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Mar 26 2014

Checkmate, Atheists

J. Lee Grady, former editor of Charisma News, has an article in that magazine with a list of 7 things that prove God is real. It’s a devastating list, I’m sure you will agree. But he begins by telling us all why he feels so sad for us because he once spoke to a nasty old woman on the phone.

When I was a journalist in my 20s, I needed to verify a fact about atheism. This was before the Internet age, so I phoned the Texas headquarters of American Atheists. Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the mother of modern atheism in this country, answered my call. Apparently she had a very small staff!

Her voice was gruff, and she sounded angry and cynical, even before I identified myself as a Christian. She answered my question and I hung up. Ever since then, I’ve felt intense sadness for people who deny the existence of God. Explaining her beliefs, O’Hair once said, “There is no God. There’s no heaven. There’s no hell. There are no angels. When you die, you go in the ground; the worms eat you.” What a sad way to view life!

Really? You talked to one person decades ago and now you feel “intense sadness” for everyone else you place in her category? Madalyn Murray O’Hair is hardly a role model for atheists. She was a nasty, mean, bigoted woman that I had and have pretty much no use for. And no, that isn’t a sad way to view life. It’s just reality. And it has no bearing on how we actually live our lives between birth and death.

I’m sure Mrs. O’Hair would be upset about the new Christian film God’s Not Dead, which opens in theaters this Friday. The film features Kevin Sorbo (who played in the 1990s TV show Hercules) as an atheist college professor who tries to force a Christian student (Shane Harper) to rethink his beliefs.

Yes, I’m sure she would. And she should. The atheist college professor character could not be any more of a ridiculous, cartoonish version of an atheist if they put him in red tights with horns, a pitchfork and fangs and had him walk into the class eating deep-fried baby. No reasonable person could find it anything but laughable, but I have no doubt it will slip easily into the minds of millions of ignorant people because it fits their preconceived notions of what an atheist is like.

And now, on to those things that allegedly prove God is real. Like #3:

3. Flowers. There are more than 400,000 species of flowers in the world, and most of them are not edible. Their job is to simply make the world beautiful. Did they just haphazardly evolve over time, or did a loving God create each individual shape and color scheme for our enjoyment? People who choose to deny God don’t spend enough time looking at tulips, snapdragons, orchids, lilies, lotuses or magnolias. This is why it’s really important to stop and smell the roses!

*headdesk*

4. The Bible. Paul wrote that “all Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Tim. 3:16). The Bible itself is proof of God’s existence because He used 40 unrelated people over a period of 2,000 years to write His unique love letter to us. There is nothing like the Bible because it carries the same consistent message throughout all of its 66 different books.

I’m always amused when people quote that passage from Timothy (which Paul almost certainly did not write, by the way). It was written before there was such a thing as the Bible, so it can’t possibly refer to the Bible. There wouldn’t be a Bible for another three centuries or so. And yes, it just goes on like this. Rigorous arguments, don’t you think?

94 comments

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  1. 1
    Reginald Selkirk

    There is nothing like the Bible because it carries the same consistent message throughout all of its 66 different books.

    Wikipedia covers this one adequately. The number and selection of books in the Bible varies in various Christian sects. The 66 books accepted by mainstream Protestants excludes some books included in other traditions, such as the Holy Roman Catholic Church and various branches of Orthodoxy. This is obviously a case of the “Texas Sharpshooter fallacy.

  2. 2
    lofgren

    Fact: The sun is also not edible. Therefore it also has no purpose.

    Babies, however, are edible. Therefore they have purpose.

  3. 3
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Wait, this tosspot seriously thinks the “job” to flowers is to look nice – not say to guarantee the survival of the plants genes and reproduce more angiosperm plants?

    Yeesh! I knew this mob were ignorant and willfully understand knew very little but hasn’t he understood the role of bees in that metaphor about them and the birds.. Wow.

  4. 4
    John Pieret

    There are more than 400,000 species of flowers in the world, and most of them are not edible. Their job is to simply make the world beautiful.

    So God made plants expend all that energy to produce flowers for millions of years just for the pleasure of one species that will come along sometime in the future? Oh, right! he probably thinks it all happened 6,000 years ago.

    And this one is good!

    2. Thunderstorms. I love to sit on my back porch in Florida and listen to the rumbling of thunder. It reminds me of God’s majesty and power.

    Well that convinces me! But the question is: Thor or Zeus?

  5. 5
    doublereed

    I think the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy requires one to be self-aware that they’re using it.

  6. 6
    vmanis1

    And, of course, the standard Protestant and Catholic bibles contain no contradictions. Right.

    I was just thinking. If David Barton were right, and God did inspire or write the U.S. Constitution, you might think he might have worded the Second Amendment more clearly.

  7. 7
    richardelguru

    Has he ever stopped to consider that he’s got it backwards: that we find flowers beautiful simply because we’ve grown up amongst them (and many are associated with Spring and Summer, when the living is easier), and they (and the insects they interact with) don’t give a bugger what we think?

  8. 8
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    .. People who choose to deny God don’t spend enough time looking at tulips, snapdragons, orchids, lilies, lotuses or magnolias.

    So… he thinks all botanist are religious,probably even his exact brand of religion? I wonder how many botanists and flora experts he actually knows? Clearly he knows FA about plants!

    Of course one famous sorta botanist a certain Gregory Mendel was a monk but I think since then and inspired by what Mendel found with breeding peas the majority of botanists .. not-so-much right?

    Anyone got any surveys or stats on how many many botanists dispute evolution?

  9. 9
    Dunc

    All scripture is inspired by God? Exactly what definition of “scripture” are we using here?

  10. 10
    democommie

    Here’s a piece about a little Wholly Babble-based KKKristianist LOVE!

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/oddnews/christian-school-principal-says-8-year-old-girl-not-welcome-because-she-dresses-and-behaves-like-a-boy-204748527.html?vp=1

    How the fuck do people like this live with themselves? Maybe they just need bumperstickers that say, “GOD is my scapegoat.”.

  11. 11
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    She [athiest Madalyn Murray O’Hair -ed] answered my question and I hung up.

    Wait a sec! An atheist answers his question, helping him get his facts right for a story – and this journo “thanks” her by hanging up the phone and then bad mouthing her and judging her and everyone who,well, simply agreed with her on one issue she was briefly spokesperson for, extremely harshly for this ever since?

    Well there’s Christian gratitude for ya I guess!

    Wonder what he ‘d have thought of her if she’d told him to just go jump and not answered his query? Good thing she didn’t do that and really piss him off eh?

  12. 12
    bahrfeldt

    If the entire Bible is God’s truth, why isn’t Grady eating kosher and going to church on Saturday?

  13. 13
    Dunc

    @11: Yeah, but “her voice was gruff, and she sounded angry and cynical”!

    I have to admit, I’m not even sure what cynicism sounds like…

  14. 14
    eric

    The Bible itself is proof of God’s existence because He used 40 unrelated people over a period of 2,000 years to write His unique love letter to us.

    The narcissism, it burns. So, evidently you think God loves you quite a lot more than he loved the people who lived through those 2,000 years with no access to God’s love letters.

    ***

    @3 – in some sense, the job of flowers IS to look nice…to insects though, not us. Which is why many flowers, IIRC, are actually more “colorful” in UV wavelengths we can’t see. Now sure, the pollen is there for reproductive purposes. But the plant produces all that extra crap around the pollen as a means of attracting pollinators. The petals etc. do not create new plants, they’re just a form of advertising.

  15. 15
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @4.John Pieret :

    Well that convinces me! But the question is: Thor or Zeus?

    Or could it be Xolotl or Raijin or Susanoo or Azaka-Tonnerre or Shango?

    Or Xevioso?

    How about Tāwhaki?

    Apocatequil?

    Oya?

    Oh ya indeed there are just so many to choose form ..

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

    Oy vey!

  16. 16
    Gregory in Seattle

    Something that these pieces never seem to address:

    Which god, and why that one?

    The exact same pabulum can be used to “prove” the existence of Allah. And Vishnu. And Shiva. And Ik Oankar. And Ahura Mazda. Having the same name does not mean they are the same deity: there is the Allah of Islam and the Allah of Baha’i, and it cannot be said that Roman Catholics, Baptists, Unitarians and Oriental Orthodox all worship the same god. But why limit ourselves to currently popular gods? Aset, better known as Isis, was worshipped for far longer than Jesus has been around, as were Ishtar, Marduk, Zeus, Amaterasu, Venus, Ptah, the Dagda, and many others, all of whom still have worshippers.

    If one is going to make an argumentum ad Scripturum, why the Bible? Why not the Quran? The Theogeny? The Evangelion? The Popol Vuh? The Guru Granth Sahib? The Divine Principle? The Eddas? They Pyramid Texts? The Pali Canon? On what basis are we to use the Christian Bible (inevitably, the Protestant Bible, which is different from the one used by Catholics, which is different from the one used by most Orthodox) and no other scriptures?

  17. 17
    Olav

    Ed, you say Mrs. O’Hair was a nasty person and you may be right. I didn’t know her so I take your word for it. But this:

    Her voice was gruff, and she sounded angry and cynical, even before I identified myself as a Christian. She answered my question and I hung up.

    Sounds to me like perhaps she understood what kind of person she had on the phone. He didn’t have to identify himself as a Christian. There is a smarminess and dishonesty that immediately identifies many Christians and I am sure Mrs. O’Hair had a well tuned detector for it implanted in her brain.

  18. 18
    Mobius

    3. Flowerz iz purty.

    OK, I’m convinced.

  19. 19
    scienceavenger

    There are more than 400,000 species of flowers in the world, and most of them are not edible. Their job is to simply make the world beautiful.

    What about the poisonous ugly ones?

    @8 My bet is very few botanists dispute evolution, even as scientists go, because as badly as Creationism explains the animal kingdom, it does even worse for plants.

  20. 20
    Dunc

    @17: Or perhaps Mr Grady’s impressions of Mrs O’Hair’s voice were coloured by his preconceptions of what he expected an atheist to sound like? Or maybe she’d just answered her third cold-call in a row whilst she was trying to get something else done? I can be pretty damn short if I have to answer the phone when I’m in the middle of something…

  21. 21
    raven

    There is nothing like the Bible because it carries the same consistent message throughout all of its 66 different books.

    No it doesn’t.

    The god of the bible evolves!!!, amusingly enough since they hate that word.

    He starts out as one god among many with a wife, Asherah, in a polytheistic universe. And is a giant humanoid with a body. Humans take his wife away but he grows in power thoughtout the OT. He is still a monster though.

    By the New Testament he is losing his body and his personality, becoming ethereal and abstract. He is still a grouch though. Late in the New Testament, God somehow gets a son, Jesus and Jesus gets upgraded to another god and a helper stolen from the Greeks, the Holy Spirit.

    This isn’t the end of god’s evolution though. After the bible is written, he becomes a Trinity, whatever that is. The mainline Protestants invent the god of love which is a huge improvement if not found in the bible.

    Today god has split into an unknow but large number of gods. Speciation has occurred. There isn’t a xian god anymore. There are many xianities and many xian gods, and they are all different. The fundies dragged the Sky Monster god of the OT out of nowhere, the god of love is still kicking, one of the up and coming xian gods is hiding behind the Big Bang and hoping he doesn’t get evicted again.

  22. 22
    Amphiox

    The purpose of flowers is to look nice? (to humans)

    I give you http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafflesia_arnoldii.

    Check and mate, theists!

  23. 23
    raven

    The fundies are arguing from ignorance and lack of thought of course.

    Flowers are sex organs and bees are flying penises.

    They were shaped by evolution to be attractive to their pollinators.

    The world has beauty, no doubt. It also has ugliness. Spiders, snakes, slugs, fundie xians, failing coal ash storage deposits in North Carolina, the Tea Party, Vladimir Putin and on and on.

  24. 24
    eric

    There are many reasons I am convinced God is real (the existence of coffee alone proves that He loves me!), but the best evidence is how He forgave me, changed me and put unexplainable joy in my heart. And I can prove that.

    “Prove” – I do not think it means what you think it means.

    As for coffee – caffeine is an addictive drug. Sure, it’s one where the positive benefits generally outweigh the negative costs, but stil, are you seriously thanking god for creating addictive drugs?

  25. 25
    otrame

    Most of the flowers the gentleman thinks of probably WERE designed for the enjoyment of humans.

    By humans.

    I mean we are starting our annual riot of wildflowers here in south Texas and I admit it is a show…which happens in an explosion because the plants need to get reproduction done during the wettest time of the year, before it gets too hot and too dry to make flowers. Which will be very, very soon. But most of the flowers he mentions are highly modified from their wild ancestors to look especially pretty to us. By us.

  26. 26
    mudskipper

    I can guarantee that the “tulips, snapdragons, orchids, lilies, lotuses or magnolias” Grady is admiring are not as God made them. They have been all extensively hybridized and breed by human beings to meet our standards of beauty. So does this mean that God is something of a duffer when it comes to his job?

  27. 27
    dugglebogey

    Camels.

    Checkmate back, bitch.

  28. 28
    raven

    Or perhaps Mr Grady’s impressions of Mrs O’Hair’s voice were coloured by his preconceptions of what he expected an atheist to sound like?

    Or maybe he is just lying and never talked to O’Hair. Fundies lie all the time. It’s the Third Major Sacrament of their religion.

  29. 29
    MyPetSlug

    O’Hair once said, “There is no God. There’s no heaven. There’s no hell. There are no angels. When you die, you go in the ground; the worms eat you.” What a sad way to view life!

    This is a common anti-atheist refrain which always annoys me. Finding that its sad that worms eat you when you die (I agree with him, I think it’s sad) has no bearing on its truth value. If J. Lee Grady finds it sad that gravity is responsible for the planets orbiting the sun and not angles pushing them, does that make it untrue. Should our objective facts of the world depend on what makes us happy? Call me not cynical enough, but I don’t think even he believes that.

  30. 30
    grumpyoldfart

    3. Flowers … Their job is to simply make the world beautiful.

    3a. Humans. Their job is simply to provide a safe haven for tapeworms.

  31. 31
    bmiller

    This actually sickens me:

    Explaining her beliefs, O’Hair once said, “There is no God. There’s no heaven. There’s no hell. There are no angels. When you die, you go in the ground; the worms eat you.” What a sad way to view life!

    Hidden behind this pious blather is a slavering joy that a good majority of the earth’s people are going to be PUNISHED for not believing PROPERLY as outlined by a heretical offshoot of 19th and early 20th century America.

  32. 32
    dingojack

    Like this beautiful bloom created by god – hmmm meaty with just a hint of faecal matter.
    Dingo

  33. 33
    Dunc

    @29: Hey, worms gotta eat too. I’m glad that other organisms will make good use of my remains when I’m dead. Can you imagine the mess if they didn’t?

  34. 34
    cptdoom

    Oh, come on, the very best reason is #1 on his list – Babies! Not only are they cute and cuddly, but they have DNA, so – God!

    That’s some deep thinking.

    I also love that he seems to believe scientists who work with DNA and continue to discover its shape, form and various mechanics do not have any awe about it. Apparently it’s not possible to accept the reality of nature – and be amazed by its variety – unless you believe in God, because the universe is so anti-climatic without the magic guy in the sky.

  35. 35
    Chiroptera

    Explaining her beliefs, O’Hair once said, “There is no God. There’s no heaven. There’s no hell. There are no angels. When you die, you go in the ground; the worms eat you.” What a sad way to view life!

    Well, actually, that’s a veiw of death, not life. And whether it is positive or negative depends on how it inspires you to live your life.

    O’Hair may have had a negative view of life, I dunno. I don’t know much about her.

  36. 36
    dingojack

    Damn beaten to the punch (although mine shows the flower in situ).
    [Shakes fist at Amphiox].
    Dingo

  37. 37
    dingojack

    And here’s one just for you Mr Grady, Gastrolobium bilobum.
    God made it so it must be good enough to eat. (look it up in Wikipedia).
    Dingo

  38. 38
    zenlike

    So let me see:

    Argument 1: non-sequitur
    Argument 2: non-sequitur + wrong long-debunked fact (the old ‘If we were any farther away from the sun, we would freeze; if we were even slightly closer to it, we would burn up. It’s obvious God created this home for us!’)
    Argument 3: non-sequitur
    Argument 4: non-sequitur + argumentum ad populum
    Argument 5: argumentum ad populum
    Argument 6: circular reasoning
    Argument 7: not even an argument, just gobbledygook.

    I like it how he repeats the mantra of proof and facts etc, while providing not a single true fact or proof whatsoever.

    Not the brightest craying in the box. Yawn.

  39. 39
    Chiroptera

    Explaining her beliefs, O’Hair once said, “There is no God. There’s no heaven. There’s no hell. There are no angels. When you die, you go in the ground; the worms eat you.” What a sad way to view life!

    Meanwhile, believing that after death, the majority of humanity will burn in hell forever is a very happy view of life.

  40. 40
    raven

    This is a common anti-atheist refrain which always annoys me. Finding that its sad that worms eat you when you die (I agree with him, I think it’s sad) has no bearing on its truth value.

    Cthulhuism is the one true religion. You will die someday. That will be the end of you forever. The universe won’t care at all.

    So, do you want to live your life believing in comforting fairy tales or live a life of courage facing reality and the truth.

    The fairy tales won’t come true, no matter how hard you clap your hands and believe in them.

  41. 41
    Amphiox

    More ugly flowers:

    http://blog.interflora.co.uk/ugly-flowers/

    I should also point out that any TRULY omnipotent and omnibenevolent intelligent designer could have easily made ALL the flowers beautiful AND edible. (Whether by tweaking the flowers themselves or the human brain and digestive tracts instead it doesn’t matter.) How many humans down through the ages have suffered because, lost in the wilderness, 99% of the plant life was inedible?

    It is a peculiarly limited creator who somehow has to choose one or the other.

  42. 42
    Amphiox

    Re argument 2;

    Our planet is in fact too close to the sun. If we were but 10% further away the earth’s total habitable lifespan would go up by 2-3 billion years.

    Furthermore, if we were 10% further away from the sun humans could burn more fossil fuels for energy for a longer period of history before running into AGW problems.

    We sit on the far inner edge of the sun’s CHZ, not in the happy middle, where any competent designer would have put us as a no-brainier matter-of-course.

    A curiously incapable designer this is….

  43. 43
    anne mariehovgaard

    This is why it’s really important to stop and smell the roses!

    And the Rafflesia arnoldii?

    @7 richardelguru :
    It’s not entirely inconceivable that preferring areas with lots of flowers over areas with lots of rocks might have some survival value…

  44. 44
    Amphiox

    Cthulhuism is the one true religion. You will die someday. That will be the end of you forever. The universe won’t care at all.

    So, do you want to live your life believing in comforting fairy tales or live a life of courage facing reality and the truth.

    The fairy tales won’t come true, no matter how hard you clap your hands and believe in them.

    The transhumanists might say that an effort could be made to make the fairy tales become reality….

  45. 45
    Chiroptera

    What a sad way to view life!

    Considering the almost perpetual state of outrage in which the members of the religious right keep themselves these days, I’d say that the Christian view of life doesn’t appear to be any happier.

  46. 46
    dingojack

    Amphiox – well tell the guy who wrote the linked blog not to get a job as a midwife, he’s got no idea what a placenta looks like (not nearly as attractive I can tell you).

    Phachypodia has a flower that rather resembles some Proteaceae.

    Dingo
    ====
    Nepenthes? Ugly? Well each their own. Do you know how the pitcher develops? Let David explain.

  47. 47
    Pierce R. Butler

    … “all Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Tim. 3:16).

    Yet that same book(let) and, sfaik, every other text in the Christian Testament contains denunciations of “false prophets” and “false teachings” and so forth and so on.

    Apparently Grady’s (and pseudo-Paul’s) statement holds only for rather small values of “all”.

  48. 48
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    the existence of coffee alone proves that He loves me!

    Blood is proof that God loves mosquitoes and wants them to be happy.

  49. 49
    Pierce R. Butler

    raven @ # 40: Cthulhuism is the one true religion.

    In which case, at least for the true devotees, it won’t be the worms who eat you after all.

  50. 50
    Jacob Schmidt

    3. Flowers. There are more than 400,000 species of flowers in the world, and most of them are not edible. Their job is to simply make the world beautiful. Did they just haphazardly evolve over time, or did a loving God create each individual shape and color scheme for our enjoyment? People who choose to deny God don’t spend enough time looking at tulips, snapdragons, orchids, lilies, lotuses or magnolias. This is why it’s really important to stop and smell the roses!

    Ahahahaa, gods this is funny.

  51. 51
    Crimson Clupeidae

    That doesn’t seem to go along with the sophistimicated theologyness of the latest and greatest deepity thunker, as described by Jerry Coyne. The one with the absolute best(TM) arguments for gawdamighty that we have never seen!!

    Hrm…needs more random capitalization.

  52. 52
    fifthdentist

    “He used 40 unrelated people over a period of 2,000 years to write His unique love letter to us.”

    So that’s why I’ve gotten no positive feedback from people to whom I’ve written love letters. I didn’t include enough genocide-by-flood, genocide-by-sword, sex slavery, instructions to kill an ox and his owner if the ox has gored more than one person, declarations that I have severe mood swings that cause me to — with great regret — kill everyone who pisses me off and even curse for hundreds of generations the progeny of those people I’ve killed — again with great regret, my tendency to wipe out entire cities on a whim, allowing my arch enemy to kill a man’s entire family in order to settle a bet, along with hundreds of other gory and impossible things,
    You know, that stuff that just makes the heart melt.

  53. 53
    Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    I’m always amused when people quote that passage from Timothy (which Paul almost certainly did not write, by the way). It was written before there was such a thing as the Bible, so it can’t possibly refer to the Bible.

    It’s also a vivid example of circular logic. And the fact millions of Bible inerrantists rely on this passage, in spite of it being a circular assertion, illustrates why I think critical thinking should be an on-going, stand-alone, required subject in our public schools.

    You’d think at least computer programmers who are Bible inerrantists could comprehend why the Timothy passage does not compute. The fact some of them can’t illustrates how people’s critical thinking skills are compartmentalized, and are sometimes turned-on (personal finances) and involuntarily turned-off (religion and politics).

    This latter human weakness was one I too was inflicted with until one of Ed’s readers when he was ScienceBlogs posted some links to studies revealing this observation. Mere cognizance of this weakness has, I think, greatly helped me to eradicate this flaw.

  54. 54
    lancifer

    So much ignorance and arrogance in one article. Yeah, the creator of the universe made 40,000 varieties of flowers for this dweeb’s “enjoyment”.

    My Christian wife wants us to go see “God is Not Dead’”.

    I can hardly wait.

  55. 55
    dingojack

    Lancy – on the plus side you can always write a devastating critique here. Your wife’s happy and we’re happy.
    Win-Win.
    Dingo

  56. 56
    Area Man

    There are more than 400,000 species of flowers in the world, and most of them are not edible. Their job is to simply make the world beautiful.

    The vast majority of those flowers are not beautiful or even noticeable by casual human observation. Their job is to serve as reproductive organs.

    He used 40 unrelated people over a period of 2,000 years to write His unique love letter to us.

    Gosh, it’s almost as if the Bible is a hodgepodge of unrelated, repetitive, and self-contradictory books tossed together arbitrarily.

  57. 57
    jefferylanam

    I want some creationist to explain God’s reason for making ticks. Mosquitoes I can understand; they are an important part of the diet of many birds, particularly in the Arctic. But ticks don’t occur in the numbers that mosquitoes do. They aren’t predators like spiders, they aren’t pollinators, they just spread blood-borne diseases.

  58. 58
    eric

    I’m disappointed his list doesn’t include “Tides go in, tides go out” and “Magnets.”

  59. 59
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I think the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy requires one to be self-aware that they’re using it.

    What.

  60. 60
    heddle

    Heath,

    It’s also a vivid example of circular logic. And the fact millions of Bible inerrantists rely on this passage, in spite of it being a circular assertion, illustrates why I think critical thinking should be an on-going, stand-alone, required subject in our public schools.

    Wrong again. I have read probably five or six books on the reliability of scripture, every one written from an inerratist position. And every one goes out of its way to sate that you can’t use 2 Tim 3:16 to prove scripture is inerrant/reliable. Your usual strawman of bumpkin Christians is again evident. I think the critical thinking displayed in any of those books is superior to your incessant stereotyping.

    One book that comes to mind was written by RC Sproul, one of the framers and signatories of the (in)famous Chicago statement on biblical Inerrancy. I can get the exact phrasing when I get home, but he states quite clearly (what is obvious) that any book can claim to be inerrant (e.g., the Quran) so 2 Tim 3:16 is useless as a proof of anything. The best you can say about it is that it sets the bar high–given that it makes a lofty claim about itself. If someone says they always tell the truth and you catch them in a lie, it is more devastating than if they never made such a claim–that sort of thing.

    On my only blog, on multiple occasions, I pointed out the same thing about 2 Tim 3:16. It proves nothing, but if the bible is in error then the boast of 2 Tim 3:16 magnifies the error.

    You just look stupid (to me) when you make up shit. You seem to becoming more and more Raven-esque. I find that a shame.

    Ed could be wrong about one thing–while there was no “bible” at the time there is evidence that some precursors to the gospels (so-called “sayings of Jesus”) and letters were already being passed about and were considered scripture.

  61. 61
    suttkus

    I’ve never understood why people find “spiders, snakes, slugs” ugly. Sure, some are a bit drab, but none are ugly and some are beautiful.

    As for ticks, the creationist explanation for them is generally The Curse. Bad stuff happened after the first sin for REASONS and God loves you, but you have to suffer ticks and blood borne diseases because your ancestors were naughty. Just like how it’s totally reasonable to randomly torture modern Germans because of the Nazis.

    However, ticks do occur in significant numbers and are important food sources for many birds, which perch on the backs of large animals and pick off any parasites they find. If that justifies mosquitoes, it justifies ticks. Mind you, I can’t imagine how that could because you could make the birds eat something else were you an omnipotent creator god.

    God: “Look at these neat little blood-sucking flying insects I made.”

    Angel: “Why? Whatever for?”

    God: “Well, some birds needed something to eat and…”

    Angel: “And midges aren’t good enough? We’ve got a ton of midges on the books already.”

    God: “Oh, well… but look at the neat little folding hypodermic needles I made for their mouths! They totally rule. So elegant! We’re using them and that’s final.”

  62. 62
    jameshanley

    The atheist college professor character could not be any more of a ridiculous, cartoonish version of an atheist if they put him in red tights with horns, a pitchfork and fangs and had him walk into the class eating deep-fried baby.

    Wai…wha…I didn’t realize you attended my class yesterday!

  63. 63
    Michael Heath

    I wrote:

    It’s also a vivid example of circular logic. And the fact millions of Bible inerrantists rely on this passage, in spite of it being a circular assertion, illustrates why I think critical thinking should be an on-going, stand-alone, required subject in our public schools.

    heddle responds:

    Wrong again. I have read probably five or six books on the reliability of scripture, every one written from an inerratist position. And every one goes out of its way to sate that you can’t use 2 Tim 3:16 to prove scripture is inerrant/reliable. Your usual strawman of bumpkin Christians is again evident. I think the critical thinking displayed in any of those books is superior to your incessant stereotyping.

    Not wrong, and here you dishonestly shift the goal posts from millions of Christians I reference to a mere handful who read the books you cite and supposedly change their position because of those books argument. Bad form heddle; your, ‘no true Christian’, argument wore thin in your very first attempt.

  64. 64
    David Eriksen

    Re: Heddle @60

    Wrong again. I have read probably five or six books on the reliability of scripture, every one written from an inerratist position. And every one goes out of its way to sate that you can’t use 2 Tim 3:16 to prove scripture is inerrant/reliable. Your usual strawman of bumpkin Christians is again evident.

    How is this a strawman?

    The rarified air of university life must be nice but I live in south Texas. These bumpkins you say don’t exist are my neighbors. I’d be surprised if many of them have read 5 or 6 books since high school. If R. C. Sproul isn’t on the pastor’s approved reading list, they haven’t heard of him. They believe every word of the King James translation is the inerrant word of God. I’m just baffled that you can’t acknowledge the prevalence of this sort of Christian. Is it epistemic closure on your part or just denialism?

  65. 65
    heddle

    David Eriksen

    How is this a strawman?

    Because all Christians are not bumpkins, just like all atheists are not as dumb as some of the irrational commenters on Pharyngula. All churches are not backawater fundie churches, even in Texas. All atheists do not gather at watherholes like Pharyngula and savagely feed on their own if they stray from dogma.

    Heath #63,

    You are projecting. The only true Christian for you is the one that matches your dreadful stereotype. Everyone else (like me) is an outlier–a credit to our race, if you will.

  66. 66
    ildi

    I can get the exact phrasing when I get home, but he states quite clearly (what is obvious) that any book can claim to be inerrant (e.g., the Quran) so 2 Tim 3:16 is useless as a proof of anything.

    Please do.

  67. 67
    ildi

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Dr. Sproul had this to say to the great unwashed:

    How does one convince a nonbeliever that the Bible is the Word of God?

    The Bible makes the claim that it is the unvarnished Word of God, that it is the truth of God, that it comes from him. God is its ultimate author and source, though indeed he used human authors to communicate that message. In speaking with people about this, we have to go through the laborious process of showing first of all that the Bible as a collection of historical documents is basically reliable. The same tests that we would apply to Herodotus or Suetonius or any other ancient historian would have to be applied to the biblical records. The Christian should not be afraid to apply those kinds of historical standards of credibility to the Scriptures, because they have withstood a tremendous amount of criticism from that standpoint, and their credibility remains intact. On the basis of that, we come to an idea. If the book is basically reliable, it doesn’t have to be inerrent or infallible; it gives us a basically reliable portrait of Jesus of Nazareth and what he taught.

    I guess it’s ok to lie to the bumpkins.

  68. 68
    Raging Bee

    But he begins by telling us all why he feels so sad for us because he once spoke to a nasty old woman on the phone.

    I know where he’s coming from: I feel sad for Christians because I speak to so many nasty Christians.

  69. 69
    Raging Bee

    3. Flowers…Their job is to simply make the world beautiful.

    I thought that was women’s job. These folks need to get their cosmology right.

  70. 70
    heddle

    ildi #66, #67

    Actually you appear to be the bumpkin here. You may not agree with Sproul’s defense of the reliability of scripture, but as I claimed he dismisses the straw-man circular argument. In Reasons to Believe Zondervan, 1978 (written for new believers) he writes (p.31, referring to 2 Tim 3:16) that the fact that the bible claims to be the word of God does not authenticate the claim, “Because any book can make that claim”. He also gives an apologetic (intended not as a proof of the unprovable) but as a argument to strengthen the faith of believers (that’s what apologetic is for, in my opinion, though not Sproul’s) of a kind of bootstrap approach which I won’t bother to outline. I think it has some merit but that’s not the point. He takes an approach (some of it in what you quoted) that is in no way shape or form “the bible is the word of god because it says it is.” To now shift the argument to “OK he doesn’t say that but look how bad his argument is” is to do what I was accused of: shifting the goal posts.

  71. 71
    Raging Bee

    Your usual strawman of bumpkin Christians is again evident.

    That’s not a strawman, that’s the class of Christianity that’s causing the most suffering all over the Christian world, from the US to Russia. And I don’t see you doing anything about it, except try to pretend your religion isn’t as disgraceful as we all see it is.

  72. 72
    ildi

    The great Sproul also says:

    The Bible claims to be breathed out by God (2 Timothy 3:16). If God is God, He does not make mistakes. If the Bible is breathed out by God, there cannot be “minor errors” in details of history. If the Bible contains such errors, it can hardly be the work of a perfect God. And if God is not perfect and totally trustworthy, God is not God.

    Ergo, the Bible is historically accurate!

    Pastor Jack Wellman chimes in:

    If the Bible were indeed a work of man, then we would expect some of the words to say, “thus says the prophet Jeremiah” or “thus says Peter an Apostle of God” but it doesn’t. From what I could count, “Thus says the Lord” is recorded 418 times. If it were of human origin, then we would read somewhere that the Bible or the message came from a certain author but we never see that anywhere. On the contrary, we read over 1,000 times where “Jesus said” and “Thus says the Lord” were written down. In fact, even the Book of Revelation is not called John’s Book of Revelation at all. In Revelation 1:1-2 we see where the words of this book came from: “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John.” So John was just the recipient of the book as he just wrote down what he was told. Paul said, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). Paul clearly said that all Scripture is God-breathed…not just the New Testament or the Old Testament, but all Scripture. Peter reiterates it by writing, “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet 1:21). Peter would tell you that “you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation” (2 Pet 1:20).

  73. 73
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @41. Amphiox :

    More ugly flowers:

    link : interflora (dot) co (dot) uk / ugly-flowers /

    Thankyou for that link – good one there & shared although I’m not sure I’d describe all those as “ugly” really just a lot of species that are different and somewhat strange to us.

    I should also point out that any TRULY omnipotent and omnibenevolent intelligent designer could have easily made ALL the flowers beautiful AND edible.

    Ah, but beautiful to who? Beauty is, of course, a subjective judgement always in the eye of the beholder as the saying goes. (A beholder has only a single eye apparently – and also a very sore one!)

    IOW, not everyone will always share the same idea of what is beautiful so that makes the task arguably impossible.

    @46. dingojack :

    Amphiox – well tell the guy who wrote the linked blog not to get a job as a midwife, he’s got no idea what a placenta looks like (not nearly as attractive I can tell you).

    Phachypodia has a flower that rather resembles some Proteaceae.

    Dingo
    ====
    Nepenthes? Ugly? Well each their own. Do you know how the pitcher develops? Let David explain.

    Cheers for that informative comment too.

    @23. raven :

    Flowers are sex organs and bees are flying penises.

    Hmm .. Bees are female flying “penises” (penii?) at that!

    The Queen is female too, the males from what I recall of entomology only live briefly to mate and don’t gather nectar which is the clone daughter workers role right?

  74. 74
    heddle

    ildi #72,

    Ergo, the Bible is historically accurate!

    Are you stupid or just a quote-miner? He frames that argument exactly as I described, that 2 Tim 3:16 raises the bar because it effectively claims inerrancy. He does not use it “ergo the bible is historically accurate” but rather “if the bible is not historically accurate, given the lofty claim of 2 Tim 3:16, then we are in deep kimchee.” He will then go on to tell you why he thinks the bible is historically accurate –which you of course are free to disagree with– but from his view the “ergo” is not as you lied, but rather “ergo the devastating threat to the reliability of scripture implied but the boast of 2 Tim 3:16 is not realized.”

    For crying out loud–there is no reason to be blatantly dishonest.

    And the quote by Welllman (whom I don’t know so I can only take what you quoted and comment) –is completely irrelevant. Sproul would also say, with no hesitation, that the bible was “God breathed” and inerrant–I haven’t said otherwise. (Indeed I pointed out that he was an author of the Chicago statement.) But he does not argue circularly that the proof of inspiration or inerrancy lies in “because it says so, right there in 2 Tim 3:16.”

    Heath (in #53) claimed that millions of Christians rely on 2 Tim 3:16 to support inerrancy. I forgot to ask for support for that claim. Is there some poll? Link? How does he or any of you know that millions of Christians rely on that argument? Do you “know” it because, well, you just know that 99 and 47/100 % of all Christians are bumpkins?

  75. 75
    dingojack

    Heddle since you keep using the word (although you don’t seem to know what it means):

    in·er·rant [in-er-uhnt, -ur-]
    adjective
    free from error; infallible.
    ——————————————————————————–
    Origin:
    1645–55; < Latin inerrant-, equivalent to in- in-3 + errant-, stem of errāns present participle of errāre to wander, err; see -ant

    IF the bible is inerrant it contains no errors.
    SINCE it does contain errors (and it contradicts itself), THEN it isn’t inerrant.

    IF “All scripture is given by inspiration of God (θεοπνευστος), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”.
    SINCE the bible is an example of scripture, Then bible is inspired by god.

    IF the bible (an example of scripture) is inspired by god.
    SINCE the bible is full of errors, THEN god must be similarly imperfect..

    As Mr Sprout said.

    Dingo
    ——–
    and, I suppose, it’s purpose (to provide doctrine, to reprove, to correct, instruct in righteousness) must also be considered to be fallible. And if this is it purpose, as stated, then it is not fit for the purpose claimed. This would require that the product be taken off the selves or, at the least, a re-write under local consumer protection laws. :)

  76. 76
    heddle

    DJ #75,

    What’s your point? Your summary of Sproul’s position is correct. (He would of course disagree that it is full of errors.) But he would agree that irrefutable error (technically, in the original autographs) would bring the whole house down. What he does not argue (and my only point) is: but we have nothing to worry about, because God was ever so clever to write in his love letter that the love letter always tells the truth!

    So–what point are you trying to make? The consequences of Sproul’s argument if the bible contains error? I assure you he reached the same conclusion as you did. So if you can convince him the bible is “full” of errors then, if he is true to his word, he should abandon his faith. I would.

  77. 77
    dingojack

    Heddle – Do we have to go through all the ways the Gospel contradict each other, the imaginary history, mythical world-wide floods, the four-legged insects, the cud-chewing rodents and etc. AGAIN!?!
    How many times do you think you’ll need to see how ‘errant’ this book is to doubt it’s veracity?
    Dingo
    ——–
    And, incidentally, since the priests (particularly) could see the many errors in it, and yet these people preached as ‘gospel’,, and others believed in it and were hurt by the passing on of these known falsehoods – This could constitute ‘fraud’ (AFAIKIANAL), not just a violation of consumer rights legislation.

  78. 78
    Dan J

    Re: heddle [everywhere]

    You just look stupid (to me) when you discuss your religious faith. For someone of such high intelligence with such a great knowledge of science, I find that a shame.

  79. 79
    heddle

    DJ,

    Do we have to go through all the ways the Gospel contradict each other, the imaginary history, mythical world-wide floods, the four-legged insects, the cud-chewing rodents and etc. AGAIN!?!

    Oh, well since you assert it, it must be so. Next thing you’ll tell me is that the bible definitively states Pi = 3.

    No, I will not go through it again–because I have heard every argument you are likely to come up with. And it will boil down to, as always, that I must interpret passages to your advantage. You will cry foul if I:

    * Say it is a figure of speech when your argument relies that I take it literally.
    * Say that the actual Hebrew or Greek allows for different, linguistically acceptable translations, and the translations used often reflect the biases (and ignorance, at the time) of the translators.
    * Say that genre (poetry, apocalyptic, historic, etc.) must be considered.
    * Say that common (of the day) idiom must be considered.
    * Say that quoting and numerical precision do no mean the same in ancient eastern writing as it does to the modern west.
    * Say that I don’t have to prove my interpretation (e.g., a local flood), the standard is only that a plausible case rules out using the global flood as a proof that the bible contains error.
    * Say that I don’t have to make plausibility arguments (e.g., again, the local flood) to your satisfaction, only to mine. That is, I don’t have to prove plausibility to you (I don’t you’d ever admit that you might be wrong), I only have to demonstrate plausibility to myself. It’s my faith on the line.

    In short, if I argue that the bible must be read intelligently you’ll argue, in effect, no it must be read stupidly because in that “bats are birds” way it trivially contains error.

    So no, you don’t have to do it AGAIN as you say. They were lousy arguments the first N times–and they don’t get better with age.

  80. 80
    Dan J

    Prof. Heddle said, “And it will boil down to, as always, that I must interpret passages to your advantage.”

    Funny, but that’s generally the same thing I say to biblical inerrantists.

  81. 81
    heddle

    Dan J,

    You just look stupid (to me) when you discuss your religious faith. For someone of such high intelligence with such a great knowledge of science, I find that a shame.

    I understand. I get variations of that comment all the time.

  82. 82
    Raging Bee

    No, I will not go through it again…

    And yet you keep on showing up to go through it again. If you don’t want to address what we’re saying, you’re perfectly free not to comment here.

    They were lousy arguments the first N times–and they don’t get better with age.

    At least those arguments are based on something more solid than “nuh-uh!” and “Well, _I_ never heard that in _my_ church!”

  83. 83
    dingojack

    Npoe the bible claims to be inspired by god* who can’t be wrong (all-seeing, all-knowing and everywhere) therefore the scripture must be objectively true. THAT is the standard that should be applied. The rest – hand waving apologetics (that is: ‘I can’t win this argument so I’ll define things so it means I can can’. Goalpost moving).
    Dingo
    ——–
    * “All scripture is given by inspiration of God (θεοπνευστος)….”, remember. But I’m sure Humpty-Dumpty can give a plausible ‘different, linguistically acceptable translation’ of θεοπνευστος, right?

  84. 84
    heddle

    RB,

    At least those arguments are based on something more solid than “nuh-uh!” and “Well, _I_ never heard that in _my_ church!”

    Funny, you just made that same type of argument here. Only it was of the form “uh huh., well that’s what I heard in sunday school.” Project much?

    Like the recent argument about the global flood, where I pointed out how the Hebrew word translated as: world (and thereby contributing to the sense of a global flood) is translated elsewhere as land, region, area, country, etc., word choices that legitimately could have been made for the flood story sending an entirely different message. Sure, such an argument is isomorphic to “nuh-uh!” and “Well, _I_ never heard that in _my_ church!”

  85. 85
    dingojack

    I don’t know how I repeated the word ‘can’ in the last line of the body of the above post. Still, Heddle Can-Can isn’t a bad name for his usual ‘apologetic argument’.
    RB – ““Well, _I_ never heard that in _my_ church!””
    What I call the ‘No Snow’ argument: There’s can’t be snow because I’ve never seen it!
    (More properly Argumentum ad non niveum).
    :) Dingo

  86. 86
    colnago80

    Re Amphiox @ #42

    Actually, if there were no greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the current location of the Earth relative to the Sun is too far. In that scenario, the Earth would be too cold. On the other hand, if the Earth were closer to the sun, a smaller concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would be required or the Earth would be too hot. Conversely, if the Earth were farther from the Sun, a greater concentration of greenhouse gases would be required or the Earth would be too cold.

    One of the proposals to make Mars habitable is to thicken the atmosphere with a higher concentration of CO(2) then currently exists on the Earth.

  87. 87
    dingojack

    The same word was also used to describe all of god’s creation in Genesis. Judeo-Christians believe the world was created by a committee now? (Actually that figures). ;)
    Dingo

  88. 88
    colnago80

    Re David Erikson @ #64

    The ratified air of university life must be nice but I live in south Texas. These bumpkins you say don’t exist are my neighbors.

    Ole Dave just doesn’t understand. Heddle will pull out his patented no true Scotsman shtick and proclaim that those bumpkins aren’t true Christians since they have the temerity to have an un-Heddle like thought in their heads.

  89. 89
    democommie

    “There are more than 400,000 species of flowers in the world, and most of them are not edible. Their job is to simply make the world beautiful.”

    You know that “NeoNoah” movie that they just released? the one that none of the KKKrisitians will be watching, cuz, NO GOD!*? I wonder if that asshole knows that one of the few flowers that might survive a planet wide deluge is the lotus, the flower that is at the heart of some other religions?

    “Blood is proof that God loves mosquitoes and wants them to be happy”

    Yes, and shit is proof that GOD loves dung beetles and flies.

    “They aren’t predators like spiders, they aren’t pollinators, they just spread blood-borne diseases.”

    They were actually the original design for KKKristian preachers, but GOD was preoccupied (there was a “Blindinglywhiteflu” going around* and even omnipotence has its limits. He forgot to give the ticks hands so that they couldn’t wave them or grab money (having 8 limbs WITH hands? that would make ANY preacher cream his jeans!). He was pretty pissed off but it was pointed out to him that even apparently useless parasites could help to make life on earth a living hell–so he left them be and started over on the “Shepherd, human flock” project–he still hasn’t got it right, btw.

    “Because all Christians are not bumpkins,”

    Tis true, heddle, tis true. However the bumpkins are RUNNING the show. The number of enlightened, rational, humane movers and shakers at the top of the vast majority of popular Christian sects/religions are old, white men–and observably cranky old, white men. Most of them have beliefs that are as ossified as their knees and hips. Their hips and knees can be repaired or replaced; their beliefs seem immutable.

    If Cyril M. Kornbluth had collaborated with Sinclair Lewis*** he would have had his lowbrow characters in “The Marching Morons” wrapped in a flag whistling the Star Spangled Banner (or Dixie OR the Horst Wessel Lied). They would also be members in good standing of the NRA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and, prolly, the 700 Club.

    * It was instigated by that commiebastid, Lucifer, in an attempt to wring some concessions out of his creator, what chutzpah! One of the many deal breakers was a demand for sex organs–Lucifer said, “What Adam and Eve are gonna be doin**? That looks AWESOME!”.

    ** Yes he had seen the plans.

    *** This is quite a “lift” from Wiki (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Sinclair_Lewis) but I find it fascinating:

    Misattributed[edit]
    When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. Many variants of this exist, but the earliest known incident of such a comment appears to be a partial quote from James Waterman Wise, Jr., reported in a 1936 issue of The Christian Century that in a recent address here before the liberal John Reed club said that Hearst and Coughlin are the two chief exponents of fascism in America. If fascism comes, he added, it will not be identified with any “shirt” movement, nor with an “insignia,” but it will probably be “wrapped up in the American flag and heralded as a plea for liberty and preservation of the constitution.”[1]
    Another early quote is that of Halford E. Luccock, in Keeping Life Out of Confusion (1938): When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled “made in Germany”; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, “Americanism.” Harrison Evans Salisbury in 1971 remarked about Lewis: “Sinclair Lewis aptly predicted in It Can’t Happen Here that if fascism came to America it would come wrapped in the flag and whistling ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’” [2]

    1.Jump up ↑ The Christian Century, Volume 53, Feb 5, 1936, p. 245
    2.Jump up ↑ p. 29, The Many Americas Shall Be One, Harrison Evans Salisbury. Published by W. W. Norton, 1971.

    * I don’t want to put ideas into their heads but has anybody seen a t-shirt that has the admonition (akin to the one that Christopher Walken uttered on SNL), “Needs More GOD!”

  90. 90
    Raging Bee

    Funny, you just made that same type of argument here.

    No, heddle, that wasn’t the same “type” of argument. Go to bed.

  91. 91
    democommie

    This:

    “The number of enlightened, rational, humane movers and shakers at the top of the vast majority of popular Christian sects/religions are old, white men…”

    should have read.

    “The number of enlightened, rational, humane movers and shakers at the top of the vast majority of popular Christian sects/religions is small. The vast majority of them are old, white men…”

    Everything else is true, though, even the shit I made up.

  92. 92
    freehand

    Heddle, growing up Southern Baptist I heard that verse quoted as justification for the claim of Divine inspiration just about every day. Here’s a whole page of it:
    http://carm.org/christianity/sermons/2-timothy-314-17-why-bible-word-god
    .
    Googling
    “2 Tim 3:16″ “word of god” proof
    gives millions of hits, most of which are simply searches for that verse (why are so many people looking for it?) but most of the others are like the linked page. From the link:
    .
    We know the Bible is the word of God because it says so.
    We do not use logic and evidence to prove that the Bible is God’s word. otherwise, the Bible is subject to logic and evidence. It is sufficient that God’s word testifies of itself.

    I don’t recall Michael Heath ever saying that all Christians were bumbkins, but in the US there are tens of millions who are mindless biblical “literalists” who claim the Earth was flooded but repopulated by a handful of animals, that all languages came from the Tower of Babel, and God’s word is the bible because it says so. Several dozen of them are blood kin of mine. All Christians? No. But half the Tea Partiers are, and all of the angry parents demanding that public schools teach their myths in science and history classes.
    .
    I would not claim that all Christians are like this either, but growing up they were all I saw.

  93. 93
    freehand

    Here’a a good one:
    .
    http://tinyurl.com/jwngm48

    2. There is a difference between the origin of the Mormon book and the
    Bible. Mormon’s claim there book is totally inspired by God so do we.
    Yet there is a difference. They no evidence of their inspiration. Peter states
    that He was eyewitness to these events, prophets agreed with these things,
    and we could look at other proofs of the truth of God’s inspired word.
    Such fulfilled prophecies, archeology, astronomy, and other scientific
    evidences prove the inspiration of the Bible.

    .
    Isn’t that great? They use 2000 year old writings claiming to be the eyewitness accounts of astonishing events (not noticed by any other contemporary writers) to establish the reliability of the recorded events.
    .
    On a side note, archaeologists, astronomers, and other scientists might be surprised to find out that their research supports the veracity of the bible.

  94. 94
    ildi

    No more stupid or dishonest than you and your friend Sproul, heddle. Oh, and this?

    The only true Christian for you is the one that matches your dreadful stereotype. Everyone else (like me) is an outlier–a credit to our race, if you will.

    Don’t flatter yourself. I much prefer the good pastor Wellman. You are the scary outlier; a full-grown man who went from a non-believer to interpreting the Bible to say that God condemns most of his creation to eternal hell fire for no good reason, and that genocide is justified when this God orders it. The banality of evil.

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