Posts

Renting Jesus

I haven't heard a lot about the emergent church or Brian McLaren lately, Maybe the novelty has worn off. But this 2011 post is still as relevant as ever, being that we have plenty of people who still think Jesus is a theological buffet table.

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"I don't own Jesus!"

So says Carl Medearis in a blog entry for (CNN), and certainly he's right. He doesn't own Jesus. Jesus owns us. But of course that's not quite what he means either. What he means, as becomes clear further on, is, "No one owns the truth about Jesus." And in that respect, Medearis does not indeed own Jesus, but he does rent Jesus.

When someone says something like, "no one owns the truth about Jesus”, it's time to raise the Law of Non-Contradiction again. Because when you say, "no one owns the truth about Jesus," you're making a truth claim about Jesus, and one that is exclusive of all others about Jesus. Which means (gasp) you're claiming to own the tr…

Evolution of The God Concept part 2

,,,,The assumption that humans are projecting their own attributes is no more supported by the facts than the idea of progressive revelation. It could just be that our conceptions of God have to grow as our understanding of reality grows. How could Stone Age people start out understanding God in terms of quantum theory or transcendence in relation to the space/time continuum? As our understanding has grown our conceptions of God have become more grandiose, they have kept pace with our understanding of the nature of the universe. How could it be otherwise? We can’t understand what we have never experienced or that to which we have never been exposed. New psychological research has indicated that children don’t have to understand God’s attributes by first understanding human attributes, but become able to distinguish between different kinds of agents at an early age (six).[1]We might still limit our understanding to our own experience of mind, yet as thinkers we are capable of conceptua…

Killing the Second R

This post was first written in 2011. And yet again, it will send shivers up your spine if you think about how much worse things have gotten ever since even then. It's also poignant in light of the fact that Sean McDowell has recently (finally) released an updated version of Evidence That Demands a Verdict just this year, which I've said has needed doing since 1998.

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As is frequently my custom, let me note two seemingly very different things and tie them together.

Item 1: Nick Peters recently brought to my attention a news item indicating that one state was saving money by cutting student testing in a specific area -- that of writing.

Item 2: I've noted an increase of late in advertising for the "Dragon Naturally Speaking" software, which allows users to simply speak and cause words to appear on their screen.

Tie them together? Will do.

I've noted as well, regarding that last, that the "writing style" of the documents produced by those modeling …

Evolution of the God Concept part 1

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All experiences of the divine must be filtered through cultural constructs, or symbols. God is beyond our understanding, thus beyond language. If we are talk about our experiences, however badly, we must filter them through culture.
RELIGION, although inherent in man, borrows its expressions from the setting or milieu in which man appears. The forms through which man expresses the supernatural are all drawn from the cultural heritage and the environment known to him, and are structured according to his dominant patterns of experience.In a hunting culture this means that the main target of observation, the animal, is the ferment of suggestive influence on representations of the supernatural. This must not be interpreted as meaning that all ideas of the supernatural necessarily take animal form. First of all, spirits do appear also as human beings, although generally less frequently; the high-god, for instance, if he exists, is often thought of as a being of human appearance. Second, a…

Fake News is Old News

I got a good chuckle this week from an article by a political website that was bemoaning the recent spate of "fake news" especially on places like Facebook. What amused me was that they were just echoing the same laments that I've been reiterating for the past two decades. 

It's strange, isn't it? For decades, fundy atheists and others have been posting "fake news" about Christianity: the Zeitgeist movie; false information about alleged Bible contradictions (how many times will that "the Bible says the bat is a bird" crap have to be addressed before it dies a painful death?); absolutely idiotic and totally made up claims about alleged pagan saviors ("Mithra was crucified and rose from the dead, just like Jesus!"); garbage from freethinkers of the 18th-19th century like Paine and Ingersoll (Paine's favorite fake news story about Christianity: The Council of Nicaea decided the canon!); and on and on and on.

However,  these political …