1. Neato Spiderplant says

    Great show! Some really great calls today! I was ready to kick my computer when it crapped out during Mark's call in the aftershow though. It sounded like it was taking the tiniest of baby steps in the right direction.

  2. says

    I applauded Mark right with the studio when he realized that he needed to evaluate everything for himself. Folks, we may have ourselves a new deconvert :-D~Ian

  3. says

    For those who watched the after show with Mark.. and I mean when the aftershow came back up.. (went dead for 5-10 mins) there was quite possibly the most beautiful moment at the end when he realised he could actually think for himself. Everyone in the studio clapped. It was glorious. Hopefully it has made a lasting impression on Mark, I'm getting to quite like the guy.

  4. Mamba24 says

    So it was the real mark then? I thought it might have been some guy pretending to be Mark. Seemed more like a poe this time.

  5. Neato Spiderplant says

    Oh crap! You mean it might not have been my computer afterall? Darn! I did wait a few minutes, since it had 'hiccuped' for about 30 seconds and start up again just before, but then it was out for about 4 minutes and I figured my computer must have had enough and gave up. That's really too bad that I missed it.

  6. Martin says

    Not that people bother with the proper definition much any more. I think we've reached a point of recursive absurdity in which literally every single Christian who calls the show, ever, will be called a Poe by at least one person.

  7. Mamba24 says

    The only reason I say that is because Matt thought it wasn't Mark for awhile there based off what he was asking. I thought it might have been some guy pretending to be Mark, but I could totally wrong. Idk.

  8. Neato Spiderplant says

    Mamba24, I was wondering about that too, but I think he might have been saying that to try to make a point. I didn't quite understand where he was going with that and now I can't even remember what they were talking about at the time. But I imagine he was probably saying something about why to believe claims.

  9. Mamba24 says

    Yeah I didn't get to listen to the end of the after-show, after it froze I just left. I will have to listen to it when it gets posted up.

  10. says

    I know it wasn't meant this way at all while Jen was talking about how the various tolerance programs in school are for instilling confidence in depressed teenagers' lives, but just the way she happened to say "don't kill yourselves before you actually get a chance to experience [a better life]" was funny for bad reasons. Like she said if you're going to kill yourself, do this first…THEN kill yourself!A little black linguistic humor there.

  11. says

    Mark is a likable, good guy but he's just never been given permission to think outside the christianized box before and or never had anyone there to listen. That was a beautiful ending to the after show, yes 'baby steps' for Mark with cheers.The ending(after show)can be seen on 705 part B for those who didn't see it/missed it or got interrupted like me.

  12. says

    I came in at the last minute, expecting to just watch UStream's archive of the show, when I happily caught the last few minutes of the live after-show and heard Mark saying (paraphrased) "…maybe I should just trust my own instincts instead of the Bible…" Truly an awesome moment!

  13. Neato Spiderplant says

    Okay, I relistened to Mark's call and I really don't know what was meant by the whole "I don't know that you're really Mark" thing. Maybe Matt was actually questioning if it was the same person, but he didn't sound different to me today so I don't know…Anyway, the end was awesome. I really do hope Mark evaluates his beliefs honestly.

  14. says

    There have been questions as to whether "Mark" is the guy's real name or just a pseudonym,which may be what Matt was getting to. Perhaps when he has a spare moment, he will leave a comment and enlighten us. 😉

  15. says

    Our apologies for losing the ustream feed during Mark's call in the aftershow. You can watch the rest of his call after we came back online in the ustream archive at . This was definitely the same Mark who has called the show before, but somebody on the chat noted that his IP address maps to a Canadian ISP. He's does seem to have a Canadian accent as well. So, we're not exactly sure what his true connection is with the Austin Stone Church.- John I., AETV crew

  16. Mamba24 says

    He sounds like a teenager at the end of the postshow where he asks Matt to come to his church and that they really like him.

  17. says

    Just got home from the post-show dinner to find that Martin has covered my six by opening a thread for tonight's show. Thanks, Martin!Re: Mark – I noticed his Canadian accent tonight and passed a note about it to Matt. I'm usually pretty good at picking up accents, but this was the first time I'd noticed it. It increases my skepticism about Mark, but I'm not ready to declare him a Poe. The call with Luke was a topic of conversation at dinner tonight. One of my dinner companions asked why Christians are so enamored of bad arguments like Pascal's Wager. It really boils down to being spoon fed this garbage practically from birth, and being discouraged from thinking too critically about what they're told in church.

  18. says

    @John, Jen, Just out of curiosity, what is a Canadian accent? Based on what I see on T.V., many Canadians sound the same as many Americans.

  19. Neato Spiderplant says

    I went back and listened for his "Canadian" accent. I'm not sure what I think about it. I mean, I'm Canadian so I imagine it would be harder to pick out Canadian accents since they aren't "accents" to me. (I think people tend to notice accents other than their native one more because it sticks out when a word is said differently)There were a few times when he pronounced something differently than I'd expect to hear it around here so I'm not necessarily sold on the Canadian idea, but I wouldn't entirely rule it.

  20. says

    Mark is trolling. I personally think it's been obvious for a while but I could see how the hosts could think he's real. Someone earlier pointed out "Ed" from Toronto in this episode at about 14:30. It sounds pretty much exactly like Mark, and now that they are saying the IP is coming from Canada it's pretty much confirmed. Furthermore, you could tell that Mark really didn't want to talk after the show. He wants to call in while the show is on the air so he can do his trolling. Also, Mark mentions that the sermon today was about Heaven. The Austin Stone has been doing sermons on Genesis for awhile now, so today's sermon was definitely NOT about Heaven.If I were the hosts I wouldn't take any more calls from Mark. The show is too short as it is and you shouldn't be wasting your time on bullshit.One another note, you guys should look into becoming Youtube partners. Nothing wrong with producing a little revenue.

  21. says

    I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but EJ might be right. I checked out episode #680 and Ed from Toronto does sound like him. I googled Mark and someone else made a blog post saying he sounds like "Andrew" from Austin, TX who called in around 35:00 in episode #686, and they all sound like the same person. The same voice (with some minor inflection changes) and the same general mannerisms and slight stutters.I don't know. I'm calling poe.

  22. says

    Hard to tell if it's a poe. I compared this episode with the ones above (#686, 680) and although they sound similar, they have some different pacing and mannerisms than our 'Mark'. Of course, that can be faked. Maybe this guy just wants to hear himself talk. I don't think the hosts should give anymore on air time to Mark. If it is a troll, I guess we'll be seeing him in a couple weeks as "Dan" or something. Great show though, makes sundays FUN!

  23. says

    "Mark" said "Come to our church sometime", "we really like you".So the people that – as Mark said – probably would hate Matt for some things he says, now suddenly "really like" him?That comment really struck me. Maybe Matt really should bring some friends, just in case some people at stone church are thinking about doing something stupid.

  24. Admin says

    I listened to (part of) the "Ed" call, and I don't think there's much reason to suspect that they're the same person. Both are young men about the same age, phones distort voices then the recording probably distorts some more. I also didn't detect anything in Mark's voice that I'd immediately call a Canadian accent, though I did in Ed's voice. They might be the same, but to me the evidence is not at all conclusive.However, the end of the call, when Mark giggled and said they like Matt, really bothers me. Like he couldn't keep himself together and keep the act going for long enough to get off of the phone.The comments said some users got Mark's IP? How did they do that exactly? Did he make an appearance in the chat or on the blog?If he is a Poe, he's a fricking loser. I've never understood why people waste their time and/or get-off on going on the internet and causing trouble. Honestly, what is wrong with some people? If he's legit, then it's pretty cool.

  25. says

    I don't think it's a poe.He's not doing satire or a parody.. he's simply mimicking what a standard fundamentalist Christian would say, looking for a reaction.That'd be a troll.

  26. says

    Great show on a sensitive topic.I would like to add that there are some shows that will actually sweep any suicide attempts under the rug to protect their own reputation (I have first-hand experience here). Any school that does so has no right to stay in business. Period.

  27. says

    I don't think Mark is a poe. I'm fairly certain that he a closet homosexual. There is nothing wrong with that…unless you had a fundamentalist christian upbringing and you go to a fundamentalist christian church. He seems to have a severe lack of confidence and a strong desire for acceptance(like many closet homosexuals). The calls to the show are a cry for help…but then again, i'm not a doctor.

  28. sans_Dieu says

    The after show was great. This is why the new time slot sucks (what else is new). It would be great if you could do this more often. These calls when there's no more time may not happen a week later. But I realise that you guys are hungry and want to get to dinner.I guess I was right – Mark is the new "atheist project" as Father Jacobse put it. Maybe you can prove that it works without Nazi's and Gulag's.

  29. says

    If Mark is a Poe, then I'm pretty pissed off. But, whether he is or not; Matt, you did a fantastic job. And a short word to Mark, since I was in his position at some point:Come out of the closet – the world's a wonderful place when you don't have to worry about maintaining a lie. So, new commandment; Live, be honest, and be happy.

  30. says

    Another telling point is that no one at the Austin Stone claims to know who he is, yet he claimed in his first call to be very experienced in the academic side of theology. Anyone who has academic experience and also is involved with parents and children at the church would be well known throughout the church, even with 8000+ members. He also claims they they "really like" Matt at the Austin Stone, yet know one knows this guy? C'mon.To those saying the calls sound different, of course they do. He isn't gonna call in with the exact same voice every time. If you listen to the "Ed" call he starts out with a voice that sounds very close to the Mark voice then after a couple of minutes his inflection changes considerably.

  31. says

    I'm Canadian and oddly enough, I do occasionally catch Canucks pronouncing "about" in a way different from General North American (it's not "aboot", it's more like "a-BEH-out"; kind of a little hiccup in the middle)… they tend to be older or from smaller places. I did hear Mark do that, and combined with what people were saying about him being on Rogers as his IP, I started wondering. But if he's Canadian, what would he know from the Stone Church in Austin? It doesn't make sense.

  32. says

    I'm not sure if Mark is for real or not. Honestly I don't care, since he set the hosts up for poetic discussions/rants. Matt + Jeff and Tracie + Jen delivered real good material that was just beautiful to listen thanks to Marks calls.And as they repeat so often: the object of the show isn't necessarily to convince the caller, they want to convince listeners with an open mind.

  33. says

    When I heard Mark say "we really like you," the first thing that popped into my mind was that this is the Markenese translation of "I really like you." I'm not convinced he's fake.

  34. says

    I'm unsure about Mark. He seems to be a person who "follows the leader". He needs to learn to think for himself more. It seems that he has already made strides in this area though, as he disagrees with the bible on its homosexual policies. He needs to get out of that church. I wish him well.On another matter: I think Matt (or any of the AE people) shouldn't go to that church alone. They should go in a group of three or more. This is just a feeling I got about them.

  35. Admin says

    EJ:"To those saying the calls sound different, of course they do. He isn't gonna call in with the exact same voice every time. If you listen to the "Ed" call he starts out with a voice that sounds very close to the Mark voice then after a couple of minutes his inflection changes considerably."Wait, the voices are different so of course they're the same guy?! Then how do you distinguish between two different people and the same guy with two voices that sound somewhat different? Of course they sound different, because if it's the same guy calling, he'll change his voice? Come on, dude! EJ, I am disagreeing with you that Mark sounds like Ed. I heard the beginning of the call too, and I didn't hear what you claim you heard. In fact, as soon as Ed opened his mouth, I decided that there's no good reason to think they're the same person. They might very well be the same person, but I don't think the voice work provides anything I'd call conclusive reasons.

  36. says

    "So maybe I should just trust myself, not even listen to the Bible." Pretty emotional moment. Maybe an even better call than when Matt and Russell Socratically led a caller to answer his own questions rationally in the "Best Call Evar" episode years ago.Just like Matt pointed out about the Landover Baptist site: Poe or no is irrelevant — folks really make those arguments. It was a great call.

  37. says

    Admin, of course you realize I'm saying that while the voices are different they are close enough that it's possible (or probable in my mind) that it's the same person. The difference in the voices is about what you would expect if someone were trying to change their voice. This isn't a religious debate so no reason for the straw man.The shows phones don't make everyone's voice sound the same. This is true for other things like some online chat services or xbox live, but you can distinguish voices very well on this show. Mark's voice is pretty distinct and you can definitely hear it in those other calls. Even if the Ed call isn't him. The "mike" call most certainly is, although they could've just misunderstood what he said.

  38. says

    Isn't the point of Poe's law that you cannot tell the difference? There is always a possibility that a caller is faking, but since there is no real way to be certain the show has to proceed to take each caller at their word.It is just a call in show, so it is possible that every caller is lying about everything, but the simpler theory is that most of them are telling some version of the truth. Besides, he is presenting legitimate apologist arguments that people will want to hear discussed, not some lame ass argument about chocolate proving god's existence or something.Kudos for not dismissing the Pascal's wager guy. I can see the temptation to identify the PRATT argument and hang up, but it is better to state the refutation for the thousandth time or the legit caller will think you are just being needlessly dismissive.

  39. Neato Spiderplant says

    "The difference in the voices is about what you would expect if someone were trying to change their voice."EJ, you don't think in the couple hundred male callers the show has gotten in the last couple years three or four aren't going to sound similar? I think it would be fairly complicated to fake several differen't "characters" with their own accents and mannerisms consistantly over a 20 minute call especially when you are also faking a whole identity/position all unscripted and not slip up. Especially when there is no reason to do so as Mike and Mark held the same position anyway. Why make up 2 different people to say the same things?I'm not sure if Mark is for real or not, but I don't see the benefit in assuming he's a troll until there seems to be something a little concrete to go on. As someone else pointed out, even if he is trolling, he could be genuinely helping viewers. That said, I'm not saying we should all call in as fake theists on the verge of conversion to help viewers. Also, someone said his ISP is Canadian? Did he send an email or something?

  40. says

    Yeah but we aren't talking about a two or three year span. We're talking about a couple of months back. Furthermore, 2 of the callers claim to be from the same church while a third claimed to be calling from Canada which is coincidentally where it says Mark is calling from. I could be wrong, hell I hope I am. But I think at the very least if the other callers aren't Mark that Mark himself isn't being completely truthful about his position. I agree that even if Mark is trolling, he's sparked great cnversation. I just think that we are at the point now where it's been stretched out a little far. I know the hosts don't want to spend time on this if it isn't genuine. That's what Landover Baptist is for. Also, I think people should stop the implications that something violent may happen to Matt if he visits the Austin Stone. I'm sure that church is filled good people and reflects badly on us to make such bold accusations without any evidence for the claim at all.

  41. says

    Matt's statement about the graven images stuff being excised from the Catholic Bible is simply false.Evidence: has perhaps been de-emphasized in that it's basically a footnote to the first commandment in Catholicism rather than a full-fledged, free-standing commandment, but it's still considered to be in effect, though the Catholic interpretation of what it actually means varies somewhat from the Protestant interpretation (but not to the degree of a Jack Chick caricature).And to be fair, this numbering system at least carries with the minor benefit of women not being lumped together with cattle. :)Here's a Catholic reference on the matter:

  42. says

    If Mark is in Austin, perhaps he should be strongly encouraged to come to the after show dinner. That would at least prove that he lives in Austin, or that he is willing to pull off the gag so epically that he would fly down from Canada. Perhaps a meeting could be preemptively arranged to meet Matt at the Stone Church when he visits.

  43. says

    I don't think Mark is a Poe, I think Mark is a very confused and conflicted individual who has never really been exposed to differing viewpoints or allowed to do any critical thinking. In my opinion, the multitude of calls he has made suggests that he's curious, and, while initially a bit hostile to the hosts, has become even more curious and open-minded as a result. When Matt told him everyone was clapping for him, the giggling he did reminded me of a child who's been praised for doing something on his own for the first time. Mark seems to be thinking critically for the first time since he started calling, and it was touching to hear how happy he was to be praised for thinking for himself. It really was heartwarming. Thanks, AE hosts, for being patient and well-spoken enough to have helped him along this far.

  44. says

    @Jen: I thought I heard you say you'll be in Washington, DC in the near future. Are there any plans for a get-together so your legions of adoring fans can buy you a drink?Or, depending on your schedule, you can come to a Beltway Atheists happy hour.

  45. says

    I'm mot sure about Mark. When he first called the show, I thought he did it because he was having doubts. The way he always only refers to what his pastor or what his church says makes me think he's uncomfortable voicing his own opinion on the matter because his opinion goes against everything he was raised to believe. The fact that the first thing he was willing to admit he disagreed with was the intolerance of homosexuals means he feels very strongly about that one.I see 2 possibilities now, he's been a troll/poe the whole time and this slow, textbook deconversion is his punchline. Like he may follow up with a full-on. "Well you guys convinced me, I'm an atheist now. I just ate a baby last week, hahaha." or he's feeling more comfortable with his doubt and he's truly waking up. I'm feeling optimistic that it's the latter.

  46. says

    It seemed clear Mark was a troubled, genuine caller until this week. The insistence that Matt visit his church could be part of a ruse, especially given the extremely odd declaration that "people love him down there" or something to that effect – I thought the general consensus at the church was that Matt et al. was the devil, leading the church's youth towards damnation? That comment was baffling. And Mark seemed to giggle while making it.A quick call to the church might put the whole thing to bed.

  47. says

    I'm in no way sure whether Mark is a troll or legit, but the giggling people are referring to occured after Matt made a somewhat risque joke. Just sayin'.

  48. says

    Don't know if Mark was a troll (Poe is something else) but he could get the canadian IP just by using a proxy or Tor specially if he doesn't want ppl find out who he is.

  49. says

    I don't think "Mark" is a Poe or a troll. I also don't think Mark is his real name. He called as "Andrew" and "Mike" earlier. I think he just doesn't/didn't want anyone in his church to recognize him. I think he had doubts at least about his church if not about his religion and didn’t want his church to start harassing him about them. He always sounded like he was hoping that the host would say to him that it’s okay for him to believe. I think he was scared that he might be turning into an atheist and he had learned that atheists have no moral, no purpose, no hope etc. and that scared him (and hell of course).

  50. sans_Dieu says

    As long as Mark'S calls are interesting, it's okay to have him on. In the past, crank calls often provided good conversation starters.

  51. says

    @thalamay — That's true, but people were pointing out that Mark's IP is Canadian. Lots of people move country, but not many manage to take their internet provider with them. It's too much to fit on the truck. ;)….Though I suppose it's possible Mark really is from Austin, is resident in Canada, and learned to say "about" differently. 🙂

  52. says

    Is Friday the day no one is supposed to eat meat – The three days before Easter?I'm trying to figure out when to have a BBQ.I remember from my distant past that my mother would tell me to avoid eating meat at the school cafeteria, and I'd end up having a hotdog or something, and nothing bad would happen. Is it that if I eat a hotdog on this day, I burn? I never got that.

  53. says

    Hmm. I'm Canadian and I strongly doubt someone would be able to identify me as such by my voice alone. That being said, someone people do sound "Canadian", not sure if Mark fits that neatly. The info about his ISP is very interesting though.

  54. says

    @JT:"my mother would tell me to avoid eating meat at the school cafeteria, and I'd end up having a hotdog or something, and nothing bad would happen."Why would it? The rule is "don't eat meat", not "don't eat processed textured homogenized protein-ish food substance".And besides, if you can turn a wafer into flesh by saying a few words over it, then you can turn a steak into something kosher. (I believe the magic words are "Yee-hah! Now that's what I call a nice juicy matzoh!")

  55. Reasonable Quest says

    I've thought Mark was a fake caller since he called and had a long conversation with Jen and Tracie. It was just to easy how he just spouted out the stereotyped Christian talking points, and even asked Tracie if she hated God after Tracie had just given a talk about how dumb that is to say. He's called a number of times, once trying to talk with a southern accent, but he does have a Canadian accent. Things he says contradict things he has said in earlier shows. He probably just looked up churches online and found the Austin Stone. So he says he goes to this church. He gets a friend to call (Luke) to say he is a youth in the church. Mark happens to call the same episode? In the past he asked why they don't debate William Lane Craig. Unless you have been watching atheist debates on YouTube, your average church going fundamentalist who acts as dumb as Mark isn't going to know who he is. Even the pastors of the church don't know who the guy is. If there really has been a discussion in his church about the show, is isn't mentioned in any of the recent online sermons. Mark is a Poe who likes to hear himself talk.

  56. says

    I just posted this on the previous entry on Mark."New poster here, different than the Andrew above. I have to agree that either this guy is a complete poe, or that he's a kid from the church. At the end of the most recent call you can hear that the tone of his voice changes as he's hanging up the phone.Also, and I don't know if anyone has pointed this out yet, the callers Andrew(12/5/10-show#686), and Mike(1/23/11-show#693), sound very much like the same poerson (misspelling intended) with a bit of Southern accent added.I really only just started watching the show after Matt shellacked Mark on that episode in February (saw the clips on Jerry's, PZ's and RDF sites) and started watching previous episodes. As I had watched the aforementioned clip several time I had the voice fresh in my head. I started a list after a couple of times and then went back to check the previous instances, I think there maybe one or two more before he started using the moniker "Mark", but I need to check.On the other hand I may just be crazy."The instance RQ is talking about is the one from 693. I still think that Andrew from 686 is him too.

  57. Mamba24 says

    Has anyone heard about this supposed new finding that the last supper took place on a Wednesday and not Thursday? (Even though there is no evidence that a "last supper" described in the bible even took place)

  58. says

    Some people were wondering how we know that Mark's IP was Canadian; the reason is, in the last 10-15 minutes before the show ended, some guy named Mark[some numerical string] entered the u-stream chat, and demanded that they open some lines, because he was Mark of the Austin Stone.The guy in the control room figured he was fake, because his IP address was Canadian, but then when he actually called in and sounded like the Mark we all know and love, we were convinced that it was the same guy. Of course, now it calls the sincerity of Mark himself into question…~Ian

  59. says

    On the topic of local Austin churches…I live on the north side of Austin, and a local church was recently brought to my attention by a sign they posted in front of their building. It's a REALLY corny sign that says "We made this sweet sign to get you to come to church! See you Sunday!" Who knew it was so easy?! ;)I looked up their website to see if they had a photo of the sign, and I found that they had presented a sermon entitled "Why Are So Many Smart People Atheists?" back in February. It is posted online but I have not taken the time to listen (and I'm only just watching #705 on TiVo now…Tracie is awesome so far!)

  60. says

    I'm the one who originally brought up the fact that "mark123123" in the chat room was on Rogers, a Canadian IP. Considering that people have been wanting to hear more from Mark lately, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if someone posing as Mark from the Austin Stone came into the chat and started claiming to be him. There's absolutely no way to know whether or not mark123123 and Mark the caller were the same guy.Besides, doesn't the studio have caller ID?

  61. says

    I just finished watching show #705, all the way to the off-air end, and I must say, Wow! That was a great show! The talk between Matt and Mark was great. Matt, I think that you need to start up your own motivational speaker business. Heh 😉 mI only wish that I had something contrary to say so that I could get a "Matt Talk".

  62. says

    Oh, my name is Mark and I am a Canadian, but I am not the Mark on the show. I am a different Mark.In my opinion, I did not think that there was anything unusual about the caller Mark. I have been in the call center business for over 12 years and have spoken to hundreds of thousands of people from both the US and Canada over the years and have encountered all manner of personalities. That Mark seems like a regular person. Were his answers repetitive? Yes. Did he seem to have trouble grasping simple concepts? Yes. Just like most of the people that call Tech Support and/or Customer Service numbers.On an unrelated note: To the developer of this website: Thank you for having an easy to read Word Verification security when making posts. I hate websites that feature Word Verification where the graphics are SO distorted that you have to recycle through 8-10 "words" before you get one that you can read.

  63. says

    >Is Friday the day no one is supposed to eat meat >- The three days before Easter?>>I'm trying to figure out when to have a BBQ.*casts way back in his memory to Catholic catechism* Friday is a day of 'fast and abstinence' — no meat, no sweets, etc. However, a 'day of fast and abstinence' cannot coincide with a 'day of holy obligation' (when you must attend mass). Therefore, Good Friday is NOT a 'day of fast and abstinence'. Reality: these are a collection of arbitrary rules that some priests made up, and about which tied themselves into tiny theological knots. Who gives a rat's ass 😀 Don't eat meat unless you know the animal was raised well and treated humanely.

  64. says

    I find it very sad listening to this fellow, Mark.He sounds very young. How sad that the religious indoctrinate there kids into a mind set where they are literary waisting the best years of there lives pointlessly worrying about all the crap in the Bible, and attending church when they should be having fun.

  65. says

    Hey guys, long time listner long time lurker first time poster :)I just wanted to comment on an issue with the talk between Matt and Mark. You missed a major issue.Mark kept comming back to issues of Jesus saying "love your neighbour" at some point he even flat out said "comparing love your neighbour to stuff like leviticus"But the thing that most christians miss out, is that love your neighbour actually comes *FROM* leviticus: (19:18) “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD."So many christians take this simple phrase as a wavering excuse to anything in the OT and they really should be called on it.

  66. says

    I think that the problem with the whole love your neighbor thing is that people assume that "neighbor" means everyone who isn't you. This is not true. As you can see from Leviticus: 19:18 above, the neighbor referenced here is limited to those "among your own people."Also, even if you love your neighbor as yourself, that doesn't mean you wont stone him to death for sinning. After all, you would expect to be stoned to death, yourself, for the same sins. It is an act of "love."

  67. says

    I completely agree. That is why I also find the phrase to be abominable.If I am willing to die for my faith and I love my neighbour as myself then that means it is okay for me to let other people die for *my* faith.Heck, is it much of a surprise that this abomination is written in leviticus 19 which is between leviticus 18 and 20 and all the orders to go around killing people?But either way, my main point was that people seem to think that it is an invention of christianity, which clearly it is not…

  68. says

    My 2 cents is that I'm not convinced Mark is for real. In addition to his pronunciation of "about"–which I also didn't hear when he called me the week prior (but it is different listening to the caller on the air than as a viewer. As host I focus less on speech patterns because I'm focused on what they're saying.With Mark the biggest problem I saw was that the same guy insisting on literal hell in a few prior calls was suddenly arguing a highly liberal Christian viewpoint of "non literal Bible interpretation."In my experience the first doctrine to fall when a person takes a liberal view of the text is "hell" because it's so indefensible. The idea that Mark would assert it's not the literal word of god–and then argue so vehemently for a literal hell…just doesn't make sense.On the other side of that coin, people don't always make sense.Ultimately if Mark is a Poe, he's really ramping up the calls–seemingly desiring to make it the "Mark from Austin Stone Show." If he's sincere, then he's just trying. But if not, his time has come, I think as well, to cut him off. Even Caesar doesn't call EVERY week. But if Mark is a Poe, he won't stop calling. The more attention he generates, the more fun he'll have, and the more he'll get out of cranking the show–unfortunately.We used to have a prank caller named James. And it was similar. Ultimately Matt got really good at identifying him. But often he'd still dialog because James still raised good points, even though he was only doing it to generate attention.Anyway, my thoughts.

  69. says

    I'm late to post about this, but man, the end of this episode (rather, the after episode bit) was the best thing I have seen on the show ever. Great job guys!