want to convince me, point me to some real scientific work.

          Given what appears right now as a lot of questions without definite answers, I don’t really have to propose an intelligent designer. I have only to point out that the science of evolution has not made a great case for neo-Darwinian evolution. Back to the drawing tables, guys. Flesh out this hypothesis (no pun intended).

        • epeeist

          Okay. I get it.

          And yet you do the usual creationist trick of attacking evolution and not providing anything in favour of “intelligent design”.

          While you’re at it explain how life arose from non-living matter.

          And the second creationist trick, conflating two different subjects and pretending that because evolution doesn’t explain abiogenesis (or the formation of the universe, or plate tectonics…) then it has “problems” and must therefore be false.

          Prove it.

          You’re going for the full house here? The third creationist trick, pretending that science proves things rather than providing explanations.

          If you want to convince me, point me to some real scientific work.

          Well, in my reading around I recently came across this paper. So, over to you, tell us why it is wrong and how “intelligent design” would explain this.

          I don’t really have to propose an intelligent designer.

          So we can simply dismiss it as a possible contender for an explanation of the structure of the biosphere.

          As we have seen so many times before what you are engaged in is an isolated demand for rigour, demanding stringent evidence from science while at the same time giving “intelligent design” a free ride.

        • Don Camp

          the second creationist trick, conflating two different subjects and pretending that because evolution doesn’t explain abiogenesis . . .

          I think the science of evolution artificially and arbitrarily excludes abiogenesis. The thing under discussion is living things. How they began is a legitimate interest. And it seems that biologists recognize that, since it is biologists who are working on abiogenesis.

          pretending that science proves things rather than providing explanations.

          And I think of your reply as an evasion.Before the explanations there needs to be some proof to support the hypothesis. Otherwise you are skipping over the proof of the hypothesis to the explanation. But you don’t – usually. You support the hypothesis with facts (proof) before explaining.with a theory.

          So we can simply dismiss it as a possible contender for an explanation of the structure of the biosphere.

          No. You are shifting the discussion. My contention was and the focus of the discussion was whether neo-Darwinism had it all right down to the details. If it seems that if there are enough serious failures in providing proof of the various hypotheses that come together oin the theory that those should be dealt with before making a confident explanation (theory).

          Since I think there is adequate data to support the theory of evolution, I do not mean to go back to square one. I do mean that the neo-Darwinian theory in all its detail should be reexamined.

          you are engaged in is an isolated demand for rigour, demanding stringent evidence from science while at the same time giving “intelligent design” a free ride.

          Doesn’t science demand of itself rigor? Of course it does. I am just asking that rigorous investigation be applied. Then we can go on to other proposals.

          I have not read the paper yet. I will. But I wonder whether we are using “intelligent design” in the same way. I do not use it as defined by the Intelligent Design community. So I do not capitalize it. I use it as a general term.

        • epeeist

          I think the science of evolution artificially and arbitrarily excludes abiogenesis.

          Whereas I think it is because you don’t understand either. What does the theory of evolution posit for evolution to occur? Replication, variation and selection. Are you saying that these need to be present for abiogenesis to occur?

          Before the explanations there needs to be some proof to support the hypothesis. Otherwise you are skipping over the proof of the hypothesis to the explanation.

          And once more you show your ignorance of science. As I said above, science doesn’t do proof, it does explanations. This is a consequence of it being both abductive and inductive. As for explanations, the model I favour is that of Hempel and covering laws.

          My contention was and the focus of the discussion was whether neo-Darwinism had it all right down to the details.

          No scientific theory can have it completely right, again we are back to abduction and induction. All scientific theories are both contingent and corrigible and none (so far as I am aware) are anomaly free.

          If it seems that if there are enough serious failures in providing proof of the various hypotheses that come together oin the theory that those should be dealt with before making a confident explanation

          This is generally what happens. However, I am with Aristotle, “it is wrong to remove the foundations of a science unless you can replace them with something more convincing”. To repeat something else I have said before, if the theory of evolution was falsified then it would be replaced with something that has at least the same explanatory power of the current theory and would also account for anomalies that the current theory cannot. In my own field of physics this is exemplified by both quantum mechanics and relativity.

          Doesn’t science demand of itself rigor? Of course it does. I am just asking that rigorous investigation be applied.

          And you have evidence that it rigour is not being applied?

          I am asking that the same standards of rigour are applied to all hypotheses, not just the one that you don’t happen to like.

        • Don Camp

          Replication, variation and selection. Are you saying that these need to be present for abiogenesis to occur?

          No. But replication and variation need to be the product of whatever process was involved in life arising from nonliving matter. Not being able to explain abiogenesis – or replicate it – does not negate the theory. But it leaves a big hole in the larger picture. It is like looking at the trees and ignoring the forest.

          This is a consequence of it being both abductive and inductive.

          What are abductive and inductive if not logical proof? “Inductive reasoning is a method of reasoning in which the premises are viewed as supplying some evidence for the truth of the conclusion.” Would it help if I used the word “truth” rather than “prove?”

          The question whenever I have encountered conclusions reached by inductive reasoning is how well have you examined the data. Are you sure that your data covers the range of possibles and that your inductive conclusion allows for the possibility of there being data that was not included in the sample. In other words is it qualified?

          It is the old all swans are white – until you find a black one. The black one will require that your inductive conclusion be altered.

          So even of I am using “proof” in what seems like an absolute way, what I mean is have you considered all the data? That would in this specific case include the rapid diversification of living things at the Cambrian and Ordovician periods.

          If those events are not adequately “explained” and the explanation supported by hard data, then the whole doctrine of gradualism is in question. And the methods of diversification are brought into question.

          When Gould came out with his Punctuated Equilibrium hypothesis a few years ago, it was pretty much shot down because he could supply not mechanism for rapid evolution. Today it is coming back to the front as this article illustrateshttps://necsi.edu/gradualism-and-punctuated-equilibrium

          However, the article does no more than recognize that there is sometimes rapid evolution of features. See the explanation of stripes in tigers:

          A long time ago, there were a lot of tiger-like animals, but without stripes. One time, a mutation occurred in a few of the animals, causing a huge change: they were born with stripes!

          Wait a minute! That sounds like a children’s story book. What is the explanation and the data that supports it? This is coming from scientists. Can’t they do better than a scenario?

          Even this article from UC Berkley does no more than Gould did. https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/side_0_0/punctuated_01

          It uses the same terms Gould used: selective pressures, isolated populations, novel environment, etc. But it provides no demonstration of the means of rapid evolution. The bottom line is that there had to have occurred novel mutations (and more than one because one seldom if ever has the ability to create novel features) that had selective advantage. In the events of broad and rapid diversification novel mutations had to have occurred in many species almost simultaneously. That seems highly improbable if mutations are basically random and nondirected. That makes the whole hypothesis of punctuated evolution on a wide scale highly improbable. So explain random mutations in that situation using some actual hard data. Reproduce it in the lab. Do something scientific.

          if the theory of evolution was falsified then it would be replaced with something that has at least the same explanatory power of the current theory

          I don’t expect the theory of evolution to be falsified. I do think that some of the hypotheses that have contributed to the general theory of evolution to be falsified. As you say, no theory can have it completely right. I don’t expect that. But I am interested in the areas that seem not to have it right. I am not trying to insert a god of the gaps here. I’ve said before I am okay with either an explanation that is wholly natural or an explanation that seems to have God’s finger prints on it.

          I am asking that the same standards of rigour are applied to all hypotheses,

          I am not making a hypothesis. I am questioning the hypotheses already made.

          ASIDE: Are you British or is the spelling of rigor as rigour a preferred spelling in science? In American English rigor means the same as rigour in British English. But my spell checker being American flags the British spelling.

        • epeeist

          No.

          So, one needs replication, variation and selection the other does not. In other words, they deal with different domains and therefore different theories are required. This is no different than, say, thermodynamics and quantum mechanics.

          What are abductive and inductive if not logical proof?

          I had forgotten that you had no knowledge of logic.
          If we take deductive logic, if we have premisses that are true and a valid logical schema then the conclusion is guaranteed to be true. For ampliative logics we are not guaranteed truth, just a probability. Which is why, as I keep repeating, science concerns itself with explanations and why all theories are both contingent and corrigible.

          It is the old all swans are white – until you find a black one.

          You might want to consider this example in the light of your claim for a “law of cause and effect” and the difference between necessary truths and induction.

          When Gould came out with his Punctuated Equilibrium hypothesis a few years ago, it was pretty much shot down because he could supply not mechanism for rapid evolution.

          Quite so. What you don’t realise is that this kind of discussion (to put it mildly) goes on all the time at the foundational level of science, Look at the arguments over selection, whether it is at the individual level, whether there is kin or group selection.

          That seems highly improbable if mutations are basically random and nondirected.

          Ah, another standard creationist tactic, consider only variation and not the selection element of the theory.

          I don’t expect the theory of evolution to be falsified.

          And yet it has undergone two inter-theoretic reductions.

          I am not making a hypothesis.

          Of course you are not, creationists never do. They spend all their time raising “problems” with evolution on the assumption that this means that creationism wins by default. As I keep pointing out, all hypotheses stand on their own merits not on the problems with other theories. The difficulty is that creationists never listen, they nod their heads when I say this and then simply carry on with the “problems”. Much better not to expose your own position to scrutiny.

          I am questioning the hypotheses already made.

          And again as I have said before, why should we accept the “questioning” of someone who has no background in the field, has a feeble understanding of science and its methodologies and who is simply cribbing from creationist websites.

          Are you British

          Read my profile

        • Ignorant Amos

          Read my profile

          Dishonest Don was JAQing off, while being an idiot smart Alec.

          English literature scholar, my arse!

        • Ignorant Amos

          It is the old all swans are white – until you find a black one. The black one will require that your inductive conclusion be altered.

          Except when the exception proves the rule, eh? Ya silly auld dishonest fart.

        • Ignorant Amos

          ASIDE: Are you British or is the spelling of rigor as rigour a preferred spelling in science? In American English rigor means the same as rigour in British English. But my spell checker being American flags the British spelling.

          Thick as champ, Don Camp.

          Gee Cross, just outside Manchester in the UK

          https://disqus.com/by/epeeist_MFC/

        • nydiva

          Epeeist: And again as I have said before, why should we accept the “questioning” of someone who has no background in the field, has a feeble understanding of science and its methodologies and who is simply cribbing from creationist websites.

          I’ve suggested to Delusional Don in the past to take his questions to blogs by Dr. Jerry Coyne, but as you write he is cribbing from creationist websites. For those who would really like to understand the methods of science and especially how science is combating the pending (hopefully not) coronavirus pandemic, check out the following blogs: https://evolutionnews.org/ ,
          https://www.discovermagazine.com/, https://scienceblogs.com/

          Enjoy!

        • Don Camp

          I don’t bother reading Creationist websites, diva. I have had enough of their spin on things from early on in my journey, before there were websites. I get most of what they say from you all. And that is also enough.

        • nydiva

          Whether you got your creationism or creationist nonsense more recently from a website or Christian blog, as you admit you got the spin early in your so-called journey. So did I which is why I recognized the weakness of much of your theological defense for intelligent design whether or not you acknowledge the term. I posted these links because it is important for people to have a proper understanding of the working of science and to avoid folks like yourself who have a little knowledge which you attempt to square with your religious beliefs.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I think the science of evolution artificially and arbitrarily excludes abiogenesis.

          Your inability to think is only matched by your ignorance on a subject you claim to have a working knowledge above that of a novice.

          Often brought up in the origins debate is how evolution does not explain the origin of life. Let’s get something abundantly clear: abiogenesis and evolution are two completely different things. The theory of evolution says absolutely nothing about the origin of life.

          The thing under discussion is living things.

          Hmmm! Biology.

          How they began is a legitimate interest.

          Only if the subject is abiogenesis, which is chemistry, which it wasn’t.

          Like everything else, you are conflating “chemical evolution” with “biological evolution”…because you are stupid. Learn something Don.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRzxTzKIsp8

          And it seems that biologists recognize that, since it is biologists who are working on abiogenesis.

          As usual you are confused again. What you should’ve said is “biochemists” are working on abiogenesis.

          It’s chemistry.

          Stanley Miller, chemist.

          Harold Urey, chemist.

          Alexander Oparin, biochemist.

          Louis Allamandola, astrochemist.

          Jennifer Blank, geochemist.

          Craig Venter, biochemist.

          Lee Cronin, chemist.

          https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/9/3/66/pdf

          And I think of your reply as an evasion.

          Holy fuck. You Christers just don’t do irony at all, do ya?

        • Don Camp

          I read the abstract and didn’t see any reason to read the entire paper, mostly because I have no problem with the conclusions. I don’t know what Intelligent Design would have to say. I think of myself as EC, evolutionary creation.

          I agree with Dr. Kenneth Miller in Finding Darwin’s God in his critique of the ID movement. I do think that Miller might have developed more completely his thoughts on how God might have used evolution as a means of arriving at beings who apprehend him and can have a relationship of intimate friendship with him. But that was not the focus of the book.

        • epeeist

          I do think that Miller might have developed more completely his thoughts on how God might have used evolution

          One attributes of scientific theories is parsimony, if something does no work within a theory then there is no reason to include it.

          So, tell us, how does the introduction of a god into the theory of evolution improve its explanatory power? How does it improve its empirical fit? (Oh, and let’s have some actual evidence and not your usual flannel).

        • Don Camp

          The introduction of God into then theory explains the rapid diversification we observe at the Cambrian and Ordovician periods. It explains why man is at the apex of the evolutionary tree, in other words a goal.

          What I am suggesting is a theoretical fit rather than an empirical fit.

          I do not know how to test empirical fit of this proposal. But I think that the theoretical fit could be diminished by science coming up with a good empirical fit for your hypothesis of non-directed evolution and either gradualism or a mechanism (empirically tested of course) for rapid change across the spectrum of the animal kingdom. As I have said before, either result would cause me no real discomfort. I can see God as working through either or both. I am only interested in whether science has any definitive conclusions.

        • epeeist

          The introduction of God into then theory explains the rapid diversification we observe at the Cambrian and Ordovician periods. It explains why man is at the apex of the evolutionary tree, in other words a goal.

          What I am suggesting is a theoretical fit rather than an empirical fit.

          I asked for actual evidence, what you have supplied is your usual flannel.

          You have nothing to say, and you keep on saying it.

        • Greg G.

          The introduction of God into then theory explains the rapid diversification we observe at the Cambrian and Ordovician periods.

          The introduction of fairy magic explains that all equally well with the same evidence.

        • Don Camp

          Well at least you recognize that it needs some explanation that is not being supplied by science.

        • Don Camp

          Back one more time. The article you sent me too does caution about using a contrarian study to undermine a wealth of studies. The difference in what I am observing is that there really have not been a wealth of studies determining how evolution works and based on empirical evidence. (How do genetic mutations actually appear? Are they truly random? If so why do some seem to appear regularly? How did large scale genetic changes and body plans quickly appear in the Cambrian without previous evidence in the fossil record of intermediate species? et al.) There have been a lot of studies that allow the researcher to make a guess that his study supports the larger claim of evolution. But the larger claim is either beyond beyond the ability of science to investigate (it happens too slowly to be observed) and/or so firmly entrenched in the web of the theory that removing it upsets the theory.

          I don’t think the theory needs to be upset. But it needs to recognize the limitations.

        • epeeist

          The difference in what I am observing is that there really have not been a wealth of studies determining how evolution works and based on empirical evidence.

          So, based on the “observations” of someone who is not an expert in the field, who is not cognisant of the literature, someone who struggles with the basic methodology of science we are to accept that the empirical evidence for the TofE is limited.

        • Don Camp

          Of course not. Don’t believe me. Check it out for yourself.

        • epeeist

          Don’t believe me. Check it out for yourself.

          Oh I have, many times. Which is why I know your unsubstantiated claim is a pile of foetid dingos kidneys.

        • Rudy R

          …YOU NEED TO PROVIDE EVIDENCE FOR SAID DESIGNER AND THE MECHANISMS IT USED.

          As far as I can tell, theists claim magic as the mechanism. How this is a satisfactory explanation baffles me and I dare say, probably baffles all non-believers.

        • Greg G.

          Be careful! Theists get testy when you call it “magic”. They think “magic” is imaginary but that the works of Jesus are not.

        • Rudy R

          If they can’t show empirical evidence of the forces YawhehJesus used to create something from nothing, then they are proffering that it is mysterious or supernatural and that is by definition, magic. Bunk if they get testy.

        • epeeist

          As far as I can tell, theists claim magic as the mechanism.

          Don goes the standard route, namely avoiding providing any argument or evidence in favour of “intelligent design”, criticising the TofE and then claiming ID wins by default.

          I don’t know how many times we have been through this with him, but it is sufficient to show him both as a hypocrite and a liar.

        • the high improbability of evolution-on-its-own arriving at anything

          You’re imagining a goal set beforehand, and then you see if evolution will reach that goal? You’re right–that ain’t gonna happen. But evolution never said it would.

          You’ve got a lot to say about evolution. What is your education in that field?

        • Don Camp

          Yes. I am imaging a goal. But that I am here to imagine a goal is pretty amazing isn’t it. Given the probabilities we could all be worms.

          You are right that evolution doesn’t consider a goal. It simply observes a process.

          I have a basic college knowledge from science courses. I have done quite a bit of personal reading since including professional papers , college text books on evolution and, specialized fields in biology. I have have had conversations with working scientists in the field of evolution and biology. (I have a personal high school friend who is a PhD in Biology and was the head of a Biology dept. in a university.) . I have spent time on talkorigins and have considered what they have to say. I have read several of Richard Dawkins’ books as well as books by Stephen J. Gould and others who have written about human evolution from a scientific perspective. And I have read other books by recognized and qualified scientists like Kenneth Miller, who is convinced of evolution and yet finds it compatible with his Christian faith.

          I have also considered the puzzles as they have been discussed by other scientists such as Michael Behe and Michael Denton and others and the scientists associated with Discovery Institute, which being from Seattle you must be acquainted with. BTW did you watvh the video Amos linked by Discovery? .

          So I am not an expert, but I also am not a novice. What is your education, Bob? Have you had college level course? Have you read the journals as you’ve dug deeper. Have you read any of the objections coming from qualified people? In other words, are you qualified to speak?

        • Yes. I am imaging a goal.

          There’s your problem. Evolution doesn’t have specific goals; it simply drives living organisms to a better fit for their environment. That’s it. You look stupid when you mock evolution for not doing something that everyone knows it doesn’t do.

          It’s good that you read about evolution from science sources (as opposed to sources like the Disco Institute—read their About statement to see their bias).

          So I am not an expert, but I also am not a novice.

          Perhaps you also have the humility to admit that your opinion can’t trump the consensus of a field of science of which you aren’t a part.

          What is your education, Bob? Have you had college level course?

          Doesn’t matter. I’m on solid ground because I accept the scientific consensus. I have an army of biologists behind me.

          Where I can, I try to be a popularizer, sharing information that I find.

        • Don Camp

          I really see nothing to indicate that you have done any serious examination of that consensus. You are simply speaking the consensus line. And the consensus is not that strong when you get down to the details. Do you know that? I am not sure your reading and education has been deep enough to know.

        • ?? That’s the brilliance of accepting that you don’t know everything and aren’t qualified to overturn the scientific consensus. I don’t need to be an expert when the only thing out of my keyboard is support for the scientific consensus.

          You are the one who must be smarter, not just than ordinary citizens, but the entire scientific consensus. That’s a fool’s errand.

        • Don Camp

          Bob, I hope you realize you are doing exactly what you accuse me of doing.

          Critical thinking when it comes to a subject of importance, and we both seem to think this one is, requires more than the acceptance of consensus – on the part of either of us.. That would be true even if the consensus was “entire.” But it is not. There are plenty of well qualified scientists who opt out of the consensus and have given good reasons for doing so.

          I do remember when the consensus was that the universe was a steady state. It turns out the consensus was wrong. It even troubled Einstein. He got over it.

        • I hope you realize you are doing exactly what you accuse me of doing.

          You obviously don’t understand what I’m doing.

          Critical thinking when it comes to a subject of importance, and we both seem to think this one is, requires more than the acceptance of consensus

          Finish this sentence: “I, Don Camp, a layman with respect to biology, nevertheless reject the consensus of the field of biology—that is, a field that I poorly understand—because ___.”

          There are plenty of well qualified scientists who opt out of the consensus and have given good reasons for doing so.

          The consensus of biology? List those scientists and tell me what fraction of the total they are. Also, convince us that the agenda of these scientists is only to follow the evidence, not to support a religious agenda.

          I do remember when the consensus was that the universe was a steady state. It turns out the consensus was wrong. It even troubled Einstein. He got over it.

          That you haven’t responded to my obvious rebuttal makes clear that this is a pointless conversation. Either you don’t understand what we’re talking about or you don’t care.

        • Don Camp

          You obviously don’t understand what I’m doing.

          It certainly sounds like you are uncritically accepting what you consider the consensus. That is actually the fallacy of an argument from authority. If this means so much to you, why not broaden your research? Think critically.

          convince us that the agenda of these scientists is only to follow the evidence, not to support a religious agenda.

          What would convince you. Probably nothing. I did refer to Michael Denton, who doesn’t identify himself as religious. In any event you are asking me to do what I just suggested you have been doing, arguing from authority. You wouldn’t like it, and I don’t either.

        • It certainly sounds like you are uncritically accepting what you consider the consensus.

          Because there is no better alternative. But perhaps you’ll fill in the blank above . . . ?

          That is actually the fallacy of an argument from authority.

          Wrong. Show the class that you’ve been paying attention by stating how the Argument from Authority is different from accepting the scientific consensus.

          If this means so much to you, why not broaden your research? Think critically.

          Sure, I got nothing better to do than to get a PhD in biology. Leaning on the experts is just . . . well, it’s just lazy.

          “convince us that the agenda of these scientists is only to follow the evidence, not to support a religious agenda.”
          What would convince you. Probably nothing.

          Probably nothing that you could provide, yes.

          I did refer to Michael Denton, who doesn’t identify himself as religious.

          Sure, let’s accept that. That’s one.

          And I’m waiting for your list of biologists who reject evolution.

        • Don Camp

          The question is whether neo-Darwinism has got it right and has evidence to prove it down to the details. I asked anyone who has the ability to respond to show with empirical evidence how novel features are created by known natural causes. I have yet to hear from anyone. Maybe you know.

          I also asked how life arose based on empirical evidence, or even better demonstrate it by creating life. No one has responded. Maybe you know.

          I asked how life diversified so radically at the Cambrian. I have read a lot of hypotheses presented in professional journals, but no definitive explanation based on empirical evidence. Maybe you know.

          If not, direct me to some bona fide scientific literature, a peer reviewed journal article or an article in one of the public science publications like Scientific American.

          Please, I am actually interested in reading something other than opinions. And I would not be troubled by finding there was empirical evidence. My view of how God ordered the universe certainly allows for, even expects, natural processes, but it really looks to me as if there was some directing going on. So prove me wrong.

        • neo-Darwinism

          What’s that? I suggest we use the words that the big boys use.

          The question is whether neo-Darwinism evolution has got it right and has evidence to prove it down to the details. I asked anyone who has the ability to respond to show with empirical evidence how novel features are created by known natural causes. I have yet to hear from anyone. Maybe you know.

          Yeah, that sounds like fun—two non-biologists arguing about biology.

          Waste someone else’s time.

          I also asked how life arose based on empirical evidence, or even better demonstrate it by creating life. No one has responded.

          What’s your point? Is it that science has unanswered questions about nature? Yeah, thanks for bringing this to our attention.

          Next challenge: show that religion has any answered questions about nature.

          I asked how life diversified so radically at the Cambrian. I have read a lot of hypotheses presented in professional journals, but no definitive explanation based on empirical evidence. Maybe you know.

          Where’s the puzzle? Look up Cambrian Explosion on my blog for responses.

          And BTW, your faux curiosity is adorable. It’s almost like you’re an eager middle schooler who’s honestly curious about the answers! Touching.

          prove me wrong.

          The scientific consensus is the default. You have the burden of proof hilariously wrong.

        • Don Camp

          show that religion has any questions about nature.

          It is not the purpose of the Bible (religion) to answer questions about nature. It is the propose of the Bible to answer questions about who I am relative to God and why things are the way they are.

          To judge the Bible on the basis of its accuracy in detail to issues of the natural world is like asking science to determine why things are the way they are.It is a philosophical question. It is not the in the purview of science to do so. Nevertheless, we do expect some agreement at places where the issues overlap. I find that there is.

        • why things are the way they are

          Sure, Christianity can tell us this. Every religion can tell us this. The drunk at the party can tell us this. But why believe it?

        • Don Camp

          And why not believe it?

          I have not detected much of an involvement in Christianity in your youth, at least from what you’ve said. So you don’t have the background of fundamentalism and its literalism. So I’d guess your are forming your opinions on the basis of what others who have come out of fundamentalism have said. (I apologize to all of them for having experienced a mistaken expression of Christianity.) How do you know they are telling it as it is ? It is far more liekly they are speaking out of their pain or disappointment.

          But given that, if it is important to you, why not explore the other expressions of Christianity including those like the BioLogos.org style before painting Christians all with the same broad brush.

          What I have been telling you is true; there are a lot of Christian scholars and pastors and Christian scientists – see Dr. Francis Collins – who don’t agree with the Creation Science literalists. They just have not been as loud about it.

        • And why not believe it?

          Sure—why not believe the drunk at the party? I’m sure his explanation of whatever is as good as anyone’s.

          I have not detected much of an involvement in Christianity in your youth, at least from what you’ve said.

          Recalibrate your detector.

          So you don’t have the background of fundamentalism and its literalism.

          That part is correct, at least.

          So I’d guess your are forming your opinions on the basis of what others who have come out of fundamentalism have said.

          Ex-Christians’ difficulties with Christianity, though an interesting subject, isn’t our topic.

          But given that, if it is important to you, why not explore the other expressions of Christianity including those like the BioLogos.org style before painting Christians all with the same broad brush.

          Why don’t you explore all the other world religions? You do that, set an example for us, and then come back and tell us how it went.

          What I have been telling you is true; there are a lot of Christian scholars and pastors and Christian scientists – see Dr. Francis Collins – who don’t agree with the Creation Science literalists.

          Francis Collins? What does he know?? He accepts evolution! He can’t be that smart.

        • Don Camp

          Really! Not that smart? How about Dr. Kenneth Miller? Not that smart either?

          Come on. that is a lame come back.

        • ?? It was sarcasm. You celebrate Francis Collins who is a fanatical supporter of evolution.

          Words fail me.

        • Don Camp

          I looked at you blog. I think that the most important thing was “may be.”

          The issue is not the fact that living things diversified but how. The Cambrian Explosion and the later Ordovician diversification are only snapshots that call our attention to the fact that sometimes diversification has been rapid. I quote:

          This boom was like nothing the world has seen since. The Ordovician is the only time in the history of animal life that huge numbers of new species appeared without a mass extinction to clear the decks beforehand.

          You really only make my point. Things happen at times more rapidly than the gradualism of neo-Darwinian evolution maintains or can explain. .

          Neo-Darwinian evolution.

          Neo-Darwinism is generally used to describe any integration of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection with Gregor Mendel’s theory of genetics. … The term Neo-Darwinism marks the combination of natural selection and genetics as it has been variously modified since it was first proposed.

          From wikipedia

        • When the environment changes quickly, evolution happens quickly. For environments that don’t (maybe for crocodiles?), evolution is slow. This isn’t a hard concept if you stop trying to shoehorn God in where he doesn’t exist.

          any integration of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection with Gregor Mendel’s theory of genetics

          Uh huh. Happened a hundred years ago. I think we can just use “evolution.” “Neo-Darwinian” labels you as a Creationist. It blows your cover. You’re trying to pretend to be thoughtful, right?

        • nydiva

          And BTW, your faux curiosity is adorable. It’s almost like you’re an eager middle schooler who’s honestly curious about the answers! Touching.

          Thanks Bob for calling out Don Camp’s relentless dishonestly. Don is so delusional he thinks those following the discussions on this blog can’t see through his insincerity and constant burden shifting. Don Camp is a classical Liar for Jesus. I wish you would kick him to the curb like John Loftus. He is just wasting space here.

        • nydiva

          If not, direct me to some bona fide scientific literature, a peer reviewed journal article or an article in one of the public science publications like Scientific American.

          Please, I am actually interested in reading something other than opinions. And I would not be troubled by finding there was empirical evidence. My view of how God ordered the universe certainly allows for, even expects, natural processes, but it really looks to me as if there was some directing going on. So prove me wrong.

          Well, why don’t you go to Dr. Jerry Coyne’s blog, https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/ or PZ Meyer’s blog https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/ if you really want a discussion on this topic. Granted, you won’t be allowed to prosetylize which is really your aim here, but at least you might demonstrate you aren’t as disingenuous as you appear. LOL. Dear reader, please take note.

        • Don Camp

          I did visit several of the sites, diva. And I agree entirely with their description and defense of evolution. And why shouldn’t I? I am convinced the evolution accurately explains the development of life on earth. My issues with evolution are with the details that are not well supported by observation or fact. Like PE. It’s a nice idea for sure. It seems to explain rapid diversification of species. It is almost required based on observation of diversification in the past. But it has no solid observable and repeatable evidence for any mechanism that really works. Even university websites explaining evolution written by actual evolutionary scientists are sketchy to say the least.

          Some are written like children’s books, even though they are obviously intended for adults. That tells me something. It is that evolutionary science doesn’t have it figured out. Now, I do not have as my objective to take down evolution as a theory. You may think otherwise, and I can’t stop you, but that is the way it is. I actually promote Evolution Creation as a Christian understanding of origins. I only am interested in probing deeper to see if God left any fingerprints. I think he did, but only looking will tell.

        • nydiva

          My issues with evolution are with the details that are not well supported by observation or fact

          LOL! Now that is rich coming from you since you have NEVER presented any well supported evidence by observation or fact for the supernatural or evidence for your god except for assertions from the Bible.

          As for science explaining the rapid diversification of species, your objections demonstrate you don’t understand how science works. Everything in science is provincial until more research, experiments, etc is carried out to confirm or reject a theory. Thus, it’s not surprising the theory of evolution still has a lot of things to be “figured out”. That hardly warrants injecting a supernatural cause for which you and your fellow believers have failed to produce any evidence for it.

          And while you may have visit several science blogs, I specifically invited you to debate your so-called “Evolution Creationism” as you put it on these scientific blogs. Let’s see you in real time have a debate about these issues instead of wasting space here repeating your scientific objections ad nauseam. I have no doubt there will be many on these blogs that would welcome the challenge to debate your “Evolution Creation”. We will be watching. I’m betting you will do the Chicken Little.

        • Don Camp

          it’s not surprising the theory of evolution still has a lot of things to be “figured out”

          I know that. But I have only a window in time to consider what is known. I will not be able to wait 20 years. So should I just forget it? I don’t think anyone who is interested at all does that.

        • nydiva

          I know that. But I have only a window in time to consider what is known. I will not be able to wait 20 years. So should I just forget it? I don’t think anyone who is interested at all does that.

          Sheesh! No one is asking you to ignore a scienific gap within a theory, but why claim a god or the Supernatural as a solution when there is no evidence for neither of these things?

        • Yes, evolution has unanswered questions. Christianity has never taught us anything about reality, so don’t expect it to do so now.

          When evolution answers those questions, it’ll still be a naturalistic explanation.

          Your impatience doesn’t fit well with science. Christianity does have an answer (“God did it”), so I see the Christian’s impatience. They want everyone to put down their pencils and turn in their tests. But for the rest of us, science will answer questions when it does. That’s life.

        • Don Camp

          Let’s see you in real time have a debate about these issues instead of wasting space here repeating your scientific objections

          Diva, I have done that before, dialoguing with real evolutionary scientists on the the New York Times forum. Those dialogues resulted in my being convinced that evolution made sense. It did not satisfy me that the several places where explanations were really sketchy were actually explained. Now, I know evolutionary science has progressed since that time. I have not seen any of the sketchy areas adequately explained.

          Any dialogue is going to be prolonged. And I doubt that I will hear anything that the university websites providing the current scientific explanations do not have. However, I am always willing to dig deeper, just not willing to spend extended time to do that. So post for me some of the professional peer reviewed papers that address the questions I have expressed, and I promise I’ll read them. I have access to the PubMed site. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ You search for the papers you think are relevant.

        • nydiva

          Don Camp: Diva, I have done that before, dialoguing with real evolutionary scientists on the the New York Times forum.

          You may have had a “dialogue” with a real evolutionary scientists. Okay, but let’s see you have a “dialogue” on Dr. Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True” blog and debate the issue of rapid diversification of species. You don’t seem to mind having prolonged dialogues about it here. You are the one who keep citing these “problems” to insert your god of the gaps theory. You talk a good game about science on an atheists blog. Let’s see you defend in real time your theory of Evolution Creation. We will be watching. Cheers!

        • Don Camp

          Dr. Francis Collins and the scientists associated with BioLogos do a far better job of defending Evolution Creation (EC) than I. Why not read their explanations?

          I would be happy to ask Dr. Coyne some of the questions I’ve posed here, but I am far less able to defend EC than Collins. I’ll ask what Dr. Coyne;’s response to Collin’s theory might be.

        • nydiva

          LOL! Don’t bother. Dr. Coyne doesn’t think much of Dr. Collins and his run of the mill Christian apologetics.

          https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/?s=Dr.+Francis+Collin&searchsubmit=Search+%C2%BB

        • Don Camp

          So now we know where Coyne stands. Nice of him to state is so boldly. But it also eliminates any dialogue, unless it is one way I suppose. That seems rather arrogant. But I guess Collins already said that.

          The only way they can’t be in conflict is if religion stops making claims that God ever interceded in the universe.

          Arrogance again:

          How many believers would bet their houses on their beliefs being true?

          I’d say a lot of them. I personally know some in India who have. Many have bet their lives. Hasn’t he seen the videos of Muslim radicals cutting of the heads of Coptic believers? Where has Coyne been all his life. Doesn’t he know that? And he is willing to bet his house? Well, good for him. At least he is willing to do that.

        • nydiva

          So now we know where Coyne stands. Nice of him to state is so boldly.
          Yes, I am grateful that Dr. Coyne has taken a stand against mixing religion with science with his great book “Faith vs. Facts. Just look at the foolishness of the present Administration asking the American people to pray for god’s help. Prayer completely failed durog the black plague pandemic and it ain’t gonna help now. It’s science that will cure this potential pandemic, not faith is some imagined deity. Professor Coyne allows anyone to post on his blog though he doesn’t suffer fools lightly so maybe you might drop your usual fool for Christ routine.

          …Seems rather arrogance you say. Again, irony is lost on you. You are the arrogant one coming to atheist blogs to tell us we need Jesus, or we are reading the Bible incorrectly, or ignoring blog rules not to proselytize or post on certain blogs again. Who gave you the right to post on a blog after the blog host asked you to leave? You play the same game day in and day out. May I suggest if you want to know where Coyne has been all his life that you head over to his blog and ask him. Believing something that is not true can be tragic and unfortunately many believers have died doing just that. What a shame.

        • nydiva

          I’ve read a few of Dr. Collins apologetics which is the same boring stuff you post here. I don’t know of any scientific paper of Dr. Collins actually demonstrating a supernatural cause behind evolution that has been published in a nationally recognized scientific peer journal. Like you, Dr. Collins makes a lot of assertions about a god based on his reading of the Bible and attempts to put the circle of his faith into the square of scientific reason. And how did Dr. Collins came to faith. He saw a water fall split into three parts. Woo Hoo!

          I just wanted to point out that just because a scientific theory doesn’t answer all questions that doesn’t mean a god is behind it as you ALWAYS suggest. You are creationist admit it or not. And finding something wrong with a scientific theory DOESN’T valid your supernatural beliefs.

        • Don Camp

          I don’t know of any scientific paper of Dr. Collins actually
          demonstrating a supernatural cause behind evolution that has been
          published in a nationally recognized scientific peer journal.

          Dr. Collins is a scientist. He publishes papers on scientific subjects. This topic is actually theology or metaphysical. You might search for those.

          as you ALWAYS suggest

          I don’t always suggest. I do pose the question and ask for response. Some have given quite good responses, well reasoned and science based and with the credentials to do so. I am sorry, you haven’t. Some give totally obtuse and mindless responses. I suppose you know who those are. Atheism is a big boat and has a lot of passenger. Some are just fans. So are reasonable and some just are here to vent. Okay. I know that. I’ll live with it.

        • nydiva

          Dr. Collins is a scientist. He publishes papers on scientific subjects. This topic is actually theology or metaphysical. You might search for those.

          So where is Dr. Collins’ paper demonstrating the evidence for the supernatural? If evolution was started by a supernatural agent then that is a scientific claim that can be examined. Where is the evidence for the scientific community to examine Evolution Creationism like any other claim and yes you do ALWAYS suggest a god in the gap because you LOVE to pose the same question over and over again, pretending there was no a response simply because you don’t like the responses given.

          Unfortunately, you often give totally obtuse and mindless responses. Christianity is a big boat and has a lot of passengers. Some are just fans. Some are reasonable and some just are here to preach at us. Okay. I know that and will challenge your wrong headed missionary zeal. Cheers.

        • Don Camp

          Where is the evidence for the scientific community to examine Evolution Creationism like any other claim

          If you have been reading scientific papers, like on PubMed, you will have noticed that evolution is primarily studied by what I’d describe as statistics and probability rather than by direct observation. (of course, calling it statistical so vastly understates the process that it is embarrassing) There is a good reason for that; evolution happens too slowly to be observed.

          Well, that is what I would expect of the EC claim, statistical evidence that shows the improbability of the Cambrian Explosion or the Ordovician radiation. If you read the paper I linked there are high levels of improbability to Pulse evolution, though like any other topic where there are wide differences of opinion among scientists, there is a lot of debate even on that subject. It would not be hard to find passionate proponents of the scientific basis for Pulse evolution. It is not hard to find skeptics among evolutionary scientists as well.

          I am way beyond my ability when it comes to understanding the statistical methods used today. So I have to look at the conclusions scientists are arriving at, but they vary. Maybe you can read the hard data of the numbers and come to a personal educated conclusion. I can’t.

          But if there is strong improbability or the absence of a mechanism that would drive pulse evolution, that would be evidence of some direction of the ordinary mechanisms of evolution and perhaps the fingerprints of God.

        • evolution happens too slowly to be observed.

          Nope. Look up Lenski. Then look up nylonase.

        • Rudy R

          evolution happens too slowly to be observed.

          If DC realized how fallacious this statement is, he would be embarrassed for his complete lack of basic knowledge on evolution. But then again…

        • If DC realized how fallacious this statement is

          If. Not likely to happen.

        • epeeist

          If you have been reading scientific papers, like on PubMed, you will have noticed that evolution is primarily studied by what I’d describe as statistics and probability rather than by direct observation.

          So what proportion of the papers in, say, the last year’s Journal of Evolutionary Biology are statistical?

          There is a good reason for that; evolution happens too slowly to be observed.

          You might want to watch this video or look at this list before making your uninformed assertions.

          If you read the paper I linked there are high levels of improbability to Pulse evolution, though like any other topic where there are wide differences of opinion among scientists, there is a lot of debate even on that subject.

          No, this is simply the general level of discussion about hypotheses that go on in the scientific community. Here are a couple of books for you. The first is on evolution, Peter Bowler’s Evolution: The History of an Idea and on a different topic Jim Baggott’s The Quantum Story. Both give the process by which scientific ideas are proposed, developed and accepted.

          I am way beyond my ability when it comes to understanding the statistical methods used today.

          So is the paper you linked to statistical or does it use other branches of mathematics?

          But if there is strong improbability or the absence of a mechanism that would drive pulse evolution, that would be evidence of some direction of the ordinary mechanisms of evolution and perhaps the fingerprints of God.

          And round we go once more, there are “problems” (in this case supposedly with a discussion as to how rapid evolution occurs), therefore god. You know Don, nobody believes you when you say you accept the theory of evolution given that all your posts are straight out of the Creationist play-book.

        • Don Camp

          So is the paper you linked to statistical or does it use other branches of mathematics?

          I used “statistical” for want of as better common word. The work of evolutionary science is metrical (measurement). It measures and tracks changes over time as seen in the fossil record. It uses a variety of mathematical methods to build a picture of change.

          And round we go once more, there are “problems” (in this case supposedly

          with a discussion as to how rapid evolution occurs), therefore god.

          Not at all. That is why I regularly check in to see how scientists are doing with the “problem.” I actually do not have a pony in the race. (Is that an idiom that makes sense in Britain?) I don’t really care whether pulse evolution is totally a natural process, as macroevolution seems to be, or is highly improbable pointing perhaps to God’s fingerprints on the process.

          My conviction is that God created a world of interconnected systems that function as designed without micromanagement by God. But I am interested, nevertheless, in places where God does seem to manage. Highly improbable situations might be such places.

          all your posts are straight out of the Creationist play-book.

          Like what? What do you mean by “the Creationist play-book”? I have,of course, read Creationist writing. I read them early in my journey through this subject. I have read others who have been critical of aspects of the evolutionary theory who aren’t Christian. I have read books by evolutionists both Christian and non-Christian who have defended a wholly natural process. That includes Kenneth Miller and Francis Collins. I have referred to those authors and their ideas far more often than any of the Creation Science people, who I think are engaged in pseudo science. So what marks my ideas as “straight out of the Creationist play-book”?

        • epeeist

          I used “statistical” for want of as better common word.

          So you threw in a “common word” that may or many not be correct presumably in the hope that people would think you were erudite.

          or is highly improbable pointing perhaps to God’s fingerprints on the process.

          Or in other words, there are “problems”, again with rapid evolution, therefore your god.

          Like what?

          Really? Just for one, the fact that you repeat (and repeat, and repeat) the “problems” with the TofE and then invoke your god’s fingerprints.

          That includes Kenneth Miller and Francis Collins. I have referred to those authors

          But strangely enough never to figures like J.B.S Haldane, Maynard Smith, Steve Jones or Neil Shubin. One would have to ask why Miller and Collins and not the ones I mentioned.

          Oh, and as a teacher of literature you must surely know the difference between explicitly referencing someone or something and implicitly doing so.

        • Don Camp

          One would have to ask why Miller and Collins and not the ones I mentioned.

          So tell me.

          Tell me about Haldane’s hypothesis. It has been many years since Haldane proposed a origin of life hypothesis. Was it tested? What was the outcome? If he truly knew how life originated, did he follow that process to create life?

          If think the answer to the last question is no. At least we know that Miller and Urey failed. And that may be why he is not as popular today as he was.

        • epeeist

          Tell me about Haldane’s hypothesis.

          Which one? The one about sickle-cell anaemia protecting against malaria, or the gene maps for haemophilia and colour blindness. How about his work on the unification of the theory of evolution and genetics or the mathematics of population genetics?

          Interesting that you only want to consider his ideas on abiogenesis and not his other work. Oh, and as for Miller and Urey, as has been pointed out to you by several people, their experiments were over half a century ago and things have moved on since then. Like all creationists (and no, nobody believes your bleat that you are not a creationist) you only want to consider what you regard as failures and to disregard the successes.

          Oh, and as for Haldane and Miller and Urey being failures, they weren’t, “shoulders of giants” and all that.

        • Don Camp

          Interesting that you only want to consider his ideas on abiogenesis and not his other work.

          Why should it be? That is the topic we were discussing.

          I don”t think you answered my question about Kenneth Miller and Francis Collins.

          I have respected your knowledge and sound advice on things scientific. I detect now a prejudice that is unbecoming in a scientist. Is that common when atheists encounter believers? Is contempt the modus operandi among atheists?

          At least Francis Collins tries to build civil dialogue with those who have differences with him. But then that is the modus operandi of a Christian. Good for him.

        • Francis Collins tries to build civil dialogue with those who have differences with him. But then that is the modus operandi of a Christian.

          Hang out here and see the kind of Christians that drop by. No, that isn’t the MO of a Christian.

        • Don Camp

          I apologize for them. I have seen that happen on youtube comments. But I thought a more prolonged dialogue would attract people who were not just drive-bys. I appreciate your patience.

          I have often thought that a faced to face would go some way toward actual mutual understanding. That actually is possible here since I live in Tacoma. But I am also caring for my wife who is recovering from a broken femur. So I may not be quite as free as I sound.

        • My point was simply that loads of Christians are hateful and petty. You’re a lot more thoughtful, so there’s obviously a range. It’s a small point, but I’d hardly say that thoughtful dialogue is the MO of Christians online. Some yes, but certainly not all (perhaps like atheists online).

          Sure, let’s try to figure out some way to get together in person. I agree–in person is more productive. BTW, I’ve attended some meetings of the Tacoma Reasonable Faith chapter. Charles, the leader, is quite well educated in this domain.

          I’m in Sammamish (though, with luck, we’ll be moving to Edmonds). I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s broken leg. And more than that is constraining travel, with this coronavirus thing, but if you have any suggestions for coffee, please share. Contact info in the About page.

        • Greg G.

          I’m sure DC is referring to the True Christian™.

        • nydiva

          Is contempt the modus operandi among atheists?
          Depends on the situation, I guess. Some Christians inspire contempt with their dishonestly and endless proselytizing.

          But then that is the modus operandi of a Christian. Good for him.
          Some Christians, perhaps. But there are millions of Christians who will preach instead of talk, act as if they have a god given mandate to do as they please on an atheist blog and then complain when asked to leave.

        • Don Camp

          Bob may ask me to leave, diva. I promise I will leave. I was hoping however to actually have a dialogue before moving on.

          Which brings me to the question I left you with: What professional journal articles have you found that have something to do with how pulsed evolution happens?

          Dialogue does assume a two way conversation.

        • nydiva

          Bob may ask me to leave, diva. I promise I will leave. I was hoping however to actually have a dialogue before moving on.

          Sure, you will leave like you promised to leave Debunking Christianity after being asked to leave only to return when you feel like it. Ever wonder why John Loftus asked you to leave and why so many were glad to see you go?

          As for journal articles on PE, I have no interest in the subject. I was just tired of you using the subject to endlessly drag on a useless discussion about creationism vs evolution. And yes, that was what you were doing. I’ve read enough of your posts to know the games you like to play. Yes, dialogue is a two way conversation which you have demonstrated you are incapable having with preaching Jesus. Cheers.

        • Don Camp

          As for journal articles on PE, I have no interest in the subject.

          Then why jump into the conversation? Why not leave it to epeeist? He did seem to have some interest and he is a scientist.

          If we could have a real dialogue it would not require that I provoke you all. I was able to do that with the real scientists I told you about earlier. They made an impression on me, but they were reasonable and dispassionate. And the conversation did not center on religion or atheism but science.

        • nydiva

          Then why jump into the conversation? Why not leave it to epeeist? He did seem to have some interest and he is a scientist.

          Duh, this is a public blog. Haven’t you noticed? And Epeeist appeared as annoyed with your repeated “god in the gaps” answers I was. Sorry, Don but you have repeatedly revealed yourself as a disingenuous debater. You have asked the same questions about evolution repeatedly and pretend as if the subject was never discussed. If you are really interested in a debate about evolution, then Dr. Jerry Coyne’s blog is the best place to go. There is a comments sections where you might find the answers you are looking for instead of claiming that no one here has answered them.

        • Don Camp

          And Epeeist appeared as annoyed with your repeated “god in the gaps” answers I was.

          I am sure he was. But my object is not to preach but to probe. Here’s epeeist who is evidently a scientist. Why not give scientific answers? You are not a scientist, I don’t expect scientific answers.

          “God of the gaps” cannot be a reasonable retort. That response to legitimate questions is merely a way to run away from the questions.

          At the same time, gaps in present knowledge are not reason for assuming God of the gaps. There will always be gaps. Most will be explained, if the past is any measure. But that possibility is no reason to avoid probing the present evidence.

          From what I saw on Dr. Coyne’s blog was pretty much preaching atheism. I have gotten plenty of that here. But I think you told me that Coyne really was not interested in engaging with me. Didn’t you? So what benefit would there be to that for either of us?

          I really do not want to debate evolution. For heaven’s sake, I am an evolutionist. Many of my Christian friends think I have caved in to the enemy. I want knowledge based answers. Or at least, as it appears in the professional literature, an “I don’t know; we’re working on it.” That’s what I got from the scientists I have spoken to in the past. What has changed?

          If Dr. Coyne could do that without drifting into an adversarial debate about religion and atheism, I’d love it. I have no expectation that he would based on his blog.

          From Coyne’s blog, Science 2.0 : “I argue that this [science and religion are compatible] is misguided: that science and religion are not only in conflict – even at “war” – but also represent incompatible ways of viewing the world.”

          Does that sound non-adversarial to you?

        • nydiva

          I am sure he was. But my object is not to preach but to probe. Here’s epeeist who is evidently a scientist. Why not give scientific answers? You are not a scientist, I don’t expect scientific answers.

          Epeeist: “Don goes the standard route, namely avoiding providing any argument or evidence in favour of “intelligent design”, criticizing the TofE and then claiming ID wins by default. I don’t know how many times we have been through this with him, but it is sufficient to show him both as a hypocrite and a liar.”

          Don, I not interested in anything you have to say. Your dishonestly is well established so your comments can’t be trusted. I only challenge your comments for the sake of those silent readers. If you have any issues with Dr. Coyne’s opinion on any subject, go to his blog and discuss it with him. Cheers.

        • Don Camp

          I am not an ID proponent. But epeeist was somehow unable to understand that. I am Evolutionary Creation (EC) similar to Dr. Francis Collins, whom epeeist has for some reason no respect for either. Neither do I nor did I argue that ID wins by default. Why is that so difficult for epeeist to see?

          So resorting to calling me or anyone a liar on the basis of an ill understood reading of that person is dumb.

        • nydiva

          I agree with this observation from Epeeist: “I asked for actual evidence, what you have supplied is your usual flannel. You have nothing to say, and you keep on saying it.”

          It’s no wonder you were kicked off the Debunking Christianity blog.

          John W. Loftus wrote this in response to a post where I pointed out your never ending games: “I agree. Don is acting in bad faith and not interested in having a discussion or learning anything new. He repeats himself without giving a further thought to a topic. He acts like an expert on most every topic when all he does is a Google search.

          Don Camp, say your goodbyes and then go away.”

          I have no time to waste on this planet being told what to do by those who think that God has given them instructions.
          Christopher Hitchens

          Dare I say: Amen.

        • Susan

          But my object is not to preach but to probe.

          I’ve never seen you probe anytthing, just preach.

          Why not give scientific answers?

          People have. But you’re not interested in those answers. What you want to do is demand perfect answers, (which emotionally satisfy you) and if those answers aren’t forthcoming, you think your claims should be taken seriously.

          Yahwehjeus of the gaps. You have no support for Yahwehjesus. You preach Yahwehjeus but have no support for it.

          Your dishonest has been pointed out, and you call that “atheist hostility”.

          When it’s just basic hostility for the dishonest snake oil tactics of dishonest snake oil salesmen.

          Does that sound non-adversarial to you?

          Hostility towards snake oil salesmen selling snake oil, is not “adversarial”.

          If you can support your claim, do so. You never have.

          This is why you were banned in other places, and should be banned here.

          Because you are full of sh69ut,and have nothing else.

          Your entire history consists of nothing but that behaviour.

          Bob needs to ban you. So many honest contributors are wating until you are gone before they spend their energy contributing here.

          You are not worth it.

          My hostility and contempt have nothing to do with you calling yourself a “christian”.

          I would like to engage with honest christians.

          You aren’t one.

        • Don Camp

          Hostility towards snake oil salesmen selling snake oil, is not “adversarial”.

          I appreciate your honesty and forthrightness, Susan. I am deeply sorry for whatever it was that brought you to the point of building such high walls around yourself.

        • nydiva

          I am deeply sorry for whatever it was that brought you to the point of building such high walls around yourself.

          Perhaps it was fake empathy from a snake oil salesman selling failed second coming Jesus. The world would be a better place if folks weren’t self appointed puppetls for their imaginary friends. O well.

        • Don Camp

          That is probably true. But I am neither self appointed nor a snake oil salesman.But my empathy is genuine. I know from the stories I’ve heard that there have been serious and deep hurts experienced by many who have left Christianity. I am deeply sorry for those hurts.

        • nydiva

          Blah, blah, blah. As I recalled, on DC you once claimed your imaginary friend put it on your heart to pray for us atheists (just couldn’t keep that btw you and your imaginary). You are on this blog selling us a tale about a long dead man named Jesus who became a zombie after 55 hours in the grave. So yes, you are a self appointed (self deceived as well) snake oil salesman with fake empathy.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nah, more likely that’s just Don trying some passive/aggressive mindwankery.

        • epeeist

          Sorry, Don but you have repeatedly revealed yourself as a disingenuous debater.

          Don has revealed himself as just another Liar for Jesus™, and like all such he is solely concerned with proselytising. Intellectual integrity, honest and truth are of no concern when there are “souls” to convert.

          EDIT: Improve sense

        • epeeist

          Why should it be? That is the topic we were discussing.

          And Miller and Collins have done work on abiogenesis?

          At least Francis Collins tries to build civil dialogue with those who have differences with him.

          From what I have seen Collins does deal civilly with those in the ID community.

          But then that is the modus operandi of a Christian.

          Says the Christian who certainly doesn’t argue honestly or in good faith.

        • Don Camp

          Okay, there have to be pioneers in any advance.. Haldane certainly did make contribution in other areas that have been significant.

          But I guess we are waiting for the next step.

          I am still wondering why you regard Kenneth Miller and Francis Collins as scientists who are not worth considering.

        • epeeist

          I am still wondering why you regard Kenneth Miller and Francis Collins as scientists who are not worth considering.

          I’m sorry, what comment of mine leads you to that conclusion?

        • Greg G.

          I am still wondering why you regard Kenneth Miller and Francis Collins as scientists who are not worth considering.

          When they do science, sure. When they do religion, not so much. Collins described his come-to-Jesus moment as seeing a frozen waterfall.

        • Rudy R

          Are you not going to respond to the video epeeist posted that refutes your fallacious claim that evolution happens to slowly to be observed?

        • nydiva

          There is a good reason for that; evolution happens too slowly to be observed.
          Sheesh, Don. If you weren’t so intend on defending your bronze age beliefs, you might have taken a quick stroll down a 21st century invention named Google and learned something.

          “Evolution is not a phenomenon of the past. It is an active process occurring even now. The emergence of new strains of influenza, drug-resistant cancer cells, and pesticide-resistant insects demonstrate that the genetic makeup of populations changes over time by the process of natural selection.”

        • Don Camp

          Just to support my claim that many well respected and qualified Christians do believe that evolution poses no threat to Christian theology or faith, I quote from a review of a recent book by a well respected theologian:

          Gijsbert van den Brink’s book [Reformed Theology and Evolutionary Theory] is a thorough survey of the current literature on science and theology, along with the author’s commentary, insights, and conclusions. For the sake of argument, he
          assumes that the Darwinian account of evolution is true. He then askswhat that would mean from a (Reformed) theological point of view. He uses the term “Reformed” in a broad sense, “as comprising all denominations whose roots go back to the sixteenth-century Swiss
          Reformation associated with the name of John Calvin and others.” (p. 2)

          The question that is the focus of the study is: “If all biodiversity on earth . . . can be explained by processes of natural selection acting on random mutations, does this have any theological consequences?” (p. 68)

          Gijsbert van den Brink carefully distinguishes three layers of evolutionary theory, which he labels as historical evolution (gradualism), common descent, and strong Darwinian evolution (natural selection acting on random mutations). …

          Layer
          1 (gradualism): (1) “How could a loving and caring God, who created animals in such a way that “it was good (Gen. 1:25), allow for so much pain and suffering, death and extinction, during countless ages in the animal world?” (p. 100), and (2) To what should we attribute animal suffering?

          Layer 2 (common descent): (1) “Is it still possible to believe that humans and humans only have been created in the image of God?” (pp. 136-7), and (2) “Are the notions of a “historical Adam” and a primordial fall still feasible?” (p. 137)

          Layer 3 (natural selection acting on random mutations): (1) If mutations are random, how
          can this be combined with the doctrine of God’s sovereignty and providence over all that goes on in God’s creation? (p. 205), and (2) Is it reasonable to extend the theory of evolution to cultural phenomena such as morality and religion?

          After discussing each issue, heconcludes that there are three places where adjustments are needed in classical (Reformed) theology:

          (1) Concordism (“the hermeneutical view that biblical statements pertaining to the physical
          world correspond to scientific facts”) (pp. 74-5),

          (2) The theory of the cosmic fall (“that is, after the first human beings lapsed into sin, and as a result of that fact, God’s originally perfect creation was distorted to such an extent that the entire biosphere fell into disarray”) (p. 111), and

          (3) The idea that human history started with a single couple.

          “Since these issues hinge on matters of biblical interpretation, in none of these cases . . . is biblical authority or any other Reformed doctrinal tenet necessarily at stake.” (pp. 273-4)

          Gijsbert van den Brink concludesthat “Christian believers do not have to resist evolutionary theory because of their faith commitments; and non-Christians don’t have to think that in order to become a Christian they should do the impossible, that is, renounce something that is so evidently true to them as Darwinian evolution.” (p. 274)

        • nydiva

          Just to support my claim that many well respected and qualified Christians do believe that evolution poses no threat to Christian theology or faith….

          So what? Until these well respected and qualified Christians can support their Christian theology with evidence that demonstrates their theological claims, namely the existence of their Christian god, their opinions prove NOTHING! This is much like you claiming that C.S. Lewis’ claim that the Bible is not myth. Enough with the philosophical and theological claims that found contradict what different Christian denominations claim, give us the evidence for the supernatural.

        • Don Camp

          You all can keep demanding that. I have no expectation that you will accept any of our evidence, evidence that had been presented on my levels many, many times by many people. I don’t really think you know what evidence you would expect given the particular category of a non-material God.

          I really think that the demand is more to shore up your faith in the unreality of God. It is a kind of mantra to be repeated whenever the darkness closes in. Sorry, you’ll have to live with the darkness; the mantra isn’t working.

          btw I hesitate to suggest, but you asked, I wrote a blog post “The Dandelion” six months ago on one of the evidences.

        • nydiva

          You all can keep demanding that. I have no expectation that you will accept any of our evidence, evidence that had been presented on my levels many, many times by many people. I don’t really think you know what evidence you would expect given the particular category of a non-material God.

          You can keep claiming that you have provided evidence for your imaginay friend. I have no expectation that you will claim anything else despite the 2 years you have been infecting atheist blogs with your preaching. How conveniebnt your non-material god didn’t leave any evidence for its existence although it demands that you preach the great commission until Christ returns. How’s that failed prophecy working for ya? .

          I really think that the demand is more to shore up your faith in the unreality of God. It is a kind of mantra to be repeated whenever the darkness closes in. Sorry, you’ll have to live with the darkness; the mantra isn’t working.

          I really think that you are here to shore up your faith in your imaginary friend. It’s a kind of matra to be repeated whenever reality closes in. Sorry, you’ll have to live the reality that your god doesn’t exist; your mantra “God IS” isn’t working.,

          btw I hesitate to suggest, but you asked, I wrote a blog post “The Dandelion” six months ago on one of the evidences.

          Btw I hestiate to suggest that you follow the blog rules and stop promoting your blog. But you are a fool for Jesus and on the never ending treadmill of faith. Too bad.

        • Don Camp

          How’s that failed prophecy working for ya?

          Wow! After having been in the middle of what I’d describe as a book of Acts event, I would say remarkably wonderful. And worldwide more people are becoming Christ followers that at any time in history. China is amazing. There are likely more Christians in China than in the United States. Chinese Christians are now taking the message of Jesus into places where Americans cannot go. In Africa and South America thousands are turning toward God. So, yeah, it’s working well.

        • Religion does well when social conditions are poor. That’s why it’s faded in Western Europe and beginning to fade in the US. If Christians can keep conditions poor in S American and Africa, then Christianity will have a stronger foothold.

          My vote is for better social conditions. Sounds like religion doesn’t do well when faced with reality.

        • Don Camp

          If Christians can keep conditions poor in S American and Africa, then Christianity will have a stronger foothold.

          I find that strange. Christians who go to places like S. America and Africa go as often as not to bring change to the conditions of poverty and health and education. If your thesis is right, they are undercutting their own efforts at proclaiming Jesus.

          That btw is what happened throughout Europe in the late Middle Ages. Christians built hospitals and universities. Christians created orphanages.

          It happened and is still happening in the United States. Christians respond to the conditions of poverty and homelessness by providing grassroots help through organizations like the Salvation Army and Union Gospel Mission here in the U.S., which you should be aware of living in Seattle. The goal is to serve the whole person. That is what the Lord calls us to do.

          If your thesis is right, we should work to keep people in poverty rather than fight poverty. But we don’t. We fight poverty. We work for better social conditions. So ????

          I think what happened in Europe and in America is that the generations that followed those who had been lifted from poverty through Christian service and education simply forgot what a blessing that service had been to their parents and grandparents. They got comfortable in the blessings they had received from their Christian ancestors. They got comfortable in their wealth. And they forgot that it was God who inspired the changes they now enjoy. They fail to give thanks.

          It is an old story that has happened repeatedly through history. It is part of the story line of the Old Testament as much as it is part of the story line of our modern world.

          But wealth is a thin security blanket. We are seeing that illustrated right before our eyes in this current Coronovirus outbreak. Wealth has evaporated for many overnight. Economies tumble. And perhaps we, even in wealthy America, will be reminded that our security lies not in our bank account but in the Lord.

        • Evidence for poor conditions as a breeding ground for religion comes from Gregory Paul. I summarize that research here:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/06/christianity-lead-better-society-2/

          Yes, Christians built hospitals and universities, but not modern hospitals and universities. More here:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/02/yeah-but-christianity-built-universities-and-hospitals-2-of-2/

        • Don Camp

          but not hospitals and universities.

          Of course not, it was not the modern age. Today Christian organizations, however, run modern hospitals. Some in Washington come to mind: Sacred Heat in Spokane, St. Joseph’s in Tacoma, St. Peter’s in Olympia, Emanuel in Portland. Those are all modern hospitals.

          So you quote yourself?

          Bob, you put the strangest spin on everything that I feel like we are living in different worlds. And we are – different worldviews. You must feel the same way about me. I don’t know if there is a way over this impasse.

        • No, I don’t quote myself; I point you to articles that I’ve written in case you’re curious for more.

          Yes, we live in different worlds. I agree that we seem to be irreconcilable.

        • epeeist

          And worldwide more people are becoming Christ followers that at any time in history. China is amazing.

          You know when actual statisticians deal with things like this they don’t use raw numbers, they deal in percentages of the population. So, is Christianity growing as a percentage of the word’s population? How is it doing in comparison to Islam?

          Oh, and are your figures based on counts of those who are Christian or on people who report they are Christian, the two are quite different. Here in the UK some 44% of people report themselves to be Christian, but only about 6% of the population actually attend services of any kind.

        • Don Camp

          I am talking about people who are new to Christianity and are actively pursuing a life that is Christlike. The is what is happening in China.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Something you can’t support with evidence I see, ironically, since that is the demand you make of others here.

          But even if accurate, so what? Islam is the fastest growing religion worldwide. It is projected to overtake Christianity by 2050.

          Btw…a notice, in typical Christer fashion, you are happy to use the umbrella term “Christian” when looking at the big picture, but want to distance yerself by using the No True Scotsman fallacy when getting into the breakdown. More intellectual bankruptcy and dishonesty.

          I wonder how many will fuck off God belief in China after the covid-19 pandemic recedes?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Christlike

          Bwaaahahaha!

          Wtf does that even mean?

          The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics

          https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Jesus-Ethics-New-Testament/dp/1909697796

          “The Old Testament God would punish you severely,” Avalos said. “Burns, plagues, agony, you name it. But it would always end in your lifetime. In the New Testament, the violence is eternal. The punishment is infinitely greater in quality and quantity.”

          I’ve news for ya Don, the Jesus of the book was a shithead at times. And being that “christlike” has led to some nefarious shenanigans.

          Will The Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2012/01/will-the-real-jesus-please-stand-up/

        • epeeist

          The is what is happening in China.

          Citation required.

          Oh, and answers to the other questions I raised would be useful.

        • Don Camp

          Citation required.”

          That is telling. If you want to know more, there is google. But to distrust the statements of everyone – at least those you don’t agree with – is a serious fault of our scientific age.

          Do you demand that of everyone? If you do, you’ll both drive your friends away but bring social communication to a halt.

          When all is said and done, what I said is not a big deal. If is is a big deal you, check it out.

          I think the qualification in my reply answers your questions. There is a difference between those who are Christian by culture or Muslim by culture and those who have personally chosen to be dedicated followers of their faith. That is very difficult to distinguish in any pole I’ve seen. Plus, because speaking or reporting the growth of Christianity in some places, such as strongly Islamic countries put those new believers in jeopardy. I know from people on site some of the things that are happening that I cannot tell you about for that reason.

          Bottom line, the statistics you demand will never tell the whole truth.

        • epeeist

          That is telling. If you want to know more, there is google.

          How many times does it have to be said, your claim, your burden to provide the evidence.

        • Don Camp

          Taunting again.

          If I say the sun rises in the east, do I need evidence for that? Probably. Because the sun does not actually rise, right?

          When I taught research writing in high school, I told my students that commonly known facts did not require citations. If they were to do that, their papers would be so cluttered they would be unreadable.

          The same is true of our conversation, except that we are not writing research papers. We are having a conversation. Asking for citations for every “claim,” when that claim is not actually a significant claim in the conversation is simply harassment.

          It is unbecoming of a professional and educated person.

        • Ignorant Amos

          When I taught research writing in high school, I told my students that commonly known facts did not require citations. If they were to do that, their papers would be so cluttered they would be unreadable.

          Well, first of all, the assertion that people in China new to Christianity are actively pursuing a life that is Christlike, is not a commonly known fact. That’s why you’ve been asked to support the nonsense statement. If you were able to support your bullshit, you’d have done it and not be wasting time trying to dig yerself out of another hole, ya Dime Bar.

          Your students must’ve been fucked. My learning was that any proposition one relied on to support ones argument had to be properly cited in the text of the paper and in the bibliography.

          The same is true of our conversation, except that we are not writing research papers. We are having a conversation. Asking for citations for every “claim,” when that claim is not actually a significant claim in the conversation is simply harassment.

          Absolute ballix. You made a stupid assertion in trying to defend the challenge of “How’s that failed prophecy working for ya?”

          Mere unsupported conjecture was you rebuttal. Now you have been called to defend your nonsense, you are doing that Christer thing of doubling down, rather than admit your error and showing some humility.

          It is unbecoming of a professional and educated person.

          No, not supporting your assertion is unbecoming of a professional and educated person. But you’ve demonstrated here again and again, that you are neither very professional, nor much of an educated person. So now you are trying to weasel out by playing the victim card while trying to turn the table. Not very christ like Don.

        • Don Camp

          the assertion that people in China new to Christianity are actively
          pursuing a life that is Christlike, is not a commonly known fact. That’s
          why you’ve been asked to support the nonsense statement.

          If it were acutely significant to the conversation, I would have done so. It was not. As it was when asked I explained why the polls are not adequate. The actual facts are that the polls overstate the numbers of Christians because they rely on a definition that is not focused enough to distinguish between people who truly believe and are in the process of developing spiritual maturity and people for whom Christianity is simply cultural or ritualistic.

          But the polls are also not accurate because they do not measure the church in areas of the world where even identifying as a Christian is hazardous. So bottom line, the polls are meaningless.

          However, demand for citations is over the edge in a polite conversation. Asking for elaboration in a polite way is different. None of us are writing research papers that would demand those standards. When you quote, as you were wont to do, without citing that is a little different because the reader should expect to be able to read the quote in context.

          Civil. Is that a concept that anyone here understands?

        • nydiva

          Don Camp: Civil. Is that a concept that anyone here understands?
          Your pity party is beginning to sound a lot like Donald Trump. Time to find somewhere else to preach at folks who don’t want to listen to ya.

        • Ignorant Amos

          If it were acutely significant to the conversation, I would have done so.

          We know the numbers of Christians in China is irrelevant ya fucking senile old fecker. It was you that brought it up, ya dopey old cunt. The fact that you can’t support yer ballix just emphasises how much of a dopey old cunt you actually are ffs.

          It was not. As it was when asked I explained why the polls are not adequate. The actual facts are that the polls overstate the numbers of Christians because they rely on a definition that is not focused enough to distinguish between people who truly believe and are in the process of developing spiritual maturity and people for whom Christianity is simply cultural or ritualistic.

          Blah, blah, blah….you are a lying bastard. You made an assertion. You can’t support it. We knew that already. That’s why you were challenged. Now you are blathering while the hole you’ve dug is caving back in on ya…ya silly aul bastard. Yer a fool.

          But the polls are also not accurate because they do not measure the church in areas of the world where even identifying as a Christian is hazardous. So bottom line, the polls are meaningless.

          We already know. We are not the stupid cunt asserting knuckle-dragging ballix. That’s you!

          However, demand for citations is over the edge in a polite conversation.

          No Don, it really isn’t. Space ponies created the universe and everything in it. Do you accept that assertion? Do ya fuck.

          Talk shite, you are required to support it.

          Asking for elaboration in a polite way is different.

          Don, “citation please?” in support of yer fuckwittery is polite. You are doubling down. You made an assertion you can’t support, because it was bullshit. You are intellectually dishonest. Aka…a lying cunt.

          None of us are writing research papers that would demand those standards.

          Which you believe gives you carte blanche to make whatever shite you like? Right.

          When you quote, as you were wont to do, without citing that is a little different because the reader should expect to be able to read the quote in context.

          Unlike your fuckwit nonsense, sometimes I link, others I don’t. My experience is, that fuckwit cunts like you, aren’t interested. They rarely visit the link. Not that I care, like a said, my responses aren’t necessarily for you.

          But all that said, you still want us to accept your unsupported assertions, while you dismiss citations, linked or not, off hand.

          At least with a quotation, those with some nous, have the ability to find the source. Obviously you don’t fall into that category.

          Or you could just fall back on that age old concept of asking. Ya know, like we’ve been asking you?

          Civil. Is that a concept that anyone here understands?

          Civil? I’m not the one claiming “christ like” ya fucking moron.

          I’m happy enough with being uncivil. It’s a world I grew up in. You think you are being civil? I’ve news for ya, ya ignorant auld cunt, the sort of civil you’ve displayed here, could get you well fucked up in meat world.

          I think you exist in a simple world. Void of challenge. Try a challenge ya daft auld bastad.

        • Don Camp

          Amos, don’t you realize that this kind of rant both exposes your character and your ignorance? It is a blatant resort to the fallacy of character assassination.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Amos, don’t you realize that this kind of rant both exposes your character and your ignorance?

          Don, what part about, “I don’t give a fuck about what you think”, is it you are struggling to comprehend?

          While I’m replying to your fuckwittery, it’s at you, not for you. You are a dishonest, disingenuous, and intellectually bankrupt interlocutor. That is demonstrable from your short time here. But also evidenced elsewhere. Folk that know you from at least one other forum, warned the regulars here over a month ago.

          This latest sub-thread epitomises how you operate.

          It is a blatant resort to the fallacy of character assassination.

          For someone who claims a third level education in literature, you continue to make high school level faux pas all over the place. You don’t seem to know what you are talking about…on anything.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_assassination

          Now, demonstrate how anything I’ve said is blatant character assassination?

        • Ignorant Amos

          If it were acutely significant to the conversation, I would have done so.

          Liar. You rarely ever do. You made it significant by making the claim as part of your argument ya moron.

          Then you lied again by inferring it is a “commonly known fact.

          It was not.

          You don’t get to decide. At least three of us here thought the claim was significant enough to request you support it. You didn’t, and still haven’t. That’s because you can’t. And that’s because it was a lie ya just pulled from your arsehole. And that’s because that’s what dishonest Christers like you Don, do.

          As it was when asked I explained why the polls are not adequate.

          Another blatant lie ya shameless twat. When asked to support your claim, your response was…

          “That is telling. If you want to know more, there is google.”

          No polls were mentioned.

          You are a gift to demonstrate a liar. You need to take a break. The lies are tripping over themselves to get outta ya.

          We knew that the polls are inadequate already. But not because of any info from you. That’s why your fuckwittery was challenged in the first place. This isn’t our first burl around the dancefloor with a dishonest Christer fuckwit.

          But the main issue I have with your fuckwittery, is how anyone could possibly know that Chinese Christers are living a Christlike lifestyle? You don’t. As far as it goes, no Christer does. Because a Christlike living is subjective. What does it even mean to live Christlike?

          The actual facts are that the polls overstate the numbers of Christians because they rely on a definition that is not focused enough to distinguish between people who truly believe and are in the process of developing spiritual maturity and people for whom Christianity is simply cultural or ritualistic.

          And that parcel of crap is irrelevant to the initial question you responded to from nydiva.

          “How’s that failed prophecy working for ya?”

          When you cited Chinese Christer numbers as support in your reply.

          But the polls are also not accurate because they do not measure the church in areas of the world where even identifying as a Christian is hazardous. So bottom line, the polls are meaningless.

          We don’t care about the polls. Your mentioning the polls is a straw man fallacy. You made an assertion. Support it. Or concede ya can’t. It’s quite simple. All this bluffing buffoonery is just compounding the attention that you are in a hole and digging it deeper.

          However, demand for citations is over the edge in a polite conversation.

          No Don. Telling blatant lies and making up your own unsupported nonsense facts, is not only over the edge, it is the act of a lying piece of shite scounderal. It’s insulting the intelligence of others engaged in the conversation. And a demonstration to all, that you are a waste of space, oxygen thieving, auld fart.

          Asking for elaboration in a polite way is different.

          Whaaaa? Like “citation required” ya mean?

          Don, you made an unsupported assertion. As a scholar of literature, you surely know that it was pure conjecture. You were asked to support your assertion. You can’t. But for some reason you seem to think that is okay. It’s everyone elses fault that you are lying. Wise ta fuck up.

          None of us are writing research papers that would demand those standards.

          Don, it is common courtesy not to make shite up and present it as facts. Then blame everyone else for why you can’t and won’t support your lies. You are morally and intellectually bankrupt.

          When you quote, as you were wont to do, without citing that is a little different because the reader should expect to be able to read the quote in context.

          Have you heard yerself. What happened to “However, demand for citations is over the edge in a polite conversation.” ?

          Civil. Is that a concept that anyone here understands?

          Ah, tone trolling to add to your many snidey attributes.

          Civility went out the window Don when you forfeit that right with your own uncivil manner. Civility isn’t just all about someone’s tone.

        • nydiva

          Don Camp It is unbecoming of a professional and educated person.

          Is it unbecoming to continue to proselytize and promote one’s blog when it is against the rules of engagement on Patheos.com? It is unbecoming of a professional and educated person to continue to post on a blog when you have been asked to leave (Debunking Christianity)?

          “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to notice the beam in your own eye?” Matt. 7:33

          No one here is harrassing you, but you know you are an irritant (your words, not mine). You are not here to have a conversation but to evangelize. So if you can’t take the heat, bye!

        • epeeist

          When I taught research writing in high school, I told my students that commonly known facts did not require citations. If they were to do that, their papers would be so cluttered they would be unreadable.

          The trouble with “commonly known facts” is that they may not be facts.

          Many years ago in an online discussion with a proponent of “alternative medicine” he claimed that millions of people in the US (he gave an exact figure) were dying unnecessarily in hospitals because of misdiagnosis, mis-prescribing and various other causes which were down to the use of “allopathic”. When I challenged him on this I got the exact kind of response you give here.

          When I attempted to follow this up I found that his figures came from other alternative medicine sites, all of which were quoting each other. None was actually citing a primary source.

          I did eventually find a report that gave the figure he quoted. It was in a report from 1984 about a single, badly performing hospital in Seattle. In this the author said that if the practices at this hospital were replicated across the US then it would lead to the number of deaths that were referred to as fact on all these alternative medicine sites. So in this case a “commonly known fact” was, in actuality a hypothetical.

          Now I have seen reports of how well Christianity is doing in China, but what I have never seen is primary data that shows this to be a fact.

          So, over to you. Show us the data that supports your claim.

        • Don Camp

          Show me the data for anything in China. China is a tightly run Communist dictatorship. Anything that threatens the control of the government over society is suppressed. In that kind of environment polls are not going to be published showing increases in Christianity or Islam. And no Christian wants to participate. Many of them have to meet in secret or in small groups – even before the coronovirus thing – to avoid being spied on or identified for fear of government suppression, which includes jail in some cases. It certainly has been jail for many Muslims lately, according to news sources in the US.

          But I have friends in China who do report what is happening. And there are reports from others https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/China-s-Christians-keep-the-faith-rattling-the-country-s-leaders

          From https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/christianity-china

          China has witnessed a religious revival over the past four decades, in particular with a significant increase in Christian believers. The number of Chinese Protestants has grown by an average of 10 percent annually since 1979. By some estimates, China is on track to have the world’s largest population of Christians by 2030.

          Fenggang Yang, of Purdue University’s Center on Religion and Chinese Society, estimates that there are between 93 million and 115 million Protestants in China,

          experts say that the Christian revival is likely to continue. “Whatever the precise number, the fact is that Protestantism has become a dynamic part of China’s religious landscape, especially in its biggest cities and among its best-educated people,” writes Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao.

          From NPR https://www.npr.org/2019/12/30/792293186/china-sentences-christian-leader-to-9-years-prison

          Wang Yi, a leader in one of the most well-known Christian congregations in China, has been quietly sentenced to nine years in prison, according to a statement on the website of the Intermediate People’s Court of Chengdu Municipality. The sentencing is the latest incident in an ongoing crackdown on organized religion in China.

        • epeeist

          Show me the data for anything in China. China is a tightly run Communist dictatorship. Anything that threatens the control of the government over society is suppressed.

          Not sure about communist, but certainly China is an authoritarian, secretive and totalitarian dictatorship that, at a minimum, keeps close reign on all organisations it perceives to be a threat to the state.

          But I have friends in China who do report what is happening.

          Ah, unpresented and unsubstantiated anecdata.

          As for the sources you give, there is a fair amount of disagreement between them. While CF publishes its methodology it doesn’t include the one thing that all scientists are taught, namely what are the error bounds on the estimates. Asia.Nikkei gives numbers, with no methodology and no error estimates. Fenggang Yang gives error estimates but his figures are widely disputed.

          So, is Christianity increasing in China? Possibly, but your sources certainly don’t provide sufficient information to say either way.

        • Don Camp

          Why are you so fussed at this? Does it threaten you? It is what it is. There is no need to further document it. .

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why are you so fussed at this?

          Because it is an example of you making crap up that doesn’t support your assertion. And if you are demonstrably dishonest and intellectual bankrupt in your discourse, folk have no reason to trust a thing you say.

          Does it threaten you?

          Bwaaaahahahaha!

          In what way do you think your incompetence would be a threat to others here exactly?

          It is what it is.

          But it isn’t what you claim it is, nor does it answer the initial question, nor refute the implication behind the question.

          There is no need to further document it.

          You first need to document the evidence that supports your claim. So far, you’ve failed miserably.

        • epeeist

          There is no need to further document it. .

          You are not interested in whether your claim is true or not?

        • Ignorant Amos

          In 2010, the Pew Research Center calculated sixty-eight million Christians in China, or approximately 5 percent of the country’s population.

          https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/christianity-china

          What’s more interesting in the article is the reasons the Chinese are turning to Christianity, and Protestantism in particular.

          The fact of the matter, given the data available, we just don’t know. Guesswork is the best that anyone has been able to do.

          https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/848830/China_-_Christians_-_CPIN_-_v3.0__November_2019_.pdf

          The data covering the period 2006-2012 isn’t terribly convincing.

          China Family Panel Studies found…

          Denomination 2006 2008 2010 2011 Average
          Catholic 0.3% 0.1% 0.2% 0.4% 0.3%
          Protestant 1.8% 2.1% 1.9% 2.2% 2.0%
          Total Christian 2.1% 2.2% 2.1% 2.6% 2.3%

          Don thinks his assertion about Chinese conversion to Christianity is “amazing”, but it really isn’t when looked at in context.

          China’s religious revival, born of the failings of both communism and capitalism to provide adequate meaning in Chinese lives, has been well-documented. While Chinese have flocked to Confucian temples and Christian churches, the biggest beneficiary is Buddhism. Official statistics don’t exist, but the Pew Research Center, which surveys religious belief worldwide, estimates some 245 million Buddhists in China, around 18% of the total national population. Another 21% of Chinese adhere to folk religions that often incorporate Buddhist beliefs, according to Pew.

          https://time.com/4260593/china-buddhism-religion-religious-freedom/

        • Don Camp

          I am not interested in whether you think the claim is true. Check with Amos, he has a graph.

        • Don Camp

          The facts are that China is a Communist, atheist, authoritarian regime antagonistic to religion of every kind, especially if they see it as a threat to their control, and Christianity certainly is. Christianity stands for freedom. Communism stands for repression. China is not going to allow the kinds of research that you demand, especially if it shows Christianity increasing.

        • epeeist

          Christianity stands for freedom.

          A study of history is sufficient to refute that claim.

          China is not going to allow the kinds of research that you demand, especially if it shows Christianity increasing.

          So given that the data is unavailable then how can you say that Christianity is increasing there?

        • Don Camp

          Are you talking about Communist atheist governments? . I think history has shown adequately that Communist atheism has almost always been repressive. It is in North Korea. It has been in Russia. And it is in China. If you are talking about Christians,it in China is has been certainly true that the Christian community is for freedom. They are not trying to impose anything on anyone.

          But reality is that fighting the government is both not productive and is not the culture of Christianity. Freedom of religion – which I believe is a basis human right – really means that you can choose to believe as you wish. Repression means you must act and ultimately believe – due to reprogramming education and sometimes gulags – as they want you to. That has been the modus operandi of the three governments I mentioned.

          The contrast is striking.

        • epeeist

          Are you talking about Communist atheist governments?

          You were a teacher of literature and yet you can’t parse a couple of sentences?

          Christianity stands for freedom.

          A study of history is sufficient to refute that claim.

          I think history has shown adequately that Communist atheism has almost always been repressive.

          Oh FFS, we aren’t back to the “nasty things were done in the USSR/China etc.; these countries are atheist; therefore they were done in the cause of atheism.” nonsense are we?

          As it is, where these societies have suppressed the publication of material presumed antithetical to the regime, constrained what can be investigated, incarcerated, tortured or executed those seen as opponents, invaded other countries and suppressed the systems of ideas that their societies are based upon one can find an exact parallel in Christianity over the centuries.

        • Don Camp

          Did you not see my addendum?

          Yes, both atheists and Christians have politicized their respective ideologies. From there they often have weaponized them. It is a fault of people, not the ideology.

          As far as Christianity goes we have a longer track record, but no less bloody than atheists regimes. But Christians actually have a greater guilt because the foundation of Christianity is not political at all it is personal and is founded upon actual living out of our faith rather than forcing others to do so. That idea of forcing people was Jesus’ strongest point of contention with the Pharisees. They demanded others live the law that they themselves were not living.

          Atheists have no compunction to avoid politicizing their worldview. At least that I know of.

        • epeeist

          Yes, both atheists and Christians have politicized their respective ideologies.

          And now you are trying for abuse of quantification. While being a communist entails being atheist, being atheist does not entail being communist.

          Atheists have no compunction to avoid politicizing their worldview.

          So what is the “atheist world view”?

          And you really think that Christians have any compunction about politicizing their world view, Project Blitz is only the latest manifestation.

        • Don Camp

          While being a communist entails being atheist, being atheist does not entail being communist.

          Of course it does not. I am only saying that some individuals for their own political purposes in establishing Communism tired to squelch religion and particularly Christianity because it was antithetical to their political agenda. Atheism was the answer. Atheism eliminates Christianity.

          So atheism became under these men the state approved philosophy. It still is. In China atheism is taught in the public schools and the teaching of Christianity illegal. In North Korea Christianity is persecuted to the point of imprisoning and killing Christians. In Russia Christians are still being persecuted. In several of these nations there is officially freedom of religion. In practice no one who lives there believes that.

          And you really think that Christians have any compunction about politicizing their world view,

          I don”t even have to read it, I see it. I simply think that it is antithetical to the Bible and to the message of Jesus. And it is counter-productive to the purpose we have to preach the gospel. It is not working, and it will never work.

        • epeeist

          I am only saying that some individuals for their own political purposes in establishing Communism tired to squelch religion and particularly Christianity because it was antithetical to their political agenda.

          You haven’t read any Marx have you.

          In Russia Christians are still being persecuted.

          You don’t seem to keep in contact with the foreign news either, Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church are the best of buddies (Source

          I don”t even have to read it, I see it. I simply think that it is antithetical to the Bible and to the message of Jesus.

          Bingo!

          I think the “No True Scotsman” completes my card.

        • Don Camp

          Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church are the best of buddies (

          And you are going to believe Putin? That may be the most chilling thing I’ve heard here.

          Would you have believed the German Lutheran church during WW2? I hope not.

          The close relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the
          Russian state based upon a shared, theologically-informed vision of Russian exceptionalism is not a new phenomenon.

          Whenever government and church scratch each others backs they get along. They enjoy mutual benefits. But that kind of merging of the church and government usually results in the church surrendering her moral and spiritual base. It did in Germany and Italy. It did in Rome in the 4th century. So believe it if you wish. I don’t.

        • epeeist

          And you are going to believe Putin?

          Err, wut? Once again you fail to read my post with anything like comprehension. I never said anything about trusting Putin, simply that that he, as head of the civil government, and the Russian Orthodox Church are closely intertwined. I also gave one source for my claim, here is another one.

        • Don Camp

          Maybe I should have asked if you were going to believe the Orthodox church leaders,with no verifiable data to determine whether they are speaking truly.

          I trust you read the entire Newsweek story. If not here’s a quote:

          For all the sometimes frightening and often shrill rhetoric of Putin’s Orthodox supporters, the new incarnation of Putin’s rule resembles less a thought-out program than a carnival where spooks[KGB agents] dress up in cassocks and thugs adorn themselves with crucifixes, shouting snatches of medieval theology, Soviet conspiracy theories, and folk-metal choruses.

          I am amazed how you uncritically accept ideas that fit your argument and ignore the information to the contrary.

          Even the Forbes story indicates that freedom of religion under Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church is pretty much non-existent.And that was my contention at the beginning.

          In response, the ROC successfully pushed the government to pass a law in 1997 that restricted the freedom of religious practice of faiths considered “foreign” in origin and put the ROC back in the driver’s seat in terms of its ability to shape of the emerging national culture.

          It is “deja vu all over again.” Like the national Lutheran church in Nazi Germany, it is to the political advantage of the ROC to cooperate with Putin. It is to Putin’s advantage to cultivate that cooperation. But none of that means there is freedom of religion in Russia. It simply means there is a corrupt ROC and a shrewd president who will take advantage of them.

          My anecdotal observation: We have a congregation of Russian and Ukrainian Christians sharing our church building. There are quite a few Russian congregations in Tacoma. They are here in the US because of the persecution of Christians in Russia. Ask them and they will tell their own experiences the “freedom” they experienced in Russia. .

          Are their reported experiences less valid than the reported claims of Putin and the ROC leaders in Russia? Why would you take one over the other? What independent measurement are you using to determine whether there is freedom under Putin and the ROC? Where is the data? You ask that of me. Can I ask it of you?

        • epeeist

          I trust you read the entire Newsweek story. If not here’s a quote:

          Oh, we can all do quotations:

          Today, 90 percent of ethnic Russians now identify themselves as Orthodox, according to statistics from the Levada Center, an independent research organization, and the sociology institute VCIOM.

          I am amazed how you uncritically accept ideas that fit your argument and ignore the information to the contrary.

          This is a joke isn’t it. Humour from someone who has put forward anecdote and unsubstantiated assertions and who engaged in a whole sub-thread trying to fit the Genesis narrative to the findings of modern science.

          it is to the political advantage of the ROC to cooperate with Putin. It is to Putin’s advantage to cultivate that cooperation.

          Yep, and your point is?

          They are here in the US because of the persecution of Christians in Russia.

          Which Christians? Are your saying that the ROC is not Christian?

          What independent measurement are you using to determine whether there is freedom under Putin and the ROC? Where is the data?

          Ah, an attempt to shift the burden, what a surprise. Your claim that Christians are being persecuted, your burden to provide the evidence that this is so.

        • Don Camp

          claim that Christians are being persecuted,burden to provide the evidence that this is so.

          You provided the evidence in the articles you linked.

        • epeeist

          You provided the evidence in the articles you linked.

          You have nothing of your own? You have to refer to my articles, which show the Russian Orthodox Church is doing well under Putin.

          Here’s a piece of research from Pew Forum showing how Christianity, mostly the ROC, has had a resurgence in Russia. How there has been a rise in “religious commitment”. How other denominations (including Protestantism and Catholicism) also exist there, as do other religions (including Islam).

          As ever you pull a claim out of your fundament and once again it is shown to be a pile of foetid dingos kidneys.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And you are going to believe Putin? That may be the most chilling thing I’ve heard here.

          Oh fer feck sake. Don, this isn’t a secret, it’s common knowledge.

          What about believing the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill? Will he do?

          The head of the Russian Orthodox Church is on record as proclaiming Putin’s time in power as a “miracle from God”

          Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has made no secret of his support for Putin, whom he regards as the guarantor of the country’s stability. “You have played an enormous personal role to set the course of history in our country,” Kirill told Putin last month during a meeting with other religious leaders. “I would like to thank you.”

          The arch patriarch of Moscow and All Russia then went on to say that Russia managed to overcome the chaos following the breakup of the ussr “thanks to a divine miracle and with the active assistance of the leaders of our country.”

          https://www.thetrumpet.com/9180-russian-patriarch-calls-putin-era-a-miracle-from-god

          You really are a delusional tit.

          Would you have believed the German Lutheran church during WW2? I hope not.

          Apart from being a non sequitur, believed what about the German Lutheran church during WW2?

          Whenever government and church scratch each others backs they get along. They enjoy mutual benefits. But that kind of merging of the church and government usually results in the church surrendering her moral and spiritual base. It did in Germany and Italy. It did in Rome in the 4th century. So believe it if you wish. I don’t.

          What ta fuck are you talking about you senile fuck?

          You deny epeeists valid claim. Without support on your part of course.

          You then agree that church and state back scratching is self serving and detrimental.

          Then you say, he can believe that if he wants, but you don’t.

          WTF?

          I think you are on some sort of mental breakdown Don. Your comments are becoming progressively incoherent.

          Take a wee break.

        • I think history has shown adequately that Communist atheism has almost always been repressive.

          What does atheism have to do with it? It’s a dictatorship. There’s your problem.

          The contrast is striking.

          What contrast? If you’re comparing atheist China with theist Pakistan, they’re both more or less dictatorships. They both more or less suck, with Pakistan probably sucking worse. Atheism isn’t the problem.
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2019/05/stalin-was-a-mass-murderer-and-im-not-too-sure-about-myself/

        • epeeist

          with Pakistan probably sucking worse.

          And Trump’s besties the Saudis sucking even more.

        • Susan

          Are you talking about Communist atheist governments?

          No. For a guy who claims to have a background in literature, you don’t seem to be able to follow the most rudimentary line in a rudimentary exchange.

          YOU made a claim. @epeeist pointed out that a study of history is sufficient to refute the claim that “Christianity stands for freedom.”

          @epeeist also pointed out that your first claim that “Christianity is increasing in China”, was undermined by your next claim that “the data is unavailable”.

          He couldn’t have addressed your blather more succinctly.

          He made no mention of “Communist atheist governments”.

          This is apologetics.

          You have about twelve moves, all of them terrible.

          That doesn’t bother you. When one terrible move doesn’t work, divert to another terrible move.

          I’ll ask you again, as I (and others) have asked you many times before, if you make a claim, follow through on it. Suppot your claim.

          As you have never done so, there is no reason to take your claims seriously.

          And lots of reasons to suspect that you are a shameless liar.

          (This is where you usually revert to attacking people’s characters, without justification, without addressing their points. Don’t do that any more. It’s sleazy.)

          I hope you are banned for relentlessly using those tactics.

          In the words of Kodie (whom I dearly miss), “Send us an honest christian.”

          You are not one.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I genuinely believe Don is suffering from early onset dementia. It is the only explanation.

          He flip-flops back and forward, contradicting himself, even in the one combox. It’s ridiculous.

          It’s no bloody wonder he has been fucked out of other places.

        • Susan

          I genuinely believe Don is suffering from early onset dementia. It is the only explanation.

          1) I have no qualifications to make that diagnosis.

          2) This seems to be standard behaviour from apologists. Including the most highly revered ones that theists throw at you.

          He flip-flops back and forward, contradicting himself, even in the one combox.

          I don’t remember when this hasn’t been the case, when dealing with apologists.

          It’s ridiculous.

          Yes, it is.

          It’s possible Don is suffering from dementia. It’s also possible that he doesn’t care what he says, if he can just keep his foot in the door, and try to sell more snake oil.

          For feck’s sake, that’s what Brandon Vogt and all his minions and all the funding from his higher ups in the catholic propoganda machine did (and continue to do).

          That’s what WLC’s “Reasonable” Faith does.

          It’s all they have.

          I’m not prepared to accept dementia as a defense or to diagnose dementia, when it just looks like business as usual.

          That people suffering from dementia might be more vulnerable to their hooks, does not mean that that behaviour can be explained by dementia.

          It’s business as usual.

          Donald Trump is the president of the United States of America.

          Are are his supporters dementia victims?

          It’s no bloody wonder he has been fucked out of other places.

          No bloody wonder at all.

        • epeeist

          It’s also possible that he doesn’t care what he says, if he can just keep his foot in the door, and try to sell more snake oil.

          Personally I would go with this. In his time here Don has shown himself to be a liar and a hypocrite. He has added another data point to my claim that there is no such thing as an honest creationist.

          I am now at the point where I believe nothing that he says or has said (and this includes his claim to have been a teacher of literature).

        • Ignorant Amos

          1) I have no qualifications to make that diagnosis.

          Nor me, but I’ve witnessed it enough to realise that someone can appear to behave like a dopey dolt, when in actual fact, they are suffering from an undiagnosed dementia. My poor granda had alzheimers. It was very distressing. We had no choice but to put him in a home. Something we all swore would never happen.

          2) This seems to be standard behaviour from apologists. Including the most highly revered ones that theists throw at you.

          I’m trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. For someone that is aged, with a proclaimed third level education and teacher of literature, to be so inept, that they do shit like contradict themselves over two sentences in the same combox, it’s all I can think of to put it down to at this stage.

          I don’t remember when this hasn’t been the case, when dealing with apologists.

          Indeed. But the more astute space it out over an extended period in the endeavour that it goes unnoticed. Not only does Dim Don do it in the same subthread, but in the same combox.

          It’s also possible that he doesn’t care what he says, if he can just keep his foot in the door, and try to sell more snake oil.

          Oh, he doesn’t care about the audience. That’s obvious. That’s typical snake oil sales pitch. The crap he comes out with would insult the intelligence of my 6 year old grandson ffs. What gets me, he’s had his foot in the door here for near on two months now. He’s had a new arsehole tore with every bit of bilge he’s crapped out. At some point, even a snake oil salesman knows his pitch ain’t cutting it, closes his stall, and beats a hasty retreat. Dim Don is too demented to get that bit.

          Brando Vogt and WLC seem to be content to stay on their own platform and let the masses come to them though.Unless they are invited to appear elsewhere at other venues. As far as I’m aware anyway. For me, that’s a big difference. Despicable Dishonest Dim Don would give an aspirin tablet a headache.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The contrast is striking.

          Don, when Christianity garnered the power of the emperor and the might of the empire behind it, the gloves were off.

          You do know what a pogrom is, right?

          Christians have been massacring other Christians for not toeing the party line of one flavour of Christianity over another.

          Owning a buybull was once a death sentence. Translating one could get a whole group burnt.

          The danger in the US at the moment is Christian theocracy, not atheism.

          Places that ar theocracies are every bit as bad as those three dictatorships you mentioned.

        • Don Camp

          The danger in the US at the moment is Christian theocracy

          The danger for the church is Christian theocracy, not to speak of America. Christian theocracy has always been a danger for the church.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You don’t half talk some rot.

          Where else is Christianity actively pursuing a theocracy with more fervor?

          All religions are at their pinnacle when there is a theocracy in place. Christianity would’ve floundered without the ideal ffs.

        • Don Camp

          I once talked with a Southern Baptist pastor from a large church in Texas (if you know Texas, it has a big Christian population). He said that the congregation spiritually were a mile wide and an inch deep.

          I know that when a nation becomes predominantly “Christian” or when the politicians become “Christian” as with Constantine and Rome et al. the pressure is on to bring into culture the virtues of Christianity.

          That is what is happening in the U.S. It is what happened in Europe in the Middle Ages. But the outcome was terrible. There is an adage in America that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is true of movements as well as individuals. The result in America has been that “Christianity” becomes corrupt and authoritarian.

          Power also attracts the power hungry. Look at President Trump. There is no reason to think of him as a genuine Christian. But he has put on those robes because, in my opinion, he can appeal to a voting majority who happen to be conservative Christians.

          There is a dilemma here, as you note. As a population becomes Christian the natural tendency is to vote for Christian virtues and write into law that Christian virtues be taught in school and lived even by those who are not Christian. We do believe that society would be healthier if Christian virtues were the virtues of our nation. But… So what to do?

          I think that we Christians must teach our Christian people that living our values truly is most important, not forcing others to do so. So instead of writing laws and making government act, go out and act with compassion. Go out and live morally. If we believe that abortion is wrong, do not have an abortion. If we believe that caring for the poor is important, do it. Find your joy in doing what God has directed us to do.

          The problem is that we Christians have become the Pharisees. We lay on others burdens we are unwilling to bear ourselves. Jesus said that was hypocritical.

          We do not make people into Christians by enacting laws.

          BUT we do not need to vote for men and women who work at cross purposes to Christian principles. We should not vote for men and women who espouse extreme capitalism. That is, in the end, oppressive and unchristian and corrupting. We should vote for men and women who work to make our nation sensitive to the needs of the marginalized. And we should willingly pay taxes to fund compassion, more low cost homes for the homeless, and more metal health and addiction recovery facilities, etc. If it costs us money, so be it. Money should be used to bless others not ourselves.

          Most of all, we Christians need to focus on becoming more like Jesus ourselves.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I once talked with a Southern Baptist pastor from a large church in Texas (if you know Texas, it has a big Christian population). He said that the congregation spiritually were a mile wide and an inch deep.

          Don, that’s Christers in general. For many of them, they don’t even know the contents of their own holy scriptures, let alone how they came about.

          I know that when a nation becomes predominantly “Christian” or when the politicians become “Christian” as with Constantine and Rome et al. the pressure is on to bring into culture the virtues of Christianity.

          Virtues of Christianity? Are you fucking serious? You mean like, convert or die?

          That is what is happening in the U.S. It is what happened in Europe in the Middle Ages. But the outcome was terrible. There is an adage in America that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is true of movements as well as individuals. The result in America has been that “Christianity” becomes corrupt and authoritarian.

          We know, that’s why we don’t like it. That’s why we want to see the back of it. That’s what we’ve been saying to you for weeks now.

          As a population becomes Christian the natural tendency is to vote for Christian virtues and write into law that Christian virtues be taught in school and lived even by those who are not Christian.

          The virtues of Christianity are shite. That’s why they’ve been systematically dispensed with. The virtues that are universal are not shite. That’s why they’ve been retained.

          We do believe that society would be healthier if Christian virtues were the virtues of our nation.

          Who’s the “we”?

          Be careful what you wish for Don. Have you watched “The Handmaid’s Tale”?

          A lot of Christers don’t want Christian virtues. Even those Christers that are obliged to adhere to those Christer virtues now, don’t fucking want them. Not counting the rest of the non Christer yanks. Which is about 40% of the population.

          But… So what to do?

          Keep the separation of church and state, it is there for a good reason.

          I think that we Christians must teach our Christian people that living our values truly is most important, not forcing others to do so. So instead of writing laws and making government act, go out and act with compassion. Go out and live morally. If we believe that abortion is wrong, do not have an abortion. If we believe that caring for the poor is important, do it. Find your joy in doing what God has directed us to do.

          Bravo Don…upvote for that bit alone…but you must also learn to practice what you preach too.

          Most of all, we Christians need to focus on becoming more like Jesus ourselves.

          Nope, just the nice bits. But there’s no need, because the nice bits are universal. The don’t belong to any religion. And no religion is necessary in order to live them. The sooner that is learned, the better it’ll be for everyone.

        • Don Camp

          For many of them [Christians], they don’t even know the contents of their own holy scriptures, let alone how they came about.

          That is true. Almost all evangelical teachers would agree. That is one of the objectives of our teaching. It is one of the subjects I taught high school students in Bible class. We want our students and people to have confidence in the authenticity and reliability of the scriptures. Fortunately there is an incredible amount information available to everyone now on the internet.

          Virtues of Christianity? You mean like, convert or die?

          I was not aware that was a virtue. No, I mean compassion, serving, patience, endurance, courage, generosity, responsibility, peaceableness, friendship, honesty, work, etc. You’ve read the Book of Virtues by William Bennett? Those are the virtues that Christianity brings to a person and a culture.

          The virtues of Christianity are shite.

          Yeah, I get it that you think so. But what you observe are not the virtues of Christianity; they are the left overs of the “virtues” of a worldly point of view. Those are things like hatred, violence, strife, selfishness, dishonesty, greed, impurity, The Bible consistently teaches the former and denounces the latter. If “Christians” act like the world, and they do at times, they are acting out of character with the virtues of Christianity.

          A lot of Christers don’t want Christian virtues.

          I get the feeling that you don’t know any real Christians. All of us who are Christ followers recognize that we fall short of the virtues Jesus taught. We are not proud of that. But any Christ follower who has followed him far also knows that he is not what he used to be. Christ has changed him not only to desire the virtues Jesus taught but to find they are beginning to appear in his or her life.

          Nope, just the nice bits. But there’s no need, because the nice bits are universal. The don’t belong to any religion. And no religion is necessary in order to live them.

          They are universal because every thinking person recognizes their value. The problem is not recognizing their value however; it is living them. I’d say serious Christ followers know better than most how difficult that is because they have tried it. What we have discovered is that trusting in the Spirit of God in us to express those virtues is the only real way to become virtuous. That is not religion. Religion works from the outside to impose rules of behavior. Religion actually cannot enable us to live the virtues of Jesus. God works from the inside to cause those virtues to be truly ours.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That is true.

          I know. That’s why I said it.

          Almost all evangelical teachers would agree.

          Why should I care what a bunch of self deluded arsehole agree on?

          That is one of the objectives of our teaching.

          Youse are pish poor at it then. The mostly boring piece of crap isn’t cutting it at attention gripping. As Bart Ehrman asserts, very few of his buybull class students have read the buybull. Of the few that have, next to none know much about the contents.

          It is one of the subjects I taught high school students in Bible class.

          Holy fuck!

          Cherry-picking I imagine.

          Which version?

          We want our students and people to have confidence in the authenticity and reliability of the scriptures.

          Bwaaaahahahaha!

          No wonder you are such a liar. It is second nature.

          Fortunately there is an incredible amount information available to everyone now on the internet.

          Anno Don, isn’t it great. Such a tool for shining a light on the lying fuckwit bullshit. You do know the reason why folk in the past were not allowed to own their own buybull, right? The hierarchy didn’t want the plebs to know the uncensured contents. Translating it to the vernacular from Latin courted the death penalty.

          Decree of the Council of Toulouse (1229 C.E.): “We prohibit also that the laity should be permitted to have the books of the Old or New Testament; but we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books.”

          Ruling of the Council of Tarragona of 1234 C.E.: “No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments in the Romance language, and if anyone possesses them he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days after promulgation of this decree, so that they may be burned…”

          Proclamations at the Ecumenical Council of Constance in 1415 C.E.: Oxford professor, and theologian John Wycliffe, was the first (1380 C.E.) to translate the New Testament into English to “…helpeth Christian men to study the Gospel in that tongue in which they know best Christ’s sentence.” For this “heresy” Wycliffe was posthumously condemned by Arundel, the archbishop of Canterbury. By the Council’s decree “Wycliffe’s bones were exhumed and publicly burned and the ashes were thrown into the Swift River.”

          Fate of William Tyndale in 1536 C.E.: William Tyndale was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English. According to Tyndale, the Church forbid owning or reading the Bible to control and restrict the teachings and to enhance their own power and importance.

          I was not aware that was a virtue.

          And yet, it was/is. Don’t you know the definition of the word “virtue”? Don’t you believe the “Great Commission” is virtuous work?

          No, I mean compassion, serving, patience, endurance, courage, generosity, responsibility, peaceableness, friendship, honesty, work, etc.

          Those aren’t Christian virtues Don. And Jesus doesn’t exhibit most of them on occasion according to the yarn. And is unvirtuous on other occasions.

          You’ve read the Book of Virtues by William Bennett?

          Why would I have?

          Those are the virtues that Christianity brings to a person and a culture.

          …self-discipline, compassion, responsibility, friendship, work, courage, perseverance, honesty, loyalty, and faith

          No Don, those are not Christer virtues, those are universal characteristics that need no religious belief. And get this, the Jesus of the yarn doesn’t past muster on those “virtues” either.

          Just take the first one…”self-discipline”…

          Perhaps the most famous of Jesus’ anger issues occurred when he came across a temple to his dad, and found it full of moneylenders and animal-sellers. He was furious at this sacrilege, but he didn’t just get mad—he effectively Hulked out, flipping over tables and knocking over chairs. And then he stood guard at the door, to make sure no more jerks came in on non-worshipping business. As for reasons for Jesus to be angry go, this is a solid one, but admittedly it doesn’t seem much in line with the “turn the other cheek” and “love your enemies” guy. (Matthew 21:12-13).

          Remember the Pirahã people? While not claiming total virtue, they come a lot closer than Christers.

          They don’t actually call themselves the Pirahã; that’s a Brazilian term, and nobody knows really what it means. They call themselves “Hiatíihi” (the Straight Ones). And we are all “Xaói” (bent). They’re ethnocentric; I didn’t tell you they were completely virtuous. A lot of people say that I’m claiming they’re this absolutely perfect group. They would not say that about themselves, and I certainly wouldn’t say that about them. They have their own issues, but one of them is not God.

          I get the feeling that you don’t know any real Christians.

          Ah, the No True Scotsman Fallacy…again.

          I wouldn’t doubt it. No one knows what a real Christer would look like. But I’m surrounded by folk that claim to be “real” Christers.

          All of us who are Christ followers recognize that we fall short of the virtues Jesus taught.

          So, like I thought, there’s no such a thing as a “real” Christer.

          But don’t sell yerself short Don, the Jesus of the book could be a right cunt too.

          We are not proud of that.

          Who’s this “we” again? Don’t talk more ballix Don. There are loads of Christers that wear what you’d call their unchrister like virtues like a badge of honour.

          But any Christ follower who has followed him far also knows that he is not what he used to be.

          I wouldn’t doubt that. Cult indoctrination can really fuck a person right up.

          Christ has changed him not only to desire the virtues Jesus taught but to find they are beginning to appear in his or her life.

          Don, you really need to wake up and smell the coffee. I’ve seen some deluded folk in my time, but you are taking the biscuit. Get some perspective, your head is in cloud cuckoo land.

          Get yerself over to Hemant Mehta’s place for examples of how bad Christ belief makes folk.

          https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/

          Or how fucked up Christ belief has these morons…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church

          Like I already said, I live and served on the streets of Northern Ireland, so I know how Christer virtue manifests itself, up close and personally.

          They are universal because every thinking person recognizes their value.

          Indeed. So Christ belief isn’t necessary. So quit making that the selling point.

          The problem is not recognizing their value however; it is living them.

          Indeed. So Christ belief isn’t necessary. So quit making that the selling point.

          I’d say serious Christ followers know better than most how difficult that is because they have tried it.

          I’d say that is just another fuckwit assertion you pulled from your arsehole.

          What we have discovered is that trusting in the Spirit of God in us to express those virtues is the only real way to become virtuous.

          And yet, the evidence demonstrates that to be just more idiotic Don Camp, thick as champ, pulled from his arsehole fuckwittery. Wise up ya silly auld fool.

          That is not religion. Religion works from the outside to impose rules of behavior. Religion actually cannot enable us to live the virtues of Jesus. God works from the inside to cause those virtues to be truly ours.

          And he strikes out with a third parcel of crap pulled from his arsehole.

          When are ya gonna wise ta fuck up?

        • Don Camp

          As Bart Ehrman asserts, very few of his buybull class students have read
          the buybull. Of the few that have, next to none know much about the contents.

          Ehrman lives and works in the Bible belt. Sadly, he is probably right about his students. The same thing has been my experience as I have traveled in the South.

          Perhaps the most famous of Jesus’ anger issues occurred when hecame across a temple to his dad, and found it full of moneylenders and animal-sellers.

          I am always amazed at things I hear here, at the spin No. Jesus was passionate about people truly becoming people of the kingdom, which meant living the virtues among other things. He had little patience with those who subverted that. He had no patience with people who hurt others for personal gain. And that was what the goings on at the temple was about. Money.

          So Christ belief isn’t necessary.

          I haven’t found that to be true.

        • Greg G.

          So Christ belief isn’t necessary.

          I haven’t found that to be true.

          IA was responding to:

          They are universal because every thinking person recognizes their value.

          If every thinking person recognizes their value, then it is not necessary to have Christ belief to recognize their value.

          Or are you accusing us of something sinister?

        • Don Camp

          Not accusing anyone of anything. I simply know from my experience that living what I know to be good is not as easy as it sounds. My selfishness gets in the way. I personally need a change in my character that embraces the virtues I know are good. For me that is the Holy Spirit.

          Let me give you an example. There was a time when I collected firearms, Winchesters in particular. There is nothing wrong with that per se, but when it got in the way of using the money that was tied up in guns to be generous toward those who were in need, THAt was wrong for me. I was giving more place in my life to things than to people. Guns were a pleasure, but it was not the virtue I knew I needed to live.

          The solution was to allow God to change my heart. He did. I sold the guns and began to look at people differently. I began to look for ways to give. And I LOVE IT. I have a plan now to give regularly to those in need. It is more fun than the guns ever were.

        • Greg G.

          I simply know from my experience that living what I know to be good is not as easy as it sounds. My selfishness gets in the way. I personally need a change in my character that embraces the virtues I know are good. For me that is the Holy Spirit.

          We are evolved social animals. Life in a social group requires cooperation. We have the capacity to enjoy sharing. We have the capacity to hoard resources. Both can be beneficial for survival or detrimental when used at the wrong time. We can learn when to share and when to hoard for survival.

          You don’t need a Jesus model to learn this. You can learn it from chimpanzees. I read that Newt Gingrich applied gorilla power politics to Congress.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ehrman lives and works in the Bible belt. Sadly, he is probably right about his students. The same thing has been my experience as I have traveled in the South.

          So, it’s only a southern states bible belt phenomenon, is it? Behave yerself Don.

          I am always amazed at things I hear here, at the spin No.

          I’m never amazed at the dishonesty that some Christers will stoop to in order to defend the obviously indefensible.

          For some reason you believe this is just atheist thinking. What does amaze me is your ignorance of other Christers thinking.

          https://www.rationalchristianity.net/jesus_angry.html

          https://debatingchristianity.com/forum/pda/thread.php?topic_id=28442

          https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/the-lord-s-anger-4-times-jesus-did-not-turn-the-other-cheek.html

          Jesus was passionate about people truly becoming people of the kingdom, which meant living the virtues among other things. He had little patience with those who subverted that. He had no patience with people who hurt others for personal gain. And that was what the goings on at the temple was about. Money.

          That is one interpretation of the events. But it doesn’t alter the fact that it was a display of anger and as the anger boiled over, he lost his temper. Any rational person seeing someone doing the same, would come that the same conclusion. The reasons behind it are irrelevant. It is nicknamed the “temple tantrum” by some Christers for a reason.

          https://www.seedbed.com/jesus-and-the-temple-tantrum-a-study-of-john-213-17/

          I haven’t found that to be true.

          Who cares?

          Nevertheless, it is true. Plenty of ex-Christers and non-Christers are managing just fine.

          I followed nydiva’s link and found this comment…

          From the time humans became humans we have looked at nature around us and at the heavens and have come to the conclusion that there is something or Someone behind the beauty and order we see there. That has been true of primitive American Indians, tribes in Africa and in India. Show me one primitive people who have not come to that conclusion. Show me one primitive atheist tribe. It is true of many of the greatest thinkers of our modern era. I’ve listed many here over the months. So, no arguing God from nature is not special pleading. It is based on very real and measured evidence.

          The Pirahã people, remember? So yeah, special pleading all the way.

        • We do believe that society would be healthier if Christian virtues were the virtues of our nation.

          Depending on what those virtues are, I might agree. But keep the supernatural bullshit out of the public square. Better: keep it to yourself.

        • Susan

          Depending on what those virtues are, I might agree. But keep the supernatural bullshit out of the public square. Better: keep it to yourself.

          There’s nothing particular “christian” about any virtues we agree on, nor anything “particular” virtuous about christianity.

          keep the supernatural bullshit out of the public square

          Agreed.

          No reason to take “christian” virtues seriously.

          It’s a supernatural virus hijacking general concepts of “virtue”.

        • Don Camp

          Why? You are free to sell secularism. Why is it out of bounds for a Christian to express his or her convictions publicly?

          In our area – Olympia – there is a grocery store and pharmacy owner who believes that abortion is wrong. He chose not to sell the morning after pill because he felt it compromised his convictions. Of course, there was a group that felt that was either a condemnation of their belief that a woman had the right to do as she chose with her body, or they believed that allowing one pharmacy to opt out might result in others, and that would make access to the morning after pill difficult.

          Now, I don’t think that the morning after pill is the termination of a life since I don’t think there is a life begun yet. But similar things have become places of contention in Washington, wedding cakes, flowers, wedding photography etc.This sounds a lot like what you are suggesting. that a Christian should keep his Christian convictions out of the public square. So maybe you should elaborate a bit on what you do mean.

        • Why? You are free to sell secularism. Why is it out of bounds for a Christian to express his or her convictions publicly?

          You’re changing the subject. You just wanted to push good virtues, and I was supporting you.

          there is a grocery store and pharmacy owner who believes that abortion is wrong. He chose not to sell the morning after pill because he felt it compromised his convictions.

          Simple solution: if he can’t be a pharmacist, then step aside for someone who can be.

          I don’t think that the morning after pill is the termination of a life since I don’t think there is a life begun yet.

          It’s obviously living, but it’s also obviously not a person. That’s my interpretation.

          This s ounds a lot like what you are suggesting. that a Christian should keep his Christian convictions out of the public square. So maybe you should elaborate a bit on what you do mean.

          It was pretty obvious. You brought up virtues. I was supporting you. Not a hard concept.

        • Don Camp

          This is not about whether he can be a pharmacist. It is about the political correctness of his Christian convictions. It is about limiting his right to live by his convictions in the public square. It is also not about depriving anyone of the morning after pill. They could go down the street and buy it at Walgreen’s

          A pharmacy is a business. For that matter, a florist shop is a business, and wedding photography is a business. If the business does not provide what you want, go elsewhere. If enough people do that, the business will not survive. That is the way free markets work.

        • This is not about whether he can be a pharmacist. It is about the political correctness of his Christian convictions.

          Let’s just imagine that some Christian handwaved a biblical argument to kill black people. Would that be politically incorrect, or would it be illegal?

          Now imagine that Christian pharmacists give themselves the power to decide if you get your prescription or not. Maybe you catch them in a good spiritual mood, and you get it. Maybe not. Would that be politically incorrect, or would it be illegal?

          It is about limiting his right to live by his convictions in the public square.

          Doesn’t step on his rights. But if he can’t do the job, leave.

          It is also not about depriving anyone of the morning after pill. They could go down the street and buy it at Walgreen’s

          Unless there isn’t one. If you were the first pharmacist, why would you put up wit that? Someone is going to make baby Jesus cry, so you’re just going to forbid it at your pharmacy? Surely a man of your principles would go talk to the Walgreen’s guy and win him over to your side.

          A pharmacy is a business. For that matter, a florist shop is a business, and wedding photography is a business. If the business does not provide what you want, go elsewhere.

          You’re adorable! Take a civics class.

          When a business provides public accommodation, you don’t get to put a “Irish not served here” sign out front. Don’t like it? Then get out of that business.

        • Don Camp

          Let’s just imagine that some Christian handwaved a biblical argument to kill black people. Would that be politically incorrect, or would it be illegal?

          It would be immoral and illegal.

          Now imagine that Christian pharmacists give themselves the power to decide if you get your prescription or not.

          It is not the same. Opportunities to get your prescriptions abound.This particular pharmacist did not prevent anyone from getting the prescription.

          Now imagine that Christian pharmacists give themselves the power to decide if you get your prescription or not.

          Maybe you catch them in a good spiritual mood, and you get it. Maybe
          not. Would that be politically incorrect, or would it be illegal?

          I am not following your reasoning. But as far as I know there is no law that requires a pharmacist to have and provide any particular medication. Demonstrating against this pharmacist , which has happened, is an attempt to force him to conform to the politically correct norms of the demonstrators. Is that not doing the very thing you find objectionable if Christians do it?

          Doesn’t step on his rights. But if he can’t do the job, leave.

          Why? He is breaking no law. He is hurting no one.

          Unless there isn’t one.

          That is an extremely rare possibility. It has been one of the arguments made.

          Surely a man of your principles would go talk to the Walgreen’s guy and win him over to your side.

          Why would I do that? The decision is a personal conviction issue.

          When a business provides public accommodation, you don’t get to put a “Irish not served here” sign out front.

          No but you can post a sign that says “closed on Sunday.” It is not about being Irish or black or a woman who may want the pill. It is about the convictions of the pharmacist.It is about participating in an action that this pharmacist believes is wrong.

          Don’t like it? Then get out of that business.

          Some have because fighting for your rights against the legal challenges is expensive. But harassing this pharmacist is wrong. It prevents him from living his personal Christian convictions in his business when doing so does no harm to anyone. The customer can go elsewhere just as easily.

          I was for a period of my life a professional photographer. I was asked one time to photograph a family group of nudists. I declined. It was not that I disapproved of nudists. It was that I would be embarrassed. The argument might have been made that I refused service in a business that was open to the public. Maybe I would be sued today. But the world was more sane back then. The family understood that it was about me and not about them. I don’t think they took offense.

          I don’t see this issue as any different.

        • as far as I know there is no law that requires a pharmacist to have and provide any particular medication.

          That may depend on jurisdiction, but I think you’re right.

          Demonstrating against this pharmacist , which has happened, is an attempt to force him to conform to the politically correct norms of the demonstrators. Is that not doing the very thing you find objectionable if Christians do it?

          I’d prefer it to be illegal to not do your job. Remember Kim Davis?

          “Doesn’t step on his rights. But if he can’t do the job, leave.”
          Why? He is breaking no law. He is hurting no one.

          Except that he is. Let’s think about this, OK?

          “Surely a man of your principles would go talk to the Walgreen’s guy and win him over to your side.”
          Why would I do that? The decision is a personal conviction issue.

          Do you (in this hypothetical example) think that filling the prescription is morally wrong or not?? You do, of course. So why would a fellow pharmacist blithely filling it not cause some problems in your mind??

          When a business provides public accommodation, you don’t get to put a “Irish not served here” sign out front.
          No but you can post a sign that says “closed on Sunday.”

          Holy shit—how stupid are you? “Closed on Sunday” applies to everyone. “Irish not served here” applies to one group.

          It is not about being Irish or black or a woman who may want the pill. It is about the convictions of the pharmacist. It is about participating in an action that this pharmacist believes is wrong.

          Can’t do the job? Get another job. This isn’t hard.

          This is a public accommodation issue. Since you reject this, tell me what groups it’s OK to discriminate against for religious reasons.

        • Don Camp

          Do you (in this hypothetical example) think that filling the prescription is morally wrong or not?? You do, of course.

          No, I don’t think it is morally wrong. But I do think that the pharmacist has the right and even the moral obligation to follow his conscience.

          Since you reject this, tell me what groups it’s OK to discriminate against for religious reasons.

          I don’t think it is right to discriminate against any group. That is not what this is about. It is about the pharmacist participating in an action he considers wrong for himself. He is not trying to convince others of the morality of their personal choices. He is not trying to persuade other pharmacists to join in his decision.

          It is not much different from Dick’s Sporting Goods store choosing not to sell guns because they do not want to contribute to the problem of gun violence. It is a moral choice. It is personal. They are not trying to shame gun buyers or gun owners. . They are not trying to shame other gun sellers. It is a personal moral decision.

          BTW I am a gun owner and hunter. I grew up in a hunting culture in eastern Washington. But I don’t feel that I have to demonstrate against Dick’s because of their moral choice. If I want to buy a gun, I can find another outlet. I am not going to sue Dick’s for not selling guns in their open to the public sporting goods store as if they were failing in their civic duty to sell guns or were offending me personally by not selling guns.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Holy shit—how stupid are you?

          You’ve no idea Bob, but keep going and ya will.

        • nydiva

          FYI, the Black Civil Rights Movement fought those good old White Christians who insisted racial segregation was Biblical and the way of the free market! If one so-called religious conviction will not allow you to provide a public service to all law abidding citizens, then do something else.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c652397993151849d5269951cdfc4a137c2ec6b3e077f535a7749d429455434b.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4b6b750398c44a7b69d0129e66e845371474d03ced9edfb67108c9ccb7733621.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c184aaf33033c8cfea84b030f81fe3a210a23f7209d533606fde29efe6ac860f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d507263ba6399a92757df7c62d88bc5817a5e20769cccc856253e32454527621.jpg

        • epeeist

          There is an adage in America that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

          It’s an American adage? Who knew?

          We do believe that society would be healthier if Christian virtues were the virtues of our nation.

          The amusing thing here of course is that the idea of virtue isn’t Christian at all. It is derived from the virtue ethics of Plato, the neo-Platonists and Aristotle and was imported into Christianity to cover its ethical deficiencies.

          If you want to go the virtue ethics route you might want to rephrase this as, “if the virtues of the Nicomachean ethics were the virtues of our nation”.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s hard to believe anyone who claims to be a literature teacher can be this dumb.

        • epeeist

          I have thrown in a few quotations in my responses to him, a mixture of philosophy, literature and poetry. He has not responded to any of them. It’s almost as though he didn’t know them…

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah I noticed that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So, is Christianity increasing in China? Possibly, but your sources certainly don’t provide sufficient information to say either way.

          And they still don’t support Dons assertion that Chinese people who are new to Christianity, are actively pursuing a life that is Christlike. Nor does it refute the charge of failed prophecy.

        • epeeist

          Don is seemingly only interested in whether something is true or not when it supports his position.

        • Ignorant Amos

          In that kind of environment polls are not going to be published showing increases in Christianity or Islam. And no Christian wants to participate.

          More blatant lies Don, because they evidently do.

          https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/religion-china

          https://newschoolinchina.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/religion-in-china-over-time.jpg?w=640

        • Don Camp

          Okay. Check with epeeist to see if that satisfies him. But it does seem to show what I said is true. I doubt, however, that the beginning point of 1970 make3s sense. There have been Christians in China for a very long time.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So what?

          You’re point was that there is “amazing” stuff happening in China regarding huge conversions numbers to Christianity. The data, such that it is, doesn’t support your claim. There are bigger numbers converting to other belief systems if the data stands. And the reason for the conversions is less about faith in Jesus than the yearning to belong to something and fill a void.

          And nothing you’ve stated demonstrates a Christlike lifestyle being lead.

          And to top it all off, you are straw manning. The increasing numbers numbers of Chinese folk converting to Christianity, still doesn’t answer the question about the prophecy being fulfilled. What part of this sub thread fuckwittery are you failing to comprehend?

        • Don Camp

          the reason for the conversions is less about faith in Jet fill the void. sus than the yearning to belong to something and fill a void.

          I think you are right about the void. Materialism, atheism and even wealth doesn’t fill the void.

          I have had quite a few student from China over the five to ten years. Their parents send them to America to go to high school and then college, preferably an Ivy League school, as a fast track to more wealth. (Kids who come to the US come from already wealthy families.) The sad thing is that their parents have more than their kids good at heart. They themselves are so busy making money that they have no time for the kid (usually only one.). Many of them are essentially abandoned by their parents.

          The kids themselves have bought into the idea that wealth makes one happy and their vocalized goal is to simply get rich. But they are damaged kids following a rainbow with no pot of gold at the end. Wealth will not fill the void. It is no wonder that over the last 45 years nearly 1/3 of the population has looked to religion of some kind to fill that void.

          Two of those, Chinese ladies whom I knew from a few years ago and who became Christians in China, had no hope of finding a husband who was a Christian, and other men were on the treadmill of “the good life.” Yan, the lady I knew best, connected with a Christian man from our church in eastern Oregon via the internet. He had different values. He went to visit and they eventually decided to marry. He brought her home to the ranch in eastern Oregon. – what a shock, from China’s big city to the wild west! That is twenty years ago or more now. They have a couple of kids, and Yan’s parents I believe have immigrated to the US. (The other woman was Yan’s sister.) They found that the new wealth that they had before them as educated young people in China didn’t satisfy. God provided the one thing that did satisfy.

          The increasing numbers numbers of Chinese folk converting to Christianity, still doesn’t answer the question about the prophecy being fulfilled.

          The prophecy says that when the gospel has been preached in all the world the end will come.

          Matthew 24:14 And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come .

          It is getting close.

        • epeeist

          I have had quite a few student from China over the five to ten years.

          Oh for pity’s sake, where does one even start with this. Not only is it, yet again, anecdote but it is also subject to selection bias. Your experience says nothing about any other Chinese other than the ones you have had contact with.

        • Don Camp

          Of course not. Bit it does say something about the ones I have had contact with. There is a reality out there beyond the data of polls and graphs. My experience comes from talking with real Chinese people, some who are atheists as far as their schooling has been and some who are Christians.

          Beyond that I have friends who have worked in China, one a teacher in Wuhan for a number of years. Another my last principal who also taught and was an administrator in an international school in China. Others who have worked teaching English in Xinjiang among the Uyghur people. They know what is happening at street level, a place where no pollster can get in China. I’ll trust their experience over government filtered data.

        • epeeist

          There is a reality out there beyond the data of polls and graphs.

          I used to work next door to a research statistics group, amongst other things they produced designed experiments which were meant to eliminate personal bias and confounders from the results of surveys, trials and the like. Now if you want to talk about objectively about what is happening in a particular situation then this is what you need to do.

          My experience comes from talking with real Chinese people

          Your limited experience filtered through your particular weltanschauung of a small and particular set of people from an extremely large and disparate population. You seem to want to add hasty generalisation to the extensive list of logical fallacies you have committed here.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I think you are right about the void. Materialism, atheism and even wealth doesn’t fill the void.

          Except when it does.

          I have had quite a few student from China over the five to ten years. Their parents send them to America to go to high school and then college, preferably an Ivy League school, as a fast track to more wealth. (Kids who come to the US come from already wealthy families.) The sad thing is that their parents have more than their kids good at heart. They themselves are so busy making money that they have no time for the kid (usually only one.). Many of them are essentially abandoned by their parents.

          Who cares?

          Don, that isn’t exclusive to wealthy or successful Chinese folk. It’s called “affluent neglect” and it’s a thing.

          It’s true that affluent children may be overindulged with money or material possessions, while at the same time being starved of love and affection. Neglect can occur when parents are too busy to spend time with children, hiring nannies or sending their offspring to boarding school while they spend time traveling for business or pleasure. Academic achievement or good behavior are rewarded with material possessions, but too many luxuries early in life may result in a lack of boundaries and a powerful sense of entitlement, even Narcissism.

          https://www.paracelsus-recovery.com/blog/affluent-neglect/

          It is no wonder that over the last 45 years nearly 1/3 of the population has looked to religion of some kind to fill that void.

          Where?

          Two of those, Chinese ladies whom I knew from a few years ago and who became Christians in China…blah, blah, blah…

          Untrustworthy anecdotal fuckwittery aside…so what? What is your point? You knew two female Chinese Christer converts that are satisfied. Whoopity-doo…wtf? There are plenty of testimonies for all religious conversions…and those who deconverted. Ffs, folk converting to ISIS jihadists made the same claims. How does this bullshit help your position?

          God provided the one thing that did satisfy.

          And for others, it is a different god. For others it is other supernatural mumbo-jumbo. For others, it is bining god belief and realising there is much more to life than arselicking an fictional monsters. So pah!

          The prophecy says that when the gospel has been preached in all the world the end will come.

          How do you know that’s the prophecy nydiva was referring to?

          A see why you’re here though, preaching the prophecy for fulfilment. You are looking forward to the end of the world ya daft prick.

          Preaching is one thing, getting folk to listen is the problem you face. But a don’t suppose that matters much.

          But here’s where you’ve hoist yerself by yer own petard…yet again. What relevance has the numbers in China got to do with this bullshit? As you’ve rightly said, the gospel has been preached in China from the time of Constantine, by one account. But certainly by the early 7th century. So irrelevant to your preferred prophecy here.

          Matthew 24:14 And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.

          Don, “and then shall the end come;” doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means ya Dime Bar.

          Most scholars, reading it in context, believe it refers to the end of Jerusalem and the destruction of the second Temple. It was a postdiction by the author. When the author of gMatt was writing, the gospel was being preached all over his known world.

          Now fundie types, reading the book in Rorschach fashion, have interpreted differently, but in context of the overall “Olivet Discourse” (Little Apocalypse), it doesn’t mean the end of the world.

          You are not the idealist liberal Christian you would have the rest of us believe. But I knew that weeks ago.

          The sad thing is, you actually believe this crap. Apocalyptic eschatology at its finest. But the prophecy, by your erroneous reading, had already failed by the time gMatthew and the gospel writers had to revise the trope. According to the Pauline corpus, the end times were imminent in his lifetime. Something failed “end times” Christer fuckwits have been doing for the past two millennia.

          The give away in the gospel account is the “imminence” problem.

          “this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.” ~Mark 13:30

          It is getting close.

          Not because of anything to do with China Christers, ya daft bastard. So pah!

        • nydiva

          Delusional Don Camp: Matthew 24:14 And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come . It is getting close.

          “Yes, I am coming soon.” Rev. 22:20 Definition of soon: In the near future; shortly.

          LOL! I was waiting for Don to insert this verse as an excuse for why long dead Jesus who promised his followers he would return “soon” is still MIA 200 centuries later. The real good news is mass communications have been available for the last 120 years and digital communication has reached every corner of the global so where is Jesus? O wait, maybe Jesus is still waiting for those few in the Brazil rain forest to get the good news. Hopefully the Second Coming will happen before their Trump of the Tropics President kills them off. But given Jesus’ silence for the past 2,000+ years, I would’t bet on the dead man.

          Dear Christian doubter. The failed Second Coming is a BIG embarrassment for folks like Don Camp so they deploy a lot of special pleading to deny the obvious. But, but, but Jesus can’t come back yet because….. If one takes all the Biblical verses about the return of Jesus one learns the second coming was expected to be imminent. Simply read the Bible for yourself. Don’t trust Yahway’s sock puppets to explain it to you. Cheers.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He really is a dopey auld eejit who thinks we all know less than he does. Something I see as almost impossible at this point.

          Pedant moment typo at 200 centuries, should be 20.

        • Greg G.

          Pedant moment typo at 200 centuries, should be 20.

          If we want to be pedantic (and who doesn’t?), it could be 200 decades.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes indeedy.

        • Don Camp

          The real good news is mass communications have been available for the
          last 120 years and digital communication has reached every corner of the
          global so where is Jesus?

          Yes. Mass communication is available today, and many good newsers are using it. I am. There still remain places and people who do not have access to that. And the fact is that telling the good news is just as much about illustrating the good news in our lives one person to another. There is nothing like seeing people who actually live the gospel by serving and caring and not just preaching.

          But the verse is not necessarily a trigger. It is a moment beyond which the events that follow in Matthew will follow. It is the end that is in view not merely the second coming.

          That includes suffering, severe persecution of the Jews, false Messiahs, physical “signs”, etc.Only then will the Son of Man come:

          30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And the fact is that telling the good news is just as much about illustrating the good news in our lives one person to another. There is nothing like seeing people who actually live the gospel by serving and caring and not just preaching.

          How’s that working out for ya historically?

          Don, I live in Ireland. Religion, Christianity in particular, has been the instrument of strife for over 800 years here. When Protestantism came on the scene, the problems were compounded.

          A lot of Catholic and Protestant Christers here, hate one another with a passion. There’s very little living the gospel here, like just about everywhere else.

          Many Christers in the US are certainly not living the gospel that’s for sure. From the top down. And you most certainly aren’t living it either. So stop preaching shite ya hypocrite.

          But the verse is not necessarily a trigger. It is a moment beyond which the events that follow in Matthew will follow. It is the end that is in view not merely the second coming.

          Nope. That’s just your opinion. Other equally, and even more valid, opinions are available.

          That includes suffering, severe persecution of the Jews, false Messiahs, physical “signs”, etc.Only then will the Son of Man come:

          All things the author witnessed happening in his time.

          Roman persecution of the Jews….no mention of Christers of course, they hadn’t been invented yet, so not part of the prophecy. Had the prophecy included “severe suffering and persecution of Christians” that would’ve been impressive.

          False messiahs were ten a penny during the early centuries of Christer followers. Even among Christer followers there was a warning against false prophets. It’s a self serving security device.

          What’s a physical “sign”? Well it’s anything one chooses it to be. End times Christers have wanted them to be all sorts of things from the repatriation of the Jews to Israel to fuckwittery like “blood moons”.

          So after nearly 2000 years of the nonsense, will the real JC, please stand up? *crickets*

          If this was any other religions believer foisting this ballix on you, you’d be pishing yerself laughing. Yet the rose tinted YahwehJesus goggles won’t let you see that’s the reason why we are pishing ourselves at the nonsense you are spewing here. The incredulity and special pleading is flabbergasting.

        • Don Camp

          A lot of Catholic and Protestant Christers here, hate one another with a passion. There’s very little living the gospel here, like just about everywhere else.

          https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/a-religious-revolution-is-taking-place-in-ireland-1.3092198

          Maybe you are looking in the wrong places.

          Nope. That’s just your opinion. Other equally, and even more valid, opinions are available.

          Just read it in order without listening to my interpretation or anyone else’s. Pay attention to the transition and connecting words, the conjunctions and adverbs. I think a simple reading will demonstrate what I’ve said.

          What’s a physical “sign”?

          Didn’t I list them. Maybe not. One is the darkening of the sun and the moon. That is repeated as a physical event in Revelation. And it is implied that it is a natural event, like intense volcano activity. That is something that geologist know is not only possible but likely at some point in the future. Touch off just one super volcano like the one sitting under Yellowstone Natuional Park in the United States, and we’ll have worldwide winter.

          Another is the falling of the stars. No I don’t think that means the celestial stars. They do not fall. But it is a very vivid description of an intense meteor shower. Either of these events would be unusual and scary even today. Isn’t even the coronavirus event scary? Wouldn’t a shower of meteors that lit up the sky be scary? And clearly observable? I’ll tell you it would raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

          Those are the physical events Jesus describes as end time events.

          Had the prophecy included “severe suffering and persecution of Christians” that would’ve been impressive.

          When you add the additional teaching of Jesus it does include intense persecution of Christians.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Maybe you are looking in the wrong places.

          Oh, yer arrogance knows no bounds. I live here you simple cunt. I see it on a daily basis. It even goes to the highest levels of our government.

          Perhaps you are the one looking in the wrong places. Especially since your link is another stupid non sequitur.

          Anti-Catholic bigotry of many in DUP still significant

          https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/anti-catholic-bigotry-of-many-in-dup-still-significant-1.2982216

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sectarian_violence_among_Christians#Ireland

          But let’s get right up to date on the gospel message among Christers where I’m living…

          Catholics targeted in sectarian attacks on homes in north Belfast refused intimidation points

          https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2020/01/23/news/catholics-targeted-in-sectarian-attacks-on-homes-in-north-belfast-refused-intimidation-points-1821926/

          Catholic families living in a shared neighbourhood in Belfast, designed to create mixed communities, have recently that due to threats of violence, they are no longer welcome and must leave the area. The Northern Ireland Housing Executive has confirmed that four families have already moved.

          https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2017/oct/03/northern-ireland-shared-communities-economic-inequality-religion-neighbourhood

          And since it is St Patrick’s Day…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fT1jPfD67n4

          Just read it in order without listening to my interpretation or anyone else’s. Pay attention to the transition and connecting words, the conjunctions and adverbs. I think a simple reading will demonstrate what I’ve said.

          Don, it doesn’t say what you want it to say. A plain reading of it in context shows that. You are reading it through Christer specs, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias…and a 2000 year problem needing a solution. So like a said, your biased opinion.

          Didn’t I list them. Maybe not.

          No you didn’t. But for someone with an education in literature, you don’t seem to understand rhetoric. The following sentence was a dead giveaway. A supernatural portent is a matter of subjectivity.

          One is the darkening of the sun and the moon.

          Bwaaaahahahaha!

          That is repeated as a physical event in Revelation.

          But, but ,but, Don…the preterists think that has already happened. In the first century

          And it is implied that it is a natural event, like intense volcano activity.

          Is it Don? Is it really Don?

          I know Christers who’d disagree. Those of the United Church of God for example.

          What would it take to get people’s attention today? Likely it will take the awesome spectacles Christ foretold. The heavenly signs He mentioned will be clearly supernatural, and they will fulfill numerous prophecies of the Old Testament.

          That is something that geologist know is not only possible but likely at some point in the future.

          Depending on one’s location, volcanoes have already dimmed out the sun and the moon. So what?

          Touch off just one super volcano like the one sitting under Yellowstone Natuional Park in the United States, and we’ll have worldwide winter.

          Oh fer fuck sake. Dim Dumb Don and his end time portents mindwankery.

          Do ya know what a lunar and solar eclipse is?

          https://biblearchaeology.org/2-home/4517-how-lunar-and-solar-eclipses-shed-light-on-biblical-events

          Fortunately, we know that these aren’t prophetic events. The science behind them is understood. That didn’t stop the ancients seeing them as portents.

          Now I realise you need your pet theory about a super-volcano being the sign, but stop with this intelligent insulting mindwankery.

          Another is the falling of the stars. No I don’t think that means the celestial stars. They do not fall.

          Why not? If you believe in the supernatural Don, why are these things restricted? Is it because deep down you know you are peddling bullshit. God can do anything remember? Are you placing physical restrictions on Gods powers Don? Seems like it to me.

          But it is a very vivid description of an intense meteor shower.

          Indeed it is, which means the author was aware of such phenomena already, so includes it as a future sign in his prophecy nonsense. But Don, we know what meteor showers are, and they are not falling stars as you admit. They are regular natural events.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_meteor_showers

          Either of these events would be unusual and scary even today.

          Don, a super-volcano eruption today would be scary because it could be an extinction level event, not because it is the fulfilment of an end times biblical sign. We know about volcanoes now. Volcanology is a science.

          A meteor storm isn’t scary today. Folk flock to see them because we know when and where to see them from..

          Named meteor showers recur at approximately the same dates each year. They appear to “radiate” from a certain point in the sky (the radiant) and vary in the speed, frequency and brightness of the meteors.

          Isn’t even the coronavirus event scary?

          Was that a sign too Don?

          The covid-19 pandemic is indeed scary. My partner is in the vulnerable category. But what’s more scary are the fuckwit human beings being stupid about it. And Christers are at the top of that list of fuckwit humans.

          Wouldn’t a shower of meteors that lit up the sky be scary?

          No Don, because I understand the science. They happen all the time. They aren’t signs of the end times. Nor were they then, even if the ignorant were frightened, something else you’ve asserted without the slightest regard to support your nonsense. If they were as regular then, as they are now, then the ancients had no more reason to be afraid of them as I am. Seeing them as signs and seeing them as something to be frightened of, are not synonymous.

          And clearly observable?

          Yes clearly observable…all the time…well understood ya incredulous dumb arse.

          https://www.amsmeteors.org/meteor-showers/meteor-shower-calendar/

          I’ll tell you it would raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

          I’ll tell you it already has, well if I had hairs on the back of my neck to raise that is, but not because they are scary.

          Those are the physical events Jesus describes as end time events.

          The authors of the Jesus yarn might be painting them that way Don, but today, only a dumb cunt that is a daft as a box of frogs is interpreting the story that way.

          Surely you must be able to see now why you are considered the village idiot on this forum?

        • Don Camp

          But, but ,but, Don…the preterists think that has already happened. In the first century

          It is easy to get lost in the trees and not see the forest.

          Yes, I know about the preterists. I also know that there are shades of preterism and that most Christians, including biblical scholars, today probably hold to a partial preterism along with futurism.

          There are plenty of reasons for doing so, among them is a more accurate dating of the NT writings and particularly the book of Revelation. But you can follow up on that if you wish.

          I and most evangelical biblical scholars see in the several different versions of the Olivet Discourse both reference to the coming destruction of Jerusalem, which is past, and to the end times which are yet to come.

          Luke is almost certainly written after the destruction of Jerusalem. But Jesus spoke before70 A.D. so Luke includes his words which were by the writing was fulfilled prophecy. In Luke 21 that shift from the distant future to the near future and fulfilled prophecy of the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D. is found in verse 12: “But before all this…”

          12 “But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name.

          This all happened to the disciples of Jesus by 70 A.D. and is a part of the history of the first century.

          The section of prophecy having to do with the destruction of 70 A.D. ends in verse 24.

          For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people; 24 they will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken away as captives among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

          “This people” refers to the Jews who had rejected Jesus as Messiah.

          What follows is the times of the Gentiles. Most evangelical bible scholars understand that to be the time we are now in. But that time comes to an end, and that brings us back to Matthew 24 (and Luke 21:25 ff) . The times of the Gentiles will culminate when the good news has been preached in all the earth.

          14 And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.

          As I said before “the end” is not the end of the world or even the return of Jesus but the times of the end and a group of events that are briefly mentioned in Matthew 24:15-29 and Luke 21:25,26 and Mark 13: 5-15.

          Of interest is the mention of the temple again in Mark and Matthew. That might be confusing to those who don’t read also the book of Revelation and Daniel. But in Revelation, which was written without question after the destruction of 70 A.D., a desecration of the temple is alluded to in Rev. 13: 14,15. See also Rev. 11:1,2 .

          That will necessitate another temple being built since it cannot be speaking of the temple that by time of the writing of the book was destroyed. Revelation 11 and 13 is also an allusion to Daniel 9:26.27, which also Jesus pointed to in the Olivet Discourse, Matt. 14:15. These events are yet to come and are part of the end time group of events.

          I note that there is no mention of any setting up of an image to be worshiped or which would desecrate the temple in any history of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/jewishtemple.htm That did not happen and therefore is yet to come.

          A casual reading of these pertinent passages and a skipping around to all the various interpretations is not adequate. It takes concentration and a broad knowledge of the several passages that overlap in describing these events. Don’t get lost in the trees. and not see the forest.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes, I know about the preterists. ..blah, blah, blah.

          I don’t give a fuck about your blather. My point is made. There are Christers who differ in opinion from yours. The buybull is a Rorschach test. Your interpretation, isn’t thee interpretation. And all interpretations are a lot of ballix anyway.

          Luke is almost certainly written after the destruction of Jerusalem.

          Indeed, as are all the gospels. Making the “Little Apocalypse” a postdiction. Or vaticinium ex eventu if ya prefer the religious term. They are literary tropes.

          Some scholars regard statements attributed to Jesus in the Gospels that foretell the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple as examples of vaticinia ex eventu; these scholars believe that the Gospels were all written after the siege of Jerusalem in AD 70, in which the temple was destroyed.

          But Jesus spoke before70 A.D. …

          An assertion not in evidence. We have anonymous authors accounts of what they claim someone called Jesus said. That’s hearsay at best.

          …so Luke includes his words which were by the writing was fulfilled prophecy.

          Nope. That’s your belief. What you believe has no interest. It is conjecture. Try again.

          The rest of your comment is preaching. We aren’t interested in your preaching. We’ve heard it all before ad nauseam. We know you believe the crap you preach. We don’t. Other Christers don’t either. You are entitled to your own opinion of course, but that’s all it is ever gonna be.

        • Don Camp

          My point is made. There are Christers who differ in opinion from yours.

          Sure there are. But the one difference is that even those who disagree on the interpretation of Matthew 24 et al. they do not declare that the prophecy failed. You do, and so do all here who have posted on the subject. For you it all becomes a reason for rejecting the prophecy and of course Jesus.

          When all is said and done, I don’t really care whether Jesus was speaking of events that would happen the first century (some of course did happen in the first century) my faith in Jesus is not impacted by that. It is significant also that no preterist thinks that the prophecy failed. They are preterists because they think the prophecy was fulfilled.

          I find it amazing, as I said to nyudiva, that there are so many biblical scholars here on this site, none of whom as far as I know have degrees or qualifications in any of the disciplines or languages that honest to goodness biblical scholars consider necessary for making the conclusions you all do. I also find it interesting that there is pretty much total agreement on your particular interpretation. Where does that ever happen among biblical scholars? So perhaps you could provide your resume?

          Some scholars

          What scholars? If you are going to quote do more than make an assertion that isn’t substantiated by reference to specific scholars.

          We aren’t interested in your preaching. We’ve heard it all before ad nauseam. We know you believe the crap you preach.

          Interesting coming from someone who preaches their ideas as much as anyone here.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But the one difference is that even those who disagree on the interpretation of Matthew 24 et al. they do not declare that the prophecy failed.

          You really haven’t a clue, have ya?

          Let me correct you…again!

          Those Christers that believe in prophecy, do not declare it is a failed prophecy. And I really don’t care. For my purposes, the fact that Christers are all over the place on the issue, and many believe it already happened and don’t think it is a reference to the second coming, is good enough for me. And it’s good enough to support my position.

          However.

          Not all Christians believe in prophecy.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_atheism

          See C.S. Lewis quote below.

          You do, and so do all here who have posted on the subject.

          Yes we do. That’s because we don’t believe that prophecy is actually a demonstrable thing. That’s because it’s supernatural woo-woo.

          Do you believe in the fulfilled prophecies of other religions?

          For you it all becomes a reason for rejecting the prophecy and of course Jesus.

          Don, I reject the prophecies of all religions and none. That’s because prophecies are supernatural woo-woo. I reject Jesus because I don’t think he existed, but if he did, he was merely a man that others made shite up about. I reject all other religious leaders for the same reason.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophecy

          Jews think Jesus was a false prophet, Muslims think that’s all he was, just a prophet.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_prophet

          Christians can’t even demonstrate Jesus was anything other than a character in a book, let alone he said anything. As for making prophecies that are/will be, fulfilled. Wise ta fuck up. You are supposed to be a grown man.

          When all is said and done, I don’t really care whether Jesus was speaking of events that would happen the first century (some of course did happen in the first century) my faith in Jesus is not impacted by that.

          And I really don’t care what you care about. You cared enough to bring the fuckwittery up in the first place. You cared enough to try and defend the fuckwittery. You cared enough to lie about it. So I cared just enough to show that what you claim to not care about, is just more Christer mindwanking fuckwittery.

          As for your faith in Jesus not being impacted, I care even less about that than I do in shining the light on the utter nonsense you believe. Your heads away with the fairies. You came here, remember? It would seem that if you were being honest, you care more than ya would like to let on.

          It is significant also that no preterist thinks that the prophecy failed. They are preterists because they think the prophecy was fulfilled.

          To you maybe, that’s not significant to me. They’re as fucked up in the head as you are. What is significant to me, is the fact that they exist in large numbers. They are as right as you are, that’s not at all. The issue for me is that you daft bastards can’t get your stories right. That’s because the crappy texts are so ambiguous. It’s a Rorschach clusterfuck.

          I find it amazing, as I said to nyudiva, that there are so many biblical scholars here on this site, none of whom as far as I know have degrees or qualifications in any of the disciplines or languages that honest to goodness biblical scholars consider necessary for making the conclusions you all do.

          Leaving aside your ad hominem attack for the moment. You are really easy to amaze.

          I’m gonna put my shirt on the assertion that you don’t agree with all the credentialled scholars who have qualifications up the kazoo on all the disciplines and languages necessary for making the conclusions they do. Of course ya don’t. It’s not even an assertion on my part. It’s a fact.

          Here’s the thing. If you are an example of what qualifications in this area, can achieve for a person’s credibility, they really aren’t worth the time and effort attaining.

          However. We don’t need those qualifications, because the folk we are reading and citing have done the heavy lifting already.

          That all said, how did you fair on DC when you engaged with the professionals who actually did have said credentials?

          You’ve not done any better when engaging those here that are qualified to talk on issues involving their expertise.

          And the icing on the cake here is that for someone who boasts about his own area of expertise, you demonstrate as a poor example of the same.

          I also find it interesting that there is pretty much total agreement on your particular interpretation.

          And yet you don’t seem to be able to work out why. Go figure.

          The interpretation here is that it is bullshit. From the top down. You’ve repeatedly failed at every attempt to demonstrate that it is not. And yet the penny doesn’t seem to be dropping in that void between your ears.

          Where does that ever happen among biblical scholars?

          Nowhere much, and for good reason. The source material they are working with is so fucked up, that there is no chance of agreement. That’s not something you should be proud of, or boast about Don. That is a petard upon which you will be hoist…again.

          So perhaps you could provide your resume?

          Perhaps you could fuck off Don.

          Perhaps you could attack the arguments and not the credentials of persons making them.

          Perhaps you could make one claim, backed with supporting evidence, that no one here will be able to easily decimate.

          Perhaps, if it is more qualified folk that you need to engage with you self deluded ability, you might venture to a blog where those folk hang out in numbers.

          It really is saying something “amazing”, when reasonably well read layfolk here are giving you a really good arse kicking.

          What scholars? If you are going to quote do more than make an assertion that isn’t substantiated by reference to specific scholars.

          Spooooiiiing! The irony is hanging right out of you.

          I’m surprised that you are even this stupid.

          How many secular Buybull scholars do you think believe the prophecies in the silly book?

          And what was it you said to epeeist, ya weasel? Google it.

          Ah, what ta heck. Given your incompetence…

          The highly regarded by Christers across a broad spectrum, C. S. Lewis, wrote the following:-

          “It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.

          It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. Yet how teasing, also, that within fourteen words of it should come the statement “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” The one exhibition of error and the one confession of ignorance grow side by side. … The evangelists have the first great characteristic of honest witnesses: they mention facts which are, at first sight, damaging to their main contention.

          … The answer of the theologians is that the God-Man was omniscient as God, and ignorant as Man. This, no doubt, is true, though it cannot be imagined. Nor indeed can the unconsciousness of Christ in sleep be imagined, not the twilight of reason in his infancy; still less his merely organic life in his mother’s womb.”~ C. S. Lewis, in The World’s Last Night, pages 98-99

          Others who make reference to it…

          https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=AO15DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&dq=Olivet+Discourse+vaticinium+ex+eventu&source=bl&ots=KAyGavbLxU&sig=ACfU3U3Kr9ckMpZdZgWlyd88fs502WUxTg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj99MzI4KboAhVFUcAKHYY9D-EQ6AEwBHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=Olivet%20Discourse%20vaticinium%20ex%20eventu&f=false

          https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=-EgcBQAAQBAJ&pg=PT37&lpg=PT37&dq=matthew+24+vaticinium+ex+eventu&source=bl&ots=MuHn2vxP9O&sig=ACfU3U0K-KyfM24tpznwDR9whuCtv-A9BQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiAzb2h3aboAhULh1wKHaCzBm0Q6AEwBXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=matthew%2024%20vaticinium%20ex%20eventu&f=false

          And here’s what appears to be a better informed Christer fuckwit than you, who is well aware of the charge…

          The Mount Olivet Discourse and Vaticinium Ex Eventu

          https://www.forerunner.com/blog/the-mount-olivet-discourse-and-vaticinium-ex-eventu

          Interesting coming from someone who preaches their ideas as much as anyone here.

          Don, nothing I’ve said here is preaching. Go learn the meaning of the word, Mr. I’m-a-literature-teacher-Dime-Bar.

          But let’s just grant you some more of your idiocy for the shits and giggles of it. This is an atheist blog. You came here, remember? Though given the condition you are displaying, I’m beginning to wonder.

          If I’d gone to a Christer site and was sounding off, you’d nearly have a point, but I haven’t, and I’m not. So will you try and wise ta fuck up, ffs.

        • nydiva

          Don, give it up. Ths so-called Second Coming ain’t happening. Folks, Don is a perfect example of the power of religious delusions. Again, a simple reading of all the verses about the Second Coming will reveal it was an event that was supposed to happen within the lifetime of the crowds Jesus was addressing. This is why is it important to read the Bible without the commentaries of apologists. They are NOT better than explaining what a passage or story means. Think for yourself.

        • Greg G.

          Those are not so much signs to look for but more failed prophecies. That generation died 1900 years ago.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Poor Don, ya can just see him on the street corner with a sandwich board [a sign] declaring “The End is Nigh. Repent! Repent! Repent!”

          Sad as fuck.

        • Greg G.

          That is how I see him.

          He should get a dog and name him “Repent.” Then he could release the mutt so he could walk down the street shouting “Repent! Repent!”

        • Don Camp

          I know that this is the approved response on this blog. But a normal reading of Matthew 24 paying attention to the connections between ideas, conjurations and adverbs, indicates that the preaching of the gospel to the whole world will precede the time of the end.

          The time of the end itself is not a single event but a group of events that will precede the return of Jesus as king and Messiah.

          It is true that the early church and perhaps the disciples themselves thought that this message meant that Jesus would return as king (that is what parousia means as used in 24:3 and 27) very soon. But Jesus really did not say that. He said that no one knows, not even her himself. Nevertheless, because the date and time are unknown, be ready always.

          The other Gospels, Mark and Luke, record this message also. Mark makes it clear which generation Jesus meant. It is the generation that sees the things he has spoken of coming to pass.That included the destruction of the temple and the fear that will fall upon the world.

          Need I say that most of what Jesus told them would happen in advance of his coming did not happen in the first century.

          29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

          Luke says essentially the same thing.

          . 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.

          So the church lived in anticipation but not certainty. And that is how the church has lived since the first century. We are convinced that Jesus could return at any time (that is not exactly true because the time of the end precedes his coming) but that as we wait we are to be busy doing what Jesus told us to do, be his witnesses. No Christian thinks of this as a failed prophecy, not in the first century and not now.

        • nydiva

          No Christian thinks of this as a failed prophecy, not in the first century and not now.

          Don, I know plenty of Christians who will readily admit the Second Coming was a false prophecy.

          Dear reader, there are plenty of passages that show the anonymous and allegedly inspired by the Holy Ghost New Testament writers believed the apocalypse was very near and NOT some event in the distance (2,000+ years) future. Here are just a few for your review….

          “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” (Hebrews 1:1-2)According to the author of Hebrews, the last days were 2000+ years ago….

          “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)Listeners are consoled with the promise the end is near.

          “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

          Definition of near: To, at, or within a short distance or interval in space or time. Adv. Just about; almost; nearly.

          “Do not seek a wife. This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short.
          Definition of short: Having little length; not long.

          From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:27,29-31)Well, we know that did not happen…

          “The end of all things is near…” (1 Peter 4:7)But according to Don there’s another 2,000+ years ahead.

          “For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) This was a promise to those listening….not some future generation 2,000+ years later.

          “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed“ (1 Cor. 15:51) Again, this was a promise to those listening….

          “…the coming of the Lord is near. …the Judge is standing right at the door.” (James 5:8, 9)

          Jesus has been standing at this door for 2,000+ years?

          “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3) This verse speaks for itself.

          “And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. “And behold, I am coming quickly. Definition of quickly: at a fast speed; rapidly.

          Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.“”… (Revelation 22:6,7,10,12,20)

          Dear reader, it is always important to read the Bible for oneself. Christians like Don do a lot of special pleading to avoid the obvious teaching of these verses, but they speak for themselves. Cheers.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I know that this is the approved response on this blog.

          Not just this blog. And not just by atheists either. Postdiction is a thing.

          But here’s the thing…

          In modern times, a popular (but far from unanimous) opinion is that Jesus in the Olivet Discourse is using the apocalyptic language of his time symbolically, as did many Jewish prophets. Nevertheless, throughout history there have been many groups who read the discourse literally.

          Which are you Don?

          But a normal reading of Matthew 24 paying attention to the connections between ideas, conjurations and adverbs, indicates that the preaching of the gospel to the whole world will precede the time of the end.

          Don, that’s not the problem. The issue is what “end” does the “Little Apocalypse refer to? Many scholars think it was a reference to the “end” of the Jewish nation with the destruction of the second temple. You have yours and are demanding that you are the True Scotsman without acknowledging the others exist, with at least one them with a larger consensus.

          The time of the end itself is not a single event but a group of events that will precede the return of Jesus as king and Messiah.

          That is one Christer exegesis of the “Olivet Discourse”. There are at least four distinct major ones held by various Christers. It is not the most popular version. That only applies to your interpretation. We neither care, nor believe it. The story is Christer woo-woo made up fuckwittery.

          Will you admit that your interpretation is just one of a number. yes or no?

          It is true that the early church and perhaps the disciples themselves thought that this message meant that Jesus would return as king (that is what parousia means as used in 24:3 and 27) very soon.

          The word “parousia” in Greek means “presence, arrival, or official visit”, how it’s interpreted in various contexts is the problem.

          Twentieth-century theologian Karl Barth suggested that the parousia includes not only Resurrection Sunday but also Pentecost as well. As such, Barth concluded that the New Testament parousia is not limited to Christ’s final return.

          And the issue of “imminence” is what has your position fucked. C.S. Lewis called it the most embarrassing verse in the buybul.

          But Jesus really did not say that. He said that no one knows, not even her himself. Nevertheless, because the date and time are unknown, be ready always.

          Don, in the story, the author has Jesus not knowing the exact time of day, week, month, or even year, but he claimed enough to give a ballpark chronology. That’s why scholars are all over the place on the interpretation.

          Truly I say to you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

          The other Gospels, Mark and Luke, record this message also. Mark makes it clear which generation Jesus meant. It is the generation that sees the things he has spoken of coming to pass.That included the destruction of the temple and the fear that will fall upon the world.

          In your opinion. An opinion not held by all Christers. Mark says all those things will happen in this generation. meaning, at the time the words were supposedly said.

          Need I say that most of what Jesus told them would happen in advance of his coming did not happen in the first century.

          You can say whatever fuckwittery ya want, it is still fuckwittery at the end of the day. The problem is, your fuckwittery is contradicted by other Christers.

          Full preterism differs from partial preterism in that full preterists believe that the destruction of Jerusalem fulfilled all eschatological or “end times” events, including the resurrection of the dead and Jesus’ Second Coming, or Parousia, and the Final Judgment.

          Full preterists argue that a literal reading of Matthew 16:28 (where Jesus tells the disciples that some of them will not taste death until they see him coming in his kingdom) places the second coming in the first century. This precludes a physical second coming of Christ. Instead, the second coming is symbolic of a “judgment” against Jerusalem, said to have taken place with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in AD 70. For this reason, some people also call full preterism “the AD 70 Doctrine.” R. C. Sproul says of full preterist Max R. King, of Ohio; “For this schema to work, the traditional idea of resurrection must be replaced with a metaphorical idea of resurrection”.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preterism#Full_preterism

          So the church lived in anticipation but not certainty.

          Which church?

          And that is how the church has lived since the first century.

          There ya go again with the erroneous generalisation…when are ya gonna learn?

          We are convinced that Jesus could return at any time (that is not exactly true because the time of the end precedes his coming) but that as we wait we are to be busy doing what Jesus told us to do, be his witnesses.

          Not all Christians though, just the Don Camp True Scotsmen. Amarite?

          No Christian thinks of this as a failed prophecy, not in the first century and not now.

          Well, that’s clearly nonsense. Not every Christian believes it is a prophecy to begin with. But it doesn’t even have to be a failed prophecy if one is daft enough to believe such woo-woo, it can, and is, believed to have been an already fulfilled prophecy.

          As interesting as this new rabbit hole you’ve dragged us down is, none of this helps your initial answer against the question of how’s that prophecy fulfillment going.

          Yes, yes, we know it is another case of “look, over there, squirrels!” in an attempted smoke and mirrors distraction to get your feet pulled back from the fire. It is just another example, to add to the mounting pile of examples, of your dishonesty.

        • nydiva

          I know that this is the approved response on this blog.
          You know? Really? Approved by whom? I didn’t get the memo form Bob or Amos or others hat approved a message I am supposedly repeating. Dido for the “atheist worldview.” I didn’t know atheists were supposed to all think alike. Atheists have no compunction to avoid politicizing their worldview. At least that I know of.

          No Christian thinks of this as a failed prophecy, not in the first century and not now.

          Yet again, you are acting as a spokeperson for all Christians. How do you know what other Christians you haven’t met think about the Second Coming? I know Christians who admit the Second Coming was a false prophecy. No amount of special pleading or massaging the passages will change the fact that Jesus promised to return within the lifetime of those he was addressing (this generation). That is the normal reading of the passages about the failed Second Coming. Your special pleading to the contrary just makes it more obvious your interpretation is wrong.

        • Don Camp

          Approved by whom?

          Approved by everyone who has commented on the topic.Including yourself.

          I know Christians who admit the Second Coming was a false prophecy.

          I know of none. You might accommodate epeeist by providing data for your assertion.

        • nydiva

          Don Camp: Approved by everyone who has commented on the topic.Including yourself.

          Please learn how to read for comprehension and stop projecting your nonsense on those who disagree with your theology. That many here agree the Second Coming was a false prophecy is based on reading the Bible and the fact that it never happened. That doesn’t mean we all got together and decided to issue an approved statement on this issues. LOL!

          Angry Don Camp: I know of none. You might accommodate epeeist by providing data for your assertion.

          Don, I have bad news for you but you don’t know everything or much of anything like the rest of us. So you don’t know of any Christians who think the Second Coming was a false prophecy. There are many and if Epeeist is interested in my data, I will provide it. LOL!

        • Greg G.

          Mark makes it clear which generation Jesus meant. It is the generation that sees the things he has spoken of coming to pass.

          Sure, it is clear which generation is meant by Mark. It is the first century generation. The whole Olivet discourse is invented from the literature of the day. It is fiction. It didn’t happen.

          Mark 13:1-3 is supposed to be a prediction of the destruction of the temple. Mark was apparently written after the Josephus’ Jewish Wars was available to the literate public. This is a postdiction put into Jesus’ mouth.

          Mark 13:5-6 quotes Jesus saying, “Be careful that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and will lead many astray.” Jewish Wars 6.5.2 tells about many false prophets. Jewish Wars 6.5.3 says, “Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers…”

          Mark 13:7-8 is about wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, and troubles. When was the last time there were not such rumors? It’s like Mark got this passage out of Jewish Wars 1.19.4: “Perhaps there may come some short sign beforehand in the case of pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes; but these calamities themselves have their force limited by themselves [without foreboding any other calamity]. And indeed what greater mischief can the war, though it should be a violent one, do to us than the earthquake hath done? Nay, there is a signal of our enemies’ destruction visible, and that a very great one also; and this is not a natural one, nor derived from the hand of foreigners neither, but it is this, that they have barbarously murdered our ambassadors, contrary to the common law of mankind; and they have destroyed so many, as if they esteemed them sacrifices for God, in relation to this war.”.

          The idea of Mark 13:9-11 seems to come from 2 Corinthians 11:24-25 and it foreshadows Jesus’ trial in Mark 14:53, 65; and 15:1. The Good News being preached to all nations apparently is an allusion to Paul, which is supported by the 2 Corinthians allusion.

          Mark 13:12-13 seem to be drawing from Micah 7:6, Daniel 12:12, and 2 Corinthians 11:23-26.

          Mark 13:14-20 is based on Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11 which was apparently written as a fake prophecy around 166 BC.

          Mark 14:17 is woe to nursing mothers which probably comes from Jewish Wars 6.3.4, about a woman named Mary who had fled to Jerusalem before the seige.

          Mark 14:18 speaks of the hindrances of winter, which is also discussed in Jewish Wars 1.17.6.

          Mark 13:19 takes its language from Daniel 12:1.

          Mark 13:21-23 goes back to the false prophets and signs and wonders. Remember that Jewish Wars 6.5.2 tells about many false prophets and Jewish Wars 6.5.3 tells about signs and wonders, like “there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year” which probably refers to Halley’s comet which appeared in 66 AD.

          Mark 13:24-25 quotes from Isaiah 13:10, 13, and 34:4.

          Mark 13:26 comes from Daniel 7:13-14. Mark 13:27 borrows language from Deuteronomy 30:4 and Zechariah 2:6.

          Mark 13:28 could be an undoing of Isaiah 34:4 where leaves fall from the fig tree when the Lord is pissed or it could be merely an analogy to summer.

          Mark 13:30-37, and possibly the whole Olivet discourse, is inspired by 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6. Some like to play with what “this generation” means but that is grasping at straws. The phrase “γενεα αυτη” is used five times in the Greek New Testament, three of them being this verse and the Synoptic parallels. Mark 8:12 has Jesus saying, “Why does this generation seek a sign?” Luke 11:29 is a parallel to that where Jesus says, “This generation is an evil generation.” These examples show that the phrase refers to the generation of the first century.

          Also from Robert M. Price, New Testament Narrative as Old Testament Midrash, http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/art_midrash1.htm

          The whole apocalyptic discourse of Mark is a cento of scripture paraphrases and quotations, and it will be sufficient simply to match each major verse to its source. Mark 13:7 comes from Daniel 2:28; Mark 13:8 from Isaiah 19:2 and/or 2 Chronicles 15:6; Mark 13:12 from Micah 7:6; Mark 13:14 from Daniel 9:27 and 12:11 and Genesis 19:17; Mark 13:19 from Daniel 12:1; Mark 13:22 from Deuteronomy 13:2; Mark 13:24 from Isaiah 13:10; Mark 13:25 from Isaiah 34:4; Mark 13:26 from Daniel 7:13, and Mark 13:27 from Zechariah 2:10 and Deuteronomy 30:4.

          So the church lived in anticipation but not certainty. And that is how the church has lived since the first century.

          It is now the twenty-first century. It is time to put away childish things.

        • Don Camp

          Greg I don’t mean to be excessively fussy, but what are your qualifications for interpreting these passages? Everybody posting on the topic seems to think themselves an expert. But no one has provided any professional qualifications. What are your degrees in biblical studies and languages? If you don’t have professional qualifications yourself. maybe a reference to someone who does would be helpful.

        • nydiva

          Ha! You’re not a scholar card! Dear folks, this is common trick from the apologist playbook. Whatever someone points out a problem with a biblical story, Yahway’s mouthpiece will resort to the following: the so-called meaning of a word in the orignal greek or hebrew to avoid the obvious or they will appeal to an authority that agrees with their theology. Blah, blah, blah.

        • Don Camp

          ! You’re not a scholar card! Dear folks, this is common trick from the apologist playbook.

          I only play that card because that is the very same objection I get to my to my interpretation. I guess from the atheist playbook? And I actually have a degree in literature and and a post grad degree in biblical literature and in the biblical languages. But who cares, right? I am a Christian, and that makes all that moot.

          You gotta live or die by your own rules, however. If you object that I am not a scholar and am unqualified to work with the passage, you will have to show that you are qualified. .

        • nydiva

          I only play that card because that is the very same objection I get to my to my interpretation.
          Yes and you attempt to use your interpretation to change the obvious meaning of a story that is false (e.g., Adam and Eve, the Exodus, etc.), or a story that demonstrates the cruelty of your imaginary friend (e.g., Yahways’ genocide and infanticide, etc.). You are also dishonest and disingenuous, asking the same questions repeatedly and pretending conversations about subjects were never discussed. You are alway playing towards the silent audience instead having a genuine conversation with those who post rebuttals.

          And I actually have a degree in literature and and a post grad degree in biblical literature and in the biblical languages.
          Whoopie do for you. Do you want your medal now? You mention your degrees very chance you get. Yet from what I’ve read when you go against someone more knowledgeable about the Bible (e.g, Dr. Avalos, John Lotfus, Robert Conner, etc.) you are out of your depth. https://www.debunking-christianity.com/search?q=don+camp

          But who cares, right? I am a Christian, and that makes all that moot.
          Now you’re playing the victim card. Poor mommy’s baby! Those nasty atheists don’t believe your imaginary friend told you to post here and pray for them. How are they doubt you! I will report them to Bob right away. Feel better now?

          You gotta live or die by your own rules, however. If you object that I am not a scholar and am unqualified to work with the passage, you will have to show that you are qualified.
          Yes, I heard the rumor you are a self-proclaim literature and Bible expert. Actually, you are more an amateur apologist who hates being challenged on your “make it up as you go” theology. I don’t need to be a biblical scholar to know that Christianity is a myth or that you don’t know what you are talking about most of the times you post. Unlike you, I didn’t waste my valuable time and life studying something that doesn’t exist. So yes, I am more than qualified to evaluate the lack of evidence for Christianity for myself. I don’t need or want your help. Cheers!

        • Don Camp

          Yes and you attempt to use your interpretation to change the obvious meaning of a story that is false

          My interpretation is not unique. It is in line with the interpretations of many evangelical Bible scholars.

          Yet from what I’ve read when you go against someone more knowledgeable

          about the Bible (e.g, Dr. Avalos, John Lotfus, Robert Conner, etc.) you are out of your depth.

          It is the nature of theological discussion to discuss. Whether they are actually more knowledgeable about the Bible remains to be seen, but no one in the discussion can play the “authority card” without backing up their opinion.

          Now you’re playing the victim card

          I am just reflecting back to you the attitude you all seem to have about Christians. Am I wrong? Then don’t hide behind accusations, engage.

          You have every right to your opinion, diva. But I have ever right to hold my. In a conversation such as this we both assume that. The conversation is not about my opinions or yours but about why we hold them.

        • nydiva

          Don, you are troll for Jesus. Pure and simple. The reason I linked to previous posts involving you and others is to demonstrate the dishonest nature of your “theological discussions.” Everyone is free to examine the posts for themselves. Cheers!

        • Don Camp

          Troll def.

          a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post.

          Do you mean only those who toe the party line are welcome?

          Isn’t a forum designed to allow discussion of a topic?

        • nydiva

          Troll definition: Just like there are different types of Christianities, there are different types of internet trolls with different motivations as to why they post online.

          Trolls for Jesus want everyone to know that their imaginary friend put it their heart to pray for them because they are doing it for Jesus.

          Trolls for Jesus show up on an atheist blog and pretend they want to understand atheists but preaches at them instead because they are doing it for Jesus.

          John W. Loftus: Don Camp, you f*cking idiot! Stop commenting on almost every subject. You cannot be an expert on every topic, nor are you. You act as if your wisdom is needed, that you are the answer man.

          Trolls for Jesus when asked to leave a blog, promises to go away but comes back because they are doing it for Jesus.

          John W. Loftus:Don Camp, with this comment of yours it’s clear to me you’re not an honest person. Stay away for one week. When you return you will be limtied to one comment per day until I say otherwise.

          Trolls for Jesus ignore blog rules not to proselyte or promote their blog because they are doing it for Jesus.

          Trolls for Jesus challenge experts with outdated info found on Google because they are doing it for Jesus

          Don Camp: “If the law was fictional, the instructions regarding the tabernacle would not be in existence before the temple, and the temple was built on those instructions. Unless the fiction writer had a time machine, that would be impossible. The continuity and unity of the narrative requires that this be history and not fiction.”

          Dr. Hector Avalos: “Part of the problem with your whole approach is that you are not well read in modern biblical scholarship. There are literally hundreds of monographs identifying the lack of unity and coherence in the Pentateuch.”

          A troll for Jesus doesn’t know what to quit because they are doing it for Jesus.

          Dr. Hector Avalos: Mr. Camp…. You do not have the qualifications to engage in a discussion of Amarna or very much in biblical studies from what I can see. If you did, you would have known that Habiru does not appear in the vast majority of the letters cited by the website on which you depend.

          My post was written… …because you represent the type of apologetics that often relies on misinformation to defend the Bible. Someone has to correct that misinformation regardless of how qualified the one misinforming readers is.”

          A troll for Jesus pretends to know things because they are doing it for Jesus…

          John W. Loftus: “Hector, this is a clear case of Don Camp pretending to know things he doesn’t know. If he were an authentic person he would say at the very least something like this: “I cannot answer you Dr. Avalos, nor do I have the tools or skills to answer you. You may be right. Or someone may have answered you. But I don’t know who that person is.”

          Dear Reader: Please check out the following link and you decide. Cheers. https://www.debunking-christianity.com/search?q=don+camp

        • Ignorant Amos

          Isn’t a forum designed to allow discussion of a topic?

          Yeah, but this one is not for preaching, evangelizing, or self-promoting.

        • Ignorant Amos

          My interpretation is not unique. It is in line with the interpretations of many evangelical Bible scholars.

          That isn’t the point. There are contradictory interpretations. You present yours like there isn’t. But when the light is shone on your Christer version, you spit your dummy tit out.

          It is the nature of theological discussion to discuss. Whether they are actually more knowledgeable about the Bible remains to be seen, but no one in the discussion can play the “authority card” without backing up their opinion.

          Holy fuck! You don’t even see the irony in that comment.

          I am just reflecting back to you the attitude you all seem to have about Christians.

          Wtf are you gurning on about? Who here that you’ve engaged with, has played the victim card?

          Am I wrong?

          You’ve yet to be right.

          Then don’t hide behind accusations, engage.

          You’re being engaged. You’ve been refuted right, left, and centre. Nobody is hiding behind accusations. You are playing the victim card and that is being pointed out. You’ve dropped every engagement on this forum without defending your position, or concedeing the point. You are a very poor interlocutor.

          You have every right to your opinion, diva.

          She knows.

          But I have ever right to hold my. In a conversation such as this we both assume that.

          No one has denied you that right. What we are refuting is your opinion as fact. You make a plethora of statements of opinion as fact, then when challenged to support them, you can’t.

          The conversation is not about my opinions or yours but about why we hold them.

          Is it fuck. No one here gives a fuck. We know why you hold your opinion on YahwehJesus. It’s the reasons behind the opinions you give that are being challenged. And you’ve failed to demonstrate why we should accept, or take any of the reasons you’ve provided, seriously at all.

        • Don Camp

          You don’t even see the irony in that comment.

          Amos, you have no idea what kinds of dialogue and even debate goes on among scholars. There is a lot.Sometimes it gets pretty heated.

          You’re being engaged. You’ve been refuted right, left, and centre.

          And we all have expressed our opinions and back those up with the pathway, evidence, or support we used to arrive at those opinions. Or some have. Being refuted is a matter of your opinion. You’re welcome to it. I am welcome to mine as well. I don’t really expect to persuade you. That is not my department.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Amos, you have no idea what kinds of dialogue and even debate goes on among scholars. There is a lot.Sometimes it gets pretty heated.

          But Don, I do as a matter of fact. I’ve seen it on the internet for myself. Including the heated. So as per the norm, you are talking outta the side of your mouth again.

          And we all have expressed our opinions and back those up with the pathway, evidence, or support we used to arrive at those opinions.

          Another barefaced lie.

          Or some have.

          But not you.

          Being refuted is a matter of your opinion.

          I’ll leave it to others to decide that matter. For my point, I’m happy enough that the expert is being routed. With the same arguments that refuted you on Debunking Christianity too.

          You’re welcome to it. I am welcome to mine as well.

          Show me once where you’ve successfully supported your claim?

          I don’t really expect to persuade you.

          Just as well, because you are wick at this malarkey.

          That is not my department.

          Just as well, because you are wick at this malarkey.

          Then pray tell, as John Loftus requested at DC when you were cluttering up his place too, what is you purpose in being here?

        • Ignorant Amos

          The man is nothing but a dishonest idiot.

        • nydiva

          Being a fool for Christ will do that to a person.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I only play that card because that is the very same objection I get to my to my interpretation.

          You’re a barefaced liar. Who here has questioned you credentials vis a vis your preferred interpretation?

          You assert your interpretation as thee interpretation, to the expense of all others. That is disingenuous. It has been repeatedly pointed out that the holey buybull is a Rorschach clusterfuck. There are numerous interpretations. Many are contradictory. You are entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts.

          What qualifications did commenting Christers have during the first ween of centuries of the cults existence?

          I guess from the atheist playbook?

          No Don, it’s just your lying weaseling to avoid addressing the obvious.

          And I actually have a degree in literature and and a post grad degree in biblical literature and in the biblical languages.

          It isn’t holding you in very good stead here Don. And for very good reason. But you have yet to work that reason out apparently.

          But who cares, right?

          Right. You seem to think it gives you some sort of clout. Regardless of your credentials, your arguments are ballix. They are being picked off with ease. Many of us here have been doing this daily, online, for well over a decade, and for some, longer.

          I am a Christian, and that makes all that moot.

          For fuck sake dry yer eyes.

          Being a Christer doesn’t matter a fuck. It’s the points you try to make that stink. The sources we are referencing are as well credentialed as you. And most are better. Many of them a fellow Christers who hold opposite positions. Does being Christers make all that moot?

          You gotta live or die by your own rules, however.

          Up your game and stop blaming everyone else for your failings.

          If you object that I am not a scholar and am unqualified to work with the passage, you will have to show that you are qualified.

          Don, if you are as qualified as you claim, you need to get your money back. We are taking issue with your ineptness in the subjects in the subjects you choose to engage.

          The problem with biblical hermeneutics and exegesis is that it is subjective. There are numerous ways to interpret a passage, because they are ambiguous. That’s why the bloody thing has caused so much strife over the past two millennia.

          And no, we don’t need to do fuck all of the sort. What you need to do is refute the arguments being made. That you won’t or can’t, is not our problem. And has fuck all to do with qualifications, particularly when you are less qualified than those getting cited by those engaging your nonsense.

        • Greg G.

          Greg I don’t mean to be excessively fussy, but what are your qualifications for interpreting these passages?

          I have no professional qualifications.

          If you don’t have professional qualifications yourself. maybe a reference to someone who does would be helpful.

          I cited Robert M. Price and linked to the page where I took the quote from. He cites his sources, all credentialed scholars. Price has a Masters in Theological Studies in the New Testament and a PhD in Systematic Theology. He has been a professor at two colleges.

          I have cited Paul’s letters many times. When he talks about the coming of the Lord, he refers to the living in the first person plural and to the dead who will be raised in the third person plural. Paul thought it would happen in his lifetime and wanted his readers to think that, too. There is no suggestion about it being long after their children were dead. In fact, Paul was against marriage unless it was for sex. He never gave any mention to raising children. He apparently thought it was about to happen before a pregnancy would reach full term.

          A scholarly approach would include analysis of the significant words including “generation” and “this” (αὕτη ). A scholarly approach would include analysis of the passages in Paul’s letters that impinge upon the topic.

          Yes, some bible translations have footnotes about the word for “generation” having other possible meanings but the phrase is used other places and certainly is referring to that time and place in the context of the other passages.

          Kenneth L. Barker (PhD, Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning) is an author, lecturer, biblical scholar, and the general editor of the NIV Study Bible.

          From The NIV Committee on Bible Translation (COMMITTEE ON BIBLE TRANSLATION CONSTITUTION)
          http://www.bible-researcher.com/niv-translators.html

          In 1974 “Kenneth L. Barker of Dallas Seminary had been invited to sit with the CBT during its editing work. Shortly thereafter he was appointed a full member of the CBT to replace the long-inactive Charles Pfeiffer.”

          That means he is sworn to agree with:

          ARTICLE III – Membership: Limitations/Qualifications, Admission, Tenure
          Section 3. Only those shall be eligible for membership on the Committee who endorse the purpose for which the Committee exists, and who are willing to subscribe to the following affirmation of faith: “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written, and is therefore inerrant in the autographs”; or to the statements on Scripture in the Westminster Confession, the Belgic Confession, the New Hampshire Confession, or the creedal basis of the National Association of Evangelicals; or to some other comparable statement.

          Agreeing with a faith statement undermines the adherent’s credibility. It means the adherent will bend the evidence any which way necessary to fit the doctrine. That is not how honest research is done.

        • Don Camp

          I cited Robert M. Price and linked to the page where I took the quote from.

          Ah, yes. I am acquainted with Robert Price.

          In fact, Paul was against marriage unless it was for sex. He never gave any mention to raising children.

          Paul was writing at a time when Christians were under serious persecution. You might remember Nero. In that kind of climate it seemed to him, and he did qualify it as his advice not the Lord’s, best to remain unmarried and unencumbered with wife/husband or family. But he actually did give some child raising instructions. See Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3

          18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart.

          However, there is plenty of mention of raising children in the Old Testament. And that was the Bible Paul used.

          Yes, some bible translations have footnotes about the word for “generation” having other possible meanings but the phrase is used other places and certainly is referring or pronoun to that time and place in the context of the other passages.

          I agree that the best definition for generation in context is a period of time during which a single generation, maybe 40 years or, so live.

          The critical word, however, is the demonstrative and intensive pronoun “this”. Translated intensively it would read like this: “this very generation”.

          In Greek a pronoun has an antecedent that identifies the specific person or thing referred to by the pronoun. In this case it is the subject “you” in the clause “when you see all these things” in verse 33, though actually the subject of the clause “you” is incorporated in the verb and is understood by the form of the verb.

          ***********
          There is the question whether the antecedent of “this” should be the “you” by which the immediate disciples are addressed. But the fact that the phrase “truly I say to you” is an idiom used to stress the certainty of what is being said to his immediate audience means that in this case the rule of nearest antecedent does not apply but rather the idea or antecedent that is ” is immediately present to the thinking of the writer.” (Dnaa and Mantey, p. 129)
          ************

          That means the generation in view is that one which sees all the things Jesus has described come to pass. The simple fact is that the disciples’ generation did not see all the things Jesus spoke about come to pass. So it cannot be their generation that will see the coming of the son of man.

          The question of whether the Christians of the first century still expected the second coming in their lifetime I will leave for another time. However, remember that Paul does not reinforce their expectation AND they did not have the statement of Jesus to read since the Gospels had not yet been written. But strictly on the basis of grammar and syntax, Jesus’ statement does not demand that the generation in view be that of the disciples.

          As for Dr. Barker, the faith statement he signed does not include a narrow or particular view of eschatology. It is pretty general, though dispensational. Dallas Seminary does not require adherence to a specific statement regarding eschatology. See Article XX https://www.dts.edu/about/doctrinal-statement/ So your skepticism regarding how genuine he is in his statements about the second coming is unnecessary. .

        • Greg G.

          See Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3

          Whether those two books are authentic letter from Paul is split, mostly down the line between the level of religious conviction and faith statements.

          In Greek a pronoun has an antecedent that identifies the specific person or thing referred to by the pronoun. In this case it is the subject “you” in the clause “when you see all these things” in verse 33, though actually the subject of the clause “you” is incorporated in the verb and is understood by the form of the verb.

          If one is talking about something that has not happened yet, the verb will be a future tense. But if I walked into a biker ball on a Saturday night (before Covid-19 sheltering) and said, “You are all [insert insult here]!”, do you think I could get away with it by explaining that when I said “you”, I meant people a few thousand years from now?

          That means the generation in view is that one which sees all the things Jesus has described come to pass. The simple fact is that the disciples’ generation did not see all the things Jesus spoke about come to pass. So it cannot be their generation that will see the coming of the son of man.

          Mark was writing after the war. I am pretty sure that Mark was writing fiction and may have been writing fictional satire. Josephus describes how the Jews saw strange things and interpreted them as signs that the Lord would send the Messiah, which led some factions to force the Romans into war with them.

          However, remember that Paul does not reinforce their expectation

          Yes, he did by using the first person plural for those living and the third person plural for the dead. The fact that Paul does not see any reason to be concerned about having a family does also. The Pseudo-Paulines are a different story which indicates they were written by the grandchildren of Paul’s generation.

          Dallas Seminary does not require adherence to a specific statement regarding eschatology.

          So what? The fact that he is willing to sign a faith statement is an indication that he would consider signing one for Dallas Seminary, if they asked. The willingness to sign a faith statement shows the signatory is more interested in justifying belief than seeking truth.

        • Don Camp

          blockquote>do you think I could get away with it by explaining that when I said “you”, I meant people a few thousand years from now?

          Not unless you left some clues about who you were addressing. But that is my point. There are a lot of clues.

          Mark was writing after the war. I am pretty sure that Mark was writing fiction and may have been writing fictional satire.

          I think I said that Mark’s account does address the happenings of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The other two don’t seem to be referring to the 70s war. I think I gave my reasons why I don’t think so. But even so, that is only a small part of the many things Jesus said would happen before the end. One of those things that Jesus said specifically was that the gospel would be preached in all the world. That had not happened in the first century or the lifetime of the disciples.

          14 And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.

          Notice the future tense here.

          Paul not only taught the people of Thessalonica in person but sent several letters following up on their questions. Here is the final folow up:

          2 As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is

          already here. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction 4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? 6 And you know what is now restraining , so that he may be revealed when his time comes. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, 10 and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, 12 so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned.

          Paul tells the Thessalonians again that the coming of the Lord will not happen until the man of lawlessnes is revealed. Notice the future tenses.

          Put the whole picture together. Selecting only those passages that seem to support your view is relying on only part of the picture.

          Be careful about being so selective in choosing the “recognized” Pauline espitles to the exclusion of others which many scholars argue are just as authentic. See Craig Blomberg’s book The Historical Reliability of the New Testament pages 358 through 368. He consifers all the reasons given for a non-Pualine author and he provids his reasons for accepting the book as Pauline.

          That is the sort of thing we expect from a scholar. Any thing less is opinion.

          The willingness to sign a faith statement shows the signatory is more interested in justifying belief than seeking truth.

          Hogwash. It means that he agrees with the position and has come to that opinion personally. It is possible for any scholar to choose to teach in other places if the faith statement does not represent his convictions. .

          Any number of biblical scholars teach in institutions that are not Christian or that do not ask for agreement to a statement of faith. You know of some. Dr. Hector Avalos and Dr. Bart Ehrman are two.

        • Greg G.

          I think I said that Mark’s account does address the happenings of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The other two don’t seem to be referring to the 70s war.

          Mark was inventing fiction for Romans. Matthew and Luke copied that fiction because they didn’t know or didn’t care whether it was fiction, so what they say is even more irrelevant.

          Notice the future tense here.

          Of course Jesus is talking in the future tense because it wouldn’t make sense for him to be talking to people after then end. But notice that the end still hasn’t come because it was hypothetical fiction.

          11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false,

          That sounds like a tactic that every con man has in his bag of tricks.

          Paul tells the Thessalonians again that the coming of the Lord will not happen until the man of lawlessnes is revealed. Notice the future tenses.

          But Paul also thought the Lord would come before he died. So he was wrong about that and just as wrong about the man of lawlessness. Notice that future tenses apply to 15 seconds from now, too.

          See Craig Blomberg’s book The Historical Reliability of the New Testament pages 358 through 368. He consifers all the reasons given for a non-Pualine author and he provids his reasons for accepting the book as Pauline.

          I did a search and actually found a section of that book on Google Books. I am not all that impressed by his reasoning.

          But the connections with the undisputed letter to Philemon make it difficult to distance Colossians from Paul himself. Ephesians is similar enough to Colossians to suggest that they were written at the same time in the same setting and sent out together by Tychicus.
          &nbsp: &nbsp: &nbsp: –Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the New Testament: Countering the Challenges, pg 408; https://books.google.com/books?id=fROfDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA406&lpg=PA406&source=bl&ots=Qx__kvbKGw&sig=ACfU3U1y7qHj5Qhddxw8eNlzuDKzYGI9fw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjspcSai6roAhWCHM0KHZMQBGwQ6AEwCnoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&f=false

          I agree with him that there are many similarities to connect Ephesians and Colossians but those connections simultaneously separate them from most other letters that Paul is accused of writing. But I do see a connection between Philemon and Colossians so I tend to agree with Blomberg on that point. Philemon and Colossians share four words that are used nowhere else in the New Testament. That is the same number of unique shares as with all of the other so-called Pauline epistles. That is more unique shares than between Philemon and all of the Gospels. It does not seem to be a chance thing for a letter with only 335 words. There seems to be some literary connection, either because they are written by the same person or somebody borrowing from it. Two of those four shared words used nowhere else in the GNT are names.

          However, I have never seen strong arguments for Philemon being authentic. It seems to get a free pass because it is short and doesn’t take a position on theological topics or other topics. Most of the Pauline epistles that are commonly rejected is because of theological discrepancies but Philemon doesn’t say much about that. It does not have much text to identify great stylistic differences. It is quite unlike any other letter with Paul’s name on it that it is obviously not copying style, which is one reason why they do not accept 2 Thessalonians as authentic. Philemon just seems to get a bye.

          So the similarities between Philemon and Colossians which Blomberg uses to connect them and the similarities I see completely uninfluenced by him do not connect Colossians to the authentic epistles but it pulls Philemon out of the group, in my opinion.

          That is the sort of thing we expect from a scholar. Any thing less is opinion.

          It seems to me from the pages I saw that his reasoning leaves a lot to be desired which makes me think his conclusions are led by his religious convictions.

          On a hunch from the weakness of his arguments, I checked whether he signs a faith statement. Here it is: https://denverseminary.edu/about/who-we-are/statement-of-faith/

          Word Of God section
          We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original writings, complete as the revelation of God’s will for salvation, and the supreme and final authority in all matters to which they speak.

          Each year our trustees, administration, and faculty are required to affirm and sign Denver Seminary’s doctrinal statement, while students and staff are required to affirm and sign the National Association of Evangelicals’ Statement of Faith.

          It is no wonder that a Faith Statement signature discredits the work of a scholar.

          Hogwash. It means that he agrees with the position and has come to that opinion personally.

          It means that if a faith statement signer finds something that proves his belief is wrong, he must decide whether to fake it or risk being unemployed with scholastic degrees that are worthless outside academia and over-qualifications for honest work. Especially when he is in a SITCOM situation – Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage.

          It is possible for any scholar to choose to teach in other places if the faith statement does not represent his convictions. .

          Don’t be naive. Anyplace with a similar faith statement wouldn’t want him. His credibility is in question for having signed one in the first place.

          Any number of biblical scholars teach in institutions that are not Christian or that do not ask for agreement to a statement of faith. You know of some. Dr. Hector Avalos and Dr. Bart Ehrman are two.

          Sure. I have disagreed with a few of Ehrman’s arguments but I am less inclined to think that he is making the argument because of religious conviction or a faith statement.

        • Don Camp

          It means that if a faith statement signer finds something that proves his belief is wrong, he must decide whether to fake it or risk being unemployed with scholastic degrees that are worthless outside academia and over-qualifications for honest work.

          Tell that to those who choose to work in institutions that do not require a statement of faith. Start with Hector Avalos, Iowa State University, and Bart Ehrman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,.or my former prof at Emory’s Chandler School of Theology, Dr. Jacob Wright But there are many. Almost every public university has a departmental for biblical studies. Check for the department of religious studies at California State University at Northridge. Or religious studies at Oregon State University.

          So let’s say you’re a young PhD in biblical studies and want to make reasonable money, Why choose Denver Seminary over Oregon State? (No one really makes much more than a bus driver.) Most likely because you want to teach the very things that Denver Seminary stands for, historic and conservative theology. Why would signing a statement of faith compromise his integrity?

          But then I have the same reservations about a biblical scholar who chooses Oregon State. I find it a good indication that he or she is not going to be in line with historic Christianity. The New Biblical Scholars, I call them. A state university seems like a good choice when you no longer believe in God. But then why? Avalos doesn’t even think biblical studies make sense. Yet he continues to teach. How is that for integrity?

        • Greg G.

          You are not making sense, Don. Mike Licona lost two jobs because he said in a book that the Zombie Apocalypse (not his words) in Matthew 27 was ‘merely “poetic device” and “special effects.”’

          https://www.christianpost.com/news/biblical-inerrancy-and-the-licona-controversy.html
          https://normangeisler.com/houston-baptist-university-defends-liconas-denial-of-inerrancy-by-norman-l-geisler-ph-d-february-2013-updated-march-2013/
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_R._Licona

          Licona works for Houston Baptist University now. They supported him as early as 2013. I could not find an explicit Faith Statement but there is:

          Job Opportunities at Houston Baptist University
          Employees with Faith

          graduate-classHouston Baptist University is committed to maintaining a teaching faculty and staff who share an active Christian faith. The Preamble to the By-Laws of the University sets forth a statement of belief that each University employee is expected to support and personify. Your submittal of an application for employment indicates your acceptance and affirmation of these statements.

        • Don Camp

          And Licona decided that standing by his conviction was more important than his employment at HBU. He had the personal integrity to do that. So what is the problem? Your point was that you couldn’t trust someone who worked under a statement of faith, but then Licona demonstrates that those conditions did not cause him to water down his conviction for the sake of a job. You might not like HBU, but you should admire Licona.

        • Greg G.

          What have you read? Licona was hired by HBU after the fiasco. He was fired by Southern Evangelical Seminary because he wrote that the Zombie Apocalypse was not true and would not retract it. I admire him for that.

          Licona, with Gary Habermas, gave us the 10/42 apologetic which said there is more support for Jesus than for Tiberias. That claim was demolished by Matt Ferguson (see https://web.archive.org/web/20190208064737/https://celsus.blog/2012/10/14/ten-reasons-to-reject-the-apologetic-1042-source-slogan/ ). The article notes that Licona retracted his support for the apologetic, so props for that.

          It seems that around 2012, Licona realized that he could no longer be bound by a faith statement so he cowboyed up and broke it. Now he works where he has a little more freedom to pursue the truth. But is he still shackled by his own religious belief?

          What about everybody else who is still signing faith statements? Are they afraid to tell the truth? Are they afraid to pursue the truth?

        • Don Camp

          But is he still shackled by his own religious belief?

          Everyone is shackled by their beliefs. Even if you think you have none.

          What about everybody else who is still signing faith statements? Are
          they afraid to tell the truth? Are they afraid to pursue the truth?

          I don’t know. And neither do you. Why not take them at their word that they speaking/writing honestly. It is the argument that is important, not the person.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Everyone is shackled by their beliefs. Even if you think you have none.

          Nice try Don. Try reading for comprehension.

          “But is he still shackled by his own religious belief?”

          I don’t know. And neither do you.

          Irrelevant. If they are afraid to tell or pursue the truth, they are being dishonest and have lost intellectual integrity.

          Why not take them at their word that they speaking/writing honestly.

          Don, you are just not getting this at all, and it isn’t really that difficult. They are either writing from the position of the contents of the faith statement, which means a religiously biased position. Or they are not writing what they believe, because of the faith statement they signed and the fear of losing their position. Either way it is problematic.

          It is the argument that is important, not the person.

          That wasn’t your position a day ago, ya lying weasel.

        • Don Camp

          If they are afraid to tell or pursue the truth, they are being dishonest and have lost intellectual integrity.

          You have yet to show that there are any who are afraid to pursue the truth. All you have is innuendo.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, we’ve a bit more than that.

          We’ve given examples of what happens to folk brave enough to contravene the party line. From that, we can extrapolate that there are some that won’t contravene the party line for fear of being unemployed.

          There are scholars that know of other scholars that don’t air their views in public because they fear the repercussions.

          But why don’t we let an academic theologian outline what he understands the position on this, and the purpose of a faith statement, and what he understands that such can incur on those who are problematic, but sign anyway…

          It is no secret that prospective faculty can and have signed doctrinal statements which contain affirmations which they deny or denials which they affirm (or both). This practice, however, is clearly deceptive and ultimately serves neither party. This is because, in perpetrating the deception, the candidate essentially consigns herself to an inauthentic existence—an existence which will either consume her internally, thereby weakening her capacity for theological creativity, or spill out into controversy, thereby diminishing the health of the community as a whole. Moreover, if my thesis is correct that doctrinal boundaries serve ultimately to facilitate discipleship, it would seem that a community which includes either secret or open dissenters would also be inhibited in this area. As a result, there seems to me to be no purpose in concealing any reservations one might have about any of the claims made in a particular doctrinal statement.

          https://theologyoutofbounds.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/on-signing-statements-of-faith/

          Your naivete is astonishing. If you think there is no one living a secret life because of religious restrictions, your even more crazy than I suspect.

          Have you never heard of The Clergy Project?

          https://clergyproject.org/

          This is just another loada yer “attempting to misdirect the conversation” pish.

          The bottom line is…

          Faith Statements Do Restrict Academic Freedom: Most Defenses of Evangelical Colleges Miss the Point–Rigid Orthodoxy Does Not Go Well with the Quest for Knowledge

          https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ723778

          …and not just academic freedom, but freedom of expression too…

          Wheaton College in Illinois said earlier this month that it’s initiating termination proceedings against Larycia Hawkins, the tenured associate professor of political science who wore a hijab during Advent and publicized her gesture in what she said was a message of solidarity with Muslims.

          https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/01/14/can-statements-faith-be-compatible-academic-freedom

          The fact remains, folk that sign faith statements are biased towards upholding the contents of the faith statement. If they aren’t, they are either liars, or get fired. Deal with it.

        • Don Camp

          Your naivete is astonishing. If you think there is no one living a secret life because of religious restrictions,

          I did not say there were none. I said you need to demonstrate that there are. Larycia Hawkins is not one. The statement she signed or agreed to did not say she could not wear a hajib or publish on Facebook what she did. But what she did was contrary to the interests of the university. Almost any employer has the right to expect employees to adhere to acceptable standards.

          But this is all nit picking, Amos. If you have a problem with something written by a Christian scholar, criticize the thesis and support. Don’t shoot the messenger. It makes you look like your argument is weak.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I did not say there were none.

          Well if that’s not what you meant by…

          “You have yet to show that there are any who are afraid to pursue the truth. All you have is innuendo.”

          Then you must be agreeing that there are, so what are you arguing about? You really are a dunce.

          I said you need to demonstrate that there are.

          Don, that is exemplified by the fact that Licona was fired for his actions in pursuant of the truth.

          Larycia Hawkins is not one.

          But if you could read for comprehension, you’d look less foolish. She was cited as an example of someone getting fired for contravening the terms of a faith statement.

          Let me help…

          “…and not just academic freedom, but freedom of expression too…”

          Because it gets ya fired.

          The statement she signed or agreed to did not say she could not wear a hajib or publish on Facebook what she did.

          And yet that’s the reason why she was fired. Go figure!

          Wheaton eventually said it would move to fire her, as she’d violated its Statement of Faith.

          Such statements are par for the course at evangelical Christian colleges. By signing them, professors voluntarily commit to living out the ideals of the institution.

          But what she did was contrary to the interests of the university.

          But she was fired because violated the colleges statement of faith. The is not in doubt. Stop being stupid.

          How was she supposed to know that? Where are those “interests” displayed? Clearly, the person in question wasn’t aware of such interests.

          Almost any employer has the right to expect employees to adhere to acceptable standards.

          What acceptable standards did she contravene? She was fired for violating the colleges statement of faith. Wise ta fuck up.

          But this is all nit picking, Amos.

          Yes you are, and making a cunt of yerself in the process.

          If you have a problem with something written by a Christian scholar, criticize the thesis and support.

          Holey fuck. That’s what is being done. Someone who signs a statement of faith is either biased or a liar. Either way, their thesis is skewed. It’s skewed because the faith statement that declares the buybull as the inerrant word of God means that they are not allowed to hold a view contrary. Blomberg’s argument that the two epistles are genuine Pauline is skewed by this bias. And his arguments are not all that impressive in anycase. Christers that recognise the epistles as likely forgeries, are obviously not restricted by such a bias.

          Don’t shoot the messenger.

          What ta fuck are you on about? The messenger gets shot because his message is shite.

          It makes you look like your argument is weak.

          Wise up ya silly auld fart. You’ve presented fuck all but weak arguments since ya got here…I use the term argument very loosely. Most of your crap has been unsupported assertions and conjecture pulled from yer saggy Christer arse.

        • Don Camp

          Then you must be agreeing that there are, so what are you arguing about?

          I am asking that you be specific in supporting your thesis.

          But she was fired because violated the colleges statement of faith.

          What part?

          If you have a problem with something written by a Christian scholar, criticize the thesis and support.Holey fuck. That’s what is being done. Someone who signs a statement of faith is either biased or a liar. Either way, their thesis is skewed.

          I am not sure why you don’t understand what a thesis in a paper is. It is the idea being argued. It would not matter who wrote it or whether biased or not – I would say the same about Dr. Avalos’ writings – IT IS THE IDEA THAT IS IMPORTANT.

          Blomberg may be arguing from the basic historic Christian position, but wasn’t Avalos arguing from the basic atheist position? He just did not sign a formal statement of faith. But in either case the argument stands or falls not on whether Blomberg is a Christian or Avalos is an atheist but on the strength of the argument.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I am asking that you be specific in supporting your thesis.

          Don, don’t you feel you are being even a snippet a two faced hypocrite in asking that question, given that you’ve done very little in the way of being specific in supporting your assertions?

          Now, back to the point. You said, “If you think there is no one living a secret life because of religious restrictions,” You seem to be agreeing that there are, but yet still demanding specific examples. Which of course, is somewhat difficult, because of the nature of being secret. But you were given the example of The Clergy Project. There are testimonies on there from various clerics who are living secret lives because of religious restrictions. They are reporting anonymously, which being the astute literary genius you are [/s], is synonymous with “secret”.

          Of statements of faith in general, Ringenberg said Christian colleges have always had “explicit” or “implicit” ones, and that it’s important expectations are stated clearly at the time of employment to avoid surprises down the line. Problems develop when the institution changes or adds to the rules in the “middle of the game,” or when a professor changes his or her worldview but wants to remain at the institution, he added.

          Other more general examples have been provided, but I’m going with you being to stupid to comprehend that.

          Since you admit that you think there are folk living a secret life because of religious restrictions, this nonsense rabbit hole you’re trying to drag me down is moot.

          What part?

          Well, that’s at the centre of the issue, isn’t it? Not the reason you seem to have latched onto, the wearing of the hijab.

          Can’t you fucking read?

          The college has said that the act of wearing the hijab was not the issue. Rather it was a statement by Hawkins that Muslims “worship the same God” as do Christians. Theologians are divided on that point, and many supporters of Wheaton disagree with her statement.

          So, you can take your pick from the statement of faith, which bit the powers that be, deemed she contravened, but this bit seems to be sufficient…

          WE BELIEVE in one sovereign God, eternally existing in three persons: the everlasting Father, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, and the Holy Spirit, the giver of life;…

          Muslims don’t believe in that God, nor do they believe that Jesus is God’s son their Lord.

          Seemingly addressing the obvious question of which part of the statement Hawkins violated, Wheaton says that while Islam and Christianity are both monotheistic, “we believe there are fundamental differences between the two faiths, including what they teach about God’s revelation to humanity, the nature of God, the path to salvation and the life of prayer. … We affirm that salvation is through Christ alone.”

          Furthermore, one of her colleagues writing a comment in support of Hawkins was also chastised by the college provost.

          But you are missing the point here, as usual. What matters is not so much what she done, but what can be done to her because of a statement of faith. It places religious restrictions on signees.

          The debate centers on what room should be allowed within an evangelical doctrine of God for a range of perspectives. “Evangelicals need to sort out what is theologically essential from what is theologically peripheral,” Burge, the New Testament professor, explains. “Christian colleges like Wheaton write statements of faith to protect what is essential but they also need to discern where faculty are free to express private views. This is the very essence of academic freedom. Dr. Hawkins’ theological commitments place her squarely within the bounds of what is theologically essential at Wheaton College—and she should be free to express her other views where they do not violate those essentials.”

          A general attitude of fear and concern has also swept through the faculty, who are wondering now what expressions of their evangelical faith the college will deem acceptable, which cross the line, and what standard the college will use to decide.

          https://time.com/4174229/wheaton-college-larycia-hawkins-muslim-facebook/

          I am not sure why you don’t understand what a thesis in a paper is. It is the idea being argued.

          I’m well aware of what a thesis is Don. I’m not sure why you don’t understand why a thesis written by Christer biblical scholars and written from a biased perspective that doesn’t permit academic freedom because of a statement of faith, for fear of repercussions, is problematic. Repercussions that are in evidence.

          It would not matter who wrote it or whether biased or not – I would say the same about Dr. Avalos’ writings – IT IS THE IDEA THAT IS IMPORTANT.

          But you’ve already said you won’t read Avalos’ book because of the man, not the thesis. A thesis that explains how religious bias has been detrimental to the academy. So you are being dishonest yet again.

          You’ve already dismissed the ideas of folk here because of who has been writing them.

          Don, we all prioritize what we read, or chose to read, by using a variety of criteria. You included. You don’t read creationist literature anymore. Why? You don’t consider the arguments of “new” biblical scholars relevant. Why? You believe Mohamad perverted Old Testament scripture. Why? I’ve no doubt you believe there are a whole range of reasons to disregard certain sources.

          You presented Craig Blomberg in defence of Pauline authorship of two epistles that author, equally qualified scholars assert are not. But you just cited a few pages in a book. You made no effort to outline his thesis here. So, given that Blomberg is a scholar with Christian bias and is beholding to a statement of faith which restricts academic freedom, I’ve no reason to expend any effort, expense, or time, in tracking down this book you praise. Outline what salient points you believe he makes. We can then make an appraisal of his arguments to see if they are as robust as you seem to think.

          Blomberg may be arguing from the basic historic Christian position, but wasn’t Avalos arguing from the basic atheist position?

          No. And if you’d read his book, you’d understand why.

          See, the problem with Christers pointing to secular scholars, and atheist ones in particular, such as Avalos, Loftus, Barker, and Ehrman…et al, is that they arrived at their current position on gods belief, because they were able to overcome their religious bias. Many on this forum were dyed in the wool, childhood indoctrinated, biased Christers of various flavors, yet inspite of that, we overcome the bias to see past the religious nonsense.

          He just did not sign a formal statement of faith.

          Which means he is academically free to write from a position that allows him to be controversial. Whatever you might think of him, he has demonstrated that he is honest to his convictions. Convictions that aren’t handicapped by a statement of faith. Why is this basic concept so hard for you to grasp?

          Let’s look at a Christer scholar with no such restrictions. James Tabor, for example. He acknowledges that the supernatural has no place in the history of the buybull contents. Those are matters of theology. Would he be permitted such a viewpoint under the koosh of a faith statement?

          He also recognises the problem of bias in

          As does this guy… Aaron Chalmers

          The Influence of Cognitive Biases on Biblical Interpretation

          https://www.jstor.org/stable/26371525?seq=1

          And this institution…Tabormtc.

          Cognitive biases and the way we interpret the Bible.

          https://tabormtc.com/2015/11/04/cognitive-biases-and-the-way-we-interpret-the-bible/

          And more…

          https://www.leadershipresources.org/20-frameworks-that-mess-up-bible-reading/

          But in either case the argument stands or falls not on whether Blomberg is a Christian or Avalos is an atheist but on the strength of the argument.

          Correct. Arguments stand or fall on their own merits. You may have noticed that a number of sources I cite in defence of my position, are Christer. This is to avoid the charge of atheist bias.

          But since you haven’t presented Blomberg’s argument, we are using a filter. The filter is that Christers who’ve signed faith statements are heavily skewed because they have restricted academic freedom. That’s a fact.

          You seem to be filtering Avalos similarly. Though in doing so, you’ve been erroneous and misrepresentative.

          Why are you comparing Avalos and Blomberg?

          What we should be doing, is comparing scholars who’ve commented on the issue. Let’s take Ephesians. It would seem that the current consensus is that it isn’t genuine. The arguments against genuine authorship would appear just as robust as those in favor of genuine authorship. There are those that assert that the evidence is inconclusive either way. So I’m on solid ground in accepting there is evidence for reasonable doubt in it’s authenticity. That’s the rational position. If Christer scholars have reason to doubt, then I’m hardly being biased in having doubt too.

          You wouldn’t accept the proposition if the shoe was on the other foot.

        • Don Camp

          But you were given the example of The Clergy Project. There are testimonies on there from various clerics who are living secret lives because of religious restrictions. They are reporting anonymously, which being the astute literary genius you are [/s], is synonymous with”secret”.

          They are living in secret because they are dishonest. If they have to deceive their employers to hold onto their job, they lack integrity.

          I do not recall that you directed me to the clergy project. But even so, doesn’t it seem reasonable that a church who hires a pastor has the right to expect that the pastor represents honestly the faith the church holds? If that pastor changes his mind, is it not he who is being dishonest and lacking in integrity if he continues in secret taking a salary and saying all the right words while deceiving the church? It is possible to do something else. I have had friends who left the [pastorate and are cutting hair. At least they are being honest.

          How is it the church’s fault that they expect to be led by a pastor who believes?

          Problems develop when the institution changes or adds to the rules in the “middle of the game,” or when a professor changes his or her worldview but wants to remain at the institution,

          I don’t think the Wheaton changed the rules. It is the prof who changed.

          If the professor changed her mind and her worldview, why was she not honest with herself and her employer and resign? If I had a frame shop, as I did, and I had an employee who did not believe in framing photographs, would I want that employee to continue selling frames? Of course not. I would rather she be honest and quit. What is the difference here?

          A general attitude of fear and concern has also swept through the faculty, who are wondering now what expressions of their evangelical faith the college will deem acceptable, which cross the line, and what standard the college will use to decide.

          I don’t know whom you are quoting here, but I’d say if the faculty cannot discern that this prof went over the line in her lack of loyalty to the institution and the position of trust given her by the college, then they are denser than I ever would have imagined.

          Do professors think they have some kind of entitlement that allows them to do and say whatever they want without responsibility? Who in the world has that kind of entitlement?

          I’m not sure why you don’t understand why a thesis written by Christer biblical scholars and written from a biased perspective that doesn’t permit academic freedom because of a statement of faith, for fear of repercussions, is problematic.

          I see that the problem is with the person writing. He/she is not being honest. The problem is not with the thesis or support in a paper they or any honest person writes. . The paper stands on its own whether the person believes it or not.

          Would he [Tabor] be permitted such a viewpoint under the koosh of a faith statement?

          The question really is would Tabor be responsible to the institution he works for if he believed that or said that. If he is speaking without any obligation to the institution, he can believe anything and say anything. If he has promised in a contract to be responsible to the institution and if he no longer believes what the institution stands for, then he should have the integrity to leave.

          In most universities, even those with a faith statement agreement, there are discussions of these things going on among the faculty. Those conversations are not forbidden When the viewpoint is publicly expressed and when it is obviously contrary to the view of the institution, that becomes a problem. What the prof from Wheaton did was very publicly express her own viewpoint knowing that was contrary to the view of the university. That was over the edge. She is smart. She should have known that. Did she think she was entitled to undercut her employer?

          There are plenty of other universities, Emory for one, that would welcome her inclusiveness. Why did she not choose to teach there? Was she really trying to torpedo the university she chose to work for and was receiving a salary from? If so, that is the problem.

          Amos, you seem to want me to be honest and complain about it all the time. How is it you don’t expect this prof at Wheaton and the clergy in the Clergy Project to be honest?

        • Greg G.

          If that pastor changes his mind, is it not he who is being dishonest and lacking in integrity if he continues in secret taking a salary and saying all the right words while deceiving the church?

          Have you lost touch with the real world? A pastor may have a wife and kids, friends and colleagues. It is not that easy to come out as someone who has lost faith. Shunning is a thing in may Christian communities. The qualifications to be a preacher do not translate well to other professions. They have responsibilities to their families. So they go along as best they can, giving the same boring sermons that they did before. The congregation doesn’t care, it makes no difference whether the preacher actually believes in a make-believe god thingy or make-believes in a make-believe god thingy.

          How is it you don’t expect this prof at Wheaton and the clergy in the Clergy Project to be honest?

          The Wheaton prof believes in a sham. Wheaton is based on the sham. The Clergy Project supports those who have realized they are part of a sham and want to find a graceful exit.

        • A local atheist tells the story of his falling away from Christianity as a pastor. He gave his swan song and, within about 5 minutes, lost his job, his career, his house, and his wife.

          Yeah, there are consequences.

        • Don Camp

          blockquote>It is not that easy to come out as someone who has lost faith.

          I understand that. But I know pastors who have left the ministry, usually for other reasons, but left rather abruptly in any event. It is not easy. It may cost some money because of a change in salary. BUT integrity and honesty demands it.

          Many congregations would work with their pastor/former pastor or professor. They are not interested in punishing him/her or their family. They may give a buy out or allow for a leave that would give the pastor time to find other employment.

          So they go along as best they can, giving the same boring sermons that they did before. The congregation doesn’t care,

          I can assure you I would care. During the years that I was an elder and in that position essentially the employer, I would rather the man be honest than deceitful. Preaching and teaching is a spiritual activity; dishonesty cuts the pastor off from the spiritual anointing that is essential to effective preaching and teaching.

          The Clergy Project supports those who have realized they are part of a sham and want to find a graceful exit.

          So make a graceful exit. It looks like some did. Good for them. The prof at Wheaton did not. She attempted to undercut her employer. I would not be happy with that even if all I was running was a fast food burger restaurant. What was she thinking?

        • Greg G.

          Many congregations would work with their pastor/former pastor or professor. They are not interested in punishing him/her or their family. They may give a buy out or allow for a leave that would give the pastor time to find other employment.

          Really? Why, then, is the Clergy Project still in existence?

          I would rather the man be honest than deceitful.

          Do you think a preacher should quit his job at the first sign of a crisis of faith just for integrity’s sake? How much thought do you think should go into it? Maybe the congregation prefers the more humanistic sermons.

          What was she thinking?

          Kumbaya!

        • Ignorant Amos

          I think Don is struggling with his faith. He spends far too much time on atheist boards for it to be healthy.

          He seems to be projecting. Maybe he is in the closet and shit scared of coming out, so is in denial.

          He’s like the gay person that gets married, has children, and is vehemently homophobic, in a bid to convince himself he isn’t “sick”.

          Like a Ted Haggard, Ralph Carl Wushke, or Joshua Harris.

          The Clergy Project probably scares the crap out of him.

        • Don Camp

          Why, then, is the Clergy Project still in existence?

          You’ll have to ask them.

          Do you think a preacher should quit his job at the first sign of a crisis of faith just for integrity’s sake? How much thought do you think should go into t?

          The question is can the preacher or teacher function with integrity in his or her role as preacher or teacher. If he cannot, he should not. If he is preaching something he doesn’t believe himself. he should quit.

          Maybe the congregation prefers the more humanistic sermons.

          Then that congregation would not be troubled by a preacher who did not personally believe in God. I visited such a church a couple of years ago while on vacation in a tiny mountain town in Washington. It was a denomination that in this part of the country is known for very liberal theology. There was very little in the pastor’s message that mentioned God at all. It was all about inclusion, which has in the last fw years become the primary focus of the denomination. They probably would not care.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya didn’t watch the video, so you are talking ignorant shite.

          Come back and comment from a position of knowledge, or don’t, and become stupid on the subject. who cares?

        • Greg G.

          Why, then, is the Clergy Project still in existence?

          You’ll have to ask them.

          It was an easy rhetorical question. It is because there are still pastors who would like to get out of the field as gracefully as possible.

          The question is can the preacher or teacher function with integrity in his or her role as preacher or teacher. If he cannot, he should not. If he is preaching something he doesn’t believe himself. he should quit.

          You missed the point. Should every preacher quit at his first doubt? Should he call in sick until he eliminates the doubt. This must be a really hard question for you.

          Then that congregation would not be troubled by a preacher who did not personally believe in God. I visited such a church a couple of years ago while on vacation in a tiny mountain town in Washington. It was a denomination that in this part of the country is known for very liberal theology. There was very little in the pastor’s message that mentioned God at all. It was all about inclusion, which has in the last fw years become the primary focus of the denomination. They probably would not care.

          AIUI, that is like theUniversalists.

          So many people have left the Baptists churches because of their uninclusiveness, that they are renaming their churches to something without “Baptist” but not softening their position on gay marriage and such. All that remodeling for nothing.

        • Don Camp

          Should every preacher quit at his first doubt? Should he call in sick
          until he eliminates the doubt. This must be a really hard question for
          you.

          Everyone has doubts at times. So, no, though I have known men who have asked for a sabbatical to deal with those things.

        • Greg G.

          Everyone has doubts at times. So, no,

          What about integrity? You have stopped at “Jesus is the answer” for so long, you cannot process the complexities of real life.

        • Don Camp

          I once heard someone speak on doubt. He considered three kinds. 1) emotional doubt. I just don’t feel like it is true. 2) intellectual. It just does not make sense. 3) volitional. I have decided not to believe.

          Everyone experiences emotional doubt at times. Usually when I have that experience, I tell myself to get a good night’s sleep. I’ll feel differently tomorrow. And I do.

          Lots of people experience intellectual doubt. When I encounter things that don’t make sense, I dig deeper until I have an answer.

          Some people come to then place in their lives where they choose not to believe. Maybe it is the final product of emotional and intellectual doubt. But it is a step further. At this point people look for reasons not to believe.

          Often people who choose not to believe will say that they would believe if the evidence was sufficient. But they do not look for the evidence. They look for problems with the evidence.

          A pastor or professor/teacher who experiences the first two kinds of doubt will work through it. I’d be inclined to give them time. Pastors who have come to the point where they have chosen not to believe should be honest with himself and with those who employ him and resign.

        • Greg G.

          Volitional? I think you mean “giving yourself permission to be delusional.” I cannot decide or choose to believe in purple people eaters nor purple people. I cannot decide or choose to believe that my keyboard is not real. I would really like to believe I am a billionaire but I cannot force myself to believe that by choice.

          The evidential support for some things is so overwhelming, it is delusional to not accept that they exist.There is a lack of evidential support for some things where there should be evidence of existence so it is delusional to choose to believe in them anyway. There are some things that might be implied by the evidence or not so belief should be provisional on the strength of the evidence.

          There are hundreds of things around me in my office. I accept all of them as real so it is not that I am all that skeptical of everything.

          It sounds as if that person was teaching you to brainwash yourself.

        • Greg G.

          Please read and understand the article at this link to another Patheos atheist blog:

          The High Cost of Leaving Your Faith
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2013/12/07/the-high-cost-of-leaving-your-faith/

        • nydiva

          Thanks for the link Greg. There are thousands of silent readers on this blog that will profit from reading this man’s story. Many Christians and others are struggling with their faith and they can’t go to someone like a Don Camp who doesn’t understand with their doubts.

        • Don Camp

          Thank you for the article. It was thoughtful and very personal.

          The issues Neil Carter faced are not unique to his specific circumstances, however. I don’t mean to trivialize anything he experienced, but many have had similar difficulties, both those who leave one religion for another and those who leave family and friends to follow Jesus as well as those, like Carter, who leave religion to follow a life of “reason.”

          There is a cost. I had a friend years ago who was ahead of me a couple of years and was then going to seminary. His father was a minister and he was obviously raised in a intensely Christian environment. All his friends were Christians. My wife had gone to summer camp with him when they were in high school, and they had a large group of Christian friends.

          Deciding that he no longer believed was tough and costly. I have thought about him from time to time, though I have never heard from him since we had that conversation.

          Ultimately my friend had to be honest with himself and with his family and friends. He was not in the ministry at the time, so it did not require that he be honest with his congregation or employer. But had he been, he would have needed to have the same conversation with them that he had with me. I appreciated it. I think they would have appreciated it also.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I understand that.

          Apparently not, because…

          But I know pastors who have left the ministry, usually for other reasons, but left rather abruptly in any event.

          So not the same thing then.

          It is not easy.

          That depends on ones community and reason for leaving. It can be very easy in some circumstances. Those aren’t the ones under discussion though, so pah!

          It may cost some money because of a change in salary.

          Are you being stupid intentionally now? Can’t you read? Money is the issue, though it may be a contributing factor.

          Why don’t you learn something about it, before talking anymore shite. Though I doubt you will.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTme-3nz8q4

          BUT integrity and honesty demands it.

          Well you’d know very little about that.

          Not all of TCP are still preachers. It is a support network to help those that are, trying to get out of it. But sometimes there are things that are more pressing than “integrity and honesty”…so does it fuck demand it.

          Many congregations would work with their pastor/former pastor or professor.

          Well that’s nice. So what? You love an irrelevancy, don’t ya?

          They are not interested in punishing him/her or their family.

          Well that’s nice. So what? You love an irrelevancy, don’t ya?

          They may give a buy out or allow for a leave that would give the pastor time to find other employment.

          Well that’s nice. So what? You love an irrelevancy, don’t ya?

          I can assure you I would care.

          Well that’s nice. So what? You love an irrelevancy, don’t ya? But how the fuck would you know if they were faking it? Have you never watched porno? Most folk watch porn, they don’t know the actors are faking it.

          During the years that I was an elder and in that position essentially the employer, I would rather the man be honest than deceitful.

          Well that’s nice. So what? You love an irrelevancy, don’t ya? Who gives a fuck about what you would rather?

          Preaching and teaching is a spiritual activity; dishonesty cuts the pastor off from the spiritual anointing that is essential to effective preaching and teaching.

          You’ve got to be shitting me. You think it is only clerics turned atheists are being dishonest and lack integrity? Wise to fuck up Don. The record is steeped in highly religious folk that make a mockery of your claim. You’re a nutjob.

          So make a graceful exit.

          It’s not a graceful exit you are espousing though.

          It looks like some did. Good for them.

          Define “a graceful exit”?

          The prof at Wheaton did not. She attempted to undercut her employer. I would not be happy with that even if all I was running was a fast food burger restaurant. What was she thinking?

          So much for your honesty and integrity. You know that is just not the case, so repeating it, demonstrates your a dishonest lying weasel.

        • Don Camp

          Not all of TCP are still preachers.

          I know that. I read some of then testimonies. Good for them. They should not be.

          You think it is only clerics turned atheists are being dishonest and lack integrity?

          No. I am only saying that a cleric that does not beliueve what he is preachin g lacks integrity.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You didn’t watch the video Don, did ya?

          See, here’s the thing. When I first heard about the TCP in the early days, I had just as a stinking ignorant view of them as you do, too.

          But then I got an education on the topic. An amazing thing that is, even as a baby eating heathen atheist, it stops ya looking like a heartless prick. Try it before commenting further.

          No. I am only saying that a cleric that does not beliueve what he is preachin g lacks integrity.

          Who cares, if it isn’t bothering anyone, but the person who’s losing it?

          You don’t care about your integrity Don, even when it is bothering others. Ya think ya do, because you are deluded into thinking what you are doing here is righteous. It’s not.

          Get off yer high horse Don, yer not all that. Stop virtue-posing, it ain’t very Christer quality, doncha know?

          If by losing my integrity, I will lose everything, my wife, my children, my family, my friends, my home, my finances…the lot…ya cram integrity up yer arse.

          Integrity is overrated, especially if someone else’s lack of it, isn’t bothering anyone. That’s not the case with Christers though.

        • Don Camp

          If by losing my integrity, I will lose everything, my wife, my
          children, my family, my friends, my home, my finances…the lot…ya
          cram integrity up yer arse.

          I thought you might say that. But really it is not an either lie or starve game. There are other jobs; many pastors have left the ministry and found other jobs. And if my pastor came to me with this dilemma wanting to maintain his integrity, I think the elders of my church would try to make his move as non-hurtful as we could. Maybe three months salary to bridge then gap?

        • Greg G.

          There are other jobs; many pastors have left the ministry and found other jobs.

          How do you know those pastors didn’t have doubts for a while and waited until they had a job offer before quitting the ministry? How do you know they weren’t forced out because of something that would have embarrassed the church?

          If you know that many pastors who have lost their faith, why struggle with your own. Just let it go and be happy.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don, yer not fucking listening ya dishonest, knuckle dragging fucker. Your brain, such that it is, is set on transmit mode only. You pick the lowest hanging fruit in any interlocutors comment and focus on that one bit. This is typical of your dishonesty. And Christer dishonesty in general. The faith comes first. Rapists, peadophiles, fraudsters, let them slide.

          His [Paul’s] professors knew of his doubts, but encouraged him to continue. When it came time to be ordained, they asked him if he believed. He said he did not. They said “Are you going to say that from the pulpit?” He said “No”. They said, “Congratulations, you are now an ordained minister.”

          So don’t talk to me about integrity.

          I mentioned six things in that sentence. You focused on the one thing that you think defeats the argument. Even though you’ve already been told that money is only one of a number of contributing factors.

          This situation isn’t restricted to clerics who have lost belief. It is a well understood predicament. It’s a death sentence in some places.

          Are you really so simple that you can’t grasp this situation?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists

          You are ill informed. You refuse to get better informed. That makes you both stupid, and dishonest.

          Why Do Atheist Clergy Stay in the Church?

          Anyone who loses belief in their religion most likely faces a wrenching process. Their world view is shaken, they face being alienated from their family (including spouse and children), and often are ostracized by their community. Membership in a church is often so intertwined with every aspect of their life that leaving their faith may feel like being set adrift in the middle of an ocean.

          When you are a member of the clergy–priest, minister, rabbi, imam—your loss of faith has a major psychological impact. Our profession is often very important to our sense of self, our identity, our perception of who we are, and this is especially true if we are a member of the clergy. Clergy members who leave will lose not only their livelihood, but also their sense of purpose.

          Many people join the clergy not only for a love of God, but for a love of humanity. They want to help people. They want to be a leader. Joining the clergy may have been their lifelong desire going back to a very young age. They love the people in their congregations.

          Clergy members who come out as atheists have a special “cross to bear.” They are often vilified and ostracized by their former congregants. They will get hate mail and threats against their life. It is traumatic.

          It is easy to disparage the people who stay in the pulpit even when they no longer believe as cowards and liars, but this shows an utter lack of compassion and understanding. Walking away is extremely hard to do.

          https://owlcation.com/misc/Atheists-in-the-Pulpit-Non-Believers-in-the-Clergy

          Are you afraid to watch the video?

          I think…

          I don’t give a fuck about what you think you and your pastors would or wouldn’t do. I am talking about real life cases. I am talking about the fear of coming out in an environment hostile to such, perceived or otherwise. I’m talking about the actual experiences of clerics who faced a loss of faith and were persecuted for it. Shunning is a real fucking thing, ffs. When are you gonna stop talking the biggest pile of fuckwittery and stop making an embarrassing idiot of yerself?

          Now, until you comment from an informed position, i.e. watch the fucking video, then everything you write on the matter, is the usual crap pulled from your decrepid auld arsehole.

          You are just cluttering the place up now. The cost/benefit of your contribution has now made your worth negligible. You are a heartless cunt Don. You are the epitome of all that’s wrong with being a Christer. You are not upholding the best bits that you cherry pick from the silly book. You are the reason I despise religion so much. You stink the place up and make yer imaginary baby Jesus cry.

        • Don Camp

          I wish you could carry on a conversation in a civil manner. I know you can with your buddies; I have read some of your comments to them. What is the issue with me? Is your anger level too high for that?

          I don’t know where the quote comes from. But I assure you no one in my circle of Christians would have said anything like that.

          I mentioned six things in that sentence.

          I have no intention of disputing every point. Get used to it.

          It’s a death sentence in some places.

          I understand that completely. It was a death sentence for the first disciples of Jesus.

          I wonder if it would not be a death sentence today, if atheists had the power to actually do that. I’ve seen the anger you all have toward those who after having been atheists choose then to become followers of Jesus. It hasn’t keep you from character assassination, however.

          Nice. Talk about then pot calling the kettle black.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I wish you could carry on a conversation in a civil manner.

          I could give zero fucks for what you wish. I don’t care much for tone trolls, but that doesn’t stop you. I don’t care much for dishonest, disingenuous, weaseling, intelligent insulting, preaching Christers, but that doesn’t stop you.

          I know you can with your buddies; I have read some of your comments to them.

          My buddies have earned it.

          What is the issue with me?

          Your dishonest, disingenuous, weaseling, intelligent insulting, preaching manner, for one.

          Is your anger level too high for that?

          Probably. Borne out of frustration and exasperation at your continued and unrelenting dishonest, disingenuous, weaseling, intelligent insulting, preaching manner.

          I don’t know where the quote comes from.

          It comes from the article at the link provided ya fool.

          But I assure you no one in my circle of Christians would have said anything like that.

          Why do you insist in making completely irrelevant comments? You don’t speak for all Christers everywhere, though I don’t doubt that in your lack of humility, and your arrogance, you believe in your deluded mind that you do.

          Don, what part of this conversation is it you are struggling to comprehend? I’ve broke it down to imbecile level already.

          No one cares what your circle of Christers would say, or do anything like that. If you are telling the truth, or you think you know what your circle would say or do…brilliant. Then those Christers are not the problem, are they?

          I have no intention of disputing every point.

          I know. That’s what makes you so dishonest. You cherry-picked the low hanging fruit from the set of reasons why clerics can’t, or won’t leave the ministry…at least not immediately, as you demand they should. You made that the focal reason. You are as dishonest and disingenuous as the day is long. We all know it, because you make it so obvious.

          Get used to it.

          I have been used to it. But that isn’t going to stop me pointing your dishonesty at every opportunity you allow it to manifest itself. Which is just about every combox.

          I understand that completely.

          Apparently not. At least understand that it is a good reason. Because according to you, there is no reason for living as a closet atheist and pretending to be religious, that doesn’t involve losing one’s integrity.

          It was a death sentence for the first disciples of Jesus.

          Oh the whole “who would die for a lie” gambit?

          Nah…you are talking more bubbles again. But even if true, it is another irrelevant comment.

          But Bob has done a couple of O/P’s on the fuckwittery.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/01/who-would-die-for-a-lie-another-weak-christian-argument/

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/01/who-would-die-for-a-lie-another-weak-christian-argument-2-of-2/

          I wonder if it would not be a death sentence today, if atheists had the power to actually do that.

          You really wanna open another rabbit hole that will demonstrate your idiocy further?

          The biggest killer of Christers for being Christer, has been other flavored Christers.

          The persecution of early Christers cannot be shown that it was for being Christer.

          I’ve seen the anger you all have toward those who after having been atheists choose then to become followers of Jesus.

          You’re a liar.

          Support or retract. And please don’t trot out your Antony Flew trope, because I will severely tear you a new one on that issue.

          It hasn’t keep you from character assassination, however.

          When you can support that assertion, it will be taken seriously. In the meantime, the only person character assassinating is you, and it’s your own character you are assassinating.

          Nice. Talk about then pot calling the kettle black.

          Whaaaa???

        • Don Camp

          I could give zero fucks for what you wish.

          Yeah. I figured that. But so much for common human virtues, right?

          My buddies have earned it.

          Like I said, so much for common human virtues.

          Because according to you, there is no reason for living as a closet
          atheist and pretending to be religious, that doesn’t involve losing
          one’s integrity.

          Living as a closet atheist is one thing. Pretending to be a believer and thus deceiving others or preaching or teaching what you don’t believe is another.

          The biggest killer of Christers for being Christer, has been other flavored Christers.

          You might want to check out the situation in North Korea.

          The persecution of early Christers cannot be shown that it was for being Christer.

          Okay. a *SMILE* Don’t trust what Paul says, even in his “authentic” letters. Don’t trust his personal; experience as a follower of Jesus. Don’t trust anyone who disagrees with you. How’s that strategy working for you? I’d say is is self-deceptive.

          Support or retract.

          Oh my goodness. Have you forgotten how to use Google?
          What do you all think of Lee Strobel? I think that a survey of your buddies’ opinions may be adequate support.
          What do you all think of C.S. Lewis?
          What do you think of William Murray?

          In 1980, Murray became a Christian. Learning of his conversion, his mother commented: “One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess; I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times. He is beyond human
          forgiveness.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_J._Murray

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah. I figured that. But so much for common human virtues, right?

          You think you are being “virtuous” just because of your choice of language? Behave yerself Don.

          Like I said, so much for common human virtues.

          Like I said, you think you are being “virtuous” just because of your choice of language? Behave yerself Don.

          Respect is earned. Something the religious demand undeservedly.

          Living as a closet atheist is one thing. Pretending to be a believer and thus deceiving others or preaching or teaching what you don’t believe is another.

          Not if the outcome is the same.

          You might want to check out the situation in North Korea.

          If you think you’ve got a data point in refutation, make it.

          There are no figures for the number of deaths of Christians in North Korea. Wiki gives a figure of 200,000 Christians have gone missing since 1953. Let’s say they are all murdered for the sake of argument. That pales when compared with the deaths of Christians at the hands of other christians during the Rwandan 100 days of genocide in the 90’s alone. An estimated 800,000 were murdered, with some estimates putting the figure at 1.1 million.

          On November 20, 2016, the Catholic Church in Rwanda released a statement signed by nine bishops apologizing for the role of its members in the genocide of 1994.

          Okay. a *SMILE* Don’t trust what Paul says, even in his “authentic” letters.

          Don, the claim of being a poacher turned gamekeeper, or in this case the inverse, to ad gravitas to one’s position, shouldn’t be much of a surprise. You offered examples of just that later in your comment. What could be more alluring than claiming to once having been the nemesis of Christian when the conversion to belief took place? How could that claim not be used to impress doubters?

          Don’t trust his personal; experience as a follower of Jesus.

          Why? Do you think Paul never lied? Christers can’t believe him when he writes that he never got any of his information from humans, scripture and revelation were his sources. Don, Christians lied from day one. Did he travel up to the third heaven?

          Don’t trust anyone who disagrees with you.

          Don’t trust anyone that disagrees with me, on there say-so? Absolutely.

          How’s that strategy working for you?

          It’s been working out pretty well, so far. Do you trust those that you disagree with?

          I’d say is is self-deceptive.

          I don’t really care much for what you’d say. What you say has been shown to be of little value. I’ve seen folk who trusted folk they disagreed with lose their lives.

          Oh my goodness. Have you forgotten how to use Google?

          Oh my goodness. Have you forgotten how to use Google properly? Or is it a skill you’ve yet to achieve.

          What do you all think of Lee Strobel?

          I think he’s a nasty lying piece of work, so what? You are supposed to defending the charge…

          I’ve seen the anger you all have toward those who after having been atheists choose then to become followers of Jesus.

          My anger isn’t because he became a follower of Jesus ya muppet. It’s because he has fuckwits like you believing he was an atheist in the first place.

          I [Fitzgerald] can’t give him the benefit of that particular doubt anymore. Strobel has cultivated a thoroughly bogus image that he happily encourages readers to embrace. His fan base is led to believe he was a diehard atheist who was converted by these interviews. In reality, he was a lapsed Lutheran who became a pastor at a mega-church. It wasn’t until over a decade later—and after writing three books in defense of evangelical Christianity—he had the idea to select a line-up of Evangelical academics who support his view and lob softball questions at them, all under the guise of a “tough skeptic.”

          https://www.alternet.org/2019/03/how-case-for-christ-author-lee-strobel-fabricated-his-best-selling-story/

          There’s that poacher turned gamekeeper malarkey I was referring to earlier.

          But let’s say he was a genuine atheist turned Christer, that’s not why he causes anger among atheists, it’s because he is as dishonest a shithead as you are.

          https://web.archive.org/web/20190322144623/https://celsus.blog/2013/08/24/another-case-of-apologetic-dishonesty-in-lee-strobels-the-case-for-christ/

          I think that a survey of your buddies’ opinions may be adequate support.

          No need to do that. Bob already did an O/P on Lee Strobel. You lose.

          I have no problem with a Christian writing a Christian book; just don’t try to pass off this project as unbiased journalism.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/03/lee-strobels-fragile-argument-2/

          What do you all think of C.S. Lewis?

          Not much. I think he was a lapsed Protestant from my old denomination of C of I.

          According to Lewis’s memoir Surprised by Joy, he was baptised in the Church of Ireland, but fell away from his faith during adolescence. Lewis returned to Anglicanism at the age of 32, owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, and he became an “ordinary layman of the Church of England”

          But that’s just me. Who is angry at Lewis for being a christian, not being a Christian, then being a Christian again. Certainly not me.

          From a Christian perspective, he was a heretic. Claiming Jesus was a failed prophet among other heresies.

          What do you think of William Murray?

          Close, but no cigar. At best you’ve shown that his Ma as angry. But then according to Murray himself in his memoirs, his Ma didn’t need an excuse to be angry, she abused him as a child.

          What Murray said himself about that statement by his Ma in an interview with Mike Huckabee:-

          There was also that part toward the end that talks about his mother’s reaction when he told her he was a Christian:

          “One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess; I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times… he is beyond human forgiveness.”

          Murray jumps on that. As if only evil atheists would be so callous. I’m not defending what the mother said. It was an awful thing to say. But it only tells you something about O’Hair, not atheists in general.

          Now. Nothing you have said supports your assertion…

          I’ve seen the anger you all have toward those who after having been atheists choose then to become followers of Jesus.

          Not even O’Hair’s attitude to her son.

          So support or retract.

        • nydiva

          I’ve seen the anger you all have toward those who after having been atheists choose then to become followers of Jesus.

          O really? you all have… Citation please. Please post my angry comments towards former atheists who became Christians.

        • Greg G.

          When a person goes to a Bible college, they learn that what they were told in church about the Bible is not so. When they qualified to preach, they may have to go to a place that pays their preacher to tell them that the 1611 version of the KJV is the only legitimate translation, should they tell the congregation otherwise? Would that show integrity? Wouldn’t the church hire somebody else to tell them lies? Where is the integrity of that church?

        • Don Camp

          When they qualified to preach, they may have to go to a place that pays
          their preacher to tell them that the 1611 version of the KJV is the only
          legitimate translation, should they tell the congregation otherwise?

          Yes. But they should tell the congregation that before they accept the position as pastor. I did. I was interviewed by a Baptist congregation and asked about my belief regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I told them that I did not speak in tongues and did not desire to, but that I believed it was a legitimate gift for some.

          The church could have decided to hire someone else. But they decided that my belief was compatible with the things they believed.

          I think your characterizing the conviction that the KJV and more important the received text which it was translated from is the only legitimate translation as a “lie” is highly prejudiced and doesn’t come close to the reasoning behind that conviction.

          I don’t agree with the KJV only conviction, but I understand the reasons behind it.

        • Greg G.

          No. I am only saying that a cleric that does not beliueve what he is preachin g lacks integrity.

          The congregation chips in for a seat license to listen to some gospel singing, to join in with some singing, and to have some dude yell some inspirational baloney at them. They can pretend that that they are filled with the spirit of their invisible friend all they want. It makes no difference what the beggar behind the pulpit believes.

        • Don Camp

          You have a strange idea about what worship and proclamation of the gospel is. It does make a difference. .

        • Greg G.

          No, I have a realistic view. You are the one with the invisible friend that works in mysterious ways when things happen that show your friend does nothing.

        • Don Camp

          I thought you’d say that.

          However, the older I get the more I find the Lord working in mysterious ways. I find God answering prayer. I find God going ahead of me to do the things he has promised. And I find the Lord to be a present friend in both the most incredibly wonderful moments and in the crushing moments. After sixty years of living with God in faith, he is far more present than I ever imagined early on. I would be a fool to turn my back on him at this point in life.

        • Greg G.

          I would be a fool to turn my back on him at this point in life.

          Do you know what would change if you did? Nothing. You might miss your imaginary friend but you would feel better about not being a sucker. You might lose some fake friends who only loved you because you helped them sustain their belief in the imaginary friend.

          But wouldn’t a preacher who lost faith be a fool to turn his or her back on his or her job?

          What about your integrity?

        • Don Camp

          Okay. I am not going to watch all 78 minutes of the video, but the first speaker did demonstrate that it is possible to leave the ministry and not be out on the street homeless. He is probably earning more now that he ever did as a young pastor.

          Good for him. He was honest. He was resourceful. He wasn’t a crybaby.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Okay. I am not going to watch all 78 minutes of the video,…

          Of course you’re not, that might give you a more rounded picture of things, and we can’t have that, can we Don?

          …but the first speaker did demonstrate that it is possible to leave the ministry and not be out on the street homeless. He is probably earning more now that he ever did as a young pastor.

          Don, you are making a complete arsehole of yerself. No one has claimed that for some clerics who’ve lost faith, leaving the clergy is as easy as handing ones notice in with any other job.

          We know for a fact that there are those that have lost everything by walking away. We know for a fact that the fear of that situation is enough for clergy who no longer believe, to keep it a secret. Atheist clergy keeping it a secret, isn’t a new thing. It is just more accessible and open today.

          Hypothetically speaking. Would you come out as an atheist if it included losing your marriage, your children, your family, your friends, your home, and your ability support yourself? No, of course you wouldn’t. Yet even some are eventually brave enough to walk away under those circumstances.

          Good for him. He was honest. He was resourceful. He wasn’t a crybaby.

          Go fuck yerself, ya nasty old dickhead.

        • Don Camp

          We know for a fact that there are those that have lost everything by walking away.

          I am sure there are. Anyone who leaves and or repudiates his or her commitment to a tight culture will some loss. I experienced some loss when I decided to pursue a life in ministry and told my family who were at the time thoroughly secular. But it was trivial compared to a Hindu who converts to Christianity. They risk their lives. It is nothing to a Muslim who chooses to follow Christ. They risk their lives. It is nothing to a person in North Korea who comes out as a Christian. They risk their lives.

          In view of that reality, leaving the ministry because you no longer believe seems like a small thing.

          Would you come out as an atheist if it included losing your marriage, your children, your family, your friends, your home, and your ability support yourself?

          That is an extreme. But I think, hypothetically, I would be honest enough with myself that I would quietly seek a new career. I don’t think that I could live a life of deception. Realistically, I have had several different careers. I could teach in public schools. I could work as a photographer. Would my decision hurt my family? Yes. But living as a fraud would eventually do as much damage.

          The speaker in the video was not a crybaby. He was honest and resourceful and capable I respect that, even if I don’t agree with him. But you, my friend, are a crybaby. I personally think you are just posturing. You are like a bully who has to show off to his homies or risk losing his status in the gang. I hope the payout ends up being worth the cost.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And btw, some who’ve come out as atheist have retained their positions. While others who left and found other professions, have returned to preach as atheists after they retired from those professions. How do ya like them apples?

          You’d know that, if you were better informed, or had watched the video. But you’ll insist on commenting while wallowing in your own stupidity.

        • Greg G.

          You presented Craig Blomberg in defence of Pauline authorship of two epistles that author, equally qualified scholars assert are not. But you just cited a few pages in a book. You made no effort to outline his thesis here.

          I found the pages in the Google books expurgated version where Blomberg makes his case. He shows that Colossians and Ephesians are similar (not his example but Ephesians 6:21b-22 and Colossians 4:7b-8 share a phrase that is 19 words and 80 letters). but Colossians also shows similarity with Philemon, one of the books considered to be authentic. I think Philemon gets a free pass here because it is short and doesn’t even discuss theology, which is the discriminating factor for the other pseudopigraphical epistles. Since Colossians has a slight similarity to Philemon, we can ignore all the discrepancies regarding theology, vocabulary, and lengthy sentences for Colossians and Ephesians so we should include them as authentic. That is a summary of his argument for them.

          I didn’t see the specific similarities he refers to between Philemon and Colossians. Philemon is only 335 words so we do not expect many similarities. Yet Philemon shares four words with Colossians that are used nowhere else in the New Testament.

          Gospels Total Words……64766…3628….3
          Acts Total Words…………18451….2161….3
          Other Paul Total Words..23757…2124….3
          Colossians Total Words…1582……143….4

          This table compares how many word matches Philemon has with all four gospels, Acts by itself, and the other six “authentic” Pauline epistles. The first column is the number of words, the second column is the number of words used in one book and nowhere else in the NT, and the third column is the number of matching words with Philemon used nowhere else in the NT. Philemon has one matching word with 8 NT books and zero with the other 19 books.

          Since Philemon shows a greater affinity with Colossians than to the other authentic Pauline epistles, if Blomberg wasn’t under a faith statement or a faith bias, he might have drawn the obvious conclusion that Philemon belongs with Colossians and Ephesians not in the authentic group.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Since Philemon shows a greater affinity with Colossians than to the other authentic Pauline epistles, if Blomberg wasn’t under a faith statement or a faith bias, he might have drawn the obvious conclusion that Philemon belongs with Colossians and Ephesians not in the authentic group.

          Indeed.

          We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original writings, complete as the revelation of God’s will for salvation, and the supreme and final authority in all matters to which they speak.

          What does that even mean ffs?

          In the introduction to his book Credible Christianity, Anglican Bishop Hugh Montefiore, comments:

          The doctrine of biblical inerrancy seems inherently improbable, for two reasons. Firstly, the Scriptures contain what seem to be evident errors and contradictions (although great ingenuity has been applied to explain these away). Secondly, the books of the Old and New Testaments did not gain their place within the “canon”, or list of approved books, as soon as they were written. The Old Testament canon was not closed until late in the Apostolic age, and the New Testament canon was not finally closed until the fourth century. If all the Bible’s contents were inerrant, one would have thought that this would have become apparent within a much shorter period.

          Poor Dishonest Delusional Don. He just can’t get it. Or refuses to get it.

        • Greg G.

          I suspect it is the subconscious cognitive dissonance that shuts down his brain just before he can apprehend the thoughts.

        • Ignorant Amos

          …if Blomberg wasn’t under a faith statement or a faith bias, he might have drawn the obvious conclusion…

          Chris Hallquist more or less came to the same conclusion when reviewing Blomberg’s contribution to WLC’s fuckwittery “Reasonable Faith”.

          Chapter 6: Sacred Scripture: The Historical Reliability of the New Testament (chapter contributed by Craig Blomberg)

          After dealing with questions of authorship and dating, Blomberg turns to the question of harmonizing the countless apparent discrepancies between the Gospels. Here, he asserts, “Commentators on Plutarch and Arrian disclose the same range of suggestions for solving apparent discrepancies among parallel accounts of episodes in Alexander’s life as evangelical biblical scholars apply to the historical texts of the NT.”[52] This is a little hard to swallow, as classical historians are hardly committed to the total inerrancy of even the best ancient sources. To back up this point, Blomberg cites one of his own essays in another work.[53] I cannot shake the feeling that too often in this chapter, major assertions are supported with nothing more than a superscript. In fact, the cited essay does not provide anything like the straining needed to save the divergent birth narratives, and the most challenging discrepancies between the resurrection narratives are likewise more severe than the discrepancies Blomberg addresses.[54]

          Hallquist also notes:-

          Incidentally, in a footnote Blomberg states that he adopted biblical inerrancy as a consequence of his historical studies, but this seems difficult to reconcile with the account of his conversion at the end of the chapter. Nevertheless, through personal communication I have learned that, to his credit, Blomberg explicitly disavows the approach to scholarship laid out in the opening chapter of Reasonable Faith, and concedes that scholarship could, in principle, provide good reason to reject Christianity.[56]

          [56] Craig Blomberg, personal communication, May 16, 2007 and May 20, 2007.

          https://infidels.org/library/modern/chris_hallquist/faith.html#ch6

          Ohhhhps!

        • Greg G.

          I am not sure why you don’t understand what a thesis in a paper is. It is the idea being argued. It would not matter who wrote it or whether biased or not – I would say the same about Dr. Avalos’ writings – IT IS THE IDEA THAT IS IMPORTANT.

          Blomberg may be arguing from the basic historic Christian position, but wasn’t Avalos arguing from the basic atheist position? He just did not sign a formal statement of faith. But in either case the argument stands or falls not on whether Blomberg is a Christian or Avalos is an atheist but on the strength of the argument.

          The argument supporting the position is what is important. But regarding the historical Jesus issue, we always get “the consensus of New Testament scholars” thrown at us. “New Testament scholars” are usually defined as those who work at a university. When we ask to see the evidence and the argument for that consensus, the evidence and arguments do not hold up. Mostly the consensus is based on the consensus, which makes it circular.

          You brought up Blomberg to me as a scholar who argued that all of the Pauline epistles were authentic. I looked at his argument and saw that it was quite tenuous. I agreed with his points that Philemon has similar language to Colossians. Philemon has the weakest connection to the other “authentic” epistles. Colossians is so distinct from those “authentic” Pauline epistles that it is considered inauthentic, so his argument works the other way to pull Philemon out of the “authentic” epistles. But then he draws the opposite conclusion from where his argument points. The strength of his argument relies on his position as an NT scholar, not in the argument itself.

          Blomberg is a good example of the problem of arguing from the Christian position and trying to support it.

        • Don Camp

          When we ask to see the evidence and the argument for that consensus, the evidence and arguments do not hold up.

          Then you have not probed the issue deeply enough. There are processional journals that publish more involved analyses of the reliability of the Bible and the authorship of the books. Look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_theology_journals

          The strength of his argument relies on his position as an NT scholar, not in the argument itself.

          The Historical Reliability of the New Testament covers a lot of territory

        • Greg G.

          Then you have not probed the issue deeply enough. There are processional journals that publish more involved analyses of the reliability of the Bible and the authorship of the books. Look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_theology_journals.

          What? You couldn’t find a single article? I have been doing that for a decade and a half.

          From Did Jesus Exist as Part One:

          Odd as it may seem, no scholar of the New Testament has ever thought to put together a sustained argument that Jesus must have lived. To my knowledge, I was the first to try it, and it was a very interesting intellectual exercise.    –Bart Ehrman

          If a college professor with the help of his grad students couldn’t find any such articles, why should I believe you? You are just assuming there are. I have found that there were about three books written about a hundred years ago but their arguments are weaker than what Ehrman came up with.

          The extra-biblical evidence for Jesus is way too late to be evidence for a first century Jesus but it does show that there were second century Christians who believed the gospels. The gospels appear to be based on the literature of the day, including the epistles, and the epistles seem to be about hopes and dreams from the OT and other Hebrew writings.

          I suggest you read the whole piece again For example, related to Colossians, on page 372 Blomberg addresses the issue of language with reference to Eduard Lohse and Ben Witherington as he considers the arguments against Pauline authorhsip and then makes his own argument.

          I looked at it on Google Books which shows samples of text but not every page. The arguments I saw did not impress me, in fact, they left me with no confidence in Blomberg’s reasoning. Please outline his argument if it is that amazing.

          I would also check out what scholars have to say who thin k Paul was not the author. Do your own comparison.

          Been there, done that. Many others with advanced degrees in New Testament studies have not been convinced by their arguments. It seems to be that those who accept that position tend to be employed where they might be fired if they came out as doubting Pauline authorship, so their opinion is suspect. You should be suspicious of their positions, too.

        • epeeist

          What? You couldn’t find a single article? I have been doing that for a decade and a half.

          So just as good as him not being able to provide an article of his own to show that Christians are being persecuted in Russia

        • Don Camp

          It seems to be that those who accept that position tend to be employed
          where they might be fired if they came out as doubting Pauline authorship, so their opinion is suspect.

          Direct Paulie authorship is not a make or break issue. It is discussed and debated by NT scholars in conservative universities without fear of censure. There are other possibilities that preserve the authority of the books, which the early church affirmed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_to_the_Colossians

          Bottom line for the NT books was whether the Christians of the first century or second when collections began to be formed saw them as God’s inspired word.

          The modern defense of authorship is in response to challenges coming from liberal Christian scholars and skeptics, for whom a book that did not meet their criterion could be ignored. The early church would not have done that. They were interested in hearing God’s word and learning and obeying it.

          They discerned which books were inspired not by authorship as much as by the truth in the book.

        • Greg G.

          Bottom line for the NT books was whether the Christians of the first century or second when collections began to be formed saw them as God’s inspired word.

          I agree but that is irrelevant. But a book written by someone claiming to be someone else hardly fits the mold of “inspired”. It would be God inspiring a liar to lie.

          The modern defense of authorship is in response to challenges coming from liberal Christian scholars and skeptics, for whom a book that did not meet their criterion could be ignored. The early church would not have done that. They were interested in hearing God’s word and learning and obeying it.

          This modern defense is no better than the ancient defense. You are talking about a game between rational thinkers versus emotional feelers.

          The early church didn’t know where the sun went at night. They had some idea how to distinguish forgery but forgers knew how to avoid those methods. 2 Thessalonians seems to be an example of that but modern methods can detect the forgery.

          They discerned which books were inspired not by authorship as much as by the truth in the book.

          No, they didn’t. They discerned which books went into it because there were four corners of the earth and four winds. We know some of Paul’s letters were lost but we don’t know how many. We know the texts have been altered.

        • Don Camp

          But a book written by someone claiming to be someone else hardly fits the mold of “inspired”.

          I have liked Lee Child novels, not only for the plots but for the quality of writing. However, in some recent novels he has had a co-writer, Karin Slaughter. I can tell with out looking at the title page. The style of writing is just a little different. But Child does create the plot and direct the writing. It may be that in a similar way, Paul used a co-writer. (There’s a fancy name for this if you are interested.)

          The message of Colossians would be Paul’s, The language and rhetorical style may be more the co-writer’s. Both Colossians and Ephesians seem like they fit Paul’s message and references to personal information. The only clue that there might be someone else involved is slight differences in vocabulary. None of that would cause the readers to reject the letters.

        • Greg G.

          The message of Colossians would be Paul’s, The language and rhetorical style may be more the co-writer’s. Both Colossians and Ephesians seem like they fit Paul’s message and references to personal information.

          The theology is much different. It’s like someone was trying to modernize Paul’s message because he was so wrong on the coming of the Lord.

          http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Paul-Colossians-Ephesians.htm
          Theology of Paul vs Colossians and Ephesians
          Christology:
          earthly, human, suffering [like Mark] (1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 3:1; 6:14; cf. Philippians 2:5-11)
          cosmic, divine, exalted [like John] (Colossians 1:15-20; 2:9-10; Ephesians 1:3-4, 21-22)

          Ecclesiology:
          many local churches, each forms the body of Christ (Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
          one world-wide body, with Christ as head of the body (Colossians 1:18,24; Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:8-10; 5:23-32)

          Moral Theology:
          freedom from sin (singular) (Romans 5:1-21; 6:1-23; 8:1-4; Galatians 5:1,13)
          forgiveness of sins (plural) through Christ (Colossians 1:14; 2:13; 3:13; Ephesians 1:7; 2:1-3)

          Eschatology: & Soteriology:
          temporal focus, “imminent” expectation:
          Christ will return soon,
          we will be raised on the day of the Lord
          (1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:20-24; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-6)
          spatial focus, “realized” interpretation:
          Christ now reigns above,
          we share resurrection life already now
          (Colossians 1:11-14; 2:12-13; 3:1-3; Ephesians 1:20; 2:4-6)

          Literary Dependence of Ephesians on Colossians
          Ephesians 1:1-2, Colossians 1:1-2 > Introduction
          Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14, 20 > Redemption, forgiveness
          Ephesians 1:10, Colossians 1:20 > All-inclusive Christ
          Ephesians 1:15-17, Colossians 1:3-4, 9-10 > Intercession for the readers
          Ephesians 1:18, Colossians 1:27 > Riches of glorious inheritance
          Ephesians 1:21-22, Colossians 1:16-18 > Christ’s domain
          Ephesians 2:5, Colossians 2:13 > You he made alive
          Ephesians 2:12-13, Colossians 1:21-22 > Aliens brought near
          Ephesians 2:15, Colossians 2:14 > Abolishing the commandments
          Ephesians 3:1, Colossians 1:24 > Paul, the prisoner
          Ephesians 3:2-3, Colossians 1:25-26 > Divine mystery made known to Paul
          Ephesians 3:7, Colossians 1:23, 25 > Paul, minister of the universal gospel
          Ephesians 3:8-9, Colossians 1:27 > Paul to make known the mystery to all
          Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 1:10 > Lead a life worthy of your calling
          Ephesians 4:2, Colossians 3:12-13 > With all lowliness, meekness, patience forebearing one another
          Ephesians 4:15-16, Colossians 2:19 > Christ unites members of the Church
          Ephesians 4:22-32, Colossians 3:5-10, 12 > Put off old nature and put on new nature
          Ephesians 5:3-6, Colossians 3:5-9 > No immorality among you
          Ephesians 5:15, Colossians 4:5 > Walk wisely and make the most of time
          Ephesians 5:19-20, Colossians 3:16-17 > Sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs, giving thanks to God
          Ephesians 5:21-6:9, Colossians 3:18-4:1 > Household Duties: husbands, wives, children, parents, slaves, masters
          Ephesians 6:18-20, Colossians 4:2-3 > Paul the prisoner exhorts persistence in prayer
          Ephesians 6:21-22, Colossians 4:7-8 > Tychicus sent to inform church about Paul and to encourage them

          Some of the following came from http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net/epistles.html which is no longer up. Check the Way Back Machine.

          On Ephesians
          •Absence of normal Pauline greetings at the end of the epistle
          •No discussion of eschatology in the letter
          •Ephesians 2:1-10 is written as if the kingdom of heaven has already come
          •Style is sluggish and ponderous, unlike Paul’s volatile style
          •Anachronistic references to the existence of heretical sects
          •Use of key technical phrases differs from the genuine Pauline epistles.
          •◦Sentence structure. Ephesians has 50 sentences with 9 of them having over 50 words. Comparing that to the letter with the second highest number of 50-word sentences is Romans with 3 sentences of 50 words out of 581 sentences.
          •Paul used “ecclesia” to refer to his small, local churches, while Ephesians uses it to refer to the church at large.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Then you have not probed the issue deeply enough.

          Bwaaaaahahahahaha!

          I think probing might be your problem.

          Let me guess, you’ve probed the issue deeply, and are now an expert on the topic. Where’s your published journal papers and scholarly works?

          Don, I thought you were a teacher. If you are going to answer a quote-mine, make sure you know what your quote-mine refers too. Taking it out of context, while a dishonest Christer tactic, is disingenuous and besmirches your lofty integrity.

          But regarding the historical Jesus issue, we always get “the consensus of New Testament scholars” thrown at us. “New Testament scholars” are usually defined as those who work at a university. When we ask to see the evidence and the argument for that consensus, the evidence and arguments do not hold up.

          So…

          There are processional journals that publish more involved analyses of the reliability of the Bible and the authorship of the books.

          Does not address the comment in any way whatsoever. Hector Avalos addresses the problems with “processional journals” in buybull study, in that book you haven’t read.

          Look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

          Waoh! Look at a Wiki page containing an A-Z of New Testicle Journals. So what is that supposed to do?

          If I were serious about following his arguement, I would get out my Bible and see what I could find and compare it to what Blomberg says. I would perhaps also read Witherington and Lohsn. I would also check out what scholars have to say who thin k Paul was not the author. Do your own comparison.

          Because the 80% of scholars that disagree with Blomberg on the authenticity of Ephesians, that also publish in “processional journals”, haven’t done anything remotely like that of course?

          The problem we have with Blomberg, is this…

          …matters because few arguments are really matters of pure logic which anyone could verify. Most arguments rely on factual information, and when we listen to an argument we have to be able to trust the arguer to have their facts mostly right. And even with arguments that claim to prove their point through pure logic, when the arguer deals with objections to the argument, we need to be able to trust that they’re describing those objections accurately.

          Blomberg, by virtue of being an biblical inerrantist, can’t use the facts honestly. Yes, yes, we know you believe he does, and he probably believes he does too, but we don’t.

        • Greg G.

          Everyone is shackled by their beliefs. Even if you think you have none.

          But I will change my beliefs if the evidence shows them to be wrong.

          Why not take them at their word that they speaking/writing honestly.

          I do take them at their word. Their word is that they care more about what they think the Bible says than in seeking the truth whever it leads. Why do you not take them at their word?

        • Don Camp

          But I will change my beliefs if the evidence shows them to be wrong.

          So will I. In fact I have changed my beliefs when the evidence was sufficient.

          Their word is that they care more about what they think the Bible says than in seeking the truth whever it leads.

          The Bible is part of the evidence for people who believe reality is greater than the mere material.

        • Greg G.

          So will I. In fact I have changed my beliefs when the evidence was sufficient.

          But why believe those who have promised to not change their beliefs to align with the evidence? Especially when their livelihood depends on it?

          The Bible is part of the evidence for people who believe reality is greater than the mere material.

          You are basing your beliefs on wishful thinking, on an absence of evidence. You are believing all other religions and other Christian denominations are wrong but you are right, while all have the same evidence. The New Testament has misled most Christians for 2000 years and the Old Testament has for 2400 years. But you think you are the one who is correct and you must tell people who have reconsidered the Bible with an open mind and found that it is based on a midrashic compilation of the literature of the day.

        • Don Camp

          But why believe those who have promised to not change their beliefs to align with the evidence?

          Like what specifically? The only example I’ve seen proved here is Licona who did choose to risk his position for the sake of his convictions that were contrary to the faith statement of his university. Give me some examples of people who were unwilling to speak their convictions for fear of their censure. Until you do, this is all hypothetical.

          But you think you are the one who is correct and you must tell people who have reconsidered the Bible with an open mind and found that it is based on a midrashic compilation of the literature of the day.

          Greg, this sounds like a load of sour grapes. I’ve been pretty open about my interpretation not being unique. I’ve been open about the fact that there are differences of opinions among Christians. I have argued for my conclusion based on the kinds of things that seem to be significant – the grammatical construction, the simple reading of the passage, and the analysis of Paul’s alleged belief that Jesus would return in his lifetime.

          You are free to do the same. How is that not playing fair?

        • Greg G.

          Give me some examples of people who were unwilling to speak their convictions for fear of their censure. Until you do, this is all hypothetical.

          Why would I do that? I would never betray anyone by jeopardizing their jobs just to score a point in an internet debate. Why do you play that card? Richard Carrier has written that scholars have confided in him that they agree with some of his arguments but that they cannot state that publicly and he wouldn’t betray them either.

          Greg, this sounds like a load of sour grapes. I’ve been pretty open about my interpretation not being unique. I’ve been open about the fact that there are differences of opinions among Christians. I have argued for my conclusion based on the kinds of things that seem to be significant – the grammatical construction, the simple reading of the passage, and the analysis of Paul’s alleged belief that Jesus would return in his lifetime.

          You are free to do the same. How is that not playing fair?

          Your livelihood doesn’t depend on adhering to a faith statement.

          You realized that some interpretations of the Bible do not agree with the evidence. When you knew that interpreting the Bible was prone to misinterpretation, you went ahead and did it anyway just enough to evade available evidence without seeing the big picture that the Bible was written by people who didn’t know that the sun was just another star and they didn’t know where the sun went at night or where the stars went in the daytime.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What have you read?

          Not much for comprehension? Don is the flip-flopping king here.

        • Harvard doesn’t constrain what their scholars can say. Christian schools with doctrinal statement requirements do.

          See the difference?

        • Don Camp

          This is making a mountain out of a mole hill. Without actual evidence that anyone has chosen to stay quiet for fear of being dismissed, this all hypothetical. And it actually is pointless. We’ve gotten so far off topic that it is difficult to figure how this now applies to the question of eschatology.

        • Without actual evidence that anyone has chosen to stay quiet for fear of being dismissed, this all hypothetical. And it actually is pointless.

          Not at all pointless. The “consensus of Christian scholars” is radically undercut with this realization. When a scholar promises to say that Jesus was born of a virgin (for example), it tells you precisely nothing when that author concludes that in a paper. Collect all PhD-level New Testament scholars, and many can be dismissed because, for this reason, their “opinion” is predetermined. They’ve promised to not follow the evidence.

        • Don Camp

          When a scholar to say that Jesus was born of a virgin (for example), it tells you precisely nothing when that author concludes that in a paper.

          You still need an example of someone who wrote a paper on the virgin birth yet who did not believe it.

          Here is the statement of faith I agreed to when teaching https://ncslacey.org/nca-statement-of-faith/

          It is pretty general, but it does include a statement about the virgin birth. However, I happen to believe in the virgin birth. I think it is both fundamental to the theology of the New Testament but an attestation to the divine origin of Jesus. If I wrote a paper on the subject I would not be kowtowing to the statement of faith. It would be because I believe it.

          If I didn’t believe it, I could teach elsewhere. And I have. I taught in several public schools where there was no expectation that I believe in the virgin birth. (I made a lot more money also.)

          Collect all PhD-level New Testament scholars, and many can be dismissed
          because, for this reason, their “opinion” is predetermined. They’ve promised to not follow the evidence.

          Honestly, that is silly. Licona is an example. He came to the conclusion that there were parts of the New Testament that were not to be taken literally. That meant for his university he was putting some limitations on the doctrine of inerrancy which was part of his university’s statement of faith. He could have chosen to avoid writing about that, but he did not. He was dismissed from the university. The point is, however, that Licona did choose to take a position that was not in line with the university. His opinion was not predetermined.

          My school did not take a position on inerrancy. If it did, I would not have chosen to apply because I, like Licona, think that taking everything in the Bible literally doesn’t make sense. If the Bible was literal in every place, I would have to believe that every parable was a real life story. I don’t. If the Bible were literal in every place, creation took six literal days. I don’t believe that. I would not have applied.

          I also think that the Bible itself does not claim inerrancy in the same way the doctrine is formulated. So if that was a defining issue, I would have chosen to teach elsewhere. My point is that the statement of faith does not predetermine opinion. To dismiss a scholar’s opinion because he works under a statement of faith is silly.

        • Greg G.

          Without actual evidence that anyone has chosen to stay quiet for fear of being dismissed, this all hypothetical. And it actually is pointless.

          The fact that most didn’t defend Licona is evidence that they chose not to. Even if they believe the ridiculous Zombie Apocalypse claim of Matthew, they chose to not make any waves for the cause of academic freedom of the pursuit of truth.

        • Don Camp

          So what? Sure there is a difference, but is it a difference that makes a difference? I don’t think so. If a prof doesn’t believe in the faith statement he or she can go elsewhere.

        • Sure there is a difference, but is it a difference that makes a difference?

          If these scholars are eliminating the idea of “a consensus of New Testament scholars,” that seems like a big deal to me. But you decide for yourself.

        • My old link for the HBU faith statement is bad now. The Wayback Machine has a 2015 version here:
          https://web.archive.org/web/20150331050505/http://www.hbu.edu/About-HBU/General-Information/Mission-and-Values.aspx

          it is resolved that all those who become associated with Houston Baptist University as a trustee, officer, member of the faculty or of the staff, and who perform work connected with the educational activities of the University, must believe in the divine inspiration of the Bible, both the Old Testament and New Testament, that man was directly created by God, the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, as the Son of God, that He died for the sins of all men and thereafter arose from the grave, that by repentance and the acceptance of and belief in Him, by the grace of God, the individual is saved from eternal damnation and receives eternal life in the presence of God; and it is further resolved that the ultimate teachings in this University shall never be inconsistent with the above principles.

        • Greg G.

          Licona joined HBU in 2013 so he must have signed that statement. It doesn’t specifically say that one has to believe in the Zombie Apocalypse, though in could be inferred under the assumption of divine inspiration.

        • Here’s the HBU faith statement with a current URL, at the bottom of this page:
          https://hbu.edu/about-hbu/the-ten-pillars/preface/

        • Ignorant Amos

          You just don’t seem to be grasping the concept here.

          Folk at institutions that require faith statements must toe the party line. So, supporting any thesis that is controversial to conservative Christer thinking, will get one sent packing. Heck, just being controversial can get a scholar fucked off. Thomas L. Thompson and Thomas L. Brodie were treated like pariahs for just that reason. So it isn’t surprising that not putting ones head above the parapet is the more prudent action when someone changes their thinking on an issue.

          Ehrman and Avalos are atheists. There is no signing a faith statement requirement where they work, so what relevance to the subject are you making?

          Emory’s Chandler School of Theology

          Ffs Don, you don’t even know the name of the school your professor was at?

          He is associate professor of Hebrew Bible at Emory University, Candler School of Theology

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candler_School_of_Theology

          Your prof. is a Old Testicle scholar.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_L._Wright

          But again, you seem confused. Given the mission statement of the institution, what do you think would be the outcome of your Dr. Jacob Wright footing a controversial thesis out into the open?

          http://candler.emory.edu/about/mission.html

          Almost every public university has a departmental for biblical studies. Check for the department of religious studies at California State University at Northridge. Or religious studies at Oregon State University.

          What is your point?

          Most likely because you want to teach the very things that Denver Seminary stands for, historic and conservative theology. Why would signing a statement of faith compromise his integrity?

          Why is this so friggin hard?

          Signing the statement while not supporting its contents is dishonest. Supporting the contents means religious bias.

          Signing a faith statement make the signer obliged to toe the party line. Such statements set conditions for inclusion and establish grounds for exclusion. That is built-in bias. Contesting an element of a faith statement usually means dismissal.

          Avalos doesn’t even think biblical studies make sense. Yet he continues to teach. How is that for integrity?

          And yet another lie. If you’d read his book, you’d know why. But sure why should honesty matter to you?

        • Don Camp

          You are nit picking, Amos.

          But again, you seem confused. Given the mission statement of the institution, what do you think would be the outcome of your Dr. Jacob Wright footing a controversial thesis out into the open?

          I would say that what he was teaching was controversial in almost any evangelical school. I did not find a statement of faith or any indication that he needed to sign one to teach at Chandler. Dr. Wright makes no declaration that he is a Christian, rather he seems to be involved in a Jewish congregation. As a converted Jew??? I don’t know.

          Emory is a Methodist school. These days the Methodists pride themselves on being inclusive. . If it is shaped by the Weselyan tradition of evangelical piety it would have been difficult to see that in the prof’s course. But maybe that makes the point that all Christian institutions are not the same.

          What is your point?

          My point is that there are a lot of opportunities to use a degree in biblical studios that do not require a signed faith statement. Anyone who does not feel he or she can in good conscience do so can find employment elsewhere, So… if a person chooses to sign a faith statement it is probably a good indication that he or she agrees with the statement.

          Signing the statement while not supporting its contents is dishonest. Supporting the contents means religious bias.

          Everyone has a religious bias. You certainly do. I do. Dr. Avalos does. Dr. Wright does. Some are more vocal about it than others. Dr. Avalos, for example, regularly speaks to atheist gatherings. That is he bias. You constantly argue against theism. That is your bias.

          As for being dishonest, you’ll have to do more than innuendo.You’ll have to show that there was dishonesty.

          Signing a faith statement make the signer obliged to toe the party line.Such statements set conditions for inclusion and establish grounds for exclusion. That is built-in bias. Contesting an element of a faith statement usually means dismissal.

          Signing a statement of faith can also simply be a statement of agreement with the statement.

          Most, though not all, faith statements are not very specific on the details of eschatology. Most schools recognize there is room for differences. They do not get one dismissed. They are not a litmus test of orthodoxy.

          Re: Dr. Avalos. I have not read the book. But he has made clear in other places that he considers biblical studies hopelessly compromised by the fact that men and women of faith are teaching and irrelevant.

          In this radical critique of his own academic specialty, biblical scholar Hector Avalos calls for an end to biblical studies. (Amazon.com)

          Interviewer on youtuber video: “Why as an atheist have you devoted your life to biblical studies?”

          Avalos’ answer: He wants to point out that biblical studies is a mix of ecclesiastical and academic studies and that removing the academic .doesn’t leave much.

          https://youtu.be/Bg8AH6gpQP4

          So actually why does he continue to teach in the biblical studies department? Why don’t you explain since you have read the book?

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are nit picking, Amos.

          Nope. I’m pointing out where you are erroneous and being stupid. There’s a difference.

          I would say that what he was teaching was controversial in almost any evangelical school. I did not find a statement of faith or any indication that he needed to sign one to teach at Chandler. Dr. Wright makes no declaration that he is a Christian, rather he seems to be involved in a Jewish congregation. As a converted Jew??? I don’t know.

          Then what ta fuck was the purpose of mentioning him in the first place?

          Emory is a Methodist school. These days the Methodists pride themselves on being inclusive. . If it is shaped by the Weselyan tradition of evangelical piety it would have been difficult to see that in the prof’s course. But maybe that makes the point that all Christian institutions are not the same.

          Then what ta fuck was the purpose of mentioning him in the first place?

          No one here has said all Christian institutions are the same. That is your straw man. We are talking about those institutions that demand the signing of statements of faith. Which by definition, restricts the signee those tenets within the statement. People and places that don’t require such, are irrelevant to this conversation ya daft bastard. Try and stay on point.

          My point is that there are a lot of opportunities to use a degree in biblical studios that do not require a signed faith statement.

          So fucking what. No one here said there isn’t. Why are you intent in bringing irrelevant nonsense where it isn’t warranted? The point under discussion is the problem with someone who signs a faith statement honestly, has a biased conviction in their scholarly work. Why is this so difficult for you to comprehend?

          “[We believe] Jesus Christ, both fully God and fully man, entered history as Saviour of the world. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived an exemplary, sinless life in perfect submission to the Father and in loving relationships with others. He died on a cross, rose bodily, and ascended to heaven where He is advocate for His people and is exalted as Lord of all.”

          A scholar that signs a statement that contains that bit, is duty bound to adhere to it. Ergo, will be biased to supporting its contents.

          Anyone who does not feel he or she can in good conscience do so can find employment elsewhere, So… if a person chooses to sign a faith statement it is probably a good indication that he or she agrees with the statement. That means if the signee believes that a bodily ascension was actually spiritual, they cannot say so. There are only three positions. 1.Religious bias. 2. Keeping schtum. Or 3. be outspoken and lose job. It is Greg and I’s position that the scholar in question is #1. We conclude that, because we can’t know it’s #2, and that won’t help you anyway. It isn’t #3, because we know he wasn’t fired for breaking his faith statement.

          I can’t believe how stupid you are on this point.

          Anyone who does not feel he or she can in good conscience do so can find employment elsewhere,

          Jeezes fuck. Don, folk are liars. Christers are among the worst liars out there and have been since Christianity started. That’s what is meant by integrity. People lie to obtain employment all the bloody time. Are you really this stupid?

          Let’s have it from another Christer…

          Truth be told, I needed the job. So even though I didn’t actually agree with several points in the statement of faith, I signed it. Turns out I didn’t get the job anyway, so I compromised myself for pretty much nothing.

          So… if a person chooses to sign a faith statement it is probably a good indication that he or she agrees with the statement.

          No it isn’t. From the same Christer…

          But the problem is that it sets up a dynamic that actually encourages people to lie. The fact is, no institution, no matter how powerful, can indelibly change the hearts and minds of its members. They may outwardly claim uniformity, but the inner sanctuary of a human being ultimately is off limits to anyone other than God and that individual. We can use fear, punishment or even positive incentives to get people to fall into place, but there’s never any guarantee that they actually believe what we’re trying to force them to believe.

          https://www.redletterchristians.org/the-fallacy-of-statements-of-faith/

          But that is irrelevant. We are happy to concede that agreement with the contents of a statement is the case for the sake of argument. But that means by definition, they are biased. Try and get that bit into your head.

          Signing a statement of faith can also simply be a statement of agreement with the statement.

          Duh! What else did you think we thought it meant sofy boy?

          The Denver Seminary requires the annual reaffirmation by the signing of two faith statements.

          https://denverseminary.edu/about/who-we-are/nae-statement-of-faith/

          https://denverseminary.edu/about/who-we-are/statement-of-faith/

          So, for the nth time, the signees academic freedom is restricted to those declarations. That means they are by virtue, biased.

          Most, though not all, faith statements are not very specific on the details of eschatology.

          Irrelevant fuckwittery. It’s what details they are specific on, that matters.

          Most schools recognize there is room for differences.

          Irrelevant fuckwittery. It’s where there is no room for differences, is what matters.

          They do not get one dismissed.

          Well the evidence says differently. In the first place, refusing to sign them, means the withdrawal of employment. In the second place, contravene them, does get one dismissed.

          But don’t listen to me Don, let’s hear from someone else in the know…

          Instead, job applicants to religious institutions — especially those who continue to believe religious faith an integral part of their curriculum — need to show they not only understand the university’s mission, but are truly willing to affirm its doctrines and have those doctrines inform their faculty work. Judging from conversations I’ve had at academic conferences and on higher education online discussion forums, I imagine some folks are already calling foul. An institution’s decision to hire only those who affirm its doctrinal statements seems downright discriminatory to some; to others, a university curriculum shaped by religious doctrine appears contrary to the educational enterprise, and to the fundamental nature of academic freedom.

          https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2013/04/17/essay-advice-applying-jobs-religious-colleges

          You’ve already been given the example of Mike Licona.

          The incident casts doubt on the ability of Evangelical scholars, qua Evangelicals, to follow the evidence wherever it may lead. To his credit, Licona apparently questioned the literal historicity of Matthew 27, without letting the perceived implications of his commitment to Biblical inerrancy get in the way. At the same time, however, I can’t help but be struck by the fact that apparently many Christian scholars were unwilling to publicly defend Licona, presumably because they were afraid they might lose their jobs, too. It is precisely because of this sort of mentality that I have previously questioned whether evangelical Christians can consistently affirm the ethics of belief required by freethought.

          He was fired for his views on this matter.

          Fuckwit Christer Norman Geisler makes it crystal clear.

          The truth is that SES was concerned about Licona’s view, and after the faculty interrogated him they voted to not retain him on the faculty. In the words of an SES faculty member, “SES formulated a statement formally dismissing him from any faculty appointment or position at SES, and that we believe he denies inerrancy as we understand it” (Letter, Oct 7, 2011). His position was then eliminated and his picture taken from the web catalog. Regardless of public statement to the contrary (which are often used to avoid litigation), normally, the term for what happened would be he was “fired.”

          He was fired for contravening the Southern Evangelical Seminary & Bible College’s statement of faith.

          https://ses.edu/about-ses/doctrinal-statement/

          So stop lying.

          They are not a litmus test of orthodoxy.

          Third irrelevant fuckwittery.

          Re: Dr. Avalos. I have not read the book. But he has made clear in other places that he considers biblical studies hopelessly compromised by the fact that men and women of faith are teaching and irrelevant.

          But Don, yet again your dishonesty is well on display here. That is not the same as…

          “Avalos doesn’t even think biblical studies make sense.”

          That’s pure ballix.

          “Yet he continues to teach. How is that for integrity?”

          If you’d read his book, you’d know his reasons and why his integrity is intact. But since you haven’t, you’ll continue to misrepresent his position. Because that’s the lying Christer weasel you are, and typical of your kind.

          Interviewer on youtuber video: “Why as an atheist have you devoted your life to biblical studies?”

          Avalos’ answer: He wants to point out that biblical studies is a mix of ecclesiastical and academic studies and that removing the academic .doesn’t leave much.

          Where? Time stamp?

          But anyway…

          Indeed. And he wrote a whole book explaining why. And get this, his thesis isn’t novel or unique. It was being proposed by scholars at least a century ago. He cites Friedrich Delitzsch. And Phillip Davies questioning of the issue.

          “Can Biblical Scholars persuade others that they conduct a legitimate academic discipline? Until they do, can they convince anyone that they have something to offer to the intellectual life of the modern world? Indeed, I think many of us have to convince ourselves first!”

          http://www.exminister.org/Davies-biblical-scholars.html

          So actually why does he continue to teach in the biblical studies department? Why don’t you explain since you have read the book?

          I can hardly do a book justice in a combox. But I’ll let Dr. Avalos speak for himself a wee bit on the matter…

          “Another potential challenge to my thesis is that I myself would be hypocritical to continue in biblical studies. However, while I concede that this would be true if I were pursuing biblical studies for the sake of keeping the field alive, I have instead used my work in biblical studies to persuade people to abandon reliance on this book. I see my goal as no different from physicians, whose goal of ending human illness would lead to their eventual unemployment. The same holds true for me. I would be hypocritical only if I sought to maintain the relevance of my profession despite my belief that the profession is irrelevant. If I work to inform people of the irrelevance of the Bible for modern life, then I am fully consistent with my beliefs.” ~ Hector Avalos, The End of Biblical Studies

        • Greg G.

          Why are you intent in bringing irrelevant nonsense where it isn’t warranted?

          The reason Don is intent in bringing irrelevant nonsen—SQUIRREL!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ah, yes. I am acquainted with Robert Price.

          Well then, you’d know he is well qualified to comment by you’re recent elitist position.

          Paul was writing at a time when Christians were under serious persecution.

          There is no evidence for that.

          Candida Moss, a professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame. Moss’s thesis is that: –

          1. The traditional idea of the “Age of Martyrdom”, when Christians suffered persecution from the Roman authorities and lived in fear of being thrown to the lions, is largely fictional.

          2. There was never sustained, targeted persecution of Christians by Imperial Roman authorities.

          3. Official persecution of Christians by order of the Roman Emperor lasted for at most twelve years of the first three hundred of the Church’s history.

          4.Most of the stories of individual martyrs are pure invention,

          5. Even the oldest and most historically accurate stories of martyrs and their sufferings have been altered and re-written by later editors, so that it is impossible to know for sure what any of the martyrs actually thought, did or said.

          You might remember Nero.

          What about him?

          In that kind of climate it seemed to him, and he did qualify it as his advice not the Lord’s, best to remain unmarried and unencumbered with wife/husband or family.

          Why?

          But he actually did give some child raising instructions. See Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3

          But there is scholarly weight behind the idea that Paul didn’t write either of those letters. Giving instructions on how to raise children in those letters would lend gravitas to that position.

          However, there is plenty of mention of raising children in the Old Testament. And that was the Bible Paul used.

          That’s irrelevant to when Paul thought the end time would happen. So why would anyone care what buybull Paul was using?

          The rest of your comment is opinion. Others differ. That’s the problem with the texts. The ambiguity allows for more than one interpretation. You don’t see that as problematic. Yet you want folk here to take heed to scriptures that are so vague in what it is saying.

        • Don Camp

          Well then, you’d know he is well qualified to comment by you’re recent elitist position.

          We have indeed interacted.

          Why? [Why is it best to remain unmarried?]

          Read 1 Corinthinas 7

          29 I mean, brothers and sisters,the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. 32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; 33 but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord.

          It is less about the fact that the Lord is going to return momentarily and more about living for the Lord in difficult times. If Paul’s experiences is any indicator, there was opposition from the Jewish people and from local governments. He was put in prison by the local governments on several occasions. The Christians in Corinth also had to deal with opposition from the Jews.

          BTW the Jews were expelled from Rome during the reign of Claudius. And it is noted in at least one of Paul’s epistles. I don’t suppose I need to tell you that as far as Rome was concerned Christianity was Jewish and included mostly Jews. So many Christians were also expelled, including Aquila and Pricilla.

          References to an expulsion of Jews from Rome by the Roman Emperor Claudius, who was in office AD 41-54, appear in the Acts of the Apostles (18:2), and in the writings of Roman historians Suetonius (c. AD 69 – c. AD 122), Cassius Dio (c. AD 150 – c. 235) and fifth-century Christian author Paulus Orosius.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius%27_expulsion_of_Jews_from_Rome

          But there is scholarly weight behind the idea that Paul didn’t write either of those letters.

          There is scholarly weight behind the idea that he did. See Craig Blomberg in The Historicity and Reliability of the New Testament pages 369 through 394.

          That’s irrelevant to when Paul thought the end time would happen.

          It was an answer to your question about raising children.

        • Ignorant Amos

          We have indeed interacted.

          No one here really gives a fuck. That’s irrelevant to you being a dickhead.

          When you commented to Greg G the following, you were obviously just being a dishonest dickhead.

          If you don’t have professional qualifications yourself. maybe a reference to someone who does would be helpful.

          You are such a dumb fuck, you are doing our work for us.

          Read 1 Corinthinas 7

          That’s a none answer. Why did Paul think that was appropriate? What did Paul mean when he said “the appointed time has grown short”…what is the appointed time?

          It seems to me that Paul was preaching against common Christer thinking. It makes no sense to be advising folk to not get married, and those that are married, to live as though the weren’t…not procreating…unless he believed it was a purposeless enterprise, because the appointed time, i.e, end time, was nigh.

          Apparently Paul was countering Jesus and Jewish thinking of the time…

          “Have you not read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

          It is less about the fact that the Lord is going to return momentarily and more about living for the Lord in difficult times.

          Don’t talk crap. When were those times not difficult? You are conveniently ignoring the elephant in room Don. According to Chrisyters, Jesus prophesied the fourth coming war with the Jews, yet didn’t advise against marriage. Wtf?

          If Paul’s experiences is any indicator, there was opposition from the Jewish people and from local governments.

          A claim not in evidence. But anyway, why would that be a reason not to get married? Folk diagnosed with terminal cancer, get married on their deathbeds. Apparently there is no greater demonstration of love. Isn’t that one of them Christer virtues you were trumpeting? The only reason Paul would be advising against marriage and procreation, is because it is pointless for all involved. Why was it pointless?

          He was put in prison by the local governments on several occasions.

          That’s just a yarn. I realise you are a gullible fool and believe everything that is written the the buybull, but the Acts of the Apostles is a work of fiction.

          Although it is implied in the preface of the book of Acts that it is supposed to be some kind of historical account, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, Acts has been thoroughly discredited as nothing more than a work of apologetic historical fiction, and the scholarship of Richard Pervo conclusively demonstrates this to be the case. Regarding any historical sources that Luke may have used for Acts, the only one that has been confirmed with any probability was that of Josephus (a person who never wrote about Jesus Christ nor Christianity, yet was likely used by Luke for background material), and although there may have been more historical sources than Josephus, we simply don’t have any evidence preserved from those other possible historians to make a case one way or the other. All of the other sources that we can discern within Acts are literary sources, not historical ones. Included in these literary sources is what may possibly have been a (now-lost) hagiographical fabrication, and basically a rewrite of the Elijah-Elisha narrative in some of the Old Testament (OT) texts of Kings, although placing Paul and Jesus in the main roles instead, which obviously would have been a literary source of historical fiction (not any kind of historical account).

          The scholar Thomas Brodie has argued that this evident reworking of the Kings narrative starts in Luke’s Gospel and continues on until Acts chapter 15, thus indicating that Luke either integrated this literary creation into his story or he used an underlying source text, such as some previous Gospel that not only covered the acts of Jesus but also the acts of the apostles. So it appears that Luke either used this source text or his own literary idea and then inserted more stories into it, effectively expanding the whole story into two books, while also utilizing some material from Mark and Matthew during the process (and potentially other now-lost Gospels) and some material from the epistles of Paul. In any case, the unnamed source text mentioned thus far is a hypothetical one that can only be inferred to have existed from the evidence of what’s written in Acts. Luckily, the remaining literary sources that scholars can discern Luke used are indeed sources we actually have and thus can directly compare to and analyze.

          https://lagevondissen.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/the-book-of-acts-as-historical-fiction/

          Just in case you pull the Christer view being moot card again.

          Richard Ivan Pervo, pervo by name, pervo by nature, was an American biblical scholar, former Episcopalian priest. He received his undergraduate degree from Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1964. He received a Bachelor of Divinity at the Episcopal Divinity School of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and earned his Th.D. from Harvard University in 1979.

          Thomas L. Brodie, is a Dominican priest . He earned his Doctor of Sacred Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He has taught Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament in various institutions across the United States and in South Africa, including the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri.

          The Christians in Corinth also had to deal with opposition from the Jews.

          The Christers in Corinth at the time of Paul’s writing, were Christ following Jews and Gentiles. What of “opposition” did they endure? If we are going by buybull reports, Jewish cults opposed each other.

          Like all things Christer, scholarly opinion varies on the subject of persecution and the reasons why the early Christ followers made the claims.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_New_Testament

          BTW the Jews were expelled from Rome during the reign of Claudius.

          Who cares? Why is it even relevant? Jews were kicked out of Rome at least twice before that.

          And it is noted in at least one of Paul’s epistles.

          Which one?

          I don’t suppose I need to tell you that as far as Rome was concerned Christianity was Jewish and included mostly Jews.

          Then they weren’t being persecuted or expelled for being Christers ya clown.

          There were at least two expulsions of Jews from Rome before the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius. In 139 BC the Jews were expelled after being accused of aggressive missionary efforts. Then in AD 19 Tiberius once again expelled Jews from the city for similar reasons.

          So the expulsions were for proselytising, not because they were Jews.

          Suetonius writes about the Claudius expulsion…

          Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [the Emperor Claudius] expelled them from Rome.

          So that expulsion wasn’t because they were Jews, or even Christer following Jews either, but because they were being unruly.

          Ffs Don, do you ever even think about the rubbish you write before hitting the “post as” button?

          So many Christians were also expelled, including Aquila and Pricilla.

          Aquila and Priscilla were Jews.

          After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

          Even if true, it was not for being Christers ya soft boy. And why you think this makes some sort of argument, is beyond me.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

          Try reading your own source properly ffs. Hoist by yer own petard…again!

          There is scholarly weight behind the idea that he did. See Craig Blomberg in The Historicity and Reliability of the New Testament pages 369 through 394.

          Craig Blomberg has skin in the game. Hardly an unbiased source. Scholars such as Norman Perrin and Raymond E. Brown, have no such bias.

          Biblical scholar Harold Hoehner, surveying 279 commentaries written between 1519 and 2001, found that 54% favored Pauline authorship, 39% concluded against Pauline authorship and 7% remained uncertain] Norman Perrin and Dennis C. Duling found that of six authoritative scholarly references, “four of the six decide for pseudonymity, and the other two (Peake’s Commentary on the Bible and the Jerome Biblical Commentary) recognize the difficulties in maintaining Pauline authorship. Indeed, the difficulties are insurmountable.” Bible scholar Raymond E. Brown asserts that about 80% of critical scholarship judges that Paul did not write Ephesians:p.47

          If you are going to pin your flag to the mast of 20% of scholarly opinion which is tinted by religious bias, be my guest, but don’t expect to be taken seriously here. I wonder would you have the same confidence in other areas of expertise? Oncology for example.

          It was an answer to your question about raising children.

          Well, in the first instance. It wasn’t my question. Secondly, it wasn’t even a question. It was an assertion by Greg G.

          He never gave any mention to raising children.

          And given that the two references you give are dubious and not trustworthy, he’s right.

          None of which matters, because instructions on raising Children in the OT are irrelevant to the conversation on Paul and when he thought about the impending apocalypse. Regardless what he was reading. He mentions fuck all about it in his genuine epistles. Quit being a dickhead Don.

        • Greg G.

          What did Paul mean when he said “the appointed time has grown short”…what is the appointed time?

          My gosh! I need to start using the following for that argument:

          1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (NRSV)29 I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

          Paul thought the time was so short that one should forget the spouse, forget the recently deceased, forget being financially responsible.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But thick as champ, Don Camp, thinks that’s not what it means. We are all just not reading it properly.

        • Ignorant Amos

          the appointed time has grown short;

          Why would Paul write that if he didn’t think it was so? It makes no sense that Paul would even claim to know that, if he didn’t believe where he got the idea from was on point?

          Don reads the gospels back into the Paul, but the gospel writers were rewriting the prophecy to cover why it hadn’t happened as Paul believed it would.

          The mental gymnastics the apologist has to exert to cover the failure is astonishing. It certainly wouldn’t be acceptable about any other non-Christer claim.

        • nydiva

          So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.

          Dear Reader, take note: It’s obvious from these verses that Jesus is reassuring his followers that the the kingdom of God is near, not an event 2,000+ years in the distance future. Paul told followers at the church in Corinth not to marry because the time was short. I am coming quickly, short, near. These words were often used in connection with the Second Coming. Whatever the so-called prerequisites before Christ could return were (e.g., war, etc), they were expected to happen within the lifetime of those listening to his message.

        • Don Camp

          I am amazed at the number of biblical scholars posting here, none of whom as far as I know actually have a degree in any of the disciplines or languages that most biblical scholars would find necessary. That should not stop you from making “educated” assertions, however. Go for it.

        • nydiva

          I am amazed at how arrogant you are. O wait, no I’m not. Aren’t you the one who challenged a blblical scholar’s lecture with outdated information you found on Google? Didn’t John W. Loftus from Debunking Christian booted off his blog because “Don… acts like an expert on most every topic when all he does is a Google search.”

          O delusional one, no one needs a degree in bilblcal studies to discover from the Bible that the failed Second Coming was a false prophecy.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But it does seem to show what I said is true. </blockquote

          No, it doesn't. It show's that you are talking more shite.

          But the reason for the link was to refute the other unsupported shite claim you made in the immediately previous comment.

          “In that kind of environment polls are not going to be published showing increases in Christianity or Islam. And no Christian wants to participate.

          Polls are ordinarily anonymous. They aren’t held every week, month, or even year. So we can only comment on the status of affairs at the most recent data available. Therefore, your comment above is just more conjecture pulled from your arse.

          The latest polls were carried out after the Chinese restrictions and persecution of religion were implemented. Because historically, that’s how the Chinese authorities have always operated, particularly so, since the communists took power.

          https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/10/11/recent-chinese-dealings-with-faith-groups-reflect-a-pattern-of-government-restrictions-on-religion/

          There is as much reason to believe there is no more recent data, because the enterprise is a waste of money due to it being a logistical nightmare and not worth the effort in time or manpower, because of how useless the data has turned out to be in the past. Rather than the fear of persecution.

          Guestimation and projections are as good a method as any other in such a situation.

          None of this helps you out of the hole you started digging about how “amazing” Christianities expansion in China is, to the prophecy you think nydiva was punting too in her comment.

          https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/21/opinion/sunday/chinas-religion-xi.html

        • Don Camp

          Polls are ordinarily anonymous.

          We are talking about China here. Nothing that is normal in the West is normal in China, particularly when it comes to social issues. Ask someone from China. Anyone. Even the kids who are not Christians know that they are under constant surveillance. So there are going to be polls that go out and interview people who know they are under surveillance?Would you want to speak to the pollster?

          Guestimation and projections are as good a method as any other in such a situation.

          Not really. Talk to actual people who are NOT under surveillance. Talk to people who are or were there on the street in China. If you do and if you get a cross section of man on the street interviews I think you will find that Christians are increasing in number. Try it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          We are talking about China here. Nothing that is normal in the West is normal in China, particularly when it comes to social issues.

          Including Christianity?

          Don, when will you stop making unsupported assertions you pull from your arse?

          Demonstrate polls taken in China are not anonymous, or go and take your head for a shite.

          Ask someone from China. Anyone. Even the kids who are not Christians know that they are under constant surveillance.

          And yet, they took/take part in polls. Your hype is total fuckwittery.

          During the last Hong Kong election…

          I spoke with editors and journalists, both foreign and Chinese, at China Daily, the flagship English-language newspaper of state media; at the English-language version of the nationalist tabloid Global Times; and at the People’s Daily—the CCP’s official newspaper. (My sources universally asked for anonymity.) At each paper, copy was filed to editors the night before the Nov. 24 elections assuming a strong victory for the establishment. This included predictions of increased majorities (with numbers left to be filled in as needed) for figures such as Junius Ho, whose vicious rhetoric against protesters has left him widely hated but whose comments regularly appear in the Global Times.

          https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/25/hong-kong-election-beijing-media-delusions-victory/

          Clearly, Big Brother isn’t watching as fastidiously as you seem to think, or imagine I suspect. One would think the authorities would be a lot more interested in who was saying what in the media and politics, but sure what do I know when the the oracle that is Don Camp has spoken?

          So there are going to be polls that go out and interview people who know they are under surveillance?

          Is that a question, or an assertion?

          Would you want to speak to the pollster?

          Who would die for a lie? Not Chinese Christers apparently.

          It’s not about me, it’s about what Chinese Christers would do. And apparently they took part in polls in the past, even under the threat of persecution and restrictions. Go figure.

          Not really. Talk to actual people who are NOT under surveillance.

          Don, you as dumb a dickhead as they come. You’ve already made the argument that polls in China are grossly unreliable. Did you forget ya demented auld eejit? You are flip-flopping right, left, and centre here.

          According to you, everyone in China is under surveillance, even the kids on the street.

          Talk to people who are or were there on the street in China. If you do and if you get a cross section of man on the street interviews I think you will find that Christians are increasing in number. Try it.

          You really have no idea how stupid you are being now, do ya? I’m not interested in what you assert without evidence. What you’ve just described there is a poll, which you argue is useless, to which we all had already pointed out. And to which you claimed, in the very same comment, is not possible due to surveillance hindering folks freedom to speak.

          You are a nutjob that can’t even stay focused in what you say in the same combox anymore.

          I’m now losing the will to live reading your rank stupidity.

          I’m joining the throng here to have your stupid arse banhammered.

          You are a complete and utter christer clusterfuck and I’m petitioning Bob S to have file thirteened.

        • Don Camp

          Clearly, Big Brother isn’t watching as fastidiously as you seem to think, or imagine I suspect.

          It is enough for people to think they are. Even in the US cameras are everywhere. For my Chinese students – almost all of whom are not Christians.- it is assumed they are on camera. They even look around the school here for cameras, and we do have some for security in the halls. But we are not listening in as the Chinese students expect given their experience in China.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don, you asserted the increase of Christian converts in China is “amazing” evidence in support of the prophecy fulfilment. It isn’t, You acknowledged yourself that Christianity in China isn’t novel. In fact it has been there many centuries. No matter. When challenged to support your assertion, you flailed about and accused others of making unjustified requests and we all should just take your word for it. nope, not how it works.

          Pressed on the matter, you decided to dig your hole by trying a different tact. That is, the data isn’t trustworthy. Something epeeist had pointed out, but you tried to make it yours. So what we had is your unsupported assertion that can’t be supported because the data is skewed. We agree.

          Then you claimed the reason the data is skewed, is because collecting data in a police state is fraught with danger, so it doesn’t happen. Another unsupported assertion. Challenged again.

          So your next play was to employ anecdote to support your erroneous position. Various Chinese sources, students, friends in Chine, etc.

          However, while possibly true to a degree, you were given examples to counter your claim. Regardless of how much policing, folk still engage in subversive reporting. Something you never demonstrated taking part in a poll on religion would be considered, still, we’ll let that fly. So at this point, for whatever the reasons, you are supporting epeeists claim that you cannot back up you “amazing” Chinese conversion to Christer claim.

          You then suggest to me that if I was really interested in finding out the truth, I might want to try to…

          “Talk to actual people who are NOT under surveillance. Talk to people who are or were there on the street in China. If you do and if you get a cross section of man on the street interviews I think you will find that Christians are increasing in number. Try it.”

          Leaving aside the complete idiocy of that statement given your previous position in the same comment was….

          “Ask someone from China. Anyone. Even the kids who are not Christians know that they are under constant surveillance. So there are going to be polls that go out and interview people who know they are under surveillance?Would you want to speak to the pollster?”

          …you do know that is self contradictory, right? Of course ya do, you’re a teacher of literature at university level. Fuckin’ clown university I suspect, but no matter.

          Now you’ve came full circle and flip-flopped back to contradictory anecdotal fuckwittery. Which I believe is lies. Since you’ve claimed elsewhere afaicr, that you are retired.

          It is enough for people to think they are. Even in the US cameras are everywhere. For my Chinese students – almost all of whom are not Christians.- it is assumed they are on camera. They even look around the school here for cameras, and we do have some for security in the halls. But we are not listening in as the Chinese students expect given their experience in China.

          So, if Chinese folk are paranoid about Big Brother watching them, even in the US, what would be the point of…“Talk[ing] to actual people who are NOT under surveillance. Talk to people who are or were there on the street in China. If you do and if you get a cross section of man on the street interviews I think you will find that Christians are increasing in number. Try it.”….???

          Try and stay focused. Chose a train of thought and stick with it.

          The easiest thing would’ve been to have acknowledge your error at the beginning. Instead you’ve been turning yerself inside out with dishonest fuckwittery in trying to defend a nothing point, because it wasn’t even relevant to begin with.

          Your head is away with the fairies Don. You need help.

        • Greg G.

          So your next play was to employ anecdote to support your erroneous position. Various Chinese sources, students, friends in Chine, etc.

          I know some Chinese people. None of them are Christian.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That sinks Dim Don’s theory then.

          I don’t know very many Chinese folk. None of the few enough to ask the question.

        • Don Camp

          So, what did epeeist say about the graph? My guess is that he’d turn up his nose. And rightly so. What data was used to construct the graph? What was the source? Did you read the rest of the story on the website? I am pretty sure you wouldn’t credit the other information, so why credit the graph?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Whoooooosh!

          Don, you are the one that made the unsubstantiated assertion. We called you out, remember?

          Epeeist is pointing out, and used an example in order to demonstrate the point, that there is no actual evidence to support your claim.

          The graph and website are examples of the same. Because of the lack of solid evidence. All there is are guesstimations. And they vary wildly. Look hard enough and any made up shite flies. A bit like your silly book of holy myths and legendary yarns.

          That means the contents of your silly comment, that you used to try and refute nydivas comment, is silly pants stupid. It is pure conjecture. But for some reason unbeknown to the rest of us, you refuse to admit it. You are adamant that the hole you started digging should bury ya. Give it up already.

        • epeeist

          So, what did epeeist say about the graph? My guess is that he’d turn up his nose.

          Actually CFR seemed to be the best set of figures, they also published their methodology. The problem I had with them is that that there are no error bounds on their figures.

          Let’s say you have a poll and it says that one party has 51% of the votes and the other party has 49%, From this it looks as though the first party is in the lead. Now add the proviso that the sampling means that the standard error on the the results is ±3%, what can you now say about the positions of the parties?

        • Nice detective work.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don uses the style of argumentation where evidence means, you just have to take his word for it, word pulled from his arse. Even in the face of actual bona fide evidence to the contrary.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That is telling. If you want to know more, there is google. But to distrust the statements of everyone – at least those you don’t agree with – is a serious fault of our scientific age.

          This from the lying weasel that declared that any quote I cited without reference, you were going to ignore.

          Ya two faced hypocritical fucker.

        • Ignorant Amos

          When all is said and done, what I said is not a big deal. If is is a big deal you, check it out.

          When all is said and done, it was lying bullshit ya just pulled from yer arsehole. You can’t supply a citation, because no one can.

        • Here in the UK some 44% of people report themselves to be Christian, but only about 6% of the population actually attend services of any kind.

          And in France, 50% of those who call themselves Christian don’t believe in God.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Lying again Don. You really are a deluded auld eejit.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I would say remarkably wonderful.

          Try and stay focused. The prophecy in question isn’t about the numbers ya silly eejit. It’s about the unity of Christianity.

          How could they not be when Scripture tells us that God’s intention through his Son, Jesus Christ, was to provide the way for all who believe in him “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8)? We are not just members of our local church but members of Christ’s global church that spans both time and space. The true scandal would be failing to recognize this truth.

          Bwaaaahahahaha!

          There is no one Christianity and it isn’t global ya daft bastard. And contrary to what you think, the future isn’t a rosey looking one.

        • nydiva

          Wow! After having been in the middle of what I’d describe as a book of Acts event, I would say remarkably wonderful. And worldwide more people are becoming Christ followers that at any time in history. China is amazing. There are likely more Christians in China than in the United States. Chinese Christians are now taking the message of Jesus into places where Americans cannot go. In Africa and South America thousands are turning toward God. So, yeah, it’s working well.

          Wow! Worldwide more people are becoming Muslims that at any time in history. According to Pew Research Center “the projected Muslims population will equal the Christian population by 2070. While both religions will grow but Muslim population will exceed the Christian population and by 2100, Muslim population (35%) will be 1% more than the Christian population (34%). China is home to a large population of adherents of Islam. According to the CIA World Factbook, about 1–2% of the total population in China are Muslims (20 million).” Chinese Muslims are now taking the message of Allah into places where Americans cannot go. In Africa and South America thousands are turning toward Allah. Delusional Don, nothing you wrote about Christianity’s growth is remarkable. So no, it’s not working well.

        • nydiva

          How’s that failed prophecy working for ya?
          2,000+ years and still no Jesus. So much for Jesus returning “soon” as he promised. I noticed you avoided addressing that problem. LOL! Onward Christian solider (fool for Christ), right?

        • Ignorant Amos

          You all can keep demanding that.

          Yeah, we’re a bit old fashioned that way. You don’t get to assert unsupported nonsense and expect to be taken seriously. Just because you are a gullible old fart, doesn’t mean everyone has to be.

          I have no expectation that you will accept any of our evidence, evidence that had been presented on my levels many, many times by many people.

          But what you keep asserting is evidence, isn’t. You wouldn’t accept the same off others, so why do you expect folk here who know better, to accept the crap you are asserting?

          I don’t really think you know what evidence you would expect given the particular category of a non-material God.

          That is irrelevant. An omniscient god would know, an omnipotent god could do, and an omnibenevolent god would want to. But what we have got is you, with your rambling nonsense, incredulity, and wishy-washy feelings. Pathetically poor order for any entity claiming god status.

          I really think that the demand is more to shore up your faith in the unreality of God. It is a kind of mantra to be repeated whenever the darkness closes in. Sorry, you’ll have to live with the darkness; the mantra isn’t working.

          Don, you are the one that came here, remember? Or did you forget that part in yer dementia?

          Let’s imagine for a minute that some senile auld fuckwit from with some unsupported mindwankery was to pitch up on your blog spewing knuckle-dragging buffoonery for some nonsense belief or another, what evidence would you expect for the existence of other religions gods, supernatural beliefs, or general unbelievable woo-woo assertions? Do you think the same crap you’re pulling here would cut it with you?

          btw I hesitate to suggest, but you asked, I wrote a blog post “The Dandelion” six months ago on one of the evidences.

          Who cares? What you’ve presented here so far, has been repeatedly refuted. You wouldn’t accept the same shite from others, why do you think we should accept the same shite from you? Special pleading is fallacious. Do better, or fuck off.

        • Don Camp

          Here’s paper I don’t find particularly helpful but does demonstrate the uncertainty about the how of PE. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23978567-is-there-room-for-punctuated-equilibrium-in-macroevolution/?from_term=Punctuated+Equalibrium&from_pos=2&from_exact_term=punctuated+equilibrium

          You might find the paper interesting as it discusses the difficulty in examining or4 eve3n identifying PE as a process within the general observation of mascroevolution.

          Please choose papers that are focused.

        • nydiva

          Thanks for the link but I’m going to email Dr. Coyne about having a blog post on so-called problem of rapid diversification of species and whether or not that make evolution creationism a plausible alternative as you suggest. Because that’s the issue, not that rapid diversification has gaps in its theory.

          I might email some of your comments. I understand Dr. Coyne is busy so it may be a few days if he ever responds. If he does, then you will have your chance to defend your “theory” of Evolution Creations. Stay tune. Cheers.

        • Don Camp

          Just of interest, the authors of the apaper I linked listed out some of the unanswered problems. Here’s one

          https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23978567-is-there-room-for-punctuated-equilibrium-in-macroevolution/?from_term=Punctuated+Equalibrium&from_pos=2&from_exact_term=punctuated+equilibrium v>

          Even when speciation is inferred to be associated with trait divergence, a broader conceptual issue remains: what are the causal mechanisms that could generate such an
          association against a general backdrop of apparent stasis

          There are a bunch of similar issues. Now the paper is 6 years old and has been responded to by Niles Eldredge, and there was an online discussion, so maybe there has been actual progress. But as far as I have read, PE or pulse evolution is accepted by most evolutionists today, but no mechanism has been persuasively demonstrated.

        • epeeist

          Here’s paper I don’t find particularly helpful but does demonstrate the uncertainty about the how of PE.

          Yes, and your point is?

        • nydiva

          CHALLENGE:
          State your objections on rapid diversification of species on Dr. Jerry Coyne’s blog https://disq.us/url?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwhyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com%2F%3AJDkkOvMJXls3zsCdWPaQk63_oVE&cuid=2306652

          State your objections to rapid diversification of species with supporting evidence for Evolution Creation. I don’t think you will be ignored unless you make the mistake of preaching like you do here. Should be an interesting debate. Cheers!

        • Ignorant Amos

          I also asked how life arose based on empirical evidence, or even better demonstrate it by creating life. No one has responded.

          It’s a dumb cunts question.

          Maybe you know.

          He doesn’t. No one does. There are a number of hypotheses being considered by scientists. The answer might never be forthcoming. But I’ve reasonable expectation based on prior probability that it won’t be a supernatural explanation. In the history of all we know, the supernatural has never been the explanation. Not once.

          You are entitled to belief any fuckwit woo-woo that floats yer boat. God-did-it included. But you aren’t entitled to come here and shoot shite all offer the place like you’ve done elsewhere, without supporting your ballix, and expect to not get banned ta fuck outta the place, like you’ve been elsewhere. You are being a nuisance.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Either you don’t understand what we’re talking about or you don’t care.

          BINGO!

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are right that evolution doesn’t consider a goal. It simply observes a process.

          Whaaaa?

          But didn’t you say a while back?

          Evolution may continue, but nothing has evolved equal to man. Man is at the apex of whatever process there was.

          Despicable Dishonest Lying Liar Thick as Champ Don Camp.

          So I am not an expert,…

          Yay…Don is honest about something.

          …but I also am not a novice.

          Not something in evidence, for all your self claimed knowledge.

          Yesterday you linked to a testimony at BioLogos with the taglines…

          I thought you might be interested in someone else who took the journey from creation science and a Young Earth theology to the Old Earth theology that accepts evolution. There really are quite few of us.

          But that doesn’t fit with…

          Evolution may continue, but nothing has evolved equal to man. Man is at the apex of whatever process there was.

          That statement epitomises a complete ignorance of evolution.

          You are lying. You’ve demonstrated over and over again, that you do not accept evolution as generally understood in the science world. Even if a god got kick started the whole thing off. Something else you lied about, is accepting science.

          You are suffering from dementia, schizophrenic, or lying. Perhaps even a permutation of the three. Which is it?

        • epeeist

          But didn’t you say a while back?

          That’s the problem with lying isn’t it. You can’t keep track of what you did or didn’t say.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The dishonest fucker has been flip-flopping all over the place since he got here.

          When his bullshit gets shot down, not once has he had the humility to admit an error. He justs opens up another rabbit hole of Christer fuckwittery.

          Frustrating wouldn’t begin to explain it.

        • epeeist

          He justs opens up another rabbit hole of Christer fuckwittery.

          And once that is shot down he returns to a previous clusterfück.

        • Don Camp

          That statement epitomises a complete ignorance of evolution.

          So what has evolved equal to man?

        • Ignorant Amos

          What ta fuck do you mean by “equal”?

          Do you think man has the sight, smell, hearing, touch, strength, speed, etc., etc., to those animals with far superiorly evolved traits in those areas, and more?

          I thought you prided yourself in understanding evolution above that of the novice? Clearly not.

          Humans are not “higher” or “more evolved” than other living lineages. Since our lineages split, humans and chimpanzees have each evolved traits unique to their own lineages.

          It’s a tree, not a ladder ya creotard moron.

          https://theskepticalteenager.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/evolutionladder.jpg

        • Don Camp

          Dogma again, Amos. You are on message with that, but wrong.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don, you’ve been wrong about just about everything that has been talked about since you got here. In that, noting has changed.

          Yer a knuckle-dragging. doddering ,auld eejit, who’s become tediously boring now, fuck off!

        • Ignorant Amos

          So what has evolved equal to man?

          It’s still an imbecilic question.

          Everything that is better suited to its environment than man is. Everything that has evolved to survive an environment man can’t. Can you not think of any others?

        • Don Camp

          Bacteria might fit your requirements quite well. But that is an imbecilic answer. Bacteria do not display the kind of complexity of man. Neither do bacteria nor any other other creature demonstrate the ability to consciously – and sometimes unintentionally – altering the ecosystems of earth to improve it for life or destroy it.

          I am thinking that you are following the dogma unexceptionalism too faithfully.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are clearly out of your depth on this subject.

          Can’t you think of a more “complex” organism than man?

          What do you even mean by “complex”?

          A microscopic, see-through water flea is the most complex creature ever studied, genomically speaking. Daphnia pulex is the first crustacean to ever have its genome sequenced, and it turns out it has about 31,000 genes — 25 percent more than we humans.

          Neither do bacteria nor any other other creature demonstrate the ability to consciously – and sometimes unintentionally – altering the ecosystems of earth to improve it for life or destroy it.

          Nobody but humans care Don. It is irrelevant on the grand scale of things. When an something is killing a human, for whatever reason, it isn’t thinking, “this cunt can alter the ecosystems of earth to improve it for life or destroy it.”

          You are a such stupid fool Don, fuck off!

        • Greg G.

          Seen on Facebook:

          Mashed potatoes are Irish guacamole.

        • Don Camp

          What do you even mean by “complex”?

          Are you actually serious? Do feas think? Do they have a brain even remotely similar to ours? Do they have an awareness of themselves? Do they explore space or create solutions to problems? The genome does not tell the whole story.

          I am sorry to sat this but your dogma has made you blind to reality.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Are you actually serious?

          Yep…and you still answer the question ya idiot.

          Do feas think?

          I don’t know. And I give zero fucks. What makes you believe that the ability to think is the measure of complexity?

          Do they have a brain even remotely similar to ours?

          A non sequitur to the argument. Brains similar to ours only matter to us. Fleas, I imagine, don’t give a fuck. They are more than content doing the evolutionary stuff of being fleas.

          Do they have an awareness of themselves?

          I doubt it. How does that stop them being fleas? Could you be a flea…could you fuck.

          Do they explore space or create solutions to problems?

          Well, yeah. That’s how evolution works.

          The genome does not tell the whole story.

          Well, since you haven’t really explained complexity and what you think is special. so fuck.

          I am sorry to sat this but your dogma has made you blind to reality.

          Don, you wouldn’t know reality if it jumped up and bit you on the arse.

          You are only special because you have the ability to think you are special. That is narcissistic thinking. Humans aren’t special. We are not the best or “apex” at just about everything.

          You are no more special than any other living thing in existence. Your thought process is parochial. But on the grand scale of things, yer not special. The dinosaurs weren’t special either.

          We are, in fact, very feeble organisms. There are much hardier than us, that have lasted much longer. And to all intents and purposes, will still be here after man has gone extinct. And they are no less or more special on the evolutionary platform. When the niche disappears, the organism adapts or disappears.

          I thought you understood evolution?

          Contrary to your dogma, a god-didn’t-do-it.

          So when are ya gonna fuck off?

        • Don Camp

          Amos this is so stupid I see no reason to continue.

          Maybe the most chilling is that no one else here has the guts to call you out on this. That is really sad.

          When you kick the kool aid maybe we can talk.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Amos this is so stupid I see no reason to continue.

          Bwaaahahahaha!

          Nope. You are stupid, and we all know why you see no reason to continue. It’s what ya do when you have no reply.

          Maybe the most chilling is that no one else here has the guts to call you out on this. That is really sad.

          Could that be because, unlike you, they understand my point?

          What is really sad, is your claim to knowledge you obviously lack. So lying again.

          When you kick the kool aid maybe we can talk.

          Bwaaahahahaha!

          Don, how many times already? You are a lost cause. The god virus has your brain rotted. You aren’t interested in talking, or learning. You want to Gish Gallop. Every point that you’ve raised, has been refuted. But you are too dishonest to admit any of it, so you flip-flop all over the place. We’ve had over a month of it now. Folk that know you from other places, warned us here that that is how you operate. You don’t engage honestly.

          I told you that I don’t really care whether you read or engage in anything I have to say. My purpose in replying to your fuckwittery is to demonstrate to anyone who might be reading your shite, and that is taking your nonsense seriously, just how intellectually bankrupt you continue to demonstrate yourself to be.

          The universe is indifferent to life on earth, that includes human life. We weren’t special before we came on the scene fairly recently ago. We won’t be special after we go extinct as a species. Which we inevitably will. And the only species to whom we are special now, is the human species. Largely because we evolved the ability to ponder the idea.

          https://www.edge.org/response-detail/26640

          https://arstechnica.com/science/2015/09/humans-arent-so-special-after-all-the-fuzzy-evolutionary-boundaries-of-homo-sapiens/

          It is said that there are approx. 6 billion beetles on the planet to every human. Does that make them more special.

          “It’s a little like trying to work out whether a famous soccer player or a basketball player is more dominant,” says Werren.

          While efforts to claim top dog status for any single life form will always founder on questions of definitions, what such discussions surely highlight is the complex interdependency that exists between the millions of different species of life on Earth.

          “Asking which group of organisms is the most important is a bit like asking which of four pillars holding up a house is most important,” adds Knapp. “If you took any of them away the whole thing would fall over.”

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20150211-whats-the-most-dominant-life-form

          The universe is not human-centric. It only appears that way from the POV of humans. It’s pure arrogance. Get over yerself.

        • Rudy R

          Have you posed evolution’s “serious problems” with evolutionary biologists? If so, how were their responses not convincing to addressing those problems? And if you have not talked with evolutionary biologists, then you should stop using evolutionary science as a justification point for your belief in Yahweh until you do talk with them. There are biologist that have studied evolutionary biology and reject the science, but they are outliers and shouldn’t be solely relied on as a source for understanding the science. It would be akin to justifying flat earth belief based solely on evidence provided by flat earth scientists.
          BTW, if evolution was determined to be fallacious, a god using magic is still not the default. You have to prove a god exists and what mechanism that god used to create for you to be taken seriously.

        • Don Camp

          if evolution was determined to be fallacious, a god using magic is still not the default. You have to prove a god exists and what mechanism that god used to create for you to be taken seriously.

          I know, but I have using inductive reason based on the observable phenomena of the universe for the first question. The second question is really theological rather than scientific. But there is the interesting idea being talked about by physicists that matter is not real and the only reality is mind. See https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/physics-is-pointing-inexorably-to-mind/

          The mental universe exists in mind but not in your personal mind alone. Instead, it is a transpersonal field of mentation that presents itself to us as physicality—with its concreteness, solidity and definiteness—once our personal mental processes interact with it through observation. This
          mental universe is what physics is leading us to. . .

          I don’t know where that will go, but it leaves open that idea that God could have created simply by a thought, like an author creates a story in his head. And that would be interesting because it is exactly what the Bible declares.

        • Rudy R

          Since the blog author of the link is not implying solipsism, how exactly does this refute evolution? Again, have you posed evolution’s “serious problems” with evolutionary biologists?

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Don Camp

          Have you gotten tired of the discussion, Amos? I haven’t. I find it stimulating.

          People started to see it as allegory, because now it is bonkers to see it as otherwise.

          People started to see it as allegory early on. And they found no problem doing so. Every clue we have in the text points toward allegory. It is not because modern science has revealed to us a different beginning for man than a beginning a few thousand years ago in Eden; the understanding of the story as allegory predates that by centuries. But that would be enough, wouldn’t it? If the criteria for identifying allegory or symbolism is whether the description can actually be real or not, the fact that man has a long history and was dispersed across the globe at the time the literalists would place the story of Adam and Eve would be a clue that it was allegory and not a real report of a real event that happened 6000 years ago.

          The problem here is, allegory for what? Even as allegory, it is nonsense.

          Good point. An allegory has a real life referent. Otherwise it is just a story for entertainment like Harry Potter. In the case of the Adam and Eve story the referent is the real experience of men and women throughout history,

          First, there is a sense of alienation from God and a need to either work out some arrangement with God or the gods that will work for us or come to peace with God that will eliminate the alienation. Religion is as old as mankind, and religion testifies to that sense of alienation.

          Second, the need to understand who we are is a need as old as mankind. Even those who are not religious at all want an answer to the “who am I” question. The existentialists of the last century were not religious for the most part. They were atheists. Yet they were driven by that need to know who they were. And so were others clear back to the earliest wisdom literature and philosophy of the pre-Christian era.

          Finally, death is a real experience of mankind. Yet, there is a sense built into us that rebels at death. It is like we know that death is not our destiny, but what is? That sense of there being something more is one of the oldest and most common characteristic of the mankind and is attested to by the burial of the dead with the tools of life.

          It is to these questions about who I am and why things are the way they are that the Adam and Eve story is addressed. And that is why in the corpus of biblical literature it is one of the most important stories. Really, none of what follows in the biblical narrative makes sense apart from this foundational story.

          Ya know what childhood indoctrination is,

          Yes. And I know it is employed by both religion and atheist alike. Take a tour of a Communist school in Russia or China if you think that it is not. Or speak with kids who have been through that Communist atheist system as I have.

          As I said, I’ll deal with the theology of Paul in the next blog post. But a word about Matthew 19:4-6.

          Jesus is actually speaking about the message of the story. He is talking about the real life referent of the allegory. He is not affirming the real life reality of the story. He is affirming that the story conveys truth about real life.

          4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Have you gotten tired of the discussion, Amos?

          Nope. I’m busy in meat world.

          I’ve Scottish friends visiting so I was on it until two this morning. I’m on my way out again for the kick-off at midday, so will be on it until I fall over sometime this evening.

          I’ll catch up tomorrow…if am not too hungover,

        • Don Camp

          The Adam and Eve story is also assumed as allegory in Ezekiel 28 where the king of Tyre who is a symbol for Satan is said to have been in Eden

          You were the signet of perfection,[b]
          full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
          13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
          every precious stone was your covering,
          carnelian, chrysolite, and moonstone,
          beryl, onyx, and jasper,
          sapphire, turquoise, and emerald;
          and worked in gold were your settings
          and your engravings.
          On the day that you were created
          they were prepared.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are stark raving bonkers.

          That’s not a reference to Satan or the Adam & Eve story, other than the garden.

          Why do atheists have to educate you Christers?

          It even tells you who he was in the garden of God in the same texts…an exalted cherubim.

          Ezek 28:11–19

          Several observations related to mythological aspects of Ezek 28:11–19 shed significant light on issues of principal concern for this investigation.16 These issues are associated with a basic perspective which both affirms and restricts the notion of divine humanity, as well as with specific imagery and themes through which this notion is conveyed. These include the following elements:

          1) A mythological setting of the beginning.

          2) A primal human figure who is exalted into a divine status. This figure is depicted also as a superior winged cherub with outstretched wings, whose exaltation involves the endowment of divine attributes and placement in the divine sphere.

          3) A crisis related to the figure’s elevated position.

          4) Consequences involving expulsion from the divine location and demotion from former divine status.

          Throughout Ezek 28:11–19 these motifs are expressed both explicitly and implicitly. I will examine each of them in turn.

          1. Setting. The lament is placed in a primeval mythological setting, rather than in an actual historical time. In this context an elevated, primordial figure is portrayed, with whom the king of Tyre is ironically equated. The setting of primeval time is evoked by references to “Eden, the garden of God” (Ezek 28:13), an expression reminiscent of Genesis 2–3, as well as by indirect references to the creation of this figure by God at the beginning of time (Ezek 28:13, 15).17

          2. An exalted divine-human figure. The presentation does not explicitly identify the primal figure to whom the king of Tyre is compared. This being is addressed as a cherub in Ezek 28:14 and 28:16. Additional details, however, characterize him by both divine and human attributes as an exalted human being who partakes in the divine. The human nature of this figure is implied by twofold emphatic references to the day of his creation (Ezek 28:13, 15), in language recalling the creation of humanity in Gen 2:4 and 5:2. The double use of the root arb, “to create,” in these verses evidently distinguishes this being from divine beings and posits that this being is essentially human. The humanity of this being is also suggested by classifying him as “blameless,” µymiT,; in Ezek 28:15. “Blameless” is one of the distinctive attributes by which special human beings such as Noah (Gen 6:9), Abraham (Gen 17:1), and Job (Job 1:1) are characterized in the Hebrew Bible. The identification of the primal being by this particular attribute seems to associate him with these mortal figures and thus alludes to his human character.

          Please read the whole paper published in the HARVARD THEOLOGICAL REVIEW.

          https://www.marquette.edu/maqom/ArbelMetatron.pdf

          Here’s another commentary for good measure.

          https://library.timelesstruths.org/texts/Was_the_Devil_Ever_in_Heaven/Ezekiel_2813_18/

        • Don Camp

          That’s not a reference to Satan or the Adam & Eve story, other than the garden.

          Harvard Theological Review notwithstanding, I think if you enlarge your search you’ll find quite a few biblical scholars who think it is a reference to Satan and not to a man. A specific man is in view in the earlier passage, however.

          created,

          The Ez. 11-19 passage is speaking about the power behind the king of Tyre’s throne. The author is on track when he spaeks of this power as a Cherub:

          Ezek28:14 refers to a single cherub, addressed as jv’m]mi bWrK].

          I don’t think that is a metaphor. I think that is a clear identification of this personage. He is saids to be perfect in beauty, in the garden of God, created, on the holy mountain of Goid,

        • Ignorant Amos

          I think if you enlarge your search you’ll find quite a few biblical scholars who think it is a reference to Satan and not to a man.

          Of course. But the biblical scholars in question, are those with a Christian bias. They are looking to support Christian theology. The NT is littered with examples of reading stuff that isn’t there, back into the OT. It’s an enterprise that continues.

          A specific man is in view in the earlier passage, however.

          Yes, a man with special qualities. Hence the comparison to the cherub.

          But it isn’t the only place such a comparison has been made and the subject of Christer misinterpretation.

          The Babylonian king, who is described as a fallen “morning star” in Isaiah 14:1–17, was probably the first time identified with a fallen angel by Origen. This description was interpreted typologically both as an angel and a human king. The image of the fallen morning star or angel was thereby applied to Satan by early Christian writers, following the equation of Lucifer to Satan in the pre-Christian century.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallen_angel

          The Ez. 11-19 passage is speaking about the power behind the king of Tyre’s throne. The author is on track when he speaks of this power as a Cherub:

          No mention of serpent though. Cherubs were not the serpent figure, or even similar. That is Christer torturing of the texts again.

          I don’t think that is a metaphor.

          Why, because you think that there really were creatures called cherubs with associated attributes in the garden?

          I think that is a clear identification of this personage.

          Let’s play along. It’s not a clear identification of the serpent. And certainly not a lear identification of the Devil.

          He is said to be perfect in beauty, in the garden of God, created, on the holy mountain of God, blameless, cast out from the mountain of God, and so on. Taken together those descriptions do not fit the description of a man.

          Well. They fit at least one man you lot believe existed. But that’s not the point.

          This is exactly why you can’t be taken seriously Don….

          3. The Cherubim as Attendants of the Deity:

          The mythical elements of the Paradise story are still more patent in Ezekiel 28:13, where the fall of the king of Tyre is likened to that of primeval man. The garden is situated on a holy mountain of Elohim(= God to Ezekiel, but gods in the primitive source), the `mountain of assembly’ of Isaiah 14:13, high above the stars in the recesses of the North. It is a wonderful place, adorned with all manner of precious stones. There man, perfect from the day he was created, resplendent with beauty, excelling in wisdom, walks among the fiery stones, like a cherub with outstretched wings. The cherubs are apparently the attendants of the Deity, beauteous angels, of whom man was to be one:

          but he fell from glory and was hurled from the sanctuary which he had polluted. Some of the angelic attendants of the Deity within are placed in Genesis without, to do service as guardians of the unapproachable holy garden.

          https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/cherubim-1/

          I would take issue with the second interpretation also. Including the idea that the Devil was never good. He is described as Lucifer/Satan, the angel of light. Not the angel of darkness. See Isaiah 14: 12. https://www.allaboutgod.com

          Who gives a fuck? The serpent in the Genesis story wasn’t good. God punished it for not being good. It’s Christer thinking that the serpent = Satan = the Devil = evil. That’s not Jewish thinking. That is where you want to be in citing the passage in question. The king of Tyre was in the garden of Eden, ergo, so must be a reference to the Christer Devil, who is the epitome of bad/evil. You want to eat yer cake and have too.

          Satan once had a place in heaven.

          Don, Revelation is Christer woo-woo, not Jewish. We are dealing with Jewish scriptures.

          Despite the fact that the Book of Genesis never mentions Satan, Christians have traditionally interpreted the serpent in the Garden of Eden as Satan due to Revelation 12:7, which calls Satan “that ancient serpent”. This verse, however, is probably intended to identify Satan with the Leviathan, a monstrous sea-serpent whose destruction by Yahweh is prophesied in Isaiah 27:1. The first recorded individual to identify Satan with the serpent from the Garden of Eden was the second-century AD Christian apologist Justin Martyr, in chapters 45 and 79 of his Dialogue with Trypho.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satan

          Like a said, Christers torturing the texts since before Christianity was really a thing.

          The serpent in the garden of Eden isn’t Satan. The Satan in the OT, isn’t the Christer Devil. And the passage you are torturing doesn’t mention a serpent, a Satan, or a Devil. It uses the term cherub, which isn’t any of the above. It is your confirmation bias that sees the garden of Eden and claims the Devil. It’s what some of you Christer fuckwits do. You are falling for pious fraud, ya eelit.

          The name Heylel, meaning “morning star” (or, in Latin, Lucifer), was a name for Attar, the god of the planet Venus in Canaanite mythology, who attempted to scale the walls of the heavenly city, but was vanquished by the god of the sun. The name is used in Isaiah 14:12 in metaphorical reference to the king of Babylon. Ezekiel 28:12–15 uses a description of a cherub in Eden as a polemic against Ithobaal II, the king of Tyre. The Church Father Origen of Alexandria (c. 184 – c. 253), who was only aware of the actual text of these passages and not the original myths to which they refer, concluded in his treatise On the First Principles, which is preserved in a Latin translation by Tyrannius Rufinus, that neither of these verses could literally refer to a human being and must therefore be alluding to “a certain Angel who had received the office of governing the nation of the Tyrians,” but was hurled down to Earth after he was found to be corrupt.

          In his apologetic treatise Contra Celsum, however, Origen changed his interpretations of Isaiah 14:12 and Ezekiel 28:12–15, now interpreting both of them as referring to Satan. According to Henry Ansgar Kelly, Origen seems to have adopted this new interpretation to refute unnamed persons who, perhaps under the influence of Zoroastrian radical dualism, believed “that Satan’s original nature was Darkness.” The later Church Father Jerome (c. 347 – 420), translator of the Latin Vulgate, accepted Origen’s theory of Satan as a fallen angel and wrote about it in his commentary on the Book of Isaiah. In Christian tradition ever since, both Isaiah 14:12 and Ezekiel 28:12–15 have been understood as allegorically referring to Satan. For most Christians, Satan has been regarded as an angel who rebelled against God.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satan#Patristic_era

          Fortunately there are the more rational among you who can see the fuckwittery you are espousing for what it is.

          When? Sometime before the beginning of human history for he was in the garden tempting Eve.

          So now you are back to your creationist thinking that this all happened as historical fact?

          According to the story, what tempted Eve was a serpent in the garden. Animals were created the day before Adam & Eve.

          But he rebelled – as Ezekiel describes – and lost his place in heaven. From that point he has led the whole world astray.

          Don Camp Christer woo-woo.

          The author of the piece you linked may not want to “to go on back of the beginning where the sacred record begins and speculate on what might have been there before the beginning. ” But the scriptures do go back before the beginning.

          They do? Where?

          If as this author says, “he never did abide in the truth—was never in the truth at all.” Then he was created a liar. That is contrary to everything the Bible says about God, in whom there is no darkness. How would God create a liar?

          Not only is the God of the buybull the creator of everything in the universe, lies and liars included, but is a liar himself…according to your silly book.

          No. He created an angel who was perfect in beauty but who had moral freedom and who from pride chose to rebel against God and fell from his place in heaven.

          Where is this entity in the OT?

          Don, this nonsense you are pulling, while hilarious, isn’t going to convince anyone here that you know what you are talking about.

        • Don Camp

          It’s Christer thinking that the serpent = Satan = the Devil = evil. That’s not Jewish thinking.

          Satan is a personage in the Old Testament. See Job.

          6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.
          7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

          Also Psalm 109:6

          6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.

          And Zechariah 3:1,2

          And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2 And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?

          Animals were created the day before Adam & Eve.

          Sorry. According to Genesis one they were both created on the sixth day.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Satan is a personage in the Old Testament. See Job.

          Fucking ignorant Christer bullshite.

          Rabbinical scholarship on the Book of Job generally follows the Talmud and Maimonides in identifying “the satan” from the prologue as a metaphor for the yetzer hara and not an actual entity.

          Go away and learn about “the satan”…which in the Hebrew world, is not, and was not, the Christer Devil. It’s this level of mindwankery that does nothing for your credibility.

          Sorry. According to Genesis one they were both created on the sixth day.

          Well sorry, that depends on how one defines animals and serpents. But so what. Pedantic semantics aside, it was either on the 5th day, or on the 6th day before Adam and Eve, either way, before humans. So not a problem.

          The Hebrew word נָחָשׁ (Nachash) is used to identify the serpent that appears in Genesis 3:1, in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis, the serpent is portrayed as a deceptive creature or trickster, who promotes as good what God had forbidden and shows particular cunning in its deception. (cf. Gen. 3:4–5 and 3:22) The serpent has the ability to speak and to reason: “Now the serpent was more subtle (also translated as “cunning”) than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made” (Gen. 3:1). There is no indication in the Book of Genesis that the serpent was a deity in its own right, although it is one of only two cases of animals that talk in the Pentateuch (Balaam’s donkey being the other).

          According to Gerhard von Rad, Bible scholar, Lutheran theologian and University of Heidelberg professor, who applied form criticism as a supplement to the documentary hypothesis of the Old Testament, the snake in the Eden’s narrative was more an expedient to represent the impulse to temptation of mankind (that is, disobeying God’s law) rather than an evil spirit or the personification of the Devil, as the later Christian literature erroneously depicted it; moreover, von Rad himself states that the snake is neither a supernatural being nor a demon, but one of the wild animals created by God (Genesis 3:1), and the only thing that differentiates it from the others in Eden is the ability to speak:

          The serpent which now enters the narrative is marked as one of God’s created animals (ch. 2.19). In the narrator’s mind, therefore, it is not the symbol of a “demonic” power and certainly not of Satan. What distinguishes it a little from the rest of the animals is exclusively his greater cleverness. […] The mention of the snake here is almost incidental; at any rate, in the “temptation” by it the concern is with a completely unmythical process, presented in such a way because the narrator is obviously anxious to shift the responsibility as little as possible from man. It is a question only of man and his guilt; therefore the narrator has carefully guarded against objectifying evil in any way, and therefore he has personified it as little as possible as a power coming from without. That he transferred the impulse to temptation outside man was almost more a necessity for the story than an attempt at making evil something existing outside man. […] In the history of religions the snake indeed is the sinister, strange animal par excellence […], and one can also assume that long before, a myth was once at the basis of our narrative. But as it lies now before us, transparent and lucid, it is anything but a myth.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpents_in_the_Bible

          So we are back to the whole yarn being a metaphor.

        • Satan is a personage in the Old Testament. See Job.

          Correct. Satan was on God’s payroll. So much for his being God’s sworn enemy.

        • Don Camp

          Take the portrait of Satan from the Bible as a whole and you have Satan as originally an upper echelon angel, an archangel, if you will. He was and is both powerful and to be feared as one who has great power. He turned on God because of his desire to be equal with God. He carried a sizable number of other angels with him in his rebellion. And he became the antagonist in the story the Bible tells of Man and God.

          Yes, the Bible story does have a protagonist and antagonist. Man is neither but is caught in between.

          Satan’s game and the major conflict in the story is Satan’s attempt to wrest mankind from God’s kingdom and claim them for his own. In that contest Satan is allowed limited access to heaven and God. This is what you see in Job, which is an allegory, at least in the prologue.

          But Satan’s attempts to wrest from God’s kingdom from those who are of God’s kingdom – Job is one – are repeatedly thwarted by the persistent faith of the members of God’s kingdom. In the Job story – which may be taken as an allegory (or as wisdom literature) with the referent being the common experiences of mankind, though I think Job himself was a real person – God presents Job as an example of faith that cannot be destroyed even under Satan’s determined attack. Satan understands that God has blessed Job and accuses Job of being what we might call today a “rice Christian,” one who adopts “faith” merely for what he can get out of it. God allows Satan to take away the blessings and see if Job does not still trus