Oct 01, 2016
Oct 01, 2016
did not like it
What a strange book. The blurb for the book says:
"In much of the Muslim world, religion is the central foundation upon which family, community, moral What a strange book. The blurb for the book says:
"In much of the Muslim world, religion is the central foundation upon which family, community, morality, and identity are built."
I would even say the same thing about Christianity and other religions. (NEVER Atheism though) But then the author keeps trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes with:
"Secularism is the only system that allows such an environment to flourish. Secularism is not antireligion; it is simply the separation of religion from the affairs of the state. It allows both freedom of and freedom from religion." (pg. 214)
Ummmh? So who gets to be in charge then? Why atheists of course. It's obvious. So where does this guy get this crap from? Here are some very clear definitions of this Secularism that he's insisting is the tolerant answer for the masses:
secularism. [sek-yuh-luh-riz-uh m] secular spirit or tendency, especially a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship.
Secularism. indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations.
And that is the problem folks. This X-muslim/New-atheist dude "mocks and REJECTS" any one or thing who doesn't agree with his current worldview and belief system. But, I do mostly the same thing from a Biblical Christian point of view. So that's not really my problem with this book. The problem is that this guy is either really dumb and clueless... or a sneaky hypocrite selling people false promises and compromises. Probably both. These militant commando atheists (like dawkins, harris - well, harris is mostly buddhist now, Hitchens, dennett and a swarm of feisty others) are not up for any sharing of worldviews and general tolerance. Like this book shows: these folks want to shut down Religion, or any belief that disagrees with their political moral agenda. They DEMAND that religious beliefs be excluded from Government policies and social morality and ethics. The problem is: What is the foundation of Secular policies??? Where do their objective standards come from? What is a healthy standard for Morality, Family, Community, and Identity?
Like all scientism embathed atheists: the author assumes Atheism is the default truth system of mankind, which of course equals goodness, kindness and light, and prosperity for the masses.
But Atheism really equals ONE MAIN THING: existence without a god.
Fair enough, but then atheists start in on politics and morality by bringing up Slavery, Rape, Child abuse, Genocide, World Domination... But that's not what Atheists agree on. Those aren't part of the package. Any logical rational person knows that "no god" also means NO OBJECTIVE TRUTH OR VALUES. Atheists shouldn't have a problem with endless slavery, or Rape. For many centuries much of humanity fully embraced these things. (actually, many still do - they just don't talk about it out loud. And they have differing degrees of acceptance in their definitions of these supposed taboos).
I've heard a few Christian philosophers say that:
"Major secular-liberal university professors (who hate objective religious morals) have personally brought up to them the issue of how do they get their highly educated University students to quit cheating on their exams and general academia."
Secularism and Atheism do not equal honesty, or truth, or values. Just a subjective naturalistic worldview without a guiding "enforcing" deity of Cosmic Justice and Meaning. Good luck!
Okay, so this author was once a somewhat lazy moderate Muslim, raised in a pleasant worldly home. He questioned what he learned and saw in the Islamic countries he was raised in. Good for him: yes, question everything (especially atheism and secularism AND SCIENTISM.)
So most of this book is about his condemnation of Islam. Hey, Great! I applaud. I hate Islam as well. WE also hate Buddhism, Catholicism, Mormonism, Charismatic insanity, Hinduism, Paganism etc.
The author then attempts to PROVE his justification for his atheistic truth. So he does all he can to dismantle Islam, and the Quran, and Muhammad, and the political insanity of the last 1400 years of Islamic oppression and violence, while proudly holding up Richard Dawkins and the hope of Darwinistic science for the future masses. It's fun to observe.
As a Christian I agree on most of his bashings of Islam. I even agree on some of his swats at Christianity. But the mistake he makes is in lazily lumping all religions together. Sure, he quotes Quranic verses and then challenges their context. But then he quotes Bible verses and ATTACKS without dealing with context. He also happily quotes his scientism without being very skeptical or showing that he did the slightest bit of enquiry as to whether his ancestors REALLY WERE FISH. (yes, he mentions that!)
It's easy to mock the miracles that are sprinkled throughout Holy Books. There are many reasons to quickly doubt them based on current existence and laws of nature. But if somebody is going to tell me that their greatest Grandparents were Fish... then you might as well believe in a all-creating god who made mankind in His image and gave them a fully functioning planet to dwell on for a few thousand years.
One thing that few people realize: many Holy Books actually have very few miracles. The Quran is filled with only a few supernaturally freaky events. And the much larger and more historic Bible has many many pages with no miraculous events at all. We don't just join up because there was a talking snake in a very impressive garden a few millennia ago ---- Holy Books speak greatly of life, and family, and values, and national identity, and honor. (stuff atheism has no comment on).
So, the Title of this book was:
The Atheist Muslim: A Journey from religion to reason.
I fully understand the journey from Islam to Atheism. No argument there. But i'm not convinced (in the slightest) that this guy found Reason. Actually, a fair bit of the book is about him attacking liberals who either: defend Islam, attack muslims, or try to claim to understand Islam at all. He even deals with this huge Islamophobia fad amongst liberals. It does get slightly confusing. One minute i'm a anti-Islamic bigot, the next i'm a crusader for liberation and values. He might not have any audience when he's done with this book. He even spends time mocking Liberal Muslim/Christian? author and Know-It-All Reza Azlan. (this I found endlessly entertaining). Strange, since the point of much of this book is to applaud a very liberal moderate New Islam.
"But even the most devoutly religious people, I learned, ultimately did good things because they felt empathy for their fellow human beings and other living creatures -- not to gain favor with God... and the golden rule - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you - predates almost all of todays religions."
Almost, The Bible makes some specific claims about that RULE that much of history, and modern society, still don't comprehend. The author forgets that this world is still rather nasty. We've had how many brutal wars in the last 100 years? How much of our newspapers are filled with crime, violence, dishonesty, smut, abusive lust, and greed? I don't think this golden rule is even close to catching on. And atheists can't even clearly define it or give it a meaningful objective purpose. Evolution certainly doesn't care about this golden rule. Science doesn't care. How many Secular Atheists are seriously against ABORTION? Are Secularists okay with personally being aborted if they become a burden, or upset somebodies freedom? I thought so.
The author takes a moment to insist that:
"...Jesus certainly wasn't the first historical figure believed to have been born of a virgin... Buddha was born from a slit in his mother's side. The virgin Isis gave birth to Horus. The virgin Maia gave birth to Mercury. The virgin Rhea Silvia gave birth to Romulus and Remus. The virgin devaki birthed Krishna. And even Genghis Khan is believed to have been born of a virgin in whom a GREAT LIGHT suddenly induced labor one night."
So, how carefully did the author check these supposed mythical FACTS of history? Let's look.
J. Warner Wallace says:
"First and foremost, the pre-existing mythologies described by critics are not as similar to the “virgin conception” of Jesus as they would like people to believe. As an example, neither Mithras nor Horus was the product of a “virgin conception”. Mithras emerged from rock and Horus was conceived through a sex act between Isis and Osiris. While it is true that many pagan mythologies describe the gods having sex with mortal women, the blatant sexual activity of these mythologies is missing from the Biblical narrative...
Even the weak resemblances between the Biblical account and pagan mythologies may be the result of Judeo Christian influence rather than contamination from a pagan source. Justin Martyr recognized this in the second century. In “The First Apology of Justin”, he argued that the surrounding pagans adopted elements of Judaism into their own religious beliefs.
Finally, the fact that some pagan mythologies describe gods who were born through some supernatural manner really shouldn’t surprise us. As early men and women began to think and dream about God, it was reasonable that they would imagine that an incredibly powerful, supernatural being would emerge into the natural world in some unexpected, supernatural way. For this reason, we would expect pre-Christian mythologies to bear some resemblance to the truth of the Christian narrative. This resemblance does not, in and of itself, invalidate the “virgin conception”."
Buddha - Gautama was born as a Kshatriya, the son of Śuddhodana, "an elected chief of the Shakya clan" Hmmm?
Horus - Horus was born to the goddess Isis after she retrieved all the dismembered body parts of her murdered husband Osiris, except his penis, which was thrown into the Nile and eaten by a catfish, or sometimes depicted as instead by a crab, and according to Plutarch's account used her magic powers to resurrect Osiris and fashion a golden phallus to conceive her son (older Egyptian accounts have the penis of Osiris surviving). "Well Damn! I wouldn't say that classifies as a virgin birth.
Mercury - Mercury was the son of Jupiter and Maia, who was the daughter of the Titan god Atlas.
Romulus/Remus - Rhea Silvia conceived and gave birth to the twins Romulus and Remus. She claimed that the god Mars was the father of the children. Livy says that she was raped by an unknown man, but "declared Mars to be the father of her illegitimate offspring, either because she really imagined it to be the case, or because it was less discreditable to have committed such an offence with a god." The name Rhea Silvia suggests a minor deity, a demi-goddess of forests. Hmmm?
Krishna - Krishna is born to Devaki and her husband, King Vasudeva of the Yadava clan. Who knew?
Genghis Kahn - "Little is known about Temüjin's early life, due to the lack of contemporary written records. The few sources that give insight into this period often contradict." But...
He was the second son of his father Yesügei who was a Kiyad chief prominent in the Khamag Mongol confederation and an ally of Toghrul of the Keraite tribe. Temüjin was the first son of his mother Hoelun.
Does this author do science the same way he does religions/myths and politics? Probably. Do recall: his ancestors were fish after all. ...more
Notes are private!
Jun 29, 2018
Jul 10, 2018
Jun 29, 2018
Oct 26, 2017
did not like it
Is it possible that these 25 authors will end up in hell for simply NOT believing in a torturous Hell? Mostly Yes. But "torturous" needs to be defined Is it possible that these 25 authors will end up in hell for simply NOT believing in a torturous Hell? Mostly Yes. But "torturous" needs to be defined Biblically - as does Hell.
I was thinking back to when I first heard about hell? It wasn't really in church. I almost never heard hell mentioned in church... weird eh? Still don't. Mostly it was waved about in cartoons or glorified in Rock music or Hollywood movies. I do recall Troopers "Raise a little hell" tune. Or AC/DC's "Hell ain't a bad place to be". or maybe even Pat Benatar's "Hell is for children". I even recall that Drunken adult know-it-all ( in the baseball park back when I was 13) who proudly boasted that hell is going to be an eternal debaucherous Orgy of desires and goodtimes with no consequences. Thinking of that: I am curious how many times Homer Simpson has been in hell? Probably a few. I also look back fondly on my Ghostrider comic books, bit of a hellish tale there.
But that seems to be the real problem: people aren't getting their hell from the Bible. And what IS IN THE Bible is mostly being ignored or twisted.
Indeed, the doctrine of eternal torment is only a small piece of many people's eternal problems. Like those Golden Calf worshiping Israelites: many have the wrong Jesus. And most progressive liberals (like these 25 authors) actually hate the Jesus/God of the Bible. I almost hesitate to show them this verse: It might make their heads explode
8For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
This book is basically 25 chapters by authors who really don't get the God of the Bible. They certainly don't like His hell. Some don't even like His Bible. Some don't even really think IT IS His Bible, or His hell. And some just babble on so tediously that you don't know what the hell they're talking about. But it seems they all agree: "This nasty-judgmental hell concept has got to go - and take that child-abuse ATONEMENT doctrine with it." (so both get reinvented by theological progressives)
A mostly useless documentary came out a few years ago called "Hellbound". Go to your local library and suffer through the DVD. I'm pretty sure most Canadian libraries have it - (they're filled with all things liberal - and the occasional Ann Coulter book "Yaaayyyy!" but we are somewhat forced by Canadian content standards to carry THIS as well as Shania Twain and Justin Beiber C.D.'s and DVD's.)
So this film-maker guy tries to show how the Biblical doctrine of Hell is no longer really a solid Biblical Doctrine. He tries to make the badguys (conservative traditional Bible believing Christians) look really bad and unloving, and the goodguys (intolerant hippy liberal love-mongers who generally applaud Gay sex and marriage, and hate any violence in the Bible - unless it's done to conservative Christians?) look really good. But, the Bible is rather clear. And since the movie mostly failed : except in Canadian libraries, we now get a book pushed into our local CANADIAN Christian bookstores. And since hell is just about my favorite Bible topic. Here goes...
Hell is indeed Bad News: Nothing pleasant about it - whether it's Annihilation, Liberal Purifying fire, or even a purgatory day spa. Anguish and Torment abounds . But the good news for these progressive Bible haters is: Hell may not be as bad as they insist.
It amuses me that none of them discussed the nature of man in hell. Yes, the tormenting bit... This isn't rocket science folks. It's right in the pages of scripture: Spiritual beings go to hell and suffer uncomfortable boredom. Luke 16:
But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
Or Matthew 8
12while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
For some silly reason people keep talking about torture in hell, or physical burning. Neither of those are clearly mentioned in scripture. Weeping and "Gnashing of teeth" are rather personal INNER issues. I doubt Satan will be forcing people to do weep or gnash (actually Satan won't be forcing people to do anything - he'll have his own problems to worry about. He and his ilk won't be ruling hell.)
Now torment and anguish are interesting terms. You don't get poked with a pitchfork and develop anguish. It will most likely come from your inner rage and rebellion against a righteous God, and i'm sure hell will be full of self-righteous people who long for a better Cosmic lawyer. Their natures and desires will not have changed.
We'll deal with the torture issue more later.
On the other side of the equation is God's children (the Saints) getting a NEW NATURE AND BODY in heaven. So, it would make sense that people in hell will have OLD SINFUL NATURES and bodies of some sort as well. Bodies that don't burn or even require water or food. How did all the authors in this book miss this? It's the one big clue we do have. Remember that weird little verse:
48where ‘their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.’
Sure, sure, we know the verse before it says "And if your eye should cause you to stumble, cast it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into Gehenna...
So here we have Jesus (the lovey prophet Guru of social justice and mercy) telling tales about cutting off body parts and being thrown into Hellish places - or garbage dumps? Hmmm, sounds like the God of the Old Testament type talk. Anyway, what's the point of this little immortal worm dweller?
If God is a purifying fire... then what's up with this worm talk? Cutting off body parts to stand before a loving merciful God doesn't sound very all-embracing. And we also have this clear verse from the Old Testament:
17“Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. 18For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, 19or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, 20or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles... that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am the LORD who sanctifies them.”
This God isn't fooling around. Best to keep those body parts eh? Well, if you're a Priest of Aaron. Either way, all of this is connected. (if you believe the Bible is the full word of God that is.)
So here's the real fun thing about that worm not dying: When do worms NOT die in fire? Well, it's when they don't have a body that dissolves or burns. Similar to what might happen to Satan and demons in a hellish fire - they just ain't gonna burn without a certain type body. So here's the connection that everyone seems to be missing: The Rich man and Lazarus account:
The rich man also died and was buried, 23and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’
Do recall that this is hippy guru liberal social justice Jesus telling this tale - (so they say. It's also the Biblical "Commander of the Lord's Army" - "Robe dipped in Blood Jesus" Sheesh! How do they keep missing that?). Revelation 19
He has a name written on Him that only He Himself knows. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is The Word of God. 14The armies of heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and pure, follow Him on white horses.…
Anyway, back to Lazarus: So here we get a story of a guy sitting in flames, NOT burning or melting, and able to chat about somebody dipping their fingers in water... honestly, anyone ever tried that? Any success? Refreshing is it? Somehow the guy can still speak. You can bet I'd be screeching for a KEG of water - packed in ice.
I realize that many assume that the Lazarus and Rich man episode is either a parable or conglomerated teaching tool. ( I'm leaning towards the conglomerated teaching bit - timelines be damned. maybe?) Jesus doesn't owe us anything with this account. But its contents should tell us a thing or two about Jesus being able to share a spiritual Stephen King type scenario.
Anyway, my point is: People in hell have non-burning bodies. SHAZZAM! Just like the worm, just like Satan. Nobody will be burning up and quickly dissolving. How come nobody ever brings this up? It's not complicated. Those in hell will not be requiring water, or food, or toiletries, or mormon underwear. God will give them exactly what they require for their stay: NOTHING. It will not be like that time Homer Simpson was in hell and Satan turned his head into a tasty donut. In a fiery Inferno of hell: most people would cease to exist in a few toasty moments. That is not how God is going to deal with a sin nature that desires to rebel for all eternity. He will simply let them have it. No reason to assume they will stop sinning in thought and mind. But there won't be any deeds to sin with. Not sitting alone.
To recap: Worms don't die, not because they are awesome demi-gods, but because what they're made of simply won't dissolve - their spirit will be intact for all eternity. But seriously, this isn't about worms. That was just a clue. People in hell will not have disposable bodies, or bodies that require much of anything. This is not a challenge for God. Will anyone in heaven have body problems for all eternity? Wouldn't be much fun if we kept losing arms and legs or needed an eternal amount of Scotty toilet paper.
"God is love... love keeps no record of wrongs... therefore no Hell."
Says one of the progressive authors of this book. Ummmh? This is just liberal cherry-picking at its lamest. Remember those verses about the Books that are opened on judgement day? They might apply here: Apparently there's LOTS of records of wrongs. The interesting part is that there is MORE books. The bad ones. Revelation 20
12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.
So apparently God DOES keep records of wrongs. I'll expect that bit to be carefully edited in HELLRAZED? 2nd edition. (although not many are buying this so far. That's a relief.) But just for fun: Here's the other books.
May they be blotted out of the book of life And may they not be recorded with the righteous.
Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
Like them, the one who is victorious will be clothed in white garments. And I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father and His angels.
Seems like a common thread. WE also get Paul in Philippians 4
Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
So we have Jesus, Moses, David, Daniel, Paul and John all discussing this book of life. And this somewhat clear verse in Revelation 20
And if anyone was found whose name was not written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
It shouldn't be hard to see how everything in scripture is connected and confirms God's plan. There IS a book of life. Best not to call it a rich metaphor or parable or myth when that many Christian SAINTS confirm it from beginning to end of scripture.
One ludicrous author even goes so far as to say:
"...Christianity is a fear based religion... which is why so many Christians are violent."
I'm sorry but - What world does this idiot live in? Does he even know what a Christian is? If you aren't loving your neighbor AND ENEMY... then you might not be a Christian. We are no longer Israelites fighting for a promised land (that's another serious issue) we are on a mission for Jesus. And if you ain't - then you might NOT be a Christian. But we are not God; we don't have his insights into the elect. We are simply to attempt to love everyone and share the Good News of the Gospel.
Okay, next bit of stupidity:
"Acts of kindness aren't a platform from which to share the Gospel; they are the gospel."
KIndness is NOT the gospel. Jesus dying on the cross to pay a price we could never pay FOR OUR NASTY SINS before a Holy and Just God to gather people for His eternal loving Kingdom: Now That's the Gospel. Muslims doing nice things for Wiccans who care about atheists - does not equal Gospel. Don't lose focus people. It's all about Jesus.
I can't believe any so-called Christian could even come up with this next blasphemous sentence:
"This can only be answered once one has been shown the Fallacy of the so-called High View of Scripture, where the Bible IS God's Word..."
Sadly, this sums up the books content. The Bible is definitely NOT God's word for these authors. So even their attempt to use the Bible to dismantle hell is mischievous and deceptive. Then they go on to say:
"Most importantly, I agree with everything Jesus believed and taught about Hell."
But we know they don't. Recall Jesus saying these:
And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you will descend to Hades! For if the miracles that were performed in you had happened in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.
For the Son of Man will come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done.
47And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’
36Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
So put all those things together and... Jesus had a lot to say about hell. None of it good. None of it with hope. And he never mentions people getting OUT OF HELL. And it appears the nasty fires of hell don't go out.
"We must not hold to a perverse doctrine that God subjects all non-Christians to eternal conscious torment."
Well, such says this book. But the Bible is even more brutal than that. Here's a verse that should scare every Charismatic: Matthew 7
21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
HellRAZED? It certainly appears so. Jesus had a lot to say about hell. The wise thing to do is put all the pieces together and see what you get. Certainly NOT what these authors insist (they ignore hundreds of Bible verses). So here's a Biblical hell:
God's judgement as shown by books and records of wrong doings (unless your covered by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus). Satan's children will be sent to the lake of fire for an eternity. They will not physically burn up, there will be no resources or food. There will be no need for resources or food. People will not be specifically or personally tortured. They WILL be alone -- Hitler will not be their nextdoor neighbor and dropping by for tea. Their punishments will be self-inflicted. They will have an eternity without God bothering them or disciplining them. They will be free with their sinful nature to do... mostly nothing.
Its all about Jesus. His Kingdom. His rules. And His love for the Father's children. ...more
Notes are private!
Mar 18, 2018
Mar 29, 2018
Mar 17, 2018
Jan 01, 2007
Nov 06, 2007
did not like it
What an evil witch (in the laziest use of the term). Never forget: Browne acknowledges space aliens and crop circles (and possibly Bigfoot). Soooooo. What an evil witch (in the laziest use of the term). Never forget: Browne acknowledges space aliens and crop circles (and possibly Bigfoot). Soooooo. Let the games begin.
Sylvia loves to comment on Love and Peace and relationships. Never forget:
"Browne married five times. Her first marriage, from 1959 to 1972, was to Gary Dufresne. The couple had two sons, one of whom (Christopher Dufresne) she says is a psychic. Her second marriage, to Joe Tschirhart in 1952, was annulled soon afterward. Her third marriage was to Kensil Dallzell Brown, after which she began using his last name and later changed it to Browne. From 1994 through 2002, she was married to Larry Beck. In 2009, she married Michael Ulery, a jewelry store owner."
Always keep her comments in perspective. Her spirit guide Francine (personal DEMON) insists that there are no actual demons. Ummmh? What else would a demon say? But never forget: Sylvia claims to be a Christian - and it's not hard to see how the Christian Bible (word of God) mentions demons from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus dealt with demons on a few occasions. If the Bible can't be trusted on a systematic recurring theme like that? Then why claim to be a Christian at all? Unless you do what Sylvia does - and twist every Bible verse you come near. Her gnostic Christianity is not even close to any historical Biblical claims of the last 2000 years. She's even a horrible excuse for a gnostic. It is fun that she even admits there's no general agreement amongst gnostics on much of anything. Even the gnostic writings she keeps boasting of mock her claims for feminism and enlightened women's values and meaning.
Can we trust this lady about the truth of the universe and spirituality? Never forget:
"In 1992, Sylvia and Kensil Brown were accused of illegally selling securities that had not been registered with the State of California. Both were also charged with misrepresentations and grand theft, and Kensil was additionally charged with fraud. The complaint stated that (a) the Browns obtained a $20,000 investment in their gold-mining venture by misrepresenting the financial status of the company, (b) instead of using the money for operating expenses, the Browns used much of it to pay for personal and corporate indebtedness, (c) a few weeks later the Browns declared bankruptcy without telling the investor, and (d) the Browns falsely told the investor that his money would be recovered when the mining equipment was sold. In 1993, the Browns pleaded "no contest" to a felony violation of "sale of securities without permit."
This is essential and fun:
"In 2010, Skeptical Inquirer published a comprehensive analysis of Sylvia's predictions about missing persons. Using Internet and other database searches, the authors located 115 cases. In 90 of these, the outcome could not be determined because the cases had not been solved. In 25, however, where the outcome was known, she was wrong every time.
The authors concluded: These 115 cases prove devastating to Browne's claims of helping police and families. It is hard to understand how someone with such a dismal record continually tops bestseller lists and maintains a following."
And yet people keep trusting this lady and embracing her hilarious claims to being a scholar.
more to come... nah, that's more than enough. ...more
Notes are private!
Dec 18, 2017
Dec 19, 2017
Dec 18, 2017
Sep 22, 2015
Sep 22, 2015
did not like it
Armstrong babble. Mostly useless liberal academic fodder for the gullible.
I gave up after a while - maybe I'll try and finish it someday.
Notes are private!
Oct 10, 2017
Nov 04, 2017
Oct 10, 2017
Feb 16, 2006
it was ok
Imagine a Local College has a first year literary course that challenges students to write an existential action novel by mixing The Davinci Code with Imagine a Local College has a first year literary course that challenges students to write an existential action novel by mixing The Davinci Code with Logan's Run and drowning it in Sam Harris's Waking Up (atheistic Buddhist psycho-babble)... then Oprah guarantees the winner will be featured in her book club and it will be strategically placed in the best sellers list.
But the author doesn't get his own joke: so he writes even more books milking this dead cow for all it's worth. (I just guessed at that Oprah crap - turns out i'm a prophet. IT'S PATHETICALLY TRUE)
Oh Crap NO?! There's a movie for this TOO... and many many more books. And a pocket guide?! Imagine sending your kid to school with a Celestine Prophecy Lunch Box? (There's some folks who think this is a masterpiece of Cosmic truth and sociological relevance ---- same thing happened with the Davinci Code. I may have assumed the same when, as a kid, watching Logan's Run for the first time. Farrah Fawcett gets killed in that flick "sniff"... Charlie's Angels was dead to me after that.)
So I did the audiobook on this bit of linguistic Poo. Not the good POOH - Like Winnie~
I thought this was gonna be some brilliant historical/theological tale like the Robe or something with chanting Monks (like the Awesome 3rd(?) book of the Odd Thomas series.) but no: it's more like a Steven Seagal low budget movie where he tries to be a Tom Hanks fighting the Vatican Counsel.
Basically, some thin character comes across people referencing THE MANUSCRIPT and then looks for the 10 Buddhist/Confucius like sayings that give Cosmic Ambiguity and light meaning to all of human existence. The author shows us his true understandings by having the CHURCH run around trying to silence and destroy all the manuscripts. And there's some Enlightenment magic Chakras and glowing hippy astral AURAS floating about. (so we know it's TRUE).
the story is kinda light and fun. but the author takes this crap VERY seriously - as do many of his readers... so does his publisher: who allows numerous additions of this buffoonery to hit the stockroom shelves. ...more
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Sep 20, 2017
Sep 27, 2017
Sep 20, 2017
Jul 16, 2013
Jul 16, 2013
did not like it
I suffered through the audiobook on this one. His smarmy voice was like a rich-well dressed "used car salesman" selling you a Gremlin or Pinto (I some I suffered through the audiobook on this one. His smarmy voice was like a rich-well dressed "used car salesman" selling you a Gremlin or Pinto (I somewhat apologize to fans of those Lemon-cars everywhere.)
I had to get the actual book out of the library - I was curious about his endless sources: I don't think he actually read anything the Christian church put out in the last 1900 years. (sounded like just a bunch of mangled modern liberal fodder for secular freshman religious students too dumb to question their Prof).
His sources were indeed liberal silliness and ANYTHING that applauded his current thoughts. For a guy who boasts about his credentials and scholarship: He said his book had OVER a 100 pages of sources. Actually - it had about 65. Not sure why he he assumed that he needed to exaggerate that detail. I'm pretty sure nobody really cares. (I did check the hardcover version.)
Many other Goodreads reviewers pointed out the many flaws in this foolishness. One is his dependence on Josephus as Factual Reliable Truth. Basically NO SCHOLAR fully trusts Josephus (the Jewish sell-out Historian of the fall of Jerusalem) as an unbiased observer and chronicler.
Now I can see why the Fox News interview went so wrong: this author is so full of himself that he has to desperately dismantle the entire Bible to force in his cherry picked presumptions. How dare anyone question his brilliance? The Fox News lady simply called him out on it - and he cried like a little liberal baby. I'm gonna go watch that clip again just for fun and giggles. He could have simply answered her very direct questions - instead: He got all offended and started pouting and complaining.
but here's the problem: Jesus is simply Not a Zealot.
So what is a Zealot? Here's a basic definition for Reza:
"a member of an ancient Jewish sect aiming at a world Jewish theocracy and resisting the Romans until AD 70."
Ummh? Reza failed to notice how the ENTIRE Bible has Jesus as an eternal King with a Cosmic Kingdom (yes, full of angels, and heavenly thrones, and a Cosmic judgement day for all who ever lived...)
So this book is Reza desperately trying to get rid of all those pesky Bible verses that state something other than his tired ZEALOT theory. He fails again and again...
The freakin weird quote in the book is when Reza says that (I'll paraphrase from the audiobook): "I love the Jesus of my own making and understanding even more than the Historical Biblical Christian Jesus of the Trinity".
I know, I know... He said he loves his zealot Jesus more than the Bible Jesus. Ummmh? His zealot Jesus failed, died, and is very poorly recorded (and has almost Zero historical influence on culture). What's to love? But this shows us how emotional this issue is for Reza. Nothing scholarly about it.
In order for Reza to attempt to remove the "Christian Gospel's Jesus" he had to undo numerous Bible writers and characters and historic theologians. He wasted as much ink on this effort as possible. Therefore, when Reza stands before God on Judgement day i'm thinking the Apostle Paul is going to walk up to him and knee him in the groin. Followed by Luke simply slapping him. John the Baptist is gonna poke him in the eye. And Jesus' Mother Mary is going to give him a very long lecture and scolding (the way only a loving Mother could). Then Reza will have a hot/dry eternity to reflect on all the crap he just wrote and spread to the gullible masses. Bad Reza: Never attempt to distort and lie about the Old and New Testament.
Boringly enough, i've noticed that almost all REAL Christian scholars are simply ignoring Reza and his shoddy efforts.
(Okay, I looked around some more: they didn't sit down and write books to counter Reza's imagination. But a few made quick video's and articles simply showing him all the information he abused and confused.)
Acts17Apologetics ministry said that Reza totally missed this verse in the Bible: Leviticus 19
33“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
William Lane Craig said that Reza missed everything else. Bad Reza!
I've also noticed that he's lost his CNN career. And Muslims don't really like him either. ...more
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Jul 24, 2017
Aug 14, 2017
Jul 24, 2017
Jan 01, 1998
May 01, 1998
it was ok
Cool! I should love this - a book about expelling demons with lots of Bible quotes and exorcisms...
I definitely believe everything the Bibl Cool! I should love this - a book about expelling demons with lots of Bible quotes and exorcisms...
I definitely believe everything the Bible says about God, Demons and Angels, and Cosmic warfare from the spiritual realm. But I simply don't trust it being told by a charismatic emotional faith-healer from the 20th century ((August 1915 - September 2003). (who has most likely spent ZERO time in actual hospitals healing people and exorcising their demons of tooth-decay.) Pretty much every faith healer and exorcist only does their magic shenanigans in spiritual buildings surrounded by gullible people with heightened insecure emotions.
...except possibly the group of people i had to tolerate at my local christian coffee shop/book store... who continually kept casting-out each other's demons of tobacco ---- until they got bored and went outside for a smoke. I barely looked up from my book: this crap seldom amuses me anymore. Occasionally it's extremely funny though. (thank you Benny Hinn and his magic wizard coat -- yes! look it up on youtube. Benny Hinn and the mad lightsaber. I dare you.)
So, should we Expel demons like Derek Prince insists? Well, mostly no. God put them in our game for a reason. Probably to stir the pot so we don't just sit around smoking pot all day. Demons create false religions, toy around with some fortune tellers and New Age hippies, instigate a world domination on occasion (Hitler, Stalin, definitely North Korea and Saudi Arabia, Columbian drug lords? Or liberal democratic parties).
But do they crawl in our mouths and give us tooth decay and bad breath? I know if I was a demon i'd shoot for a higher priority career opportunity - hard to brag for an eternity that cavities and root canals were your life's work. (actually - if you're a dentist: this makes your job way more exciting and puts you on the frontlines of Cosmic Warfare. Maybe you should go to work dressed like Samurai tomorrow?)
I was hoping (and not expecting) this book to give us some serious scholarly Bible quotes and commentary about demons and their behavior. Mostly we get very emotional "Pentecostal" comprehensions from the Assembly of God charismania that's been tolerated since the Azusa Street stupidity of 1906. Hence - I learned nothing useful.
I did find out that Derek Prince thinks that demons are NOT fallen angels. He assumes we have angels, and then we have Daemons:
(page 91) "they are disembodied spirits of a pre-Adamic race that perished under some judgement by God not recorded in detail in scripture."
What the HELL? I guess that explains UFO's??? Or possibly vampires and werewolves.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Derek quickly assumes that Evil In Heavenly Places is actually evil in HEAVEN. That's just kind of lazy. Especially when we have verses like 2 kings:
15When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
So what exactly IS the heavenly places? Best just to assume it's NOT the physical world we dwell in. Similar to this tale:
6Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job...
Many Christians (even scholars???) assume that means the sons of God went up to heaven to present themselves. I don't think so. Sons of God could be a few different things (Is Adam a son of God?). Are angels REALLY Sons of God? More likely this is similar to Cain & Abel in Genesis 4:
3In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, 5but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?
They didn't go up to heaven to do that. No reason to assume the others did either - or that Satan has any access to heaven AT ALL. Yes, we gotta love this verse: Revelation 12.
7Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Always good to get your Bible facts from more than 1 verse or book. Let's go to Luke 10:18
And he (Jesus) said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven."
And the New Testament and Old should always be inagreement: Isaiah
"How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!"
Maybe it's just me - but this FALLEN ANGEL theory seems right out of scripture. Many scriptures actually. How did Derek miss all of this? And he misses a lot more too.
Derek Prince says "I find it hard to believe that demons are fallen angels."
I find it hard to believe that demons AREN'T fallen angels. I'm pretty sure that if there's another player in the game - God would have told us.
Do we need to go around casting out demons in this day and age? Not necessarily in my neighborhood (Unless you smoke near my local Charismatic coffee-shop). My theory is:
At one time there were 2 people on Earth =--- and maybe a billion demons? Or a few million? Maybe a lot less? Who knows.
Now we have 7 billion people. Therefore the ratio of people to demons is severely altered. Especially if some people are hogging a legion or two all to themselves (probably some singer of a Swedish Metal band?). Either way: not a lot of demons on the internet or Youtube. Yes! I checked. Some amusing exorcists of course. I thought demons would have more interesting things to say? Especially since they've been around for a few thousand years. Oh well. If a demons talking: best to assume they are lying.
My take on demon "interaction" has always been that of the Arch-angel Michael: Jude 1
9But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”
Yep, if a demon (or Satan?) bothers you - simply say "NO." or "The Lord Rebuke You.". Don't have a lengthy conversation about theological or ethical matters of state. You COULD try and cast them into some pigs or chickens... but make sure it's a wimpy animal that fits on a BBQ - you wouldn't want it to turn around and eat you. Don't send them into a nearby pack of wolves or marching Elephants.
My first thought reading this book was: Where is Jesus in all this?
That's why I gave this book 2 stars. Derek seems to truly love the Jesus of the bible. It's just that he's charismatically destructive about theology in general. Many of his Bible quotes are taken out of context and applied to his demon fighting ministry. He manages to find demons EVERYWHERE... and so do his followers. He's qualified to MAYBE teach sunday school to toddlers, but nothing seriously academic.
Having dealt with many Pentecostals and Charismatics, it's common to see that some people are desperate to be involved in a showy Spiritual Fight. Their very existence depends on them being high priority to Satan and demons. The Universe sits in the balance as their dentist is unsure about that bit of spinach stuck between their teeth.
Now to be fair:
I've heard John MacArthur (Anti-charismatic?) speak of his experience with demons and demon possessed people. I actually trust John's accounts. He almost never even bothers to bring this stuff up. He doesn't make a ministry of it, and he doesn't even bother to really write books about it. It's low on his priority list. And mine.
A problem with this book is: It speaks endlessly about demons (or Daemons?) and says almost nothing about angels. What does Derek think angels are up to? We Christians should have them covering our backs... and fighting off these tobacco and tooth-decaying indwellers. So where are all of Derek's angels?
11For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
That is why I don't worry about demons. Angels know their job. We have ours - and I don't think it is necessarily the same job as those establishing the church back in Jerusalem in the 1st century. After the book of Acts Of The Apostles --- demon hunting seems to have slowed way down. Paul and Peter had other priorities.
Our main job is still dealing with human beings and man's sin. Remember: God put demons in this game for a reason. He even uses them and allows them to do their thing. Their nature is set... We don't need their help in sinning --- we are AWESOME at it.
I do have a favorite bible verse about demons and their appearance: Revelation 16
"Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet."
Do demons look like frogs? Hmmm... aren't aliens said to be green/grey and look kinda like frogs? Probably just coincidence.
Now we should deal with the Gospel according to Mark, it's demon claim:
17"And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Jesus was speaking directly to the remaining eleven disciples. They were discussing THEIR MINISTRY. The top priority was establishing the foundation of the Christian Church. So we shouldn't necessarily assume demon casting is going to be a daily occurrence for the next 19 centuries. Personally: I'm speaking in a NEW tongue right now (there wasn't any English back then). Honestly, i've never heard of a missionary being given the gift of miraculously speaking in a foreign language since the Bible days ---- only insecure white people in suburban communities seem to ever present this gift. Weird and useless eh? The Bible shows us clearly that the Apostles spoke in foreign languages of their day Miraculously. I haven't heard of anyone REALLY doing it since. Every missionary claims to spend a few years learning native languages as needed. Hmmm...
Please walk into a hospital and lay your hands on the sick --- I'll wait. Prove me wrong.
To end on a funny note:
Nobody in the Bible is really afraid of demons. Most people simply find them annoying. Yet most are terrified by an Angel appearance: "Fear NOT."
It's funny that Dante, charimatics, and Hollywood make us afraid of demons. As do some cultic churches. Probably Biblically best to just see them as annoying pests.
You can read this book - but be careful what you learn from it. There are some fruity exorcism stories... and almost Zero references or footnotes to validate anything. ...more
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Jul 16, 2017
Aug 07, 2017
Jul 16, 2017
Jan 01, 2014
Sep 09, 2014
did not like it
I tried to finish this, I really did. But NO - just NO.
So here we have the next big THANG for world religions and Cultural spiritism: Religionless rel I tried to finish this, I really did. But NO - just NO.
So here we have the next big THANG for world religions and Cultural spiritism: Religionless religion - for the lazy atheists who don't want to get up Sunday Morning, but don't really want to feel left out during the Starbucks spiritual chats ---- "I'M SPIRITUAL TOO."
the fun part is knowing that all those hardcore internet atheists (and first year humanistic atheistic philosophy/sociology students at your local college) have really lost Sam Harris from their Skeptical Free-Thinkers hate Club. Harris is NOT really an atheist - he's more of a Buddhist Guru who can't really define his god. So he assumes it's himself. (Is this much different than Hindu's and their Monkey Gods? Possibly no.)
So this book is about Sam Waking UP to some kind of cosmic consciousness. Soon maybe he'll start dressing like a Hari Krishna and chanting about Cosmic enlightenment and Peace (If you buy enough of his books that is - or maybe financially he'll have no choice if you don't Buy Buy Buy?)
But sam is still clueless and full of crap - but rather than Atheistic Crap: It's NEW and improved Spiritual CRAP. (1/3 less filling, and you can sleep in Sundays and never have to tithe or repent.)
I haven't noticed him dealing with the hellbeings, hungry ghosts, and Demi-gods of Buddhism yet? He better not buddy up with the Dalai Lama too quickly - they got a lot of religious dogma and doctrine to work through before they chant in caves and share their hippy herbs. And Mr. Lama has some women's issues that Sam is going to have to straighten him out on. ...more
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Aug 16, 2017
Sep 23, 2017
May 02, 2017
Feb 24, 2015
Feb 24, 2015
I was ready to toss this in the dumpster... but then it got very entertaining.
Since the title is: Finding Jesus - Faith, Fact, Forgery. Six Holy Objec I was ready to toss this in the dumpster... but then it got very entertaining.
Since the title is: Finding Jesus - Faith, Fact, Forgery. Six Holy Objects That Tell The Remarkable Story Of The Gospels
I partially knew what to expect from a book with a CNN sticker on the front advertising THEIR Finding Jesus original tv series shenanigans. Of course we get lots of crap scholarship and quotes from liberal universities and their modern prophets: Like Bart Ehrman, Karen King, Elaine Pagels, and a Meier and Meyer. It even dares mention Bill O'Reilly. Since most of this book is about desperate supposed artifacts and mythic secrets of Christianity: WE have endless references to the Catholic Church and historic silliness.
But strangely, half way through the book I started enjoying it and even smirking - the authors themselves started slightly mocking the liberal scholars they were thrusting at us. They seldom gave their own personal beliefs on these sacred objects, but you could sense they began to have valid opinions.
SOOoooo, what 6 sacred objects did they round up exactly?
1) The Bones of John the Baptist
2) James (Jesus brother) personal burial box (coffin)
3) The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
4) The Gospel of Judas
5) Splinters and woody chunks of Jesus' cross
6) Jesus' burial cloth (Shroud of Turin)
So this book offered numerous opinions of Yaayers and Naayers on these objects. The only one I found even slightly possible (based on huge freakin' miracles and a sneaky deity) is the Shroud of Turin - but I wouldn't lose sleep (or my religion) over it.
Indeed, we can learn a fair bit about religious folks through this hoarding of spiritual mayhem. People are very desperate for certain things to be authentic. It's especially amusing when insanely liberal scholars insist that lost forgotten Gnostic Gospels by Mary and Judas and Thomas and Peter etc... are reliable sources of history and possible enlightenment. YES, these sacred cows aren't worth hoisting onto the BBQ.
But a fun romp through the Bible was had. Even if none of the numerous scholars I trust were mentioned anywhere in this book. Yep, CNN indeed: All about the ratings and media controversy. ...more
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Apr 03, 2017
Apr 15, 2017
Apr 03, 2017
Oct 13, 2015
Oct 04, 2016
did not like it
Oh my Freakin' Goodness this is one of the worst self-help church-bashings and insanities I've ever come across.
"Not judging does not mean you Oh my Freakin' Goodness this is one of the worst self-help church-bashings and insanities I've ever come across.
"Not judging does not mean you ignore reckless behavior."
This entire book is filled with reckless behavior: sexually, theologically, ethically, morally, financially, materially, spiritually, and comically. Then she proceeds to judge and condemn all those who Conservatively don't agree with her gay black social gospel agenda.
She failed to notice that the Bible is a huge book of judgement: it shows us how to properly judge values, ethics, morality, family, the church, business, AND SEX. But Lydia has it all backwards. She even gives us some extremely pornographic examples that NO-Christian woman would consider mentioning in a book. It almost seems she brags and boasts about it. (please - some things: just keep for yourself. Simply saying your man is actively gay is more than enough.)
So the Gay Preacher's Wife is all about poor hardworking wife and Mom "Lydia Meredith", and her dangerous confused tolerance involving a few Black Social Gospel church communities and families. (she even tries to tie in civil rights issues and sexual rights to prove her point. That is just silly)
I try so hard to partially feel pity for those angry Black Lives Matter victims - but this book doesn't help. Apparently their problems are 100% in house (or IN-FAMILY) as this tale shows. Now i've been going to mostly conservative white churches for around 40 years --- and NOTHING i've ever seen matches the Freakin' retarded spiritual crap in this book - and i've seen some church crap. (and I don't mean the Gay stuff). If this is how the majority of black Christians are behaving and THINKING then lets just rename these churches BLACK VEGAS SOCIAL BROTHEL AND CASINO EMPORIUMS: Jesus is most likely busy somewhere else (maybe with the Chinese?)
So Lydia tries to take Mommy's suggestion and marry for success.
"I wanted someone who could bring wealth to the relationship."
Hmmm? She gets a Bi-sexual handsome man who then spends the rest of his days in pornography and weird Gay scenarios - who then brings home STD's and even secret boyfriends - oh, and he becomes a somewhat successful Preacher Man. Sure, they tried the family thing and had 3 boys (one who ends up equally confused spiritually and sexually, and flounders through basic drug and Daddy problems. Let's not even bother with the other two for now - lets just say "Black Social Gospel for everyone".
Now if that isn't weird enough - she also claims God spoke to her and insisted she marry porn-man preacher.
"...and God's voice emerged in my broken spirit, saying, Dennis Meredith will be your husband."
Often, the voice in your broken spirit: IS YOU. Or possibly Satan and his buddies, or maybe your inner lusts and insecurities. So is all this God's fault? Well, the voice didn't actually say it was a good idea or prophecy - just general stupidness and immorality that can't be denied. But it's safe to say this is the beginning of all errors in this book. Now she actually shows that some elders in her church might have actually had some discernment: they recognized a false preacher in their midst... But Lydia mostly denies this and accuses these folks of being judgmental and NOT open to the spirit. She still does this even today. This is the basic curse that all those with God-given discernment must embrace: people don't like when God says "NO" or calls out evil and untruth.
This lady gets 1 star for simply attempting to share her story. But she also uses her abused life to demand others follow her current revelations about sex and love and God's truth. That is the bit that has me miffed. (no hate here - I'd love to get to know this lady. But I doubt we'd agree on much: other than her cooking)
She seems to have no understanding of God's holiness or purity. She bends every law and bit of scripture she can to defend her current surroundings and emotions. Sadly, she eventually ends up at Andy Stanley's church (and he's not a real big fan of the Bible as God's factual Word to a sinful planet either... yes, yes Lydia - it's all in the translation you say).
This lady takes a few liberal Bible courses and assumes she's spiritually enlightened and can now see how the Bible actually agrees with her views. (I wish I had a dollar for...)
She even confusingly states: (pg. 234)
"What happened to the SIN NO MORE part? Some churches have become a place of mercy but not a place of truth and accountability. Some churches have truth and accountability but no mercy. Some churches have neither."
The problem is this lady doesn't understand SIN or truth. Or Jesus. Actually - there's very little Jesus in this entire book. Sure, there's lots of emotional social gospel and revival type crap, but no Jesus dying for our sins. Sin is not a word that black churches seem to take seriously at all. (don't get all self-righteous: white churches have words that they don't take seriously either). Lydia shows us endlessly how Black preachers are handsome, rich, womanizing, fleecers of the flock, prideful, social justice showmen. But then she claims they are men of god??? being used by god???? for the good of god???? What the HELL?! Maybe, just maybe - these are NOT men of God. I know, I'm just going out on a limb here - these are Satan's children doing HIS will. Remember all that bit in the Bible about living in the flesh and sexual immorality? Nope? didn't think so.
Please go read 2 Peter. It'll take you 3 minutes. I'll even post some here:
False Prophets and Teachers (2nd Peter)
1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies... 2And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8(for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, 11whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. 12But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, 13suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. 14They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! 15Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
17These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.
Well wasn't that fun? This whole book was her poor attempts to complain about false black preachers and church-goers --- while attempting to separate those wonderful loving GLBTQ etc. from what God dares to call sin. She wants to condemn one - yet wants to support sexual immorality at the same time. She just wants to redefine it.
Now, you don't go to hell for being gay, or having gay thoughts or desires. I may have the same problems with Ice Cream and action movies. But as a heaven bound Christian: You can't take the abuse of these things with you to God's paradise. If God says "NO" - then that settles that issue. WE are to obey: no matter how much we WANT/DESIRE/CRAVE a feeling or emotion.
I find it rather amusing that Gay people go on and on about being Gay (or GLBTQ...). I know heterosexual people who never mention sex. They aren't married, Have no time for Porn or lust (far as I know?) and deal with other temptations and desires.
The problem isn't having gay desires - it's feeding and making those desires into the meaning of your existence. We are here to glorify God and know him: NOT TO BE GAY or HETEROSEXUAL.
The final chapter is very interesting: Eight Signs That Your Partner may be gay.
Now if you use words like Partner; then there's probably gay going on. Just saying. Lady starts this chapter by stating a blanket obvious "I spent a lot of time in my marriage being clueless." Sure, sure, she has no problem claiming hindsight --- but the weird issue is that she claims to be clued in NOW. Honestly, very little has changed: she's now trying to justify her present mindset and scenario. Here goes:
THIS LADY HAS ZERO DISCERNMENT
Okay, I said it. This isn't the end of the world for Lydia. She has many of other spiritual gifts: Discernment just isn't one of them. She's compassionate, giving, loving, hard-working, organized, trustworthy... just Zero discernment. My gift is Biblical truth AND discernment - but I fail at many of her gifts. For that reason you don't see me writing books about compassion and being nice. The truth is seldom nice. Even God's truth of hell and justice and WRATH are not nice. God's election is even less nice (YES, it's in the Bible. God reaches down and saves SOME sinners. Get over it!)
Okay, I gotta throw this out there:
She mentions her son and husband are naturally gay. Then she mentions that both her son and husband were sexually abused during their childhoods? I'm sorry, what? Nobody else see's the connect? Okay, carry on then.
(Imagine, somebody takes your new car and drives it into a tree --- it now pulls to the left and leaks oil... yet you say it must have been designed that way by the almighty Henry Ford.) Children who are sexualized at young ages: may become confused and rewired. This does not make it God-ordained and natural. Just broken. Don't put your science before your lab-mice.
She mentions 2 verses from Proverbs 3. (verses 3 and 4 actually) But she fails to comprehend all of it. Here it is:
1My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
2for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.
3Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
8It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
9Honor the LORD with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
11My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12for the LORD reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
13Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
Basically, Lydia ignores every 2nd line in that prophecy and teaching: Don't forget teachings and commandments, Don't lean on your own understandings, don't pretend to be wise in your own eyes, turn away from evil, honor God with your wealth, don't despise God's discipline or be weary of reproof (YES, i'm reproofing you right now), Go find Biblical Wisdom. NOW!
This book ends insanely:
"My X-husband told me that for most of his life he contemplated suicide; and that battling cancer he promised God, "God, if you let me live, I promise I will be a voice for gay men and women in America." Today, Dennis only thinks about living."
And her discernment is shut off once again. Maybe her god can squeeze in just one more gay-social black revival. (best not to build this voice on a thousand other lies and broken promises. Hmmm...) ...more
Notes are private!
Mar 23, 2017
Mar 26, 2017
Mar 23, 2017
Feb 02, 2016
Apr 05, 2016
did not like it
This is indeed the most useless piece of Liberal/emotional theological Crap I have ever been submerged in. This book actually caused me to quit my chu This is indeed the most useless piece of Liberal/emotional theological Crap I have ever been submerged in. This book actually caused me to quit my church (of 21 years - Bye bye Wesleyan Methodist theology. Nice people, bad-lazy beliefs. Moving on was inevitable, just needed ONE MORE damning great reason) because of a recurring guest speaker who thinks fondly of this moron. I don't go to church for Uncertainty about life, the universe, and everything. That's what Universities/Colleges are for.
Okay then. This is going to be long and thorough. AND nasty! But the truth of God's Word is at the very heart of this criticism.
Quote from Goodreads title:
"...how Christians mistake “certainty” and “correct belief” for faith when what God really desires is trust and intimacy."
Or the book title itself:
"The Sin of Certainty - Why God desires our trust more than our Correct beliefs"
So, as I read this book I was looking for one Major thing: Which GOD? If we are going to trust someone or something - then we should at least know a fact or two about "IT" (or it's character, or history, or intent, or future). We also need to know what SIN is? I searched every page for a fact or two about Peter Enns deity - or Jesus? And I was especially interested in how Peter KNEW this fact?. Since this whole book is Peter's truth claim: I wanted to know how he claims to have that truth? What is his core foundation for his Christianity? Is that too much to ask? Apparently.
I've been putting off doing this review for almost a year. This is a huge issue of Biblical proportions (for those who Trust the Bible to be God's Word, and for all the clueless Goodreads folk who dared to give this book more than 1 star) and I wanted to make sure it wasn't just an emotional rant. It's not - I've read 3 of Peter Enns books (and numerous other liberal theologians), and spent the last year chatting with liberal Bible-hating Christians. And, as always, i've been researching the Bible as to whether it's God's truthful Word - or just stories handed down from a Cosmic 8 year old. (for this kind of thinking: read Peter's last book "The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It")
But the real Sherlock Holmes mystery isn't the argument right in front of us (that's easy) it's the ability to sit back and see how far to either side this game really goes. I call it consistency. How far will Peter actually chase his rabbit down the hole? Or in scholarly terms (that he's so proud of): How sound and applicable is his logic and rationality?
So, I wanted to find out NOT just what Peter was for - but what he was against? And how much homework did he do to come to these conclusions. Comically, there are a lot of issues Peter doesn't touch. This should be the first warning bell for anyone who claims intelligence and yet applauds Peter.
Mr. Enns claims to be a Christian. But what does that even mean to him? Is he Catholic? Mormon? J.W.? Amish? Branch Davidian? Islamic? Can he worship with these OTHER believer's? How solid is his Christian doctrine? Should he start a new church of uncertainty? Who gets into THIS heaven? Is there a heaven? Does his deity even care, or left any messages at all? Will there be a judgement and a sorting? What exactly did his Jesus die for? Did he even die - or was it just a 1st century parable to make us join Green Peace?
We DON'T KNOW!!! Peter doesn't say.
Peter gets a cover quote from Sarah Bessey (a disciple of Rachel Held Evans). This quote gushes "This book is accessible, freeing, empowering, and beautiful all at the same time. I underlined almost every page."
Well Bimbo, I underlined crap on almost every page as well. But for purely Bad theological/Biblical/Logical reasons. Sarah wrote a rag called JESUS FEMINIST. So you can see where i'm going with this. Some educated Christian women gave her book 1 star and a good scolding. So, similar to Enns and his liberal fodder, here also is a pathetically abusive handling of God's word.
Okay, okay. By now people are probably protesting "Peter just loves Jesus and wants folks to relax and live at peace. Isn't that what Christianity is all about? It's okay if you're WRONG or uncertain about a few minor details."
I get it, we should sit back and let Peter be the joyful Down-syndrome kid at church who greets everyone with a proud "Jesus love you!". Actually that would be Great. (I'm excited to meet a few of these Saints in paradise). But unlike Tommy, Peter is at war. He is desperate to dismantle God's Word and reduce any actual historical/factual claims given to us in scripture. Peter demands that we have no CORRECT Biblical beliefs or doctrine that separates us from Cults and Heretics. Just one big happy CLUELESS mushy family of doubting uncertainties who desperately desire an intimate and trusting relationship with their god of choice. How logical and rational is that? Is that what Jesus died on the cross for? (of course, i'm still not sure if Peter's Jesus actually died on the cross? Peter's deity would never send a person -His Son - to be brutally murdered for His own Cosmic justice and wrath against Sin and Rebellion. The only real sin, that Peter is writing books about, is being CERTAIN about who and what Jesus is.)
10But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering...
My brain is apparently wired differently than 95% of other "liberal" Christian Goodreads reviewers. When authors start talking about having intimate trusting relationships with gods ---- I want to know something specific about this deity. Can you be intimate with uncertainty? Can you trust an ambiguous lack of information and CORRECTNESS in a deep relationship? If you boast of being unclear of correct beliefs: then possibly your beliefs will turn out to be WRONG. If we don't have correct beliefs about Hell; who's says we have correct beliefs about Heaven? Or good vs. evil? OR sin and morality? Or existence itself? YES - chase that rabbit down the wonderland hole.
Okay, I wrote about a thousand notes while reading Peter Enns book. Let's get started.
on the inner page I wrote: "I'd love to have a Bible study with this Chap." Mostly because then I could bring up hundreds of Bible verses that Enns fails to discuss. Like the many many references to a coming Messiah Savior in the Old Testament. (Like Isaiah 53:10 I quoted above). It's one thing for the Bible to be just a bunch of fanciful cultural myths that God smiles at --- but the Bible points to Jesus Specifically and CERTAINLY from beginning to end (thanks Holy Spirit). Now if I was a god: I wouldn't bury a bunch of prophecies in a mountain of lies and myths or fairytales. And then Demand people accept them or else. That's bad logic, even for a god. And worse: If Enns is right - god should never have used such damning specific literature at all. Maybe "IT" should just have put a Memo in the sky that mumbled something about loving and embracing incredibly unclear beliefs. I would love to watch Enns chat with a militant atheist. What could he possibly say to him? Maybe: "BELIEVE, or else... ummmh? Well, nothing really. god doesn't mind, or at least he didn't say much about it. Nothing certain anyway. "
Laughter moment: Peter Enns is now Episcopalian (well duh! that's a given)
I just found a quote from a blogger(?) Keeley Chorn:
" I had seminary professors lose tenure and jobs (Peter Enns and Douglas Green) because of the slightest nuances, which meant disrupting an entire school for the defenders of “truth,” who found it their purpose to safeguard the denomination from ideas that didn’t conform to their version of truth, to their reading and understanding of the faith and of the Bible. So, instead of divisiveness, I chose openness."
Welcome to the liberal world of Episcopalia. They must love having a celebrity like Mr. Enns. Strangely enough, I've argued with some Episcopalians who swore the denomination was EXTREMELY Doctrinally specific AND certain of the Truth of scripture and God's clear history and plan. And yet: Peter and other's stumble into their midst being fully embraced for their openness. So is it just a slight NUANCE that Peter see's no historical or factual truth in God's Word? The Bible itself certainly disagrees with this thought.
18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
It's clear that the Bible itself takes the words of God VERY CERTAINLY. Basically warns of being brushed off to hell for messing with God's words through the Prophets and Apostles.
and here's my favorite verse from Jesus about the certainty of scripture: Luke 16:31
31He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
Jesus VERY MUCH insists we clearly and Certainly hear Moses and the Prophets. Even the experience of rising from the dead is pointless and of little value. Sorry Pete - the Bible points back to the Bible. There's nothing else from God even to point to. How can you trust anything that has no clear correct beliefs attached to it?
And why trust a source that keeps stating that CORRECT BELIEFS are essential? You claim to be a christian who is defying Christianity itself. That's not logical.
Time to get into this book and its contents. Let's see what's worth poking at:
This book starts off with Peter trying to post scripture to prove his thesis. It fails instantly.
Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.
This book is about how to walk in darkness (or doubt and uncertainty). Apparently we are supposed to FEAR God (what chapter is that emphasized in?), we are also supposed to obey the voice of his servant (Is there a chapter here about the truth and certainty of fearing and obeying God from the trustworthy book of Isaiah? I sure hope so... I wouldn't want Peter to be deceitful.). And obviously "thanks to Peter's quote" we are to trust the God of Isaiah specifically and rely on the specific information we are given about this trustworthy deity.
I'm sure Peter thought of all this stuff when he chose to post that verse. WHAT?! He didn't? Then why are you reading his crap?
Next bit from the book: Peter posts from the Bible - Proverbs 3:5 (to prove his thesis once again). Fail.
Trust in the lord with all of your heart, and do not rely on YOUR OWN insight.
Ummmh? Peter? This entire book is your OWN insight. How does that logically work? You're telling me in 230 pages NOT to trust God's historical/factual/revealed Word, but to listen carefully to YOUR personal insight. That's just poorly thought out buddy. Is this your first day thinking?
Technically i'm not even on page 1 yet - and this book is filled with flaws and stupidity. Once again, Enns attempts to post another Bible verse to back up his OWN insight.
1 Corinthians 13:8-9
8Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end;
as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.
9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10But when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end.
11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child,
I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.
12For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,but then face to face.
Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.
Petey is all excited that knowledge will pass, and that we only know a little bit. The problem is that this is about the future and how FULL it will be. IT is actually pathetic that we are living like children with limited knowledge NOW - this isn't something to boast of Petey. Seriously. Put aside childish things (and thinking) and read the entire text in context. Eventually we will be FULLY CERTAIN of everything. WE should be questing for When The Perfect Comes. Only an idiot writes books applauding doubt - when doubt is coming to an end.
We've arrived at chapter one: I DON'T KNOW WHAT I BELIEVE ANYMORE
Yes, here all it takes is a Disney movie to get Mr. Enns into a faith crisis. I'm sorry WHAT?! This guy has been working at Bible Colleges, writing books, Teaching the Bible for how many years... and all it takes is a Disney flick to break his faith? Has he been living in a Evangelical faith Bubble for a few decades? Has he never seriously been challenged on his faith before? Never? What have you been doing all this time? Obviously not THINKING and philosophizing and any beginner apologetics.
In the movie a little girl says "...it's because we're all vile sinners that God made Jesus die... they have to believe it because it's in the Bible...if you don't believe in the Bible - God will damn you to hell when you die."
Peter Enns says "And with that, I was nostril deep in a faith crisis - which, I don't mind saying, is embarrassing to admit. It wasn't fair. I wasn't ready."
Peter states that he was watching this movie while he was on his way home from an academic conference. Seriously? He says he was a seminary professor at this time? Has Peter never met an atheist? Or any church-goer with a serious religious concern? OR chatted with a youth-group?
And NOW thousands of people are reading his books because they find him enlightening and freeing and scholarly? This guy is an idiot. (in the nice sense of the word). He was NEVER a scholarly seminary professor... characters in Disney movies befuddled his expertise. And now liberal christians cheer him on and give him 5 star ratings? What the HELL!?
To be fair, Enns does back pedal and attempts to cry about never being allowed to question his faith "I was taught that questioning too much was not safe Christian conduct - it would make God very disappointed in me indeed, and quite angry."
Does Peter even own a Bible? Almost every character in the Bible questions things. Some even argue with God and get angry. We are given the gift of discernment to be able to deal with false claims and confusion. The Holy Spirit even says it will teach and guide us. How the Hell was Peter Enns a Bible professor??? WE have to question EVERYTHING. Or we could end up a Hindu or Buddhist or Atheist... or Democrat.
HE then claims he had "A growth in my spirit that has led to closer intimacy with God."
Which God? The God that calls us vile sinners and damns many to hell? How does Peter even know he had a growth? How can you be intimate with a deity that gives you nothing to trust?
My concern on every page was - Peter tell me something FACTUAL about your God, anything. Now how do you know this outside of the Bible?
It strikes me that Peter NOT only has never chatted with atheists or struggling Christians (outside of Disney films), but he has given zero effort into theologically understanding Cults and world religions. Honestly, there isn't a religion on the planet (no matter how freakin' weird) that hasn't had a leader claim "A growth in my spirit that has led to closer intimacy with God." I'm pretty sure even Charles Manson and Jim Jones said claims like that.
Chapter One A.
"I believe these uh-oh moments get our attention like nothing else can. In fact, I believe they are God moments."
Similar to Satan in the Garden getting mankind to doubt God's Word, Peter assumes that God gets the credit for his uh-oh moments. Enns simply didn't do his homework. You were a religious professor that didn't bother to read EVERY John MacArthur Book, R.C. Sproul book, Ravi Zacharias book, Josh McDowell book, Endless books by actual Christian scientists who validate the Bible's truth. And don't get me started on the 1900 years of historical theologians who easily dealt with all of your crybaby issues before you. Can we be honest Mr. Enns: you ran to every liberal thinker and doubter that would applaud and support your itches and desires. We can tell by who your friends are, and where you ended up.
Peter complains, "Another dynamic at work here is how friends, family, and church members would handle it if they knew what you were thinking. Feeling judged and banished is a common story..."
Has Enns never heard of a theological debate? The Bible is full of them. Church history is full of them. The internet is now full of them. And for centuries BOOKS were full of them. These aren't new issues buddy. Seriously, have you never researched anything? Do you actually think you have some new questions or concerns for Christianity? What do you think God has been dealing with for 6,000 or so years? What do you think the Reformation was all about? Did you notice an Enlightenment period in somewhat recent history that began to academically dismiss Biblical theology? Where did you get your theological teaching degree? Did they not teach you this stuff?
But it's okay, Peter says that "Thinking for myself wasn't necessary and in fact was frowned upon. The heavy lifting was done for me. I just needed to agree and sign on the dotted line."
Well, there's your fearless leader folks. So please, nobody boast of Mr. Enns academic achievements and University credentials from those periods. He said it himself - He wasn't thinking. But then he got fired (or let go) for it. Apparently they DID want him to think. Shame on them for not paying attention all those years. Now they're both an embarrassment to Theological education and Biblical scholarship.
I'm running out of words. But i'm only on page 17 of his proud befuddlement.
Now it's one thing to argue these points with an atheist or a muslim or buddhist. But we are supposed to be Christian brothers dealing with the Doubt issue. Peter fails to notice that much of his problems are actually Rebellion. Similar to the Hebrews getting antsy waiting for Moses - so they make up their Golden Calf deity that does what their hearts desire. Enns even says:
"WE like our ideas about god, We need them. And that is really the deeper problem here."
Enns runs the wrong way with this of course. Peter fails to notice that his entire argument is a simple failure to get beyond his ideas about God. He declares Moses to be an old stick in the mud about spiritual revelation and assumes a god more to his liking and creativity (and freedom). Up pops a golden calf that every Episcopalian church can easily embrace, or at least tolerate.
To sum it up: I don't need new ideas about God. I sure don't trust my own thoughts on this. But I don't have to - God gave us HIS WORD. He says repeatedly that we can trust it. That we MUST trust it. He shows us endless examples of what happens to people and nations when they become rebellious and no longer tolerate it. And if in doubt - TEST IT. Argue with God about it. But please - know who your Jesus is.
You can't just love and trust Jesus blindly and liberally. Or you might get a Muslim Jesus, a Mormon Jesus, A Buddhist enlightenment Jesus, A Social Justice Warrior Dead-Jew 1st century Zealot Jesus.
There's only one actual useful Jesus: The historical Divine Factual Jesus of the Bible.
They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”
You need to be CERTAIN about this Jesus if you even imagine you are His called and chosen and faithful. The only way we know this Jesus is the pages of God's Holy Bible. ...more
Notes are private!
Jan 10, 2017
Jun 25, 2017
Jan 10, 2017
Jun 22, 2010
it was ok
YES, this book deals with lunatics - but seldom are they God's.
This is basically an encyclopedia of religious foolery and cultish behavior. Sure ther YES, this book deals with lunatics - but seldom are they God's.
This is basically an encyclopedia of religious foolery and cultish behavior. Sure there's a small bit of Bible relevance thrown in (often confused and corrupted by the author's poor Biblical understandings and research). The author does share his Catholic origins, then his Eastern meditations and New Age Spiritism, then he sprinkles in a weekend Christian retreat for some supposed validation. Then he gets his palms read, learns about his past lives and then does mushrooms with druids.
All this exciting stuff we learn in the first 5 pages.
Then Mushroom-BOY tries to teach us about religious insanity and truth. (mostly insanity)
He does some poor research on religious wacko's that most religious buffs (like me) have often come across. But this book isn't really about historical religious facts or theological truth: mostly it's here to make us say "Ewww, that's freaky!".
But there's no reason to lie or exaggerate - the truth is weird enough. Even the truth of Atheism can be horrific. Can't blame God for that one.
But in this book we get numerous Catholic Saints, Angels, Popes, Priests, and then it moves over to all the weirdo's of major religions (Buddha, Guru's, Mormons, Witchdoctors, secular know it alls - and then the freaks of some minor religions that most of you probably haven't heard of.
For a much better scholarly effort (and just as weird):
read Another Gospel: Cults, Alternative Religions, and the New Age Movement
by Ruth A. Tucker,
It's a fun read: just be careful what you learn from it. ...more
Notes are private!
Jan 04, 2017
Jan 19, 2017
Jan 04, 2017
Jul 25, 2009
Jul 01, 2009
did not like it
I tried real hard to get into this book. But it just SUCKED!
At first I was curious how much of the Biblical Jesus this guy attempted to blend with his I tried real hard to get into this book. But it just SUCKED!
At first I was curious how much of the Biblical Jesus this guy attempted to blend with his Buddha Buddy: But basically there was NO Biblical Jesus anywhere in this book.
Sure, I know, the author mentions the Bible and Jesus and numerous Christian elements that appear to be important to him: But that's after he's dismissed and tossed away any Godly truth that the Holy Spirit ever spoke into the Biblical accounts - there's nothing left of the prophetic Messiah Savior (lamb slain for the sins of the world) 'commander of the lord's army, Biblical Jesus Christ.
This guy has no factual appreciation for the Word Of God, yet somehow he squeezes a dashboard Jesus out of his liberal Eastern appreciation of Buddhist Enlightenment historical guru's by way of liberal christianity. (YES, starving and meditating can seriously damage your discernment censors).
He spends the whole book trying to justify his Buddhism to his Christian (friends? relatives? Co-workers?) Hopefully they don't put up with this crap. Better to just say; "NO! Bad Paul, go to your room and choke on a fortune cookie till you repent."
Now go read the Bible God gave you. Read it as God's truth. OR continue on as a card-carrying Dalai Lama worshiper. Not my problem... at the moment. ...more
Notes are private!
Dec 10, 2016
Jan 19, 2017
Dec 10, 2016
Sep 25, 2006
did not like it
101 ways to observe Bart Ehrman polishing a Gnostic TURD.
So should Judas really get his own Gospel account? The Gospel definition means: The Good News 101 ways to observe Bart Ehrman polishing a Gnostic TURD.
So should Judas really get his own Gospel account? The Gospel definition means: The Good News. So what exactly is this good news that Judas claims? Certainly not his freaky nasty morbid death. (hung, fell, burst open, probably eaten by small animals and bugs - if there's a God: he probably doesn't like you)
Somebody seemed to think maybe Judas shouldn't be remembered as the bad guy of the Bible - that he was actually helping Jesus out. Possibly the two of them were attempting to bring some kind of Buddhist enlightenment to the Universe by having Jesus killed... except: They both ended up dead and the world didn't care about their secret gnostic relationship and method for attaining an afterlife party.
NO wonder this lost Gospel was lost - because it failed. No reason to get excited.
I listened to the audio book of this while at work. So I won't be able to do any serious quotes. But I can mock the content just as easily. You could play a drinking game to every mention of the word SCHOLAR by Bart. He calls himself a scholar many many times - apparently this is a sore point for him - I guess because none of the actual Bible scholars I prefer will have much of anything to do with Ehrman and his propaganda publishing. Ehrman sells books to poorly informed christians, those who don't want to be christians, and Muslims and Atheists who really hate the Bible and wish they could mock it while using secular academic terms like "Historical Critical Scholarship".
It was very amusing that Bart spoke often about what a CASH COW this Judas Gospel was destined for. Apparently its been floating around for many decades waiting for the dollar sign to go up. Yep, from one owner to another... just raising the price --- till National Geographic can make some big coin off of it. All about integrity indeed. "Show Us The Money".
This is no reflection on Ehrman though, I don't think he gets more than a book out of it. Which apparently is probably all that's really happened so far. And that's the problem:
So this book is called: "The Lost Gospel Of Judas Iscariot - A New Look At Betrayer and Betrayed."
A small portion of this scribble is about the actual content of this lost gospel. Most of the book is about absolutely anything (and the kitchen sink) that Bart could throw at this topic to maybe get a few book sales. Honestly, I might have done the same thing with such a shallow topic like Gnostic Judas.
Yep, we get bits of Judas from every possible source. That being mostly the Bible of course. But the real problem is the bad theology of Ehrman that it gets filtered through. Yes, just because Bart failed Systematic Theology 101 this means everything he touches gets the stink of liberal short-sighted heresy on it.
So why do I say such a thing? Well...
Ehrman at one time claimed to be some sort of born again something. But when he was challenged to make sense of the entirety of the Bible - well, he gave it about a minute and gave up. Then he spent the next few decades justify his poor ability to read ALL of Biblical scripture. For instance: He has no idea how the Holy Spirit influenced the entire Bible. He simply can't comprehend that a God would actually work with AND THROUGH people to produce a complex bit of history. So like a kid playing with a broken puzzle that is missing half its pieces... Bart is desperate to find some NEW pieces that will help him with the missing box top picture and those other essential corner bits that got eaten by the family dog. Sadly, this is often what happens when people attempt to read the Bible without the thread of the Holy Spirit or Trinity holding it all together - it becomes a confusing liberal mess.
This leads into the other related problem I have with Bart's babblings:
He just can't see how the Bible is not necessarily a simple God-given book. Funny enough, i've seen little kids who can make perfect sense of God's Word, as well as aged Christian scholars (REAL scholars that is).
And yet Bart can't seem to see how God is playing with liberals and atheists and muslims and the generally spiritually blind religious folk. Take the 4 Biblical Gospels for instance: Bart insists that they should be in perfect repetition and content. God forbid that one actually gives information that another is not prioritizing... OHHHhhhh NOOOoooo! What's a scholar to do? If one Bible account mentions 2 angels - and another prioritizes ONE: Oh my freakin' goodness, it's a Bible error that can never be undone. Sadly, even a Bible for Dummies won't help you.
Here's a fun test you can do: Have a man and a woman go to a restaurant for dinner...
Now ask and record what the two of them recall from the evening. One might say there was a waiter who took their order - the other might say there was a greeter, a water boy, 3 waitresses, and a separate person who dealt with the bill. YES, both accounts are correct. Just different priorities.
For some retarded reason Bart Ehrman just can't allow this type of thinking with the Bible. I find this humorous that God often allowed this in His Bible. Probably just for Bart to stumble over. Many times the Bible shows that ALL accounts are true - just different focuses. Here's a fun quote from the Old Testament book of Amos. Very Applicable:
11"Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. 12"People will stagger from sea to sea And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it.
This book shows us that Ehrman went all over the world just to see some judas gospel crap - and yet he can't comprehend or put together a Bible that is right in front of him. All he see's is contradictions (that aren't really there... remember that restaurant scenario???), and he can't connect the dots between the Messiah like prophecies of the Old Testament with the fulfilling of Jesus "Son Of God" Kingship of the New Testament. He just doesn't see it. He'll use any excuse NOT TO SEE IT. Yep, even dismiss simple explanations as "Too Easy." Like the challenge of Judas's messy death. Isn't it interesting that nobody has altered those 2 accounts in 1900 years? It appears Bart's telephone type scenario really doesn't work throughout history.
But Bart shows us that he is close on occasions. He tries to comprehend Jesus being The Messiah, The Son Of God, The King of Kings, The Lamb Slain For the Sins of the World, The High Priest, And the Warrior... But he just can't get them together or hang onto anything but the gnostic hope of a Judas Gospel. (Hint: Indeed - Jesus is ALL of those things and more).
Bart mentions a few times that Bible characters in the New Testament didn't understand Jesus. Yet the Bible shows us a few who did --- and YES, it was only a very few. Often God works with only a few - this shouldn't surprise Bart - this has been God's M.O. since back in Genesis. Here's some: Luke 2
25Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
30for my eyes have seen your salvation
31that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
33And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
Interesting eh? And there's always the demons: Matthew 8
28And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. 31And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.”
So demons and temple people knew a thing or two about Jesus and this Messiah idea. So did those amazing Wise Men: Matthew 2
1Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to WORSHIP him.” 3When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Okay, I could post a bunch more. But some people might actually get the idea by now. (we know Bart won't of course -- he's still running around insisting just about everyone back then was illiterate cavemen who had no concept of a Isaiah 9 type Messiah Savior deity: Here's one more. Bart even mentions this one - but seems to have no idea that people from the East, the Temple, and demons are rather clear about this Jesus = Son of God.
Old Testament. Isaiah 9:
6For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Some of my favorite people in the Bible are those Wise men from the East that appear in the Christmas story. Few seem to realize that they are probably Daniels boys from the Old Testament. Sure it's been a few hundred years - but back then there was no TV or Cell Phones to distract folks from the truth. Here's the source of those Wise men: Daniel 2
Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.
WHAT? The King put Daniel in charge of WHO? Over all the WISE MEN of Babylon. You mean the Babylon that is in the East?
So there is the problem with Bart Ehrman - he just can't connect the Bible stories. All he see's are loose ends and contradictions. He should be easily spotting how it all fits together. But Bart is just so tickled about this old bit of parchment from some long dead gnostics who are a little disgruntled that they were mostly ignored by Christianity at large.
This reminds me:
Are the gnostics really any different than the Mormons, or Muslims, or J.W.'s, or Crazy modern Cults??? Does Ehrman run to National Geographic every-time a crumpled piece of Joseph Smith polygamous "post-its" makes an appearance? Does he rethink Christianity when a new Islamic hadith makes an arabic prophecy about Muhammad on a flying horse? Why not?
This Gnostic secret lost Gospel of Judas reminds me of the Harry Potter fanzine offerings. Sure we all know and love us some Mr. Potter. But a few years after the canon of literature by Rowlings... stories of Harry being Gay and hooking up with his nemesis Malfoy started appearing all over the internet. Now we have thousands of new twists on the characters sex drives and general morals... then we got the movies that often altered the books accounts. We even have the American books that came out slightly different (with different covers) than the British versions. They are endlessly repackaged and touched up. But the story is rather set in canon. Most accept it.
Maybe Bart Ehrman should rethink how desperate he is to undo the Bible. And step back. (maybe read some Harry Potter over the weekend) and see what a mess he is making of something so beautiful and simple like the Bible. Yes, it's all about Jesus. Just ignore those gnostics for now...
I'll end with this.
Bart keeps insisting that 90% or more of the Israelites back then were illiterate and religiously stupid. Probably got this because he's trusting some hyped up account by a 1st century person who wasn't. (Just cause they wrote stuff down - doesn't mean it's legit.) Do recall that the foundation of the Israelites was:
6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Hard for illiterate people to do all that. And yet - they took their religion VERY seriously didn't they? For 100's of years. Lots of business at the local temple wasn't there? Hmmm.
Notes are private!
Dec 02, 2016
Dec 06, 2016
Dec 02, 2016
Jul 10, 2009
Feb 16, 2011
did not like it
Imagine C.S. Lewis and the Screwtape Letter's demons. But an angel classroom setting.
Professor McThrone: "Class, settle down now. We have a fair bit o Imagine C.S. Lewis and the Screwtape Letter's demons. But an angel classroom setting.
Professor McThrone: "Class, settle down now. We have a fair bit of human linguistic crap, I mean LITERATE BABBLE to get through. Please retract your wings and focus."
Angel Noobious: "Sir, are we still dealing with liberal unbelief and misunderstood contradictions?"
Prof M: "Yes, we'll pick up where we left off - ummmh, humans and the Bible."
Angel Swiftly: "So we all know that God didn't just give people a magic book that fell from the sky: Like the Muslims like to insist. Or a buried treasure: like the Mormon's try to put forth. But can humans be blamed for not accepting that OUR MIGHTY FATHER IN HEAVEN was putting a book together all intricately through history - with their humanly assistance of course?"
Prof M: "Good observations Swifty. I mean - Swiftly. Well spotted. Indeed many humans discard God's word simply because it was woven together over time. They actually presume to know exactly how the God of the Universe should function...
Angel class: "Bahahahahahahahaha!"
Prof M: "Okay everyone, settle down. Today's class will be responding to a silly liberal human book called "The Rise And Fall Of The Bible". This comical heretical author claims to be some form of Christian and yet has zero foundation for any of his beliefs. But as we learned last week: Liberalism really means UNBELIEF - so it's no surprise. He does have some fun research though."
Angel Adoubt: "Sir, why should we even waste time on a book that doesn't give us answers or truth? Maybe we should just skip to the good stuff?"
Prof M: "Slow down Indoubt, I mean Adoubt (who comes up with these names?) there's a fair bit we can learn from observing the emotional and spiritually blind rantings of some of these humans. Occasionally they raise fair objections. But mostly they just distract from the truth."
Angel Noobious: "Sir, this author seems to raise the same questions as atheists and Bible hating muslims. He claimed to be a Christian yet didn't bother to seriously look at many of the reliable Christian sources of the last few centuries? Is he stupid? Lazy? Ill? Possibly retarded? Why didn't he deeply explore some of those Bible commentaries he mentioned... or simply read some John MacArthur books?"
Prof M: "Indeed, this is really the heart of liberal spiritual unbelief. You'll notice how they will spend months exploring the cultures of the Bible to justify a few verses about homosexuality and debaucherous immorality - but they'll come to a 10 second anti-biblical conclusion about anything that might just show a contradiction.
Notice how the author immediately jumps to the possibly contradiction of Judas' death scenario. And of course there's the amount of angels in the tomb of Christ. The timeline of the last supper is always a liberal discussion that makes them salivate at the mouth. Strangely he ignored the somewhat legitimate item of Solomon's collections. Oh well."
Angel Swiftly: "Sir? But those aren't even difficult issues. Is this what happens to people who are spiritually blind and sadly NOT knowing of their possible election yet? Is it spiritual that they can't seem to see the simplicity of the 2 creation accounts in Genesis?"
Prof M: "Very swift, ummmh Swiftly. Yes, the creation confusion is often very funny indeed. Here's a refresher from the word of God."
5When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
"many humans show a complete lack of adult human reading ability when looking at historical accounts like that. Sadly, they apply all current story telling narrative (and they do that pathetically as well) to an age old classic. They constantly confuse basic words like: When, for, and, then. These verses do not guarantee a specific timeline or constant. They follow logic and perfectly do whatever the GOD OF THE ASTRONOMICALLY HUGE UNIVERSE requires. Thankfully - He is truth itself. Well worth trusting. Strange that nobody ever reads that part about the small plants of the field springing up? They may be there - just not sprung up yet. It is the first week of creation after all."
"This same issue comes up in the documents of Judas death. See here: Acts 1:18"
Now this man Judas acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.
It is true that the other account fascinatingly states: Matthew 27
5And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he (Judas) departed, and he went and hanged himself.
Here is a suitable quote from Barnes notes on the Bible:
"He would not, probably, be very careful about the fitness or the means he used. In his anguish, his haste, his desire to die, he seized upon a rope and suspended himself; and it is not at all remarkable, or indeed unusual, that the rope might prove too weak and break. Falling headlong - that is, on his face - he burst asunder, and in awful horrors died - a double death, with double pains and double horrors - the reward of his aggravated guilt. The explanation here suggested will be rendered more probable if it be supposed that he hung himself near some precipitous valley."
"So it appears the makers of the Bible didn't just sit down and write one simple tale. Neither did editors over the next 2000 years ever bother to adjust these accounts and discard these challenges. It would take a God to control humans from seriously abusing this history over 1000's of years. So YES, all Judas recordings are as they should be. Does anyone know why The Almighty God might do something as amusing as apparent divided accounts?"
Angel Adoubt: "Well sir, many humans do not understand the clear word of God. The Book of Amos even mentions this specifically: Amos 8
"…11"Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. 12"People will stagger from sea to sea And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find it."
AS that applies to the Israelites, it appears AND IS SHOWING that it will also apply to liberal church-goers and atheists. People like this author - who don't accept God's word will also not be able to find or EVEN comprehend it. Yet, joyfully, many Jesus following Christians will easily be able to make sense of what some find to be utter confusion.
Sir, I can't imagine being spiritually blind. Is there even hope for these lost souls Sir?"
Prof M: "I like your compassion Angel Adoubt. Sadly, very few liberals will find the truthful Word of God to ever present itself to them. They simply do not want to see it. Therefore, like the Pharaoh, God will eventually harden their hearts and minds to suit them. This is the same as when Jesus told parables to the disbelieving masses. Many liberals go on record claiming this is a great teaching tool that was used by the historic Christ. But we all know that the Bible states: Matthew 13"
The Purpose of the Parables
10Then the disciples came and said to him (Jesus), “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:
“‘“You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
15For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’
16But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Angel Swiftly: "Gosh Sir, isn't that kind of mean and hopeless? Are they so easily doomed?"
Prof M: "My good chap, it's the opposite. Are some of them so easily saved? That is the real question. Nobody seems to mind that a third of our angel brothers were given a choice and rebelled with no chance of salvation or redemption. Yet humans insist that they have all eternity to eventually choose a savior when it meets their needs. Some are even gullible enough to believe a lie that there IS NO HELL or Heaven or Judgement..."
Angel class: "GASP! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."
Prof M: "YES, please hand out the tissues and caramels. These are trying times everyone. Like Aaron and the Israelite's Golden Calf; people are still desperate to make a god to their own liking. When the God of the Bible doesn't behave as they assume He should - they simply change the attributes and loosen the foundation of the historical Biblical deity. They then proceed to mock those who don't agree with them - their favorite target is always Jesus' actual followers who fully embrace God's reliable and truthful word."
Angel Adoubt: "Sir, isn't it plain weird that an author who claims to be a Christian is really behaving similar to the Serpent in the Garden of Eden? I mean, this book really offers no Godly wisdom or answers but it repeatably complains about the content of God's Word?"
Angel Swiftly: "YES Prof, just like Satan trying to get the first humans to doubt God's Word, this author is doing exactly the same thing - he mixes in just a bit of truth and then tries to show that God Almighty is not to be fully trusted... WHY, That makes me so angry, I just wanna take this sword out of its sheath and hunt down any..."
Prof M: "Swiftly, calm down and put that flaming sword away for now. None of this heresy is a problem for our God - He's well aware of human and angel rebelliousness and sin. Have no fear - the Saints are protected and Christ's kingdom will not fail. All part of the plan my boy. God IS GOOD!"
Angel Class: "GOD IS GOOD! AAAaaamen."
Angel Noobious: "Sir, this heretical book speaks of the successful distribution and popularity of the Bible while ignoring the greatest fact in history: That God has the number one best distributed book in the known universe."
Prof M: "Why yes Noobious, glad you brought that up. Many don't realize that even books that attempt to be Bible LIKE and are slightly altered, are still very capable of getting God's Word out and speaking to the heart and mind through the Holy Spirit. We've all known of the human language and translation challenges we've come across over the centuries. These discrepancies often simply cause God's children to search deeper for other translations. Nobody goes to hell because they read a strange translation - the issue is much deeper than that. Language is simply a tool. Liberal scholars will of course use this issue to thrust forth their hatred of God's commands and historic recordings.
Indeed, it will be very entertaining to observe these folks as they stand before the throne on judgement day. I'm personally very curious if God or any judges will even bother to hear their lame desperate excuses."
Angel Swiftly: "Sir, a huge problem with this authors theology is; he seems to have no idea what to do with the Holy Spirit..."
Angel Class: "GASPPPPPPP!"
Prof M: "Yes, yes. Sadly, this is something we simply must tolerate for now. We've all seen how Charismatic church-goers wave the holy spirit in the air and attempt silly dog tricks and magic spells with it... well liberal gnostics are the same yet the opposite: they greatly attempt to hide the truth of the Holy Spirit under the rug or simply ignore any mention of it in the name of modern academic scholarship. Sure, they still want an idea of a Social Justice Warrior Jesus who stands up for the little guy against big corporations --- but they have no love or tolerance for the Jesus of scripture. Most simply discard all of the Old Testament verses about him and they mock the prophecies and miraculous accounts. YET! Like the gnostics of old: they claim Jesus has given them special insight and prideful domination over the humble followers of Christ."
Angel Swiftly: "Prof, why don't silly academics like Timothy Beal simply spend their time doing the same type of book about the Quran or the Book Of Mormon? Maybe take on the Buddhist and hindu writings?"
Prof M: "Good point Swiftly." Yes, seldom do these authors waste time hating anything but the very word of the Christian God. Most are simply cowards and afraid to upset the liberal consensus that embraces other religions and cults. They reduce the Bible to classic myths, while pushing forth some of the myths of pagan beliefs as authentic. Satan is very proud of his children."
Angel Adoubt: Sir, I've noticed that this liberal author actually said absolutely nothing factual about the Jesus he claimed to embrace. I was hoping for at least one trustworthy factual source for him to rationally have any use for a Jesus at all. How can this guy even have a teaching job?"
Prof M: "Again, people like this are not interested in any kind of miraculous humanity saving Messiah Savior who will one day have an eternal physical Kingdom of Love to rule and be worshiped..."
Angel Class: "WWWWWwwwwhat?! Noooooooo. Blasphemy^&%(*7"
Prof M: Yes, horrifically: we are looking at hell itself. People who desire nothing that Christ desires. We all know that our prospective Saints are not currently perfect. But the difference is they desire to be reborn and given NEW natures that will easily conform to the absolute standards of Christ's Kingdom. God's children will be given robes of righteousness and will not fail - and Satan's children have already failed."
Angel Adoubt: "Sir, we haven't quoted much from this book. The author d(oes early on show all readers exactly where his spirituality is at: (quote pg. 25)
"I'd never read MY UTMOST (by Oswald Chambers), but I had dismissed it as sentimental and moralitistic. When it came in the mail, I immediately associated it with the kind of fundamentalist Biblicism that I had rejected...although I've drifted quite a distance from the familiar biblical waters of the conservative evangelical tradition in which I was raised and which my parents so admirably represent..."
"Sir, how sad for a child of a Saint to reject Fundamental Biblicism."
Prof M: "Yes, this author has had numerous encounters with truth and scholarly saints his entire life. He has simply repeatedly rejected every bit of truth put in front of him. That is not our challenge Men: Satan's children are his responsibility - they easily do his bidding, we are here for the Saints. God promises that we will not fail."
Angel Swiftly: "Sir, there is a very strange quote on pg. 39. How is this possible sir:"
Quote (pg. 39)
"Even veteran Bible readers sometimes feel this way about the bible. On one occasion I was talking with an older woman who is a longtime lay leader in her Bible church. She reads the Bible several times a day and hosts weekly Bible studies in her home. She admitted that she often finds herself perplexed by ambiguities and seeming contradictions in the Bible. She wouldn't bring them up in Bible-study group, because she worries.... at the same time, she expects other members, less comfortable with such ambiguities, would quickly dismiss them with standard resolutions, familiar from a century of Biblical fundamentalism, that she considers TOO EASY..."
Angel Swiftly: "OOooohh, I get it now. The author answered the challenge right in front of us - and yet he was clueless to see the truth of it. Yes, the truth often is simple, but those who really don't like what the bible says simply demand a different answer. So they will ignore what is right before them and search far and wide for a different truth that says what their rebelliousness demands. Wow!"
Prof M: "Yes, this book is full of that. The author is running around getting pats on the back from John Shelby Spong and Brian McLaren. He's come across the truth and didn't like how easy it was. Same as those pagans who simply could not embrace the 1st God given MEMO of the Ten Commandments. Our Father In Heaven had to give them a 1000 page bible because the TOO EASY AND CLEAR writings that were given to Moses just didn't meet their rebellious desires."
Angel Noobious: "Prof sir, I hate to mention this - but i'm on duty rather soon to deal with the Talking Donkey and its stable demands. Can we wrap this up?"
Prof M: "Why yes, don't keep that Classic Donkey waiting - we all know how ornery it gets. But we cheerish its place in the Holy Scriptures. Thankfully it keeps the other Bible donkeys in their place and is a voice for the manger scene. God Speed Noobious."
"Well that's enough with this bit of toilet trash class (just some human humor there folks). There's lots we didn't touch on: like the useful information the author presented about the coming together of parts of the Bible throughout human history. Indeed, the Bible fell together successfully and perfectly as God knew it would. This poor pitiful man just did not see how the Holy Spirit was ever involved in guiding God's word. He assumed mankind did it all - or at least collected it all and arranged it to their liking. Mankind would still be back writing the first page of Genesis if God hadn't been involved - we all do notice how much foolery this slugs to fish to apes to human evolutionary babbling has muddled things up. There is no shortage of truth - but people will do everything they can to not accept what is easily before them.
YES, God wrote the Bible for them too - just enough confusion to keep them rebelliously hating the clear words of the Saints.
Prof M: "I must say I fully appreciate one point the author made: The Bible is indeed a library - not just a simple book. It is 66 books that have given humanity exactly what it needed. Yet so few will properly embrace it. God's Bestseller indeed." ...more
Notes are private!
Nov 16, 2016
Nov 23, 2016
Nov 16, 2016
Jan 01, 2012
Nov 06, 2012
did not like it
Is there a HELL for Mr. Stedman? (the really fun nice gay guy who desperately wants all the faiths, AND his atheistic brothers, to simply get along.) Is there a HELL for Mr. Stedman? (the really fun nice gay guy who desperately wants all the faiths, AND his atheistic brothers, to simply get along.) Why yes - pass the Hot Sauce.
There's obviously a Biblical Christian Hell: somewhat hot and lonely.
Maybe a Buddhist a hell: Dalai Lama speaks frequently of hell-beings and demi-gods.
Possibly the atheist's hell on earth scenario - yes if all those pesky Fundamentalists were fully in charge.
But all the cults seems to mention a hell of one kind or another.
The Islamic Quran insists that Chris is bound for some torture and burning from Allah.
And surely Hinduism has some interesting hellish thoughts: keep an eye on that Karma.
The problem is that Chris is such a nice guy: he simply sides with moderate liberals from a few of these belief systems and shrugs off centuries of traditional theology, wars, and Cosmic judgement. You are free to do that - but you had better be right. The world seldom agrees with you.
It's not so much that Chris has some different beliefs and will indeed say he's sorry if he's found to be wrong - but he just may be taking some of these people with him. Do your homework buddy and maybe look a little deeper while there's still time.
This book is Stedman's memoirs about growing up with/without religious belief, homosexuality, and social justice efforts. This is one hardworking guy - I'd hire him: not for any serious religious studies or theology, but for general team moral and coffee runs (as long as he doesn't try to make me watch Sailor Moon or look at Rolling Stone Magazine's pictures of a shirtless Justin Timberlake. I'll compromise and watch some of the 5th season of Dukes of Hazzard).
Chris is on a mission to help us all just get along. Which is a pretty great challenge. WE can be really annoying and cranky can't we, especially those New-Militant Atheists. Yes, Chris knows them well, he even tried to be a part of them once... but he's just too nice for all the abuse. Which makes him perfect for the job of assistant humanist Chaplain at Harvard University (is that a real job description and title? Cool!) If you have a problem with faith or getting along with other faiths, or no faiths at all: then Chris is your eager ear and shoulder to cry on. I'd definitely take him out for a coffee and Bagel.
So why did I give his Magnum Opus only 1 star? Well, as nice as Satan was in the Garden of Eden simply trying to enlighten some potential humanists to their full potential: (Genesis 3:)
4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The snake was just trying to help. I'm sure he just wanted humans and demons to be the best of friends. Chat, share, go out for some Java, sacrifice some babies, and simply accept some other points of view. What could possibly go wrong? They won't surely DIE. (except the babies, abortion is nasty. Just ask Hillary Clinton).
Yes, Adam & Eve are very much DEAD right now. Physically for sure - Spiritually, well? Not necessarily. But Satan indeed gave them some bad advice. As is this book. (If i'm correct that is. If NOT? Then relax, do whatever the hell you want. You'll still end up dead. Science still can't seem to cure stuff that's right in front of them - sure, scientists claim to have mapped out the multi-verse and origins and warts on a gnat. But those hospitals are still filled with sick people who just can't stop dying, and the bottom of the nearby oceans are still a bit of a mystery.)
Faitheist - How an Atheist Found Common Ground With The Religious.
Should you find common ground with Terrorists? Pedophiles? Serial Killers? Nazi Dr.'s? Somebody's nasty old Aunt Agatha that poisons children Hansel and Gretel style? Or people who talk during a quiet movie?
In the Ancient days of the Bible (and a few other cultures) they simply said: Kill or Stone them, especially for that movie bit. Don't make lasting friendships and invite them home to your wife and children and pooch. Be slightly cautious. There are standards.
Now, I know, I KNOW! There's good people everywhere. They're simply misunderstood. Horrifyingly: that is exactly what they want you to think. They love ol' softies like Chris Stedman. How do you think the Nazi party so easily achieved all their goals? And indeed i've met a few pedophiles who have impressive people skills - YOU'D LOVE THEM: THEY'RE GREAT WITH CHILDREN.
Okay, so that's all worse case scenario's. And yet my local newspapers are filled with violence, crime, abuse, corruption, drugs, bad decisions that destroyed lives... most people are basically GOOD, aren't they? Not really. Just like Adam & Eve, they are one conversation with a snake away from destruction and stupidity.
Chris Stedman, like other liberal guru's: such as Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Brian McLaren, Gandhi, and that guy from Nightmare on Elm Street... they're all about arranging the furniture on a sinking titanic. Make everyone comfortable for the cold dark plunge into oblivion. That's if i'm Biblically correct of course. More than my fingers crossed.
Quote: (pg. 174)
"I believe that change will come from within--that by participating in interfaith work, the nonreligious will broaden the meaning of such efforts and that the language used to describe them will change accordingly."
It appears that everyone has forgotten (or seriously kicked under the rug) the TRUTH of atheism, buddhism, hinduism, Christianity, Cults. Chris is delusional when thinking that he can someday turn all beliefs into to some kind of phony moderate liberal non-traditional Hippy lovefest. Some will change - but the core historical documents of religions, and the brutal non-caring heartless materialism of atheistic science is just not going to go away. Not without Violence.
Religions AND ATHEISM do not want to work for a BETTER world - they work for THEIR worldview. Indeed, the rest be damned. Anything else is simply dishonest.
I was going to be mostly nice during this book review: but then Chris gave me way too much information about his HOT DATES with old boyfriends. So all bets are off. Not that i'm homophobic - but I don't care to watch animals make nice nice either. And I think God mostly ignores our sex issues. I know i WOULD. There's probably some very cool sporting event on the Large Screen up in Heaven's lounge - No reason to hear about Chris's boy-dates going down his pants. That really has almost nothing to do with Faith. Even God chose to leave stuff like that out of the Bible. Dismembered bodies is one thing, but let's leave the love stuff up to Solomon and Ruth.
Now we should probably deal with this now. Yawn!
Chris attempted to read the Bible, I also read the Bible: we both agree that it very clearly says "Don't Be Gay". Take it up with God if you must. Sadly, Chris did find some liberal heretical preachers and church-goers who either removed those verses or found some way discount them. Do what you must. But you gotta agree: it fits the story from Genesis to Revelation.
So what do you do with Polygamy? Can that not be true love amongst consenting adults? Nowadays most are very ready to accept it. But, once again, the Bible is clear: one man and one woman. Don't be hating on them Mormons and Cults: they're just waiting for the official human-rights Civil Justice Warriors to say "Have at it you FREAKS! We're behind you! As long as feminists get to be incharge."
Of course, Pedophile longings can't be much further away. If there's that many pedophiles who REALLY love children - it must be natural. (and yes, there are millions of pedophiles). Apply that logic to Bullies: If there are millions of bullies in the world - then that's simply evolutionary selection and natural breeding instincts. Don't be hating on survival skills of the masses.
Simply do what God says "NO, cut out that crap!" Whether it makes you feel all gooey inside or not.
Chris was very confused about Biblical theology back in his prepubescent homosexual discovery days. He gave up on God and serious Bible study before he really began. Dude, wait till you're over 40 - you'll realize how clueless just about all young teenage thought is. It's all hormones, lust and pride, mixed with some young immortal vanity.
But you don't go to hell for having some confused sexual feelings. That wasn't Sodom & Gomorrah's sin. They simply wouldn't control their desires and rebellion.
I have a theory: all people are given one or two major obstacles in life to overcome. Blessings and a Curse if you will. Helps build character. Sadly, most people fail at this challenge = they trust their feelings to guide them. So:
With compassion comes tolerance.
With humor comes crudeness.
With discernment comes absolutes.
With lust comes... more lust.
According to the Bible: You can't take your GAY with you to heaven. You also can't really take your Heterosexuality either (so don't get your panties all in a twist). And I seriously doubt you can take much of any GLBTQ gender swaps to the great pearly gates beyond. You go as God insists - YES, CAUSE HE'S THE FREAKIN GOD OF THE UNIVERSE. And Feminism is right out. Ask the Apostle Paul.
If God wants me there as a talking donkey: We'll have a short discussion - but God'll win I'm sure.
Is Chris a natural Gay? The way Nature made him? Well, there's a whole bunch of clues in the book that seem to insist he had it coming from outside sources. Anybody else notice them? There's about 10 of them. Rather large issues that crept into his family and upbringing. Nothing to be hateful about - just stuff to ponder. Hey, I still would have been his buddy in highschool: we could have watched endless musicals together: West Side Story, Sound of Music, Grease, even the Rocky Horror Picture show... I draw the line at Hedwig's Angry Inch (that is just freakin disturbing... we could compromise and listen to QUEEN.)
But we all have challenges in our past that made us who we are. And through it all - Chris sounds like a pretty great friend. (I'd even tolerate him in his angry Atheist days. That's just fun. Debating that crap is my favorite pastime.)
Now I could spend a bit of this review attacking and debunking atheism. But that's not really Stedman's purpose in life. And he's mostly hurting himself anyway. So the big issue is still COMMON GROUND.
Quote: (pg. 174)
"This is precisely what interfaith work sets out to do: elicit civil dialogue to increase understanding, not stifle it for the sake of playing nice."
In one way this is a fun goal: get everyone talking and chatting and being honest. As a Christian I have no problem doing this at all (as you can tell with this humorous review), and when chats are done I won't be stoning or burning anybody on a stake who disagree's with me. The worst I might do is vote them out of a church (as a heretic) or simply stop buying them specialty coffees at Starbucks. The world is my mission-field of evangelism: it's best to not murder or put to death your potential converts.
The problem I have and often see is:
Other religions and even atheistic faiths can't so easily handle this. Indeed the Catholic church has a history of brutal violence and there's even violent insanity amongst the Protestants (I doubt they were Jesus loving do-gooders with a heart for Biblical theology though). Some folks did seem to forget that this is currently Satan's world and we don't get to necessarily make the rules.
But anyway, I have a hard-time getting Muslims to be honest about their religion, Same goes for Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormons, Cults, Sikh's, and especially those non-religious atheists.
A heck of a lot of propaganda gets spilled in the name of tolerance and sales pitches.
WE are all aware that a few Islamic Terrorists just can't stop laughing at the tolerance and acceptance of the liberal social justice cause that begs them to come in and insist they are a victim. While endless Muslims are fleeing their Muslim dominated homelands to escape...? What exactly? Other Muslims? Or only those Muslims who are incharge? Inter-Faith is not the answer.
So, we are stuck for now learning how to get along and occasionally protect ourselves from Evil (for those that believe in Evil that is). So the elephant in the room is Truth. We live amongst opposing views and contradictions. People calling Good actual EVIL, and evil actually GOOD. (Yes, keep going into Mother's wombs and murdering babies in the name of freedom and woman's rights. I'm so evil for even saying that.)
That's why this book gets one star: because it's eternally dangerous.
Having said that: I do think Chris is a fun marvelous guy who is doing the best he can with what he's got. No damnation from me. But you haven't even begun to explain the Cosmos yet. You might want to get on that ASAP. ...more
Notes are private!
Nov 08, 2016
Nov 11, 2016
Nov 12, 2016
Sep 24, 1998
Jun 06, 2008
This was seriously messed up. I was cheering for the Ant swarm to eat everyone in the village so the story could end.
I've always been curious if your This was seriously messed up. I was cheering for the Ant swarm to eat everyone in the village so the story could end.
I've always been curious if your basic missionaries are this insane? Or uneducated? Probably some.
So, here we have Daddy Missionary (Nathan) who takes his wife and 4 daughters to the African Congo to save the poor villagers from...? Some kind of Voodoo I guess. But it turns out he's an ill-advised nutter who isn't the slightest bit interested in different cultures and languages. Mostly he just wants to throw some King James English at them and save their heathen souls. I'm pretty sure this has happened factually a time or two.
This is a great character study though. We get the story through the voices of the 5 women: Mom tries hard but is sick of all the crap and abuse. Oldest daughter is a typical vain blond teenage beauty queen (I liked her). Then there were twin genius's - one with only half her body functioning. And last we have little Ruth.
There was no real Christianity ANYWHERE in this book. Just confused white people with some supernatural assumptions and half learned sunday school lessons. Later we get to meet some liberal Christians who aren't much better (slightly smarter than our heroes though).
I'm not sure if Kingsolver was even trying to make a religious point; if she was then she failed. This appeared to be more of a character study and family dynamics drama.
The obvious point of this book seems to be how freakin' abusive Daddy Nathan is (Yes, he's a religious tyrant and official whacko fundamentalist). But if you look closely - you get to see the numerous flaws of the five girls. AS the story goes on you get to see the girls make numerous decisions that equal Daddy dearest. Mommy runs back to America and tries to ignore everything, The oldest daughter makes the best of where she ends up and lives quite selfishly, One becomes a know-it-all of a successful career, another spends her years and family trying to save Africa from itself and endlessly puts her family in danger doing it...
And then there's the crazy village people (NO, not the band.)
We have witch doctors, and crooked politicians, and supernatural oppression -- and endless bullying. Yes, stuff we all have in common - no matter how much electricity and luxuries we embrace.
All I can say is the ANT ATTACK on the village is like nothing I have ever read before. How do you tell a missionary family to prepare for something like that? I think I'll be a missionary in VEGAS.
Some book reviewers have wisely commented that there are many better missionary tales with better history and African culture. But this is fiction after all. I guess that's what you get for taking your mind into the Congo.
Notes are private!
Apr 07, 2017
Apr 15, 2017
Nov 03, 2016
Mar 16, 2003
Apr 26, 2005
did not like it
I'm not convinced this is GOD's dream AT ALL - it's definitely Mr. Tutu's hope and bad theology though. Oh well~
Desmond was an Archbishop of the Angli I'm not convinced this is GOD's dream AT ALL - it's definitely Mr. Tutu's hope and bad theology though. Oh well~
Desmond was an Archbishop of the Anglican church at one time - (Didn't he have to take a Sunday school test to get that job? Apparently not.) He seems to have no comprehension of the entirety of the Bible. He only has a few favorite Bible stories that he babbles about and takes out of context. He seems like a nice guy though: I wouldn't object to him running a soup kitchen or collecting money outside the Walmart for those in need... but please: stop claiming you are a Bible believing Christian. Be honest if you can - simply say how much you disagree with Jesus, the Trinity, and the Word of God.
Okay, now on to the other stuff.
Mr. Tutu is liberally sure that His God has a Dream for mankind. That's kind of nice actually. We can be like little flower hippies running around mostly naked living off of our nuts and berries and making our own clothes out of spiderwebs and leaves. (we wouldn't dare kill an animal or insect or use the non-replenishing earth resources all around us) Even if God told us to.
Ouch! Why am I so harsh? Because Tutu is a social rights activist: SJW
" since the demise of apartheid, "Tutu" has been active in the defense of human rights and uses his high profile to campaign for the oppressed. He has campaigned to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia."
And anything else you need him to be liberally active against - like the absolutely trustworthy account of God's Word. And what the hell is TRANSPHOBIA? Should I be afraid of it? Or Be forced to worship it? Something to do with travelling spiders perhaps?
If Desmond simply wanted to be a humanist of the most compassionate kind that would be fun. Go for it! But it's not that simple = Desmond keeps taking potshots at all who disagree with him. Yes, this man has an agenda and isn't playing by the Biblical God's play book - no liberal can, neither can a humanist who claims we are basically GOD:
(pg. 100 quote)
"One image that I have of the spiritual life is of sitting in front of a fire on a cold day. We don't have to do anything. We just have to sit in front of the fire and then gradually the qualities of the fire are transferred to us. We begin to feel the warmth. We become the attributes of the fire. It's like that with us and God. As we take time to be still and to be in God's presence, the qualities of God are transferred to us."
Ummmh, that's kind of lazy hopeful thinking. (I realize it's not doctrine - but that's about as deep as Tutu gets) He stumbles about in liberal heresy here:
"...to be in the presence of God...letting God be God, who wants us to be God. We are shocked, actually, when we hear that what God wants is for us to be godlike, for us to be more and more like God... but by letting God be God in and through us."
Well, God wants us to be more Christlike indeed. But we aren't God, we will never have His abilities and insights. We need to be very careful here: or Deepak Chopra and Oprah will get all excited and start another Cult. And the last thing we need is more Charismatic Guru's hearing stuff like this.
Tutu keeps bringing up this South African Apartheid blight. Since this book came out in 2004, is this still an ongoing concern> I've been trying to look into it. Tutu sure is bitter about it - those evil white people oppressing everyone and ruining the peaceful black African's freedom. (how do I sleep at night?). I can't count all the movies and documentaries i've seen of Black people killing black people endlessly... Maybe some apartheid crap was needed - just like we need police in Compton to stop all the bloodshed and thug-life insanity. Yes, somehow the white-man is to blame for that as well i'm sure. Yep, black lives matter: because they are eternal victims. Blah blah blah. (fat white feminists seem to have the same problems - eternal victims indeed. Pass them another KFC chicken bucket while they protest for animals rights)
I'm not sure who exactly this book is going to help (or fix?). He's always preaching to his liberal Social Justice Warrior activists. Basically stirring up the Wasp's nest so they can protest about something else. Yawwwwnn! The rest of us are busy with our jobs, family, and church or simply living. Their dream Utopia will never exist. They haven't thought any of it through.
So is this book really that bad? No, not if you're a basic human-obsessed Earthly spiritualist who goes on Oprah -- or eats fried chicken while watching Oprah, instead of being at your job or looking after your kids while waiting to smoke some Mary-Jane to help you relax. (you folks will LOVE this book.)
The big issues are:
Does God actually have a dream?
Which god exactly is this?
How does Tutu know this dream?
That's why I read this book. Just to see what exactly Desmond is really saying - and i'm curious who his pet god is. Sure he mentions the Bible a fair bit. But he also says tons of things that disagree with the Bible.
Here's a bit of Biblical chaos from Tutu: (quote pg. 47)
"...Look at your hands-different colors representing different people. You are a rainbow people of God. The rainbow in the Bible is the sign of peace. The rainbow is the sign of prosperity. In our world we want peace, prosperity, and justice, and we can have it when all the people of God, the rainbow people of God, work together."
I'm sorry, What is THAT crap? Poetry mixed as metaphor confused with theology and bad political activism. Tutu, the people of God DO WORK TOGETHER. Or haven't you been paying attention - your problem is you can't discern what a real Christian is. That's sad.
Desmond is very accepting of ALL RELIGIONS. Nowhere in the Bible is this tolerated: (pg. 20)
"In God's family there are no outsiders. All are insiders. Black and White, rich and poor, gay and straight (WHat?), Jew and Arab (sure), Palestinian and Israeli (on occasion), Roman Catholic and Protestant (ummmh?), Serb and Albanian, Hutu and Tutsi, Muslims and Christian (what the HELL?), Buddhist and Hindu (sorry, what?)... all belong."
I know, I know - God reaches out to everyone. But I've yet to hear Tutu tell somebody they are Biblically WRONG and hell-bound if they stay on their current path. The Bible is very clear: You must indeed give up Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, sexual immorality, etc. Tutu then says - just to clarify:
"Jesus said, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all to me". Not some , but all." SAYS TUTU.
Here's the ESV Bible translation of John 12
31Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
Of course: there's MORE: John 12
48The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
So it was very much about Jesus death, and judgement, AND WORDS, and those who WILL reject him. Only an idiot would assume that simply everyone happily goes to Jesus. There's Much MUCH more to the story... if only Tutu would keep reading.
Which brings me to my big complaint with this book: Tutu keeps insisting that ALL PEOPLE are God's children. The problem is - the Bible shows that many people are eternally Satan's children and will perish with ol' Lucy. The Bible mentions God's elect many times - and it's easy to see that not everybody qualifies. This is nothing we can boast of - it should humble us greatly and cause us to look deeply for fellow Saints.
I don't know how Desmond Tutu missed so much of the Bible and Christian Doctrine. These verses constantly comes to mind: 1 John 3:
8Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
It's mostly impossible to figure out Tutu's basic Christian theology. I don't know who his god is, or why his Jesus died, or how his heaven and hell play out. I do know that Tutu ignores huge portions of the Bible to justify his social activism. The real challenge is WHY? IF he disagrees with Biblical text - simply find another religion, or invent one that fully agrees with his compassion and sin. But please stop mangling the Bible. I'm sure the Dalai Lama would love to have you as a new Buddhist disciple. You wouldn't really have to change any of your thinking. He's very accepting that way: that's what you do when you don't have a Jesus who died for your sins. Go meditate on THAT.
I have this argument constantly with people: Quote (pg. 29)
"We forget that God loves us unconditionally whether we succeed or fail. As we move closer to God we too can love one another like family... regardless of our flaws and our failures... Yet before you can love your neighbor --- as yourself, you must first love yourself... you must know that God loves you now and loves you always."
Ummmh? What about Hell, and judgement day, and obedience, and all those people God killed in the Old And New Testament?
Actually God loves us on many conditions: read the Bible - it's full of them. Here's some:
1 Corinthians 6
9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Not to simply rain on his parade, but Tutu should have mentioned some of this stuff. This is why Buddhists, Hindu's, Atheists, Sikh's, Mormon's, etc DO NOT GO TO HEAVEN. You just read it: they will not inherit the kingdom of God. Don't blame me - i'm just clarifying Biblical Christianity. (i'm helpful that way!)
The 2nd huge mistake in Tutu's thinking is people loving themselves. All humans love themselves. We all have endless pride and vanity and demand our rights. WE force our way to the front of the lines, and insist we know best for everyone else. Half the planet gets divorced because their needs aren't met and satisfied.
1 Corinthians 1:31
Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ
Yes, the Bible is filled with people who did what they thought was right IN THEIR OWN EYES. They pleased themselves. We all do. That's easy. And it turns out horrifically. Remember the state of South Africa under humanism and atheism? (and possibly the abuse of religion)
Mr. Tutu does hint at some sloppy Calvinistic Election theology. He gets it backwards of course.
Quote: (pg. 35)
"But success is not all important to God. In the New Testament, in Ephesians, we are told that God chose us to be His children "before the foundation of the world." Do you realize that this refers to you, to me, to each one of us?... God had already decided He wanted us. Long before we could have done anything to earn it, to deserve it, God freely, graciously, chose you, chose me..."
YES, God chose Jesus' followers to be His children through adoption. The problem is: NOT EVERYONE is eligible for this Biblical setting. Hell will be very full. You can't just take a few verses and ignore all the rest of what JESUS and PAUL and other Prophets said. Bad form Tutu. Of course - If Tutu is not of the chosen --- then that explains all His Ungodly theology and total lack of appreciation for most of what Jesus taught.
6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Another horrific quote: (pg. 43)
"But God's love is too great to be confined to any one side of a conflict or to any one religion. And our prejudices, regardless of whether they are based on religion, race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or anything else, are absolutely and utterly ridiculous in God's eyes."
There is about a 100 things that are unbiblical about that sentence. God's love is VERY confined to Jesus; His SON. The Bible is filled with God telling us what prejudices to have EXACTLY. Remember Elijah and the Prophets of Baal. Remember Sodom & Gomorrah. Remember the Canaanites. God's love is rather specific on occasion.
Remember this brief moment with Moses:
24At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to put him to death. 25Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’c feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” 26So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision.
This bit is just weird. Quote (pg. 47)
"The endless divisions that we create between us and that we live and die for- whether they are our religions, our ethnic groups, our nationalities- are so totally irrelevant to God. God just wants us to love one another. Many, however, say that some kinds of love are better than others, condemning the love of gays and lesbians. But whether a man loves a woman or another man, or a woman loves a man or another woman, to God it is all love, and God smiles whenever we recognize our need for one another."
God seemed to think killing for religions was very necessary at one time. Might be again one day. But God can take care of that himself - He doesn't need us killing for Him.
Mr. Tutu, did you not notice that God often condemns the so-called love of gays and lesbians? Was your Bible missing that page? Please don't tell lies about the Biblical God... just because you happen to like abominational sex. This does NOT make God smile. If you insist: please show me what book and verse you use to justify that bit of doctrine and theology? I'll wait...
God's love and wrath are always present. Tutu you simply must start telling people the entire story. The Biblical TRUTH. Not just your little Social agenda that puts out your Golden Calf deity. Either renounce Christianity - or learn it properly. But I know you won't - you are too far gone. How sad.
But thanks for any good may accidentally do on the way.
I'll end with this twist: Quote (pg. 84)
"We must remember that what God thinks is more important than what others think."
YES, now go figure out what God you're talking about - because it sure isn't the Biblical God. ...more
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Oct 31, 2016
Nov 06, 2016
Oct 25, 2016
Jan 01, 2015
Jan 05, 2016
it was ok
So a guy who works for a french satirical newspaper ends up being shot by a few terrorists who didn't get the religious jokes and crude mockery of the So a guy who works for a french satirical newspaper ends up being shot by a few terrorists who didn't get the religious jokes and crude mockery of their precious beliefs. Ummmh? What the hell did you think was gonna happen. Noobs! My condolences to your families.
Yes, I know, it's horrible that nasty free-speech has been silenced by a minority (or Muslim majority?) and brutally crude sarcastic unbelieving atheists are upset their fun was not tolerated. Hey, I partially agree - question everything... and mock a few things that just don't add up. But seriously, didn't these cartoonists and doubters not at least know the state of tolerance on the planet? Didn't they do their homework? Apparently not. A healthy humor is at a minimum these days. Liberals and progressives are generally NOT in favor of free-speech - protect the underdogs at all costs: even if they come into your office and shoot you.
This book was interestingly written and finalized a mere 2 days before they were (12 people) attacked by Islamic terrorists (I assume). Now I appreciate a joke and mock more than the average guy - but these journalistic folks mostly claim that nothing is sacred and the free-press must be free to (behave like 15 year old boys looking at porn for the first time). Yes, most of us grow out of it and deal with the serious issues of life... like teaching our kids basic manners.
This booklet is very atheistic. Which means it defends the free abuse atheists are expected to unleash on the world. Strangely they boast that certain agendas like homosexuality and scientism is off limits - But everyone else's worldviews, scholastic activities and pet beliefs are there to be smashed and ridiculed. Destroy the idea but NOT the person they stupidly try to spout. Which is sad: because personally I find that mocking atheism is just about the funnest thing in the world: and nobody is a worse loser than them - they get downright nasty when their assumptions are questioned and put in their place. I've yet to meet bigger bullies.
The author is deluded enough to say:
"It turns out there is no such thing as atheist terrorism in the twenty-first century. Atheists are persecuted pretty much all over the world, but none of them destroy works of art created by believers to honor their God..."
He doesn't get out much now does he (never had a brawl at the atheist pub over Drugs, money, sex, lies, crime, pride, envy, and basic atheistic stupidity). Cartoon boy assumes that if a gang of non-believing thugs doesn't blow up the Pyramids in the name of "NOTHING" then atheism is all bunnies and rainbows - never a Bully in sight.
Go on the net, or tv, or movies, or books, or universities, or parades and protests and see what atheists are up to with their tolerance. It gets scandalously nasty and occasionally violent and destructive. I've heard of endless churches being vandalized and Pastors dealing with lawsuits. As well as our very own local Trinity university being informed it can't get in the legal LAWYER game because it offends the atheists and their anti-Biblical marriage sexuality stance. YES, atheists are busy doing their damage. School shootings anyone? Not a lot of fear of God in that curriculum - so I assume its atheists. And I doubt there's a pedophile on the planet that wants a deity looking over his shoulder when he's luring a young one to his seductive game. All atheists prefer a wrathful God NOT be looking into their nasty habits. Enjoy that predatorial evolutionary natural selection: No atheistic reason to oppress that.
I gave this pamphlet 2 stars because I agree with free press and the right to always voice your opinion (no matter how pathetic and poorly thought out it is). Yes, those muslims and catholics need to be mocked on occasion, and don't get me started on religious charismatics and liberal do-gooders who've removed all the sacred cores from traditional Christianity. Indeed, challenge everything: Hinduism with its child temple sex-slaves, Buddhism with it's known stupidities (yes, Breatharianism is for those who claim they can live off of AIR instead of food). And the cults are always fun for general comical bashings. And it's a given that politicians are fodder for comic strips. But NOTHING is more fun than questioning atheism and their default assumptions (Yes, they claim a goodness and fairness - yet fail to notice nature and the Cosmos has Zero interest in either... it's probably best preparing how to chuck an asteroid at Earth just to shut up all the whining.)
The problem is: (for Americans and political views)
How do crude cartoonists even attempt to mock somebody like Trump? Their basic 15 year old boy behavior IS DONALD TRUMP (aren't they all about sex jokes after all? How many times can you sexually mock the virgin mary and still support family values> Hmmm, sounds like Christopher Hitchens typical day. And most atheists adore him). And hopefully they are aware that Mrs, Clinton will take away much of their free speech if she wins: Yes, aborting babies and supporting criminals is okay, but don't you dear insult those poor GLBTQ folks. That would be evil, and there's no bully like a victim of sexual intolerance. Better not mock that for long. 1984 indeed.
It is a fact that many Atheists and Democrats in America are very much in favor of defending Islam and embracing Muslims. I can't quite figure this out - I just assume many are really stupid (or they need the votes really bad.) I'm pretty sure Charbs family would NOW be Republicans.
It is nice to look back over Christian history and see that we've always had a bit of humor and mocking in our history: From Elijah, to Paul, to Jesus, and through the Saints and up to the reformation - we like to mock our heretics and enemies. But there is a line of decency we should not cross, yes - some things are sacred: like Infants in the womb and many freedoms. 2 of my fav Christian comedy sites right now are: the Babylon Bee and the Lutheran Satire videos. Great stuff! It's always fun to Mock Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris etc. But we even pray for their very souls - leave no man behind: unless he stops to play in the manure. Yes, we mock: But we don't murder our mission-field: only Muslims do that.
A good comment was made by Charb (sorry, I don't care to find it)
Something about God doing His own killing.
I totally agree. The last killing done in the Biblical New Testament was by God himself. Yes, Acts 5: Anannias & Sapphira were put to death BY GOD for lying about their commitment to the newly established church of Christ.
Therefore REAL Christians can sit back and allow God to apply His own justice. Any religion that assumes they need to act for an absent God is more likely atheistic in application. I heard a joke recently:
A bunch of religious folk warn a Pub owner that they will pray to their deity for the demise of his evil and bebaucherous pub... well, a week later his pub burns down by somewhat natural forces. The Pub owner sues the religious folk. They, of course, say it's not their fault. Pub owner says their praying brought it about: The judge declares - The truth is the pub owner believes in a God and the religious folk really don't.
Funny eh? Very few religious people on this planet really trust in a deity to do much of anything. Too bad. God is still very much in charge. But he seldom does what we think is worthwhile. He's busy with something bigger: Salvation and eternal Kingdom for His Son: the Redeemer of man.
Okay, this book spends a whack of time arguing about phobias: homophobia, Islamophobia, Cathophobia (that one really doesn't exist, but it gets the point across for those Catholics). Yes, just cause we are annoyed by something doesn't mean we fear it. Just because we mock it doesn't mean we fear it. Indeed - the left keep using that phobia term incorrectly. Same goes for racism. Yes, we are allowed to occasionally NOT like something. Being afraid of spiders and potatoes does not mean you are going to round up a Posse and string them up. Relax everyone. Charb and I agree (except when it comes to the gay agenda).
Now i'm not sure how Mr. Charb is going to make out when he stands before God to be judged for his talents. It's not looking good. Ouch! Maybe you should have better spent your time elsewhere. Hope you had time to repent of your slanderous cartoons of the virgin Mary. Not much chance of Jesus letting you walk through the Pearly Gates after abusing his Mother's honor. YES, You are most likely DAMNED eternally specifically for that - Don't mess with a brother's Mother.
This book was slightly confusing: Over in France there's some difficulty trying to sort out the left extremism from the right extremism. Similar to Mrs. Clinton desperately trying to sell herself to the Republicans for acceptance... And Trump behaving like a liberal with no code of decency.
So i'm not really sure who the audience for this book is: mostly 15 year old boys making fart jokes of the Pope and Muhammad. Wait till they have kids of their own one day. Hope everyone appreciates my free speech.
Notes are private!
Sep 15, 2016
Oct 25, 2016
Oct 20, 2016
Mar 06, 2012
it was ok
More Pagels LOVING on the Gnostic scholars, and kicking mud at the Holy Bible. At least she does it nicely.
I grabbed this book thinking it would be ab More Pagels LOVING on the Gnostic scholars, and kicking mud at the Holy Bible. At least she does it nicely.
I grabbed this book thinking it would be about the heart soul and mind of The Book of Revelation. But it's really about John's writing and the possible origins and history of numerous Revelation type-books that she chats about. Which is fun: it's worth reading. Had to force myself to finish it though.
Way more fun to just read John MacArthur's Revelation Commentary : Because the Time is Near: John MacArthur Explains the Book of Revelation
Notes are private!
Sep 09, 2016
Oct 16, 2016
Oct 16, 2016
Oct 01, 1991
really liked it
So, you send a few eggheads to Mars for 25 years... and you bring back their freaky Martian child (now about 20?) who has superpowers and thinks He's So, you send a few eggheads to Mars for 25 years... and you bring back their freaky Martian child (now about 20?) who has superpowers and thinks He's a god - not THE god. Let the fun begin.
Normally I wouldn't read a sci-fi book like this but: the back of the book said "...begins his transformation into a kind of messiah."
Okay, i'm hooked. I love religious crap. And there's tons of it in here. Very little religious truth though. But that's to be expected.
Heinlein isn't a religious expert. Unless he IS but puts most of his expertise aside to get through this story. He pokes fun AND TRUTH at Cults, Astrology, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Buddhists, nutty and charismatic Christians... and scientifically absurd atheists. Sounds like my normal Saturday morning on the internet.
So a boy born from very scientifically advanced parents (on Mars) comes back to earth: learns about our annoying gravity, GIRLS, religions, customs, morality, humor, violence, and friendship. Sounds nice eh? But most of it isn't.
First he gets imprisoned by our government, then stolen by a nurse, then smuggled about, then... eventually becomes a kind of messiah. It's hard not to give too much away. Basically Heinlein turns this guy into a space Jesus.
What saved this book for me was the character Jubal Harshaw. Basically a rich successful freethinking author and elderly playboy. He takes in our Martian and begins teaching him about life and stuff. And the humor and mockery is hilarious. A wise old man who questions just about everything. WE need more people like him - keeps us real and grounded. Nothing is safe from his scorn and ridicule. I hope to be like this guy when i'm old... but with a purpose.
The first hilarious thing that happens in this story is:
Heinlein presents Astrology as the one TRUE science. This bit of humor never gets old - and runs throughout the story. He then proceeds to mock most religions and cults. Our Martian buddy gets to travel around and explore some of these insanities - He even gets offers from the Fosterites (a Charismatic type loosely based Christian cult). But instead of joining one of these religions: our spaceman starts his own based on his advanced skills and healing abilities. Lots of polygamy of course (gotta compete with those Mormons).
But like all modern messiahs, there's gotta be some persecution, and some deaths.
I don't recommend this book to anyone. It's way too long and most would never finish it. Took me a few months and many Truck-driving chemical delivery's (I did the audiobook). But this book may cause you to rethink many things. It most likely won't change your mind - but thinking is fun. ...more
Notes are private!
Jun 03, 2016
Sep 03, 2016
Mar 15, 2007
Apr 01, 2007
it was ok
Hmmm, a five star idea for a Christian book. I eventually reduced it to one star - But then the last chapter slightly attempted to deal with some of m Hmmm, a five star idea for a Christian book. I eventually reduced it to one star - But then the last chapter slightly attempted to deal with some of my concerns.
So an atheist and a somewhat failed X-Pentecostal "try anything to fill them pews" Pastor (church consultant?) go and critique a whack of church services. Now we have their non-theological opinions to fuddle through.
It seems X-Pastor "Jim" does a fair bit of mocking and zero Biblical theology. Here's how he see's God functioning in todays world:
"We aren't called OFF THE MAP for nothing. We invite people to travel to new places in their spiritual thought life and explore the margins where God is often secretly at work creating the next big idea."
Sorry Jim, Just ONE BIG IDEA back in Genesis.
"...to provide us with information we need in order to see how important it is for us to become more NORMAL if we hope to truly connect with the people Jesus misses most."
YES, Normal Just like Moses, Jesus, Paul and Peter and Elijah.
NO matter what these great Bible folks did: people generally hated them. God guarantee's us that. But Jim seems to think if we adjust a few things then we can do a better job than Jesus or Paul OR JONAH.
You do remember Jonah right? That guy who had the most successful revival in human history. Zero seeker sensitivity, and he most likely didn't greet people with a sanctuary inviting smile.
Just to jog your memory:
4Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
To be fair: it does help to be the guy who was recently spit out of a whale. I wonder if Jim tried that technique in his quest to fill his churches?
This book is a great useful read - just not for the answers the authors might have intended. And it will also save you the insanity of visiting T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, and a few other crap religious and spiritual money machines.
So here's the meat of the problem: Are Jesus' church services supposed to make atheists comfortable or busy applauding religious humanism?
NO. Church is FOR and ABOUT Christ and the Godhead. Not necessarily US (but it always leads to our LOVE for others). And that is the author's confusion throughout. He seems to think a Christian worship service should include all of our goody deeds and humanistic outreaches. I can go to a pub and hear a bunch of atheists boast about that stuff. I go to a church service to Worship/Learn and Celebrate/commune with my God and with the other Body Of Christ "Saints". The service is NEVER for atheists. Go see Billy Graham in an arena if you want an atheist gathering geared for them. Outreach can happen the rest of the week - but the gathering of the saints is that hourly moment we reach IN.
While reading this I kept thinking about the biblical Israelite Temple and THEIR services. Would a liberal and an atheist ever dare to critique those? Remember the 3 people God killed in the Old Testament:
1 Chronicles 13
10The anger of the LORD burned against Uzza, so He struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark; and he died there before God.…
1Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 2And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.…
I know, I know - God doesn't seem to work like that anymore. God also gave us a complete Bible and removed himself from our services, and then removed the prophets TOO. (we do get the Holy Spirit on occasion). The point is that God was very specific about his worship services.
We, of course, have thrown almost all that out the window - in the name of filling pews and paying for Joel Osteen's smile. (I only say that because Tammy Fay Bakker isn't around anymore). Thanks to Jesus we are no longer cooking up all our livestock at church anymore. YES, the Temple curtain was torn when Christ died.
Now we have a great deal of freedom (and abuse) in our weekly gatherings. We don't go to hell for simply standing in the wrong spot or picking a boring un-theological hymn. But as this book shows us: there are still a lot of folks dancing around the Golden Calf.
Just for fun: and for T.D. Jakes: Here goes the classic
21And Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them?” 22And Aaron said, “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. 23For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 24So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”
Yes, i'm sure Jakes, and Osteen are going to attempt the same lame excuse. "Give me YOUR gold...out came this calf?"
My perfect church service would probably be horrifically boring to most atheists and liberals AND charismatics: Gather to Sing the Bible, Read the Bible, Teach the Bible, Pray and inspire others in the place to continue to do the same with a relational Jesus. God gave us HIS word (Christ AND scripture). Dwell on both.
It is interesting that there's a constant theme of humanism throughout this book. Atheists keep insisting that we Christians would impress them if we did 99% JUST THAT. My bite back is: I thought empathetic Atheists were doing it all? Apparently NOT. They're at the pub assuming us Christians are taking care of it with our soup kitchens and thrift stores and St. Mary's Hospitals and World Relief organizations... and orphanages... prison meetings and schools. Apparently, the minute we fail to do these things the whole church of Jesus crumbles instantly. But Atheists and Liberal Social Humanist church goers have it backwards: Jesus FIRST... then looking after widows, orphans, poor, soldiers, prisoners, sick. I'm still waiting for atheists to pick up some of the slack in these areas... I may be waiting a long time - unless it's government funded and has health benefit packages for the atheists (cuz it's ALL ABOUT EMPATHY). And yet I hear atheists daily insisting they take away church funding and Government assistance. And that would be fine: as long as they look after their own rubble.
I fully enjoyed the atheist "Casper" and his opinions. He's also a musician like myself - so we know how to view a musician and an entertainer's honesty and integrity.
A few comments hit on how churches fail to greet visitors. This is a strange challenge in my church as well. Jim and Casper don't seem to clue in on the reality of it:
Many churches have about 15% dedicated healthy core members. The other 85% are needy lonely attenders who desire to be loved and included. This means those core people have very little time for visitors --- I have this challenge every week. There's a lot of lonely left out people that love to chat with me. How I wish these folks would connect with the NEW visitors. But they DON'T. Everybody wants to feel special: long term members and NEW. And when we meet folks with laptops - we assume they're from the denomination headquarters and we should spend our time somewhere else.
Why didn't they visit John MacArthur's church? Maybe they tried and he told them to leave... go play on your laptops somewhere else: we're here to WORSHIP GOD.
It was interesting that they made it to a small variety of churches. The L.A. style one was amusing.
quote: (pg. 18)
Jim said, "...as far as I understand it anyway, Jesus never intended for the institution we call Christianity to form into a religion."
I don't think Jim does understand it. WE need to connect the Old and New Testament. Recall the Jerusalem Temple with a Heavenly one. Know that God expects certain religious obedience's from us. I wonder what does Jim do with this bit of New Testament Jesus' Religion: Acts 5
Ananias and Sapphira being put to death by God:
1But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.
7After an interval of about three hours his wife came in... When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.
I wonder how Jim and Casper would deal with this in their laptop assessment? This was very much Jesus' Church. God's not fooling around. I'm Surprised Jakes and Osteen haven't had churches full of dead people from wrong motives. Although, God doesn't necessarily deal with churches that ARE NOT His own... they can do whatever the hell they want - for now.
Jim lovingly says, "Jesus came to start a movement that would advance his mission of bringing reality, sanity, and love back to planet Earth..."
Is that why God allowed almost all the disciples to be put to death? Actually, the Bible says the goal is to take sanity and LOVE >>> OUT of the Earth and into Jesus Kingly paradise. This Earth certainly isn't getting better... Jim showed us that by all the church chaos he experienced. This place is going to the dogs - and God's wrath is coming.
I must compliment much of Atheist Casper's concerns - everything from fake healings, to money grabs, and insincerity. He even notices a lack of Jesus and theology in some places. How the hell do these churches not notice these issues from within>>> I just assume there might not be any actual Christians attending those services, not for long anyway. A real Christian will hunger for the Word of God - and hopefully have at least a smidgen of discernment.
Quote: (pg. 51)
Helen the almost atheist - "I knew I wasn't a Christian. But OFF THE MAP has helped me understand that I don't have to be a Christian to be a follower of Jesus. Maybe I am still a follower after all!"
What the CRAP?! It appears this OFF THE MAP organization has a problem defining the term "Christian". After reading this book i can see HOW. They have no discernment or Biblical standard. Just a typical Social Gospel Humanism. YES, Atheists everywhere are applauding.
So what IS a Christian? Similar to what is a Saint? Also similar to Who's in the Body Of Christ? Another group desperate to hide the doctrine of Heaven and Hell - lest anyone come to a Biblical conclusion about what side they are REALLY on.
Quote: (pg. 53)
When the hymn was over, Casper (the atheist) sat down with a smile. "Ahhhh... feels like home, Jim!"
Yes, a fair bit of this book is about how Casper and Jim >>> FEEL. Best not to make religious doctrine or theological assumptions based on your emotions. Often God disagrees with our humanistic insistencies and altruism. Even God occasionally didn't do what He felt... and neither did Jonah, and we know King David shouldn't have done what he felt.
This book gives us a few examples of poorly understood doctrine causing havoc. For instance:
Casper said, "...the Catholic church my dad's family belonged to had just stopped doing baptisms in Latin. So my dad got to hear the words loud and clear. And when he saw this innocent little baby and heard the priest talking about casting sin out of this beautiful, harmless creature, he just couldn't see the sense in it."
(I'll deal with this baby: Is it really innocent? Did they really cast sin out of it? Does God send babies to hell? Are they harmless? There was no Biblical sense in what the priest was doing. Now if you want to discuss making this infant an Israelite -- that's another issue.)
This shows the horrendous theology of most atheists (and Catholics, as well as your typical church goer). For this, I look forward to reading Jim and Casper's other book. It's amazing how many people think they are leaving a Christian church because of some issue they never properly understood. Or in the case of this books journey - they never even realized they weren't EVEN IN A CHRISTIAN CHURCH. OR they were being taught by a lazy humanist non-biblical theologian.
Quote: (pg. 65)
Jim - "...that they are obeying what Jesus told us to do: Bring the kingdom of God to Earth."
I wish Jim would have posted some Bible verses to justify his claims. Giving a homeless guy a donut doesn't equal bringing the Kingdom to Earth. Neither does any other secular materialistic need necessarily.
Okay, I know what everyone is saying: "How dare somebody question another's claims to abstract Jesus' following." Or in street-slang "Jesus following is whatever I want it to be!"
Here's the problem: many differing religions and do-gooders claim a claim on Jesus.
Mormon's have a polygamist Jesus, J.W.'s have a Michael the Archangel in a Jesus suit, every cult has a Jesus that speaks their babble. Catholics have a distant Jesus...better to ask His Mom. Buddhists and Hindu's have an Avatar Jesus that spoke some Cosmic truth. Muslims have a Jesus that was born of a virgin but can't match up to the Prophet Muhammad. And Christians have the Jesus of THE BIBLE. (then there's the endless Jesus confusion from Charismatics and liberals).
It seems Jim has a Jesus partially from the Bible. The parts he likes anyway. Does He agree with the Biblical Jesus putting Anannias & Sapphira to death (as the foundation of the New Testament church?) I'm not so sure. I hope so.
This IS All about His church after all - isn't it?
Okay, last issue.
Page 103 was somewhat horrifying. From Beliefs To Spirituality.
..."Today...people are more and more comfortable talking about their spirituality and less and less comfortable talking about beliefs or religion... since Jesus had no interest in religion other than his cultural connection to it. Jesus was constantly relating with people who did not hold his beliefs or practice Jewish religion... focused on spiritual realities without playing the religion/beliefs card."
YES, Jim applauds people being comfortable. Don't recall that bit in my Bible. Jim constantly forgets THE ENTIRE BIBLE is a doctrine of religion >>> From Genesis to Revelation, Baptism to the lord's Supper, Jesus being the ONLY way AND TRUTH, and the specifics of Heaven and Hell and Judgement. Sorry Jim, but there's a whole lot of religion around Jesus. Even the Thief on the Cross had some serious correct religious doctrine in his relationship with Jesus. Simply confusing love and sin and claiming to be spiritual does not equal entrance into Jesus' Kingdom. Most spiritual people I meet don't appreciate the idea of a Biblical Jesus actually having His own Kingdom. That's just selfish and doesn't agree with their open-minded Jesus spirituality - you know, that stuff Jim seems to applaud.
This is still a fun book to read. Lots of insights and a few good laughs. AS long as pastors don't take it seriously and start reformatting their churches> Unless theologically required. ...more
Notes are private!
Aug 07, 2016
Aug 13, 2016
Aug 06, 2016
Sep 15, 2001
Dec 13, 2016
A delivery guy walks into a room with a fire-place and an old man...they philosophize about religion and existence. Sounds like my typical day. But in A delivery guy walks into a room with a fire-place and an old man...they philosophize about religion and existence. Sounds like my typical day. But in this case: one claims to actually know MORE than any human should.
The author is scott adams (who wrote the Dilbert comics apparently). It seems Scotty is a creative amateur philosopher - Does anybody really ever get to be a professional philosopher? Teaching doesn't count of course (those that can't do - often teach... Ouch!). Does publishing a story book count in the upper hierarchy of deep thinkers? Sure, why not!
Fun story. I dare you to find the flaws in it? I found many. (I don't think Scott minds - he seems to have a healthy sense of humor).
Scott poorly compares all religions. He barely comprehends the deity of Christianity --- which technically destroys the value of his entire story. Some great insights, but not understanding the nature of the Trinity leaves the Debris of this God not necessary: see, God already died; remember that Jesus moment on the cross?
The challenge with this book and every OTHER religion (outside of Christianity) is that they basically repeat what the talking snake did in the Garden of Eden:
1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
This stories Guru claims: quote (pg. 44)
|The old man looked at nothing and said, "we are God's debris."
Well, not exactly the same as being an enlightened deity knowing good and evil... but comically close. This book basically smacks of some twisty Buddhism. What doesn't nowadays? Everybody gets to be THE GOD except Jesus. People keep claiming that He never claimed to be God. (The Bible shows how He is God in every way. People just don't like it... Cause it interfere's with their divinity.) Or in the case of Islam: it interfere's with their heavenly virgin Houris concubines (kept guarded behind pavilions?) that DON'T get to be God. Any dude will give up being bits of god for that eternal lovefest.
Quote (pg. 54)
"So, you're saying God blew himself to bits - I guess that was the Big bang - and now he's piecing himself back together?" I asked.
"He is discovering the answer to his only question."
"Does God have consciousness yet? Does he know he's reassembling himself?"
"He does, Otherwise you could not have asked the question, and I could not have answered."
So that's the fun we got to work with. Deepak Chopra would love this crap. Probably be in his next book. I wonder if Oprah would object to being a broken chippy bit of god?
But every theologian and philosopher (as well as scientist) should try and read this book. It will challenge them in some fun areas. Adams came up with some great stuff. This one was rather insightful:
Quote: (pg. 76) Argument about validating scientific studies
"If they tested him with controlled experiments and he repeatedly passed, I think they would conclude he had ESP." I said.
"Your wrong. They would conclude that their tests were not adequately controlled and that more study needed to be done. They would say that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. And they would keep testing until they either got a negative result or lost interest. No skeptic would take the chance of declaring someone to have ESP if there were any risk of later being proven wrong. Their cult does not promote that sort of risk."
This is very applicable. Basically Secular Evolutionary science at its most naked. It simply MUST be correct...or we'd have to rethink the Biblical account and supernatural Intelligent Design... and we can't allow that in the classroom.
Why believe in a Great Flood when we can believe in 3 Ice Ages? Mock one and make endless claims about the other --- even claims that Mars was once flooded. But NEVER allow for a Global Earth flood of Biblical proportions.
So you might as well read this book - it's FUN stuff. Might cause you to question some things you easily and blindly accepted. But like most skeptics: probably NOT. Don't want to upset YOUR CULT. ...more
Notes are private!
Jun 06, 2016
Jun 07, 2016
Jun 04, 2016
Oct 06, 2014
Oct 06, 2014
did not like it
NOPE, not one reason why there is no GOD to be found in this entire book. Just a bucket of failed atheistic thinking. Just to be clear, here is the ti NOPE, not one reason why there is no GOD to be found in this entire book. Just a bucket of failed atheistic thinking. Just to be clear, here is the title of this book:
Why There Is No God : simple responses to 20 common arguments for the existence of GOD
My joy is to go through all 20 arguments and see where X-muslim (New atheist) Armin Navabi went wrong. Hint: he didn't find 20 GOOD arguments. He did what richard dawkins and other enlightened - desperate for a win - atheists attempt: find the easiest theistic fluffy stands and bash them good. Indeed, not one bit of atheistic wisdom even got close to shutting down my Classic Christianity (sure, it did some flailing at fringe liberal charismatic cultish churches. So easy). But to attack the Christian God and leave Jesus forgotten in history takes a bigger man than Armin. Hopefully this book will thin the churches of some unwanted liberal agnostics... or even better: cause some to investigate the God of the Bible. Here goes.
1) "Science can't explain the complexity and order of life; God must have designed it to be this way"
It's amazing how often atheists thrust forth their proud "science of the gaps". They mock a god of the gaps while carefully claiming belief in UFO's, Multi-verses, life forms travelling on asteroids, or science that isn't really Repeatable, Predictable, Observable, or even Testable.
Boy wonder here holds up Evolution as proof that complex systems can arise without a designer. Didn't Dawkins state, "Evolution has been observed, just NOT while it's happening." ??? ummmh. Apparently science is a rather loose term these days.
We get a funny story from Armin about a Mathematician who DESIGNS a game to show how complexity can arise without a designer... (He did WHAT? Anyone else see how funny that is?)
Armin then adjusts the topic to complain about how God must have needed a designer because... BUT, an eternal creator is NOT required to be created. Remember a few short years ago when atheists boasted that the universe was eternal and therefore we don't need a god? Bhahaha.
quote by Armin:
"...we may never have all the answers. But there's nothing wrong with that. Not knowing the answer to a question is not a valid excuse for making up a fairytale to explain it."
Please remember that Armin said that. And apply it fairly to Intelligent Design and religious thinking. Armin seems to demand a lot of answers. And then go investigate some Macro-Evolutionary thinking. Everytime you see a scientist state MAYBE, MIGHT HAVE, WE THINK, POSSIBLY, PERHAPS... remember that this is supposed to be science they are bludgeoning us with - not random guesses and fairytales from lab rats in white suits.
Nothing here removes the Biblical God.
2) "God's Existence Is Proven By Scripture"
The Bible isn't here to PROVE God exists. Who told you that? Really no different than holding up an elephant and claiming this proves it was once a mouse. Funny that here "Armin" boasts of scripture being hyperbole speculation and mythology (similar to how we see atheistic evolutionary claims -- except that bit where atheists claim Apes as their ancestors, they can have that. No argument.)
My favorite comments are in this section. Here Armin attempts to take on the Bible and its contradictions.
So how can God use light when the sun hasn't been created yet? Well, God IS light. Therefore no reason to argue about what day the sun was created. Any first year Bible student recalls: Revelation 22:5
"There will be no more night in the city, and they will have no need for the light of a lamp or of the sun. For the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever."
It appears Armin didn't do his homework. Typical. To properly comprehend the beginning of the Bible: it's best to read the ending as well. Three other :POSSIBLE contradictory Bible moments are shown:
Did Joseph of Arimathea OR OTHERS bury Jesus? Seriously, does this guy even own a Bible? Many people were involved in Jesus last moments and burial. This is just lazy desperate attacks. Kinda funny. Remember Armin; contradictions are 2 things that can't possible be at the same time.
Matthew 27: 59And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud... 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
Acts 13: 29And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.
??? Seriously? Is that the best you can do? A 1000 page Bible and you can't find a better contradiction than ONE specific and ONE general account? And people wonder why I mock atheists daily.
Since this is my favorite comedy chapter I'll have a go at ALL of Armin's hopeful Biblical contradictions. Here's the 2nd basket that all Armin's eggs are in:
How many angels were in the tomb of Jesus?
Matthew 28: Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women,
This definitely focuses on ONE angel. Doesn't say there weren't two. The writer of Matthew might not even have been there. So this is just telling the story. Let's see what Luke and John say to contradict Matthew.
Luke 24: they went to the tomb... 2And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.
Mark 16: 5And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.
John 20: 11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
So you can easily tell this is the account from different timelines, and different purposes. Luke speaks of the entire incident with soldiers and THEN the ladies appearing. Other accounts aren't guaranteed to mention EVERY single bit of info - just the essentials. YES, angels are definitely there: does the number matter? Hardly. WE have 4 authors getting the story across. It's all about Jesus, not the angels dancing on the head of a pin. Of course: if you have 2 angels in a room - then there was definitely ONE. So this is not a contradiction. Remember: the Bible isn't a DVD manual from china, it's a religious theological account written across many cultures.
For a modern day comparison:
Go ask a husband and wife to give details about their previous restaurant experience - one will say, "we have a waitress take our order and bring us some food. Then we paid the check." Yes, totally accurate. Then the wife will say, "we met the hostess who seated us, then the waitress came and brought water and took/brought our order, then the manager came by and greeted us, later a busboy came and cleared our table, then we paid at the counter. Later a valet brought our car to us."
One more just for fun. This complaint is a good one (liberal Bible-hating christians actually like this one. Justifies their dismissing of the Bible as a reliable Word from God. Atheists everywhere applaud.)
Did Jesus die before, during, or after the Passover meal? Let's see. Put your scholarly cap on and shut off your biases for about 5 minutes. (too much to ask I know). Let's find Armin's contradiction... that apparently 2000 years of Bible scholars somehow missed.
First off. Let's understand Passover: Exodus 23:
14“Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. 15You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt...
Leviticus 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
Hmmm, Unleavened bread eating for 7 days eh? Interesting. Bit of wiggle room perhaps. Maybe not.
Mark 14 - 15 ...YES, Jesus died after HE ate HIS passover meal.
John 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 IS THE PASSOVER MEAL...So clearly Jesus died AFTER it in John as well.
Maybe Armin is confused by simple sentence structure and breaks. John does state:
John 13:1 and THEN 2:
1Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2During supper (yes, this is LATER, the Passover meal)...
It seems Armin assumed a run on sentence. That's kind of funny. (pg. 21)
"When scripture can't even come to a consensus about a simple fact like the date of Jesus's crucifixion, it difficult to accept the accounts as being historically accurate, much less divinely inspired."
The other issue is the labeling of time itself, in the first century. There aren't 24 hour days, but sections of the day. And the start of a day may begin at dark - rather than morning.
Later Armin attacks the Islamic Quran. That's okay. I do it all the time. Carry on.
Armin then makes an interesting assumption and shows some historical snobbery. (Pg. 23)
"Jesus's contemporaries were Aramaic-speaking, illiterate commoners. They could neither read nor write..."
There sure were a lot of scripture reading, priests and politicians running around. Lots of parents too who probably didn't think twice about educating their kiddies in the ways of Moses. YES, they took religion very seriously. Seriously enough to kill Jesus. Remember that old Testament bit where the Jews were told to: Deuteronomy 6
6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Armin assumes these folks didn't take their heritage seriously. Interesting. I recall a lot of folks then taking their traditions rather extremely. Enough to revolt against Rome and have Jerusalem destroyed. No shortage of those involved in the temples.
Again, no reason to assume there is no GOD yet Armin. Keep trying.
3) "Some unexplained events are miraculous, and these miracles prove the existence of God."
I don't generally use this as an argument. But we do live in a life supporting Universe, Galaxy, Planet, and we seem to have impressive consciousness stuffed into meatbots that one day decided to divide into male and female and repopulate with sexual urges and enough knowledge to cut the umbilical chord. That's enough to keep me interested in a GOD.
4) "Morality stems from God, and without God, we could not be good people."
WE aren't. WE can't even define objective good without a GOD. One man's prostitute is another man's wife/mother/daughter/sister. Good thing there's a God to say: "Cut that crap out."
As we still see that - most DON'T cut that crap out.
Side argument: God is either impotent, Evil, or non-existent.
Actually God is patient, tolerant, waiting, and about to bring JUSTICE and WRATH, and put an end to sin and evil in HIS Kingdom. Hell can do whatever it wants - won't be fun though, no resources.
Another side argument: An all-loving god would surely not damn his children to an eternity of torture simply for being born into...
Why assume some are God's children? God is also ALL-JUSTICE. Hell isn't necessarily torture (read the book carefully). There's nothing simple about eternal judgement. (read some Calvinism)
Armin boasts of natural altruistic behaviors: HE fails to mention those who eat their young and rape and impregnate at will. And then there's the animal kingdom...
5) "Belief in God would not be so widespread if God didn't exist."
Men don't go around creating religions - demons do. WE go around lying, stealing, raping, coveting, abusing, devouring, absorbing and destroying. It takes something supernatural to borrow and twist religion. Although people endlessly going around saying "OMG and Jesus H. Christ" is rather fascinating.
6) "God Answers Prayers; Therefore, He Must Be Real"
Not an argument I would use. But I have seen numerous people drastically change their lives for the better based on possible prayer...and i've seen atheists get WORSE.
7) "I Feel A Personal Relationship with God, So I Know That He Is Real"
Not an argument I would use. But nothing here erases a Biblical Deity. Keep trying.
8) "It's Safer To Believe In God Than Be Wrong And Go To Hell"
Satan believes in God. This doesn't prove Armin's case. Best NOT TO go to hell though.
9) "God Isn't Defined, Comprehended, Described. One Must Simply Have Faith"
Bad argument, the Bible very clearly tells us much about God. Actually God GIVES US faith. WE don't just whip up a batch.
10) "There's NO Evidence That God Doesn't Exist"
Again: bad argument. WE live in a world of religion. Sort through the data. There are many ways to prove fanciful claims aren't true - don't be so lazy.
11) "If There Is No God, Where Did Everything Come From? Without God, There Is No Explanation"
There's still no GOOD explanation. Just Atheists throwing Multi-verses and Space Aliens all Amuck in the name of Science Of The Gaps.
12) "My Religion/God Has Helped Me So Much. How Could It Not Be Real?"
Not a good argument. Not one that undoes a Biblical God either. Now if atheists could just explain how they came across the word "GOOD"? AS opposed to "BAD".
13) "God Is Love; God Is energy"
Said NO Christian ever. I'll move on. Fruity Spiritualist Guru's are YOUR problem.
14) "The Laws Of Logic Prove the Existence of God"
I would say the Data proves the Existence of God. Laws are only as good as we comprehend them.
15) "Believing In God Provides Meaning and Purpose; Without It, Life Would Be Meaningless"
Atheists simply belittle the point of Purpose and Meaning. Reduce it to the equivalent of having a pet rock.
Here he argues about needing Proof to substantiate beliefs. But what proof would he like; or even accept. My guess is NONE will do, or even be allowed into the game.
He also makes a typical flaw of atheism here: "False Ideas about the universe... can set false expectations among believers and strip them of the tools they need to properly cope with the challenging events of their lives in a healthy way."
Explain the terms: PROPERLY, EXPECTATIONS, COPE, and HEALTHY. Atheism doesn't justify or claim any altruistic good or purpose. One man's death is another's conquest and prosperity. Atheism doesn't have a default position or inherent goodness or purpose any different than Hitler's.
Armin even shows us this: "You are free to seek your own meaning and value by making your own choices and discovering your own unique path. There is no single outside force imposing meaning on the events of your life." A tear just came to Hitler's eye. He's so proud, and here Armin goes against his argument earlier:
"Life is, objectively, meaningless; given the size and scope of the universe and our tiny role within it..."
Welcome to Atheism 101. OUCH!
16) "So many people died for God/Religion. Surely, it must be real"
Said NOBODY. This erase God how? Silly atheist fodder. WE all know more people died for Atheistic subjectivity and greed.
Good quote by Armin: "This history says more about the violent and hurtful aspects of human nature than it does about the existence of God."
YES, humans are nasty aren't they. Don't blame a god for their atheistic warring behavior. Gods can fight their own battles. Most religious folks don't really believe their gods can get the job done.
Funny quote by Armin: "This might explain suicide cults, where OTHERWISE RATIONAL PEOPLE are willing to commit mass suicide...heaven's gate...UFO..."
Define : OTHERWISE RATIONAL??? Bhahahaha.
17) "Atheism Has Killed More People Than Religion, So It Must Be Wrong"
A serious religious person would believe their Deity can do His own killing. Everyone else is basically liberal atheists. Interestingly: 99.9% of the crimes in my newspaper aren't religious. Hmmm?
Armin finally said it: "...or any other action, both good and bad, do not and cannot speak for atheism in general, as no two atheists necessarily hold any of the same beliefs or convictions about the world."
Welcome to the Atheistic Republic - which can never be an agreed upon Utopia of Good or Bad. Just meaningless indifference and tolerance in the name of...?
18) "You'll Become A Believer When You Are Desperate For God's Help"
NO you won't. Most aren't that desperate or humble.
19) "Smart People and Renowned Scientists like X, Y, and Z Believe In God, So It Must Be True"
Nope, Just means there are successful Atheists and Religious. And that science is often a joke based on peer review and corporate academic incentives. Satan?
Fun quote by Armin:
"Experts can and often do make mistakes." YES, like this book.
Another fun quote that destroys atheistic macro-evolutionary pseudo-science: "If an expert has no evidence to support her (Armin's) claim or if her claim cannot be REPRODUCED AND TESTED (and repeated as well as predicted), her view is hardly more reliable than that of anybody else."
This book sure helps me to NEVER be an atheist. Good job Armin. Keep Em' Comin'.
20) "How Can We Really Know Anything?"
I've never heard a Christian say that. Maybe a Buddhist, or Hindu, or Eastern Spiritualist Hot Yoga Bimbo. I could Imagine some atheists boasting of this. WE Christians claim to know almost EVERYTHING - we're blessed that way. :cD
Thanks to the Bible: We know A LOT. From our origins, to our purpose, to our destiny and the meaning of it all. Atheists honestly don't know any of those. Remember that meaningless bit Armin was babbling about. Welcome to Atheism.
Well, there it is. Nothing in this book even began to prove there is no Christian God. I have learned a lot about Atheism though (mostly funny stuff - some sad despairing bits too).
Here's a good ending quote:
"As seen throughout this book, that evidence does not exist. No argument laid out by theists so far is compellingly believable."
So far all i've seen is that Armin hasn't even begun to look. He hasn't explored how false religions desperately push and pull against Jesus. The world just can't seem to leave this guy Messiah alone. WE have a Bible that atheists can read - and yet they don't use it to see how the world corrupts simple words in print. If the world ignored it: that would be impressive. But all I see is Jesus EVERYWHERE - media, movies, books, archaeology, Philosophy, culture, wars... even atheists are endlessly talking about him. Armin can't seem to find a God that is EVERYWHERE at once. Judaism points to a Jesus, Christianity HAS a Jesus, gnostics tried to steal a Jesus, Catholics worshiped Jesus' mother, Muslims rewrote a Jesus, Hindu's and Buddhists claim Jesus is an Avatar, Communists keep Jesus out, Cults keep borrowing Jesus, Many claim to BE Jesus, Mormons and J.W.'s keep insisting only they can get back to the REAL Jesus, Hollywood warps the basic Jesus in his own story. Atheists can't stop hating and rebelling the classic Jesus.
And Armin just sits there claiming he wants evidence. Bhaha! ...more
Notes are private!
Jul 04, 2016
Jul 18, 2016
Apr 25, 2016
Aug 22, 2008
Sep 22, 2008
did not like it
Sorry everyone, but this was so annoying: I gotta give it one star.
Because Rob Bell doesn't seem to know what a Christian is. And I have no idea Sorry everyone, but this was so annoying: I gotta give it one star.
Because Rob Bell doesn't seem to know what a Christian is. And I have no idea what Don Golden knows - or why he put his name on this?
Is it possible for me to write a polite review lovingly pointing out the issues I had with this babble? I'll try. My patience has been pushed to the limit (Yes, this was my third Rob Bell book as well).
Honestly, I do love Rob's complete waste of space in his pages - makes me feel like an ambitious bookworm just tearing through his mostly empty pages.
I get my hackles up everytime Rob fails to show a Bible verse or source. He throws a little number up instead and then expects us to run to the back of the book... and when we get there: Tada - there's a Bible reference but seldom the actual verse... so after I run to my Bibles (and also my MESSAGE translation, just in case Rob is being all trendy hipster Starbucks Youth Pastor Kool). Seriously buddy, there was so much blank square footage on these white pages you could have printed half the Bible. Hmmm, makes me think you really don't want people seeing the abused context of your verse manipulation.
I just noticed I have a copy of R.C. Sproul's book: Saved From What? on my desk. I immediately noticed that R.C. shows just about ALL of his Bible reference verses --- right there on the FREAKIN' PAGE!
--- "Whoops! Am I failing to be polite already?" ---
The weird thing is: Bell's book has potential.
Turning the Israelite Exile into a running theme that applies to us today was a very creative idea. I wouldn't agree that it's a Biblical idea. But fun to think about. Does Jesus want to exile us one more time? Or a few more times? Rob likes that idea - as long as he doesn't have to deal with a Heavenly kingdom that isn't here at the moment. What would Rob ever do in a Kingdom with no poor or abused people? My guess is: Rob will be having a huge "hippy Love-In" protest at the gates of Hell.
Saved from What??? God apparently. (Thanks R.C.. Your awesome!)
I must have marked over a 100 passages in this Social Gospel pamphlet. Pretty much everytime Bell brings up a Bible issue to force his point with a metal shoehorn of liberalism. So here goes:
Inner booklining quote (pg. -01)
"Once justice is seen as the thread woven into the fabric of Biblical history the whole Bible becomes much clearer. Justice is the issue when God redeems Israel from the pharaoh. Justice is at the heart of the Sinai law and justice is what Israel must show the world as a Kingdom of Priests."
Are you sure Robby? Absolute justice or liberal "feel-good" justice? Godly justice or just take from the rich and give to the poor justice?
This is the beginning of the major flaw with this whole book: Bell leaves out the other half of the story. Real Godly justice would have placed ALL sinners and abusers in Hell. (that's all of us: Pharoah, Israel, Rich, Poor, Moses, even the talking donkey perhaps). The Bible story isn't about Justice - that would be horrifying. It's about Truth, Love, Mercy, Grace, Redemption AND WRATH. I thought of 100's of Bible stories Rob needed to deal with to fully prove his point: He DIDN'T.
I don't think Rob likes the idea that Jesus is our eternal KING. "WHAT?!" A monarchy with one guy in charge? What about democracy and all those liberal votes? Who gets to decide how best to restrict those literal Bible embracing Conservative Fundi's (with their Big Church Buildings) and their bigotry against women's rights? But that's okay - nobody really understands Rob's concept of a Heavenly eternal Kingdom - especially HIM.
I wish Rob Bell would write a book called: All the Things About the Bible That I HATE.
I wouldn't even have to review it - People wouldn't have to labor so hard to comprehend where Rob is going with his Bible chopping politics.
If I wrote a book like this one: In order to be scholarly - I would send it to Rob's worst scholarly enemies (perhaps John MacArthur or James R. White) and find out what I need to do to really prove my points. My guess is Bell sent this to Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu and got it back with his Gold stamp approval, still in the plastic wrap of course. (same as Tutu possibly sending his "God Is Not A Christian" book to Bell). Neither one of them are known for their thorough understandings of the Bible or basic research.
Bell quote: (not even page 1).
"to wake up to our calling, to be saved in all of the ways that matter most."
What ways are those Rob? Do you mean like when Jesus said: "Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
What? That verse doesn't mention poor people and oppressive powers of the empire - not even a complaint about Rich churches only offering one soup kitchen.
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
WHat?! What about Poor People being shameful and deceitful??? Surely they'll enter it. Definitely NOT those Pure Rich people (endless curses on them).
And that's the BIG FLAW with this book: There's just enough truth in it to be totally Useless and dangerous.
Rob's title was dishonest propaganda: "Jesus Wants To Save Christians"
This book isn't about saving anyone. It's about political comfort as Rob see's it. It isn't even really about Jesus or the Bible: it's about liberal politics and humanism. Sure we need to look after the poor and the oppressed - the Bible mentions that many times. But Rob doesn't like the idea that there's a Bigger Issue that Jesus mentions ALSO: Our very Souls. This entire Book is Rob using Jesus as a political tool to force his empathy for the poor. That's sad.
(pg. 16) "These slaves are rescued from the oppression of Egypt."
Rob thinks this is his home-run issue. Anyone being oppressed is a slave - and God demands we free them. But what happens when you rescue slaves: they simply go on to oppress others. Same as what happens when poor people become rich - they go on to horde their wealth selfishly. So is this what God is really about: Someday, maybe, if He's lucky, he might just get a society that is free and equally blessed (but not TOO blessed, that would be a big fat sin) with some kindness sprinkled on top? Slavery isn't a salvation issue.
Notice that God rescued HIS people. Abraham's covenant children. And they sinned AS they were being rescued. God had a specific JOB for them - more so than a freedom and liberty.
Interesting bit about the Queen of Sheba visiting Solomon:
Rob says this PAGAN queen from far away with a different culture comes to see Israel's Justice.
(pg.29) "A queen from the land of Sheba comes to visit Solomon. She's from far way, from a different land, from a different kind of people, with a different religion. And she wants to know more about these people and their king and their God in Jerusalem - Wasn't this what Sinai was all about?...What impresses her most about this God of Solomon's is that this God is the God of the oppressed. This "Pagan" queen from a foreign land understands what God is up to with these Jews..."
Rob didn't do his homework:
She's not really from that far away (Southwest tip of Arabian Peninsula)
She may be a descendant of Abraham through his second wife Kenturah.
She also may have visited to negotiate a trade agreement.
She knew of the LORD of Israel.
She was a very rich leader with servants as well.
But this story proves? God is good. Solomon knows it, Queen of Sheba knows it. Nothing in this Royalty discussion really deals with the poor and oppressed - OR SLAVES.
1 Kings 10: 1Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.
What are these questions? WE don't know. But we do know:
1 Kings 10:
4And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 5the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cupbearers, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the LORD, there was no more breath in her.
They were both FILTHY RICH AND SUCCESSFUL AND POWERFUL.
1 Kings 10: Queen of Sheba says,
9"Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” 10Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, and a very great quantity of spices and precious stones. Never again came such an abundance of spices as these that the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
I too appreciate that part about Justice and Righteousness. God Bless them both. So how did this affect the Slaves and Poor in their kingdoms? We don't really know: Sure didn't stop slavery or heavy labor.
Just for fun:
Imagine 2 rich and powerful leaders from Alabama and Southern California (about 150 years ago) getting together - both religious, giving huge gifts to each other, both owning slaves, both speaking of justice and righteousness.
Are these really different scenarios? Are these people really horrible Christians that need to be saved by Jesus? For some silly reason: Rob thinks so.
(pg. 31) "This is the same Lord who sets slaves free, correct?"
Well, Yes and No.
( Romans 6:18)
and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.
I have yet to meet a liberal who lovingly looks forward to becoming a Slave Of God. (I sure do!)
Here's a fun bit of the Bible: Right from Jesus (Luke 4)
25But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27And there were many lepersa in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.
I bet Robby is filled with wrath as well. If HE were God (or a prophet) he would... Probably think like Peter the Apostle: Matthew 16:23
But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
(pg. 37) "God is searching for a body, a community of people to care for the things God cares about."
Ummmh, I'm not touching that one. That's just weird and Cultic. David Koresh would applaud (while he's shooting at the FBI and burning his followers buildings)
(pg. 38) "They became indifferent to God and to their priestly calling to bring liberation to others."
Liberation? To others? Like the Canaanites perhaps? Or Jericho?
17"But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the LORD your God has commanded you, 18so that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods..."
We have to be careful with the word "Liberation". It never means we are liberal towards SIN or detestable things. But good thing Israel had an ARMY to LIBERATE all these people. Just like GOD SAID.
Rob gets maybe a bit blasphemous here: (pg. 51)
"By the rivers of Babylon, the prophets began to imagine a God who is bigger than the narrow, tribal God of their Jewish heritage."
Depends on what you define as their heritage? I could maybe say the same of Rob Bell's god - simply arranging chairs on a sinking ship - all about some daily comfort.
I don't think Rob is much interested in the NEW NATURE that Jesus and Paul speak of (OR Christ's Robe of righteousness).
and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Rob seems to want a more pleasant surrounding for our common OLD nature. I don't hear him speak much about Holiness or Righteousness before God.
(pg. 81) "If evil always takes some form of violence, then more violence isn't going to solve anything."
(pg. 99) "What he's against is religious rituals that replace the freedom, the liberation, brought by Christ. When people are manipulated with guilt and fear, when they are told that if they don't do certain things they'll be illegitimate, judged, condemned, sent to hell forever-that's violence."
Our Savior is NOT a pacifist. OR against sending people to HELL for not doing certain things.
Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place."
19And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army... were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.
(pg. 84) "In Jesus day, people could read, study, and discuss the scriptures their entire lives and still miss its central message."
YES, like Rob bell does in all his books.
It's supposed to be ALL ABOUT JESUS! But Robby makes Jesus ALL ABOUT US and our precious liberty and rights.
I could go on and on reviewing this - but there's not enough space. So here's my ending bits:
Should we hate Big Churches and Military like Robby does?
Big Churches often achieve Big Things for God. (and they create our economy and jobs)
Big military protects our big freedoms. And I love this comment by John the Baptist (Luke 3)
Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
(pg. 178) "Jesus wants to save us from making the good news about another world and not THIS ONE."
Rob really hates the idea of: (Isaiah 65)
17“For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
Sorry Rob, "THIS ONE" - is not what we need to dwell on. Something better is coming.
2In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
When reading the Bible - be sure to read the WHOLE THING. Not just the parts Bell underlines to justify his political humanism.
At this point: I'm not even sure if Jesus Wants To Save Rob Bell? ...more
Notes are private!
Apr 16, 2016
Apr 20, 2016
Apr 16, 2016
Jan 01, 2012
Mar 12, 2013
did not like it
Those who KNOW little - should preach little. Or write smaller books.
Rob Bell is basically a whiter, more Starbucks Kool Hipster, version of Deepak Ch Those who KNOW little - should preach little. Or write smaller books.
Rob Bell is basically a whiter, more Starbucks Kool Hipster, version of Deepak Chopra trying to be a failed Evangelical liberal Youth Pastor.
I listen to the audiobook of Robby reading this. He's a great reader --- very smooth and entertaining.
So my quotes are not page marked or anything other than a few notes I made while driving.
So, when Rob talks about God:
It's not always (or often) the Biblical God, I wish he'd just come out of the Buddhist closet and state that He loves his Chakra. He's proud of his moment spent with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu back in Seattle (2008). He even says the same crap that Deepak says, "Repent, means to change your mind."
Did Jesus really die on the cross so we could Change Our Mind? You can't make a whole religion out of the bits of Jonah you remember from Sunday school pin-ups. Eventually you have to read the Whole Bible like a grown up. This is a typical problem for Youth Pastor type preachers: they are so busy trying to be KOOL and lead the churches charge into Seeker Sensitive make-overs that most of the Bible is a mystery to them.
I wasn't going to take notes on this book. But then Robbie started babbling about "God is FOR you" nonsense. Then I knew we were in trouble and about to be shafted spiritually. This reminds me of one of my favorite Bible stories: Joshua 5
13When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped...
God isn't for us (Bell obviously isn't a Calvinist) God isn't even against us necessarily. God is FOR Jesus - and we are honored to be called and chosen to be adopted into Christ. The problem is: Bell doesn't know how to even begin comprehending what might happen to those who God doesn't adopt, or worse: those folks who are disgusted by God and Jesus and anything to do with a Righteous Creator. Bell just assumes a bit of light-hearted humor will have people running to Jesus with open arms. And the Bible shows this WHERE? What page exactly? At the foot of the cross perhaps?
I often think of the classic example of God being for us: 2 Kings 1
But Elijah answered them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
And for those who hate the Old Testament's grouchy old deity then here's the New Testament: (Just for the liberals) Acts 5
8And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.
So there's 53 people people God doesn't seem to be FOR. Should I add in the 42 youth that 2 bears tore up when they dared to challenge Elisha? Or those disposed of Prophets of Baal? We get the idea. The problem is Rob Bell doesn't see people the way God does. He doesn't see the huge difference between the Dalai Lama (Buddhist crap), Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu (God isn't a Christian theology), and the REAL teachings of the Bible.
I wonder what blasphemous self-righteous Hippy-Crap Bell would have gone into to support the Prophets of Baal against Elijah? Would he have labelled Elijah as a Crazy Fundamentalist Conservative non-scientific people-hater? Just because they worshiped and dedicated themselves to the wrong god doesn't mean God isn't for them...
Ummmh, actually YES! Yes it does. This is pretty much a common theme throughout the entire Bible. From the Genesis flood to the double Hellfire mass-world-genocides in the Revelation (See Revelation 19 and 20).
So, is God really for our "Flourishing, Thriving, and Well-being"? Like Pastor Rob says? A quick look at the great religious folk of history shows us this just isn't so: From the Apostle Paul, to Stephen's murder, to the martyr's of history, up to great missionaries and preachers like Amy Carmichael and Charles Spurgeon, and even Billy Graham. Sickness, death, stress, strife and religious hatred are often instore for God's people. Just ask Ravi Zacharias.
Rob and I both agree that God Is Love.
But when Love Wins that also means that Justice, Protection, Adoption, Righteousness, and TRUTH Win. Rob is still back looking longingly at the Love word. It's so romantic, so nice, so dreamy, so... lacking in Biblical theology and truth. Quick: Somebody get this man a Bible, and a dictionary. You can't love your children if you don't protect them and guide them to absolute truth.
WE know Rob comes off as a 3 grade Bible teacher, about a 7th grade gym coach (based on his skateboarding techniques), and a 9th grade science teacher.
Seriously Rob, are we really what secular science insists:
National Geographic: "Scientists have sequenced the genome of the chimpanzee and found that humans are 96 percent similar to the great ape species."
I've now read 2 Rob Bell books and suffered through numerous videos of him. Honestly, has Bell NEVER read a Christian Apologetics book? Ever? Has he ever spoken with a serious Christian scientist or theologian? EVER? Or even got a hold of Lee Strobel so that LEE himself could make some phone calls to straighten Bell out and point him to some very smart Christian brothers and sisters? Go to Starbucks with Ravi Zacharias perhaps.
About the Chimpanzee thing: (apparently after so-called experts trim the fat and get to the meaty bits of genome solids - THEN we may be close to 96%. But experts disagree - Rob should look into that if he's going to write books).
Sadly, Rob even promotes Crying Yoga in this book. Robby, that Buddha closet door is opening even further buddy... Creeeeeeeekkkk!
Rob babbles a bit about the Genesis "Creation Poem". That's dangerous - Best not to call the God given Creation account A POEM. Maybe the Resurrection of Jesus is just an Ascension Poem? On No, i've said too much. Now we know what Rob's next book will be about.
So why do I bother with Rob Bell and other folks who confuse the Saints? Because the Bible says this: 2 Chronicles 18
4And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of the LORD.” 5Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king.” 6But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?” 7And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, Micaiah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil.” TRUTHFUL EVIL...
Yes, i'm like that one man against Rob Bell and his other 399 false prophets. Doesn't it alarm you that Bell's message is always GOOD? God is FOR us? Love WINS? We will Flourish, thrive, and have Well-being?
OR, as Satan said, 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Because LOVE WINS When you talk about god.
Notes are private!
Apr 09, 2016
Apr 09, 2016
Apr 09, 2016
Oct 05, 2010
did not like it
I read the first bit... Then jumped to the last chapter. I can only take so much of Sam tooting his own horn and EGO. Sorry buddy. I'll eventually gar I read the first bit... Then jumped to the last chapter. I can only take so much of Sam tooting his own horn and EGO. Sorry buddy. I'll eventually gargle on the middle compost at a later date. I'm enjoying Nietzsche more at the moment.
"And yet I can detect moral progress even while believing that most people are profoundly confused about good and evil."
Sam doesn't really believe in Good & Evil. What a strange statement by him. He simply enforces Sam's Greater Good on the masses... simply because he assumes he's educated.
When "1984" really happens: SAM will be Big Brother. It's okay everyone, he's an expert.
On the positive note:
(pg. 2) "The goal of this book is to BEGIN a conversation about how moral truth can be understood in the context of science."
Sam worships science, but science is done by faulty people with biases. (Like HIM)
This book sounds good. But becareful with Sam: He insists he's smarter than the all those silly religious folks... and he's here to prove it. But mostly he talks alot.
Notes are private!
Mar 02, 2016
Mar 02, 2016
Feb 28, 2002
Feb 28, 2002
it was ok
I'm a guy who believes in Jesus' miracles, a floating zoo, 1 specific talking donkey (not a friend of Shrek), and parting a particular sea as well as I'm a guy who believes in Jesus' miracles, a floating zoo, 1 specific talking donkey (not a friend of Shrek), and parting a particular sea as well as riding in a whale. But this book? Mostly no.
The very picturesque glossy book was most likely pumped out as Catholic Propaganda to the gullible masses. It starts out interesting enough: showing the New Testament miracles of Jesus, Paul, Mary, Lazarus, and meeting a demon or two. Well done, sticking with the Biblical text.
Then it branches off into Roman Catholic mysticism (basically Benny Hinn and Charismatic shenanigans throughout the church age - last 1900 years).
WE have Jesus and Mary popping up everywhere, on the globe, and mostly standing around being ghostly. Which is interesting; because the author appears to have another book called, wait for it: GHOSTS. After people get bored of Ghostly apparitions then we move on to endless crying and bleeding statues and church relics.
I'm always more interested in the people behind these freaky-religious claims. It appears that 100% of them are desperately emotional passionate mystic charismatics - of course they are going to see something out of the ordinary. Maybe that's what happens when you meditate too long or have some nasty religious pride that must be validated to prove how special you are. WE don't get any great Bible scholars and theologians seeing modern miracles like these - only church nutters and left-over Catholic Saints, or children.
Here's some after-Bible miracles you may have heard of:
The Holy Family of Bordeaux (1822)
Sister Anna Ali (1987)
The Black Madonna (1382)
The Flying Monk (1943)
St. Bernadette of Lourdes (1858)
Knock, Ireland (1879)
Fatima, Portugal (1917)
Mama Rosa of San Damiano (1961)
And the always popular: St. Francis of Assisi (1224) and the classic Turin Shroud of Jesus (never heard from until the 1350's).
WE even get a picture of a floating VIRGIN (not any more) Mary above a church in Zeitun, Egypt (1968). It looks like a fuzzy FUZZY... basically that's it - white light at night. If God went through the motions of giving us a magical appearance, you would think he'd want us take some better pictures. Guess not.
WE even get 3 homegrown miracles:
1) Bleeding tabernacle and stigmata Audrey Santo in Worcester, Massachusetts (1996). And don't forget the weeping engraved angels - that's a given at this point.
2) A stigmata priest and weeping Madonna statue in Lake Ridge, Virginia (1991).
3) And Canada's very own Weeping Madonna from Toronto, Ontario (1996)... please take a bow. Apparently it left a puddle on the floor - the janitor may not have been pleased.
These are all very short accounts. More to jostle the memory and point to things that can be explored much deeper. But, getting to the truth is never easy. Even this book mentions that many of these miracles were inspected by experts and scientists/doctors - which ones exactly? Doesn't say.
As a Christian I indeed believe God can easily do miracles and healings. I also think Satan and demons can muck about as well. You can go on youtube and watch endless charismatic false-prophets throwing people about with holy spirit power and healing a person with an unseen disease or illness. I agree with the skeptical internet group "Why Doesn't God Heal Amputee's?".
Best to ignore small miracles from religious loonies and charlatans. ...more
Notes are private!
Feb 21, 2016
Feb 22, 2016
Jan 01, 2006
Sep 08, 2006
really liked it
So what's wrong with growing up in a Messianic Cult? (the Agapemonites...living in the Abode Of Love.)
Nothing - if you get to have friends visit and s So what's wrong with growing up in a Messianic Cult? (the Agapemonites...living in the Abode Of Love.)
Nothing - if you get to have friends visit and slide on Pillows down the sacred aisles in the Holy Sanctuary of your dead Jesus/Grandpa. Just don't get caught - or tarred and feathered by angry locals. (But I don't want to give too much away.)
Little Kate and a friend chatting: pg. 170
"Your Grandfather, Smyth-pig...pig...oh, whatever his name was, said he was Jesus."
"Don't be stupid."
"I'm not." She persisted.
"I heard my aunt and Mummy talking about the Aga...Agap...your home...and they said YOUR GRANDFATHER said he was Jesus."
"Well, they're wrong." I retorted... "Nobody goes around saying they are JESUS!"
This was a delightful account of Kate being raised in the remains of a once prosperous Christian Cult led by her holy family. Similar to an "Anne of Green Gables" setting, but in Spaxton - South West England. (Not that i've ever read Anne of Green Gables - But I walked through a room once while it was playing on T.V.. I assume that qualifies me as an opinionated expert)
I was excited to learn that Kate now lives in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. That is where I grew up. "Yayyy" Tiger-cat Football team... and Neil Peart (the drummer from the Rock group RUSH). As Kate Barlow escaped from a Messianic English Cult - I escaped from Hamilton. I found True Christianity, Kate exited from false-christianity.
The cult was named "The Agapemones". It functioned mostly from 1840's to...
Sunday September 7, 1902 My Grandpa declared himself to be the 2nd Jesus. "I am that Lord Jesus Christ, who died and rose again and descended into heaven; I am that Lord Jesus come again in my own body... blah blah blah." Let the games begin.
Endless bad theology and lazy Bible readers fed this charismatic cult for decades. So typical. Kate says, "By July 1884, He was leading holiness meeting twice a week and had converts rolling on the floor in spiritual ecstasy." That's all it takes to start a cult - just a few charismatics.
All of this mess started when a few bad preachers (who got kicked out of more traditional Christian establishments) started teaching about spiritual brides. Eventually these SPIRITUAL BRIDES (never to be confused with physical brides) started getting pregnant. Abode of love had a LOT OF LOVE (basically just sex.) The book does mention how beautiful these brides were.
It's amazing how often women are essentially involved, and play a huge part, in creating and sustaining a ridiculous religious cult. The man makes the claims - then a few desperately gullible insecure prideful women back him up with charismatic approval. Here's a disturbing example: pg 163
"After this there was silence until a well-dressed woman got up in the centre of the congregation. 'Every word he has spoken,' she said, 'God has spoken'. God is here. I see him on the altar.'"
Here's my favorite quote from the book: pg. 118
"Did they perhaps preach, read, farm, feed the poor? The faithful, it seemed, did very little...were content to drink good sherry and play billiards while they waited to sweep up their heavenly rewards."
Often, serious Bible reading is discouraged in Christian cults. OR Worse: Bible reading/comprehension can only happen through the authority and teaching of the Cult leaders.
Thankfully men like William Tyndale came along in the 1500's. And said:
Tyndale (who translated the Bible into English), aged just 22, spoke his famous words to another clergyman:
“If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plow, shall know more of Scripture than thou doest.” (1522, Foxes Book of Martyrs)
Apparently "thou doest" is the Catholic Church - as well as those in Messianic Cults like the Agapemonites. This is always easy to spot though: just look for the lust for Money, Sex, Power, and occasional Pride. Presto: CULT!
So Catherine (KITTY) Kate comes along in 1941. The prophets and preachers are dead, all the men are gone, and the money is mostly run dry. So we have a Kate and her sisters growing up, in a large house, surrounded by lonely Grannies, and a few remaining servants. Eventually Kate begins getting curious about her families mysterious past (and present) and becomes a Nancy Drew/Miss Marples detective ON A QUEST - and this book is her quest. We get to enjoy it with her.
This cult had their own Hymn book. I'm surprised that Kate never inspected it. Or compared it to the Bible. Perhaps a Theological inquiry into the heresy of Grandpa's teachings. Now that would be fun. (for me anyway.)
I fully enjoyed the back and forth moments from Kate's life to that of the Cult's past.
They have a dog named GAY, That is just about as offensive as a Pig named Muhammad. Thankfully Kate's horse was named Pinto (I'm sure the beans are somehow upset.)
Just before reading this, I was researching a local Cult rather close to me, called "The Brother 12".
"He soon attracted a devoted following, including a group of wealthy and socially prominent individuals. Having taken the name Brother XII, he established the Aquarian Foundation in 1927. ...Wilson encouraged his followers to build homes in his colony Cedar-by-the-Sea on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. With the goal of creating a self-sufficient community independent of the outside world.
Still, Brother XII's misuse of Foundation funds and his extramarital affair with a woman who he claimed was his soul-mate led to the breakup of the colony. The Aquarian Foundation was legally dissolved in 1929, though he continued his work with the followers who had remained loyal to him during the crisis, as well as a number of new recruits."
Wow, almost identical to the Agapemonites. Bad Biblical theology, sex, money, power... and some really stupid gullible followers (some who are wealthy, to fund the insanity). Another common theme is that the Cult's rules never seem to apply to the founder OR LEADERS. You would think more people would spot this crap. Nope!
So what's wrong with cults? Aren't people free to choose whatever crazy brand of religious spirituality they desire? It's not that simple - we are at war. Here's a fearful issue: pg 69
"A private sanatorium in Middlesex, where Louisa (Abode member) was admitted, supposedly suffering from delusions. It took her more than a year to escape. She was swiftly recaptured but not before making contact with the faithful William Cobbe, who persuaded the Commissioners of lunacy to investigate her case. They found that she was suffering from Religious Delusion, but her detention was resulting in physical deterioration. The commissioners ordered her release."
Sending religious folks to sanatoriums because? This is what Sam Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens... and all other militant atheists would quickly do with the religious if they could. Notice how their imprisonment certainly didn't help - But cults make all religions look bad and insanely dangerous. Satan is proud of his achievements.
I enjoyed the few enlightened comments from Kate's reflections: pg 235
"And his legacy to me? It is a lifelong disinterest in religion and a suspicion of charismatic people, who so often prey on the gullible."
This matches interestingly with a childhood moment of fun (sliding on cushions in the Holy Temple): pg 110
"A quick glance over my shoulder saw Pam heading for the Bible stand. I reached the dais just as Pam rolled off her cushion to avoid crashing into it. She lay there staring up into the eagle's eyes.
'You look like its PREY,' I yelled... soon we were both rolling with laughter.
The only thing that could have made this book better was: A Space Alien Car Chase, and a Harry Potter Wizard duel, possibly with a dragon. OR maybe more of Kate's life after she fully understood this Cultic upbringing. She mentions very little: Except that now she's skeptical of religion. So, the Cult did its job perfectly. Keep looking for the truth Kate - you were surrounded by evidence - a Thing twisted and abused: is still a thing.
Notes are private!
Feb 16, 2016
Feb 19, 2016
Feb 16, 2016
Nov 04, 2014
Nov 04, 2014
This book is kind of like finding out your favorite actor clubs baby seals for fun (and then doesn't even eat the meat - do baby seals HAVE meat?) You This book is kind of like finding out your favorite actor clubs baby seals for fun (and then doesn't even eat the meat - do baby seals HAVE meat?) You can never look at their artistic efforts the same way again. But that is a comparison to his religious foolery and values. (I'm sure Carlos would be the first to invest a million dollars in making a safe baby-seal habitat to preserve their god-consciousness and future potential as all animals are equal to humans. Except Chicken. Even religious nutters eat chicken. Although there's not a lot of baby seals in Las Vegas, where Santana lives...maybe that's why he's there - to avoid the temptation?)
Throughout the last 30 years I've tried to be a Santana fan. It almost happened around 1990 when Carlos recorded his Rockin' album "Spirit's Dancing In The Flesh". Still a good album - I listened to it the other day. But even then I knew spiritually this guy was a fruitloop and seriously confused by world religions and hippy propaganda. So indeed, all of that is splattered throughout this book.
The best part of this stroll through memory lane is hearing Carlos chat about the music legends he came to know. Although you'll never think of Miles Davis the same way again, lots of crazy bits about him. And to hear him chat about Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker was worth the effort. OF course we get the gossip on the Woodstock Festival and the summer of love crap with the Grateful Dead and other NOW DEAD hippy musicians and ventures. Sorry everyone, love and peace (through music) was a myth and a lie - even the musicians just wanted fame and the spoils of war - endless drugs, alcohol and sex for the self-centered hippy cause. You'll see that perfectly played out on the written page.
Gladly, Carlos kept family a huge issue in this writing. (not that I fully trust rockstars to reveal the horrible truth) but Carlos made an effort to keep it all together - way better than most musicians. Sadly his Guru chasing wife eventually left him for? Something. Typical hippy ending there, hopefully Carlos has better luck the 2nd time. Just keep an eye on those Indian Guru's and spiritual insanities. Of course, maybe it was Carlos and his smoking habits (it really does give people horrible breath. I'd leave Carlos for just that reason. Sorry Buddy!) Maybe she just wanted a hamburger and a mint.
Like usual in Rockstar Biographies: Carlos mentions the actual craft of music and music gear minimally. He mentions an amp or two, and a few guitars he owns. But I wanted MORE. He's really more of a poetic guy than a nuts and bolts player it seems.
Reminds me: I just watched a concert (on Youtube) of Carlos doing a gig with Phil Lesh (from the Grateful Dead) and Warren Haynes (from Allman Brothers, and Gov't Mule). Poor Carlos was out of his element. He got some good licks in on occasion - like throwing Jello at a wall to see what might hopefully stick. But Carlos always has passion. And occasionally he has an amazing guitar tone.
As long as he doesn't go on babbling about this UNIVERSAL TONE nonsense.
Almost hate to tell him: His guitar noodling will NOT bring unity and enlightenment to the world. That's just silly left-over hippy crap. Sombody needs to show Carlos that all Bob Marley really did was give the stoners some music to smoke pot to, and to help them ignore their children and other priorities. But it's normal for a successful musician to BLOAT their self-importance and legacy. (This shouldn't take away from Carlos being known as a really nice guy though). But lets keep Miles Davis and Coltrane in their proper place: Audio Entertainment. And this is coming from somebody who REALLY loves music.
So, for anyone who cares, let's rip into Carlos and his religious understandings.
PLEASE, somebody get this guy to a comparative religions course at a local Bible College. For some ludicrous reason Carlos assumes you can mush all the religious leaders of the past together into one big happy divine Pizza.
I realize he gets this idiotic understanding from his Indian Guru spiritual fruitloops. Apparently all of them are too lazy to actually read "The Bible, The Quran, Buddhist literature, Hindu literature, religious history and the branches that fall off of it." But they all seem to find plenty of time for Deepak Chopra and books about God-consciousness and self-divinity. (See Deepak's: The Third Jesus) Basically everything Carlos preaches from the stage.
Sorry Carlos, but somebody needs to properly inform you that ALL religions are exclusive at their core. YES, next time you mention Jesus: please recall that Jesus said He was the ONLY WAY, and that you will be judged for your sins by HIS FATHER. It's heaven OR HELL.
Carlos doesn't like that idea at all. But the problem is Islam ALSO mentions hell, as does Buddhism. If you look - basically all religions proudly declare it's THEIR WAY or... Actually it's always THEIR way.
But Carlos is perfectly normal for a guy who gets advice from J.J. Hurtak: a metaphysical historian and multidimensional archaeologist. (pg. 469 - apparently this is serious stuff.)
Yes, Carlos has surrounded himself with people who are thought adjusters and enlightenment accelerators. You get what you pay for...and i'm curious how much money Santana has given them??? Nobody does this kind of con for free.
Which reminds me of Carlos and his New York Guru buddy "Sri Chinmoy". I read the book: Cartwheels in a Sari: A Memoir of Growing Up Cult by Jayanti Tamm. She mentions Carlos and the attention he received from the wannabe-musician enlightenment Guru leader. Basically Carlos got to break all the rules and still get divine treatment - anybody else in the cult would be disowned or banished if they did the same things Rockstars got away with. The Jesus of the Bible doesn't play that game - which is why Carlos really hates A God who actually has organized religion with standards and Cosmic justice.
But we can't totally blame humanity: Carlos shares with us his personal Angel Metatron. (an archangel of course - nobody would want just a normal angel to visit a celebrity musician. This is the part where you shake your head and just laugh).
But it's okay: Metatron is the celestial form of the Jewish Patriarch Enoch. So there. It all makes sense now. (pg. 469.)
So here's the problem:
Carlos keeps mentioning Biblical people and spirituality. But like all Cultish believers: The Bible means absolutely nothing to him. On page 454 He is proud of his daughter for mocking her Catholic school religious teachers by stating "You guys don't believe this stuff, do you?" when chatting about "Eve" coming from Adam's rib by the Creator of all life and existence. Carlos is a proud to boast "That's MY girl." Then Carlos goes on to insult the Catholic church in general.
AS a side note:
Eve being created from Adam's rib (by God) is not really that ludicrous. Actually systematically it makes sense. Not much harder than believing 7 billion people came from 2. I wonder how Carlos's daughter then deals with 2 people (1 female, 1 male) then shrunk back to 1 person? OR better yet: how 1 person with Consciousness and purpose came from a lifeless planet and non-caring Big Bang?
Now I get to say "You guys don't believe this stuff, do you?"
I'll just stick with the Biblical account while science endlessly flounders and mocks and readjusts based on peer consensus. YES, you must not upset the publishing Guru's.
I'm fine with him not appreciating the Catholic Biblical understanding. But then don't be a hypocrite and send your daughter to a Catholic school for education. And please quit mentioning Jesus like he's a buddy of yours who agrees with you about doctrine and theology. Biblical sources state that Carlos and Jesus are world's apart in their understandings of Divinity and Purpose. Carlos even boasts of His God-consciousness (He must be a Deepak Chopra follower).
(pg. 418) "Ask God to help your music connect with all hearts on this glorious planet and remind them of their own divinity."
But any 1st year Bible student should know that Jesus is the King of Kings, Lamb Slain For the Sins Of The World, Redeemer and Savior and Messiah, and very God of God. Carlos does not think he NEEDS a savior - he thinks we humans have goodness and light and can save ourselves. The Bible shows differently Mr. Santana. Please read it someday. Then you'll quickly realize that you and Jesus have NOTHING in common spiritually.
But then again, I do recall Satan saying in the garden: "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Ummmh, it's best NOT to know evil. Or to assume you are divine or godly.
AS much as Santana claims to appreciate Gospel music - he has proven he has ZERO understanding of what the Biblical Gospel actually is. Sadly, many Gospel musicians seem to have this flaw - too busy being Rockstars and celebrities. I am thankful when they sing a Christmas song or two though.
I dug through my basement boxes and got out my Santana LOTUS cassettes I purchased over 20 years ago. It's a very interesting concert recorded in Japan in July 1973. Old school RAW Santana. Sadly, Santana's gods have failed and my cassettes are warped and won't play. Hmmm? A sign from the Cosmo's perhaps? I'll stick with Eric Clapton and Skynyrd. ...more
Notes are private!
Dec 31, 2015
Jan 09, 2016
Dec 31, 2015