26 votes, average: 4.65 out of 526 votes, average: 4.65 out of 526 votes, average: 4.65 out of 526 votes, average: 4.65 out of 526 votes, average: 4.65 out of 5 (26 votes, average: 4.65 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this post.
Loading...

My Problem(s) With Fundamentalism: A Blast from the Past

What are fundamentalists, and why don’t I like them?  Here is a post I published almost exactly four years ago now.  My views have not changed!

**********************************************************************

QUESTION:

You note that fundamentalism is dangerous and harmful. How do you define fundamentalism and why do you think it’s dangerous?

RESPONSE:

There are of course actual definitions of “fundamentalism” that you can find in scholarship on religion, but I sense that you’re asking more for a rough-and-ready description. Years ago I started defining fundamentalism as “No fun, too much damn, and not enough mental.

When I was a fundamentalist myself (yet to be described) I understood it in a positive way. Originally, in Christian circles, it referred to believers who held on to the “fundamentals” of the faith, which for us included such things as the inspiration of Scripture, the full deity of Christ, the Trinity, the virgin birth, the physical resurrection, and, well, probably a collection of other doctrines. Fundamentalism, for us, was to be differentiated from liberalism, which had sacrificed these basic fundamental doctrines to the gods of modernity. And we would have nothing of it.

Some scholars today understand fundamentalism to be an inordinately conservative branch of a religion (Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, for example) that stresses that it alone has the truth, that insists that everyone agrees with its perspective, and that focuses exclusively on religious issues with no interest in for broader concerns of society such as social justice.  I don’t agree with that last bit.  But I do think that…

FOR THE REST OF THIS POST, log in as a Member. If you don’t belong yet, JOIN NOW!!  It won’t cost much, and every penny goes to charity!

You need to be logged in to see this part of the content. Please Login to access.


The Oldest Printed Versions of the Greek New Testament
Can Biblical Scholars Be Historians?

81

Comments

  1. Avatar
    clipper9422@yahoo.com  January 14, 2017

    What are some of the major differences between fundamentalists and evangelicals? Are there a few critical, memorable differences other than evangelicals are slightly more liberal? I have trouble remembering any specific differences beyond the liberalism thing.

    • Bart
      Bart  January 16, 2017

      Fundamentalists tend to be more literalistic and insistent on their views; with respect to the Bible, for example, they insist that the world was literally created in seven 24-hour days (well, six); that Adam and Eve really existed as humans; that there really was a flood that covered the entire world — that every word is literally and fully correct. Evangelicals place less of an emphasis on the literal truth of every word of the Bible and more on a personal relationship with God through Christ.

      • Avatar
        jhague  June 13, 2017

        Your comment here relates to the posts I have made regarding the community churches. I think today’s community churches are a blend of what you mention here. They teach that world was literally created in sis 24-hour days; that Adam and Eve really existed as humans; that there really was a flood that covered the entire world but they do not make a big deal about it. And the community church emphasizes a personal relationship with God through Christ…as long as you are doing it by meeting at their church services, participating in their small groups and giving as much money to their church as you can to support their staff and building programs. What do you call a church that blends these beliefs such as this?!? I think there are a lot of them!

        • Bart
          Bart  June 14, 2017

          I’m not sure all community churches hold to the same views/beliefs/doctrines. But yes, that is an interesting amalgam.

  2. Avatar
    clipper9422@yahoo.com  January 14, 2017

    I believe you’ve said that biblical literalism/inerrancy is a fairly recent phenomenon, maybe the 19th century or (a reaction to) the Enlightenment of the 18th century. I can accept that but I also have trouble trying to specify what the doctrine regarding the truth of the Bible was prior to that, ie, prior to Christian liberalism for lack of a better word. Literalism/inerrancy does seem like the simplest doctrine, ie, the default position. What are some of the alternatives lying between liberalism and fundamentalism?

    • Bart
      Bart  January 16, 2017

      Most everyone thought the Bible was true, but since their views were not much challenged, they hadn’t formulated this view into a hard-core doctrine of the literal truth of every word.

  3. Avatar
    bennett235  January 14, 2017

    Instead of just not condemning abortion, Numbers 5 actually promotes it if your wife has been unfaithful.

  4. Avatar
    plparker  January 14, 2017

    I didn’t understand your comment about fundamentalists sticking to a particular interpretation of the 2nd Amendment and how that would seem to be different from the way they view scripture. Aren’t they consistent positions in that regard? They believe in a literal interpretation of the 2nd Amendment just as they believe in a literal interpretation of all verses of the Bible.

    • Bart
      Bart  January 16, 2017

      The second amendment lacks virtually all the specifics that many Americans insist on about the right to bear arms. Fundamentalists tend to agree with each other about many of those specifics.

  5. Avatar
    godspell  January 14, 2017

    Fundamentalism is not limited to theistic belief systems. The same problems occurred with Marxism-Leninism, which is an atheist doctrine (and insists that all religion is merely an ‘opiate of the people’ designed to keep the proletariat content with their miserable station in life).

    Karl Popper, author of “The Open Society and its Enemies,” preferred the term ‘essentialism’–there is a tendency in many humans to try to break everything down to one essential belief, from which all others must proceed. He traced it back to Plato and his notion of ideal forms, then forward to both Fascist and Marxist totalitarianism.

    I had a history professor tell me that technically, fundamentalism can only refer to certain forms of evangelical Christianity, not to Muslims–but of course language is fluid, and Popper’s term never really caught on outside of philosophical circles.

    Isaiah Berlin came up with perhaps the most colorful variant–he said most thinkers are either Hedgehogs or Foxes, referring to the old proverb, “The Fox knows many things, the Hedgehog knows One Big Thing.” He was firmly on the side of the foxes, though as a historian of ideas, he had to concede that hedgehogs often come up with very influential ideas, and tend to be more focused, for good or ill. He said Leo Tolstoy was a fox by nature, but believed in being a hedgehog (which ultimately led to him abandoning his career as a writer of fiction, and forming a sort of quasi-religious cult).

    There is so much uncertainty and instability in life, and many people find that frightening, intolerable. They want something they can believe in at all times, an immovable foundation for existence, and I think if you got rid of all theistic beliefs, that tendency would easily survive, and transfer itself to secular forms. It’s already happened, and you’ve seen touches of it in those atheists who refuse to believe Jesus existed as a human being. That is becoming a fundamental belief for them, and the few texts they can find to substantiate it become holy writ.

    The problem is not our belief systems. The problem is ourselves, and we have belief systems in an effort to curb the worst in our natures. But having chosen a system, we find ourselves resenting those who chose another, because that choice undermines our confidence in our own choices. If there can only be one right path, how can we know we have chosen it? By devaluing and ultimately converting, marginalizing, or destroying all who did not choose it.

    I don’t know how we fix this, but I am quite confident that secularism, in and of itself, is not the answer.

    The answer is to stop believing there can only be one truth. There are many. And nobody can ever own the truth. It’s a goal to strive for, not a possession to be hoarded.

    • Avatar
      turbopro  January 16, 2017

      “… Marxism-Leninism, which is an atheist doctrine…”

      If I may please: but I read and hear this often enough, and I am curious as to where/how does this come about. How does one formulate a doctrine based on having no belief in god(s)? As an atheist myself, I am unable to decipher how I should develop a doctrine from the fact that I do not believe in god(s). I think, rather, perhaps one develops doctrines based on those things for which one holds a belief–perhaps I am mistaken?

      I dunno, the mindset that suggests that a political system is based on a lack of a belief in a thing, reminds me of a somewhat typical scene in medieval England, where a rowdy crowd, blood-thirsty with the itch to burn a witch, is accosted by the goodly Sir Bedivere (Terry Jones), whereat a lively exchange takes place:

      Bedivere: “How do you know she’s a witch?”
      Peasant (John Cleese): “Well, she turned me into a newt!”
      Bedivere: “A newt?”
      Peasant(John Cleese): “I got better.”

      • Bart
        Bart  January 17, 2017

        For what it’s worth, I know a number of very committed Christians who are also very committed Marxists. Our American propaganda machine has convinced most of us that this is not possible, but it’s not only possible but a reality.

        • Avatar
          godspell  January 17, 2017

          Absolutely, Liberation Theology is a thing. Why is this any harder to believe than supposedly devout Christians who are also devout materialists, and preach the gospel of getting everything you want in the course of your mortal lifetime, up to and including your own private jet that your loyal congregation will pay for?

          However, I would argue that neither Marx nor Lenin would accept Liberation Theologians and similar folk as true followers of theirs. (And for that matter, Jesus would probably view them a bit dubiously as well.) Marxism-Leninism is an atheist doctrine. The only god a true Marxist worships is history.

          People are just funny. All of us. To make fun of someone else’s beliefs is to call attention to the absurdity of your own. And we all believe things that can’t be proven. All of us. Without exception.

        • Avatar
          rburos  January 17, 2017

          It’s an easy line to draw from some of the deuteronomistic code.

      • Avatar
        godspell  January 17, 2017

        I don’t think Christianity is based on belief in gods–you don’t know your history–EVERYBODY believed in gods back then. Jesus wasn’t making any converts to theism. He was making converts to a specific reading of theism. Just as Marxism-Leninism is making converts to a specific reading of materialism, which is to say, atheism. There is nothing but this world, this world operates by certain laws, we can figure those laws out, and predict which side will win in the great social struggle, then join that side. It is an evangelistic faith, as much as anything Swaggart or Falwell ever professed. It has tenets that the faithful are expected to share, by no means LIMITED to the non-existence of god(s), but nobody in that world could hope to advance (or in some cases, survive) if he or she continued to openly profess belief in God.

        You expect all theists to take some responsibility for the horrific excesses of organized religion.

        But you take no responsibility at all–refuse to admit any connection to–the even more horrific excesses engendered by atheistic belief systems of the 20th century.

        How does that work?

        Most religious people you’ve met in your life never persecuted anybody. If you’re not responsible for Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, how are they responsible for Torquemada?

        China is still an atheistic country (becoming less so over time, historical trends tend not to be as predictable as Marx predicted), and its entirely atheistic leadership suppresses freedom of expression, freedom of choice, better than any theocracy ever did.

        Maybe the evil isn’t in being religious or non-religious? In believing or not believing in God and/or gods?

        Maybe it’s not as simple as you want to believe?

        And I love Monty Python too. I actually think Life of Brian is better than Holy Grail, call me weird. 🙂

  6. Avatar
    AdamHeckathorn  January 14, 2017

    As a former Jehovah’s Witness this certainly hits home. Recently on a popular facebook group “Jehovah’s Witnesses recovery group three” Someone bemoaned the fact that folks don’t seem to understand how anyone with any sense could get involved or stay involved with what is essentially a cult. That outside of other people who share the experience it is difficult to have others empathize or understand what seems to those who have no experience with it like boneheaded behavior. I would love to be granted permission to share this post on the mentioned site. I think it would be helpful to people who have been and continue to be victimized by the the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  7. Avatar
    lawecon  January 14, 2017

    A number of years ago I offered the following tentative definition of the fundamentalist mindset. http://www.librarything.com/topic/75988

  8. Avatar
    Wilusa  January 14, 2017

    As I remember my Catholic upbringing, I was taught (or somehow got the impression) that “fundamentalists” were people who insisted the Adam and Eve story be taken literally. (Catholicism accepted the concept of evolution, though I don’t know how they explained all the other things in the “Creation” story – which I’d never read, anyway.) We *were* suppsed to take literally *everything else* in the Bible, and that wasn’t supposed to make us “fundamentalists.”

    How strange this seems now…when I was in my twenties, no longer a believer in Catholicism or any kind of “God,” I still believed the entire human species was descended from one man and one woman! Not anything like “Adam” and “Eve.” But I thought the difference in intelligence between human and “sub-human” was so great that the first human was the result of a one-time mutation, and our species was descended from that one person and his “sub-human” partner. (Yes, I did assume the first human was male!)

    • Avatar
      godspell  January 16, 2017

      I was raised Catholic too, and at no time was I ever told to take everything in the bible literally. I’m quite sure none of the priests in my parish did. But it was a staunchly Vatican II parish, where the priests were all very progressive, as was much (not all) of the laity. Of course not taking everything literally doesn’t mean not accepting core tenets such as the divinity of Jesus, the Virgin Birth, the resurrection and the Trinity.

      The main difference between Catholicism and many other Christian churches is that there’s a central hierarchical authority structure. This is both a strength and a weakness. The Church can be very conservative and inflexible at times, but it will not tolerate extremism of the right, and it is sensitive to changes going on around it in the world (most church leaders are very highly educated men, far above the average). Once it decides to accept something like evolution, it makes sure the laity comes along with it.

      It was a very conservative and sometimes even reactionary force in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries, and even into the 20th. But much less so in America, where it embraced the separation of church and state (for obvious strategic reasons, given that Catholics were massively outnumbered by Protestants, and an established church in America would never have been Catholic).

      • Avatar
        Wilusa  January 17, 2017

        I don’t remember much abut my Catholic education, after all these years. I *think* I was taught (in elementary school) that everything in the Bible had to be taken literally. But I had no idea what *was* in the Bible! In the culture I came from, no one ever actually read such a thing. My young self probably couldn’t have told you how many Gospels there were.

        Some years ago, I was shocked to realize a friend of mine – a devout Catholic, who went to Mass every day – believed the Old Testament story about the Tower of Babel was literally true. I mentioned it to a cousin, old enough to be my mother, who was also the kind of Catholic who went to Mass every day. *She* had never *heard of* the Tower of Babel story! And when I explained it to her, she was appalled at the idea that anyone would take it seriously. So there’s obviously a wide range of beliefs among Catholics.

        • Avatar
          godspell  January 18, 2017

          There’s a wide range of beliefs in just about any group you can name, including atheists (some of whom stubbornly refuse to believe Jesus existed as a flesh and blood person, no matter how many eminent historians tell them he did). The larger and more widespread the group, the more diverse the beliefs. But as an institution, Catholicism tends to yield to the scholars (and has produced some first-rate scholars of its own among orders like the Jesuits). Most essential Christian beliefs (such as the divinity of Jesus) can’t really be disproven, though they can certainly be called seriously into question. The existence of a supreme being is clearly beyond the competence of any form of empirical inquiry.

          I doubt even the people who created the original version of the Tower of Babel story believed it was literally true. They had metaphors back then too, you know. 🙂

    • Avatar
      dragonfly  January 16, 2017

      If a catholic doesn’t believe in a literal Adam and Eve, what do they do about the doctrine of original sin?

      • Avatar
        godspell  January 17, 2017

        If we can have a non-literal Adam and Eve, why can’t we have a non-literal doctrine of Original Sin?

        I mean, look at the world–look at human behavior.

        Does this really seem like a place where everyone is born innocent?

        Freud sure didn’t think so.

      • Avatar
        Wilusa  January 17, 2017

        Hmm…I don’t know! I don’t remember what (if anything) I was taught in the very bad Catholic elementary school I attended. The Catholic high school was better, and it was there that I learned about evolution, presented as fact. (But so long ago that much less was known than is known now.)

        I’m guessing “knowledgeable” Catholics in that era would have said the first human was the product of a one-time mutation, God revealed Himself to him, and the person committed some kind of sin of disobedience. They certainly would have believed in “original sin.”

        But the doctrine of “original sin,” as I’ve always understood it, is different from the way Bart describes it. I think he understands it as every person’s being born with a “sinful nature,” that makes him or her likely to sin…perhaps, not being able to resist sinning at some point. But I’ve always understood the Catholic concept as being that the person is born with an actual “stain” on his or her soul – *already guilty*, before the person’s done anything! With only Mary and, of course, Jesus not being born with that “stain.”

        • Avatar
          godspell  January 20, 2017

          That’s a fascinating idea for a science fiction story, but I don’t think it was ever an idea promulgated by Catholics.

  9. Avatar
    JGonzalezGUS  January 14, 2017

    Dr. Ehrman, I have a Catholic background (guessed it from my name?). There’s a very eye-opening document published in 1994 by the Pontifical Biblical Commission titled “Interpretation of the Bible in the Church”. It deals with various methods of interpretation: historical-critical, rhetorical, narrative, etc. In the section on “Fundamentalism”, there are some jewels:
    “The fundamentalist approach is dangerous, for it is attractive to people who look to the Bible for ready answers to the problems of life. It can deceive these people…” and it continues “Without saying as much in so many words, fundamentalism actually invites people to a kind of intellectual suicide.”
    I say, wow!
    (“http://catholic-resources.org/ChurchDocs/PBC_Interp.htm”)

    • Avatar
      godspell  January 20, 2017

      This is what comes of requiring clergymen to get a decent education.

      Not that there aren’t still a great many stupid bigoted Catholic priests, but there are no semi-literate ones.

  10. talmoore
    talmoore  January 14, 2017

    I often describe “fundamentalists,” of any stripe, as “deontological black holes”. That is, they are so fixated on the belief that there is one way, and only one way to do anything, and they know what that way is, that they collapse under the weight of their own self-righteousness into an object so dense that light can’t even escape.

  11. Pattycake1974
    Pattycake1974  January 14, 2017

    Fundamentalism is dangerous, but I don’t know how it can be remedied.

    • Avatar
      mjkhan  January 16, 2017

      Tell the faithful what Jesus himself said (i.e.red letter gospel) and follow his teachings rather than teachings of church.

    • Avatar
      Robby  January 16, 2017

      I think just like everything else we have moved forward with as humans– education is the great equalizer.

  12. Avatar
    mwbaugh  January 14, 2017

    I have very similar feelings. Fundamentalism tends to become very much like an authoritarian system of government, where loyalty to leaders and doctrines is paramount.

    Something I’ve noticed that has always baffled and frustrated me; Fundamentalists often don’t seem to know that much about Christianity. They claim Christ as savior but seem not to know or care about his teachings that have social justice implications. They claim the primacy of scripture but have huge gaps in their knowledge of huge parts of the Bible. They seem to have a knowledge of those verses which undergird their doctrines, but often lack the context to really understand them. I’ve heard some Fundamentalists express contempt for biblical sentiments like “turn the other cheek” or “beat their swords into ploughshares.”

    • Avatar
      godspell  January 16, 2017

      Nothing baffling about it. People shape their belief systems to suit their own prejudices, much more than the other way around.

  13. Avatar
    Lostallfaith  January 14, 2017

    Fundamentalists can destroy families if you do not believe in and strictly follow their doctrine. Speaking as a devastated mother who lost her 22 year old son to an isolationist, high demand control cult of fundamentalist Christians in Texas, I know the hard truth. There is no reasoning with a fundamentalist, no ideas contrary to the Bible can be discussed. There is no logic, no debate. They are very similar to Scientologists; the fundamentalist Christian promotes and advocates for familial judgement and disconnection. If you are not “saved”, you are a problem. Not to mention the advocated child abuse (using the rod) and misogynistic relationship between a man and his less than equal “helpmeet”, his wife. I could go on, but it is too devastating.

  14. Avatar
    Lostallfaith  January 14, 2017

    Also, a Christian fundamentalist can be very dangerous to the health and well being of children as they do not usually agree with medical care or vaccinations. Some extremist fundamentalists believe prayer is the only answer to heal a sick or dying child. In many states, this belief is protected by the 2nd Amendment. And this belief
    will result in the needless death of children, as seen here in the story of baby Faith, which still has not been prosecuted to this date. http://www.theragblog.com/lamar-w-hankins-report-child-murder-in-texas/

    • Avatar
      llamensdor  January 17, 2017

      I think this reader is referring to the 1st, not the 2d amendment.

      • Avatar
        Lostallfaith  January 18, 2017

        Yes, sorry, my mistake. 1st Amendment.
        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        • Avatar
          Crossdal  February 2, 2017

          They cling selfishly to their belief in their right to practice religious freedom while denying their children the right to have a life at all. At the same time they argue that abortion is denying the same to an unborn child? I don’t know if it get’s more tragically absurd than that.

  15. Avatar
    dragonfly  January 14, 2017

    Marlene Winell also believes fundamentalism can be damaging. She is a former fundamentalist, and now helps people recover from religion. She wrote a book called “Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving their Religion”. She first identified the condition she called Religious Trauma Syndrome. If anyone is struggling after losing your faith you could check out http://www.journeyfree.org.

    • Avatar
      Robby  January 16, 2017

      I found help in a few therapy sessions. Just having a non-judgemental human being listen to me was very therapeutic.

      • Avatar
        dragonfly  January 17, 2017

        I wish there were more of those non-judgemental human beings around. Especially the ones willing to listen.

    • Liam Foley
      Liam Foley  January 18, 2017

      I also have this book and highly recommend it!

  16. Avatar
    jlparris  January 14, 2017

    “Why fundamentalists are almost to a person passionately devoted to a particular interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, I’ll never know…..” What is that interpretation? Is the interpretation different from that held by a majority of Americans, founding fathers, legislators, and Supreme Court Justices, (do non US fundamentalists have a devotion?) but the percentage higher among fundamentalists than the general population of their locales? How is the support of fundamentalists of that position determined? Survey? Anecdotal?

    • Bart
      Bart  January 16, 2017

      Yes, there seems to be a higher rate of consistency among fundamentalists in their interpretation than in the population at large (as you know, the population at large has a very wide range of opinions on gun control)

  17. Avatar
    screwtape  January 15, 2017

    Yes, I agree that it is very dangerous. Now that I’m on the outside looking in I’m amazed at the cult-like hold it has on people’s minds, even very smart people. In the third chapter of the “Holy Book” we learn of the “original sin” of letting the devil sow doubts in our minds about the truth of God’s Word and are thus taught to fight the good fight of faith and not let him do the same thing to us. And you are quite right when you say that fundamentalists don’t want people to think for themselves even though they say they do. The only thinking they want people to do is how to rationalize and explain all the discrepancies so that they can keep the delusion going.

    And when you stop doing that you become the worst kind of traitor as I’ve heard you being accused of on some fundamentalist websites. One (that you debated) even went so far as to suggest that for a believer to visit your website was worse than viewing pornography (and apparently a lot of fundamentalist Christians agree since studies have shown that they view a lot of pornography).

    • Bart
      Bart  January 16, 2017

      My website: Really? Can you name names? (Since I assume he said this publicly)

      • Avatar
        screwtape  January 16, 2017

        It was William Lane Craig but I re-read the article and he wasn’t referring specifically to your website – just “infidel websites” in general. My mistake. His actual words to a believer struggling with doubt were “Which leads me to ask: why are you reading those infidel websites anyway, when you know how destructive they are to your faith? These sites are literally pornographic (evil writing) and so ought in general to be shunned. Sure, somebody has to read them and refute them; but why does it have to be you?”

        I think I might have conflated this statement with another apologist you debated who almost literally accused you of being a son of the devil turning people away from the faith. I’m sure you know who that one was because you posted about his comment before.

        • Bart
          Bart  January 17, 2017

          OK, thanks. I wonder why he thinks “pornography” means “evil writing.” Maybe he doesn’t know Greek.

      • Avatar
        rburos  January 17, 2017

        I once heard a priest say in a class, “Bart Ehrman, may he rot in Hell.” Now I’m absolutely sure he didn’t actually want that to happen and meant it more as a general curse, but still. I did not reply to him that I devour your work because it wouldn’t have served any useful purpose.

        • Bart
          Bart  January 18, 2017

          Wow. I wonder what he didn’t agree with me about, and why he disagreed so vehemently….

          • Avatar
            rburos  January 19, 2017

            He didn’t agree with your views on suffering. Again, I’m very sure he didn’t mean it literally as he’s an extremely nice person filled with love for his fellow man. Of course one has to then ask why he would utter such a thing, but I think it has something to do with the fact that he was a former Episcopalian (like you?) but turned Catholic. If he does disagree with you so vehemently that must also mean that he reads your works. At the time I couldn’t help but think about the movie Happy Gilmore, where after getting his butt kicked Happy mutters “I hate that Bob Barker!”

  18. Avatar
    anthonygale  January 15, 2017

    What logical arguments have you heard, if any, as to why fundamentalists believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and why they accept the books of the Bible exclusively? I can respect that someone believes this on faith, yet the Bible itself (as far I know) does not claim to be the inspired word of God. Why believe something to be what it does not itself claim to be? I also find it unusual that no book of the Bible indicates what is canon or that there will be a canon one day. If this was planned, why didn’t Jesus or anyone else in the Bible mention it? Other than “coming down to faith”, have you heard other justifications?

    Also, have you ever considered a debate with Ken Ham of the creation museum? I think it would be interesting. He’s debated Bill Nye the science guy, so perhaps he would be willing.

    • Bart
      Bart  January 16, 2017

      They would point to such passages as 2 Timothy 3:16 and John 10:35.

      • Avatar
        rburos  January 17, 2017

        Please don’t debate Ken Ham; it would only serve to give him “legitimization” and an audience. I still haven’t “forgiven” Nye for doing it.

    • Pattycake1974
      Pattycake1974  January 16, 2017

      I visited Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter. There were dinosaurs on the ark. Even my sister-in-law, who is a pretty conservative Christian, was scratching her head on that one. A debate between Bart and Ken Ham is a popcorn and coke kinda thing.

    • Avatar
      Monarch  January 19, 2017

      Yes, I wonder how the the literalists treat passages such as “‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?'” — Jeremiah 8:8 (NIV) Obviously, in order to not see inconsistencies, you have to just . . . well, not see them. Thus, “They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand. No one stops to think.” — Isaiah 44:18-19 (NIV)

  19. Avatar
    gteague  January 15, 2017

    since this is a re-post, is there any chance i can post all of it (with complete attribution, naturally) on another blog on facebook?

    thanks! /guy

  20. TWood
    TWood  January 15, 2017

    I agree for sure, except on the second amendment part (Jefferson, Madison, Paine, Franklin, et al.) were no fundies… but they did understand an armed citizenry is a bulwark to tyranny… there are MANY Americans who are *not* fundies of any stripe who very much value the second amendment as much as the first amendment for very good reasons… but here’s my question… I hear from KJV-Only types that the critical text is “from the Vatican.” I know Vaticanus is in the Vatican, but Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, etc. plus all the thousands of fragments… is there any evidence to suggest the Vatican somehow controlled the production of the critical text… I have found no evidence for this… but “serious” “scholars” on their side seem totally convinced of this… just wondering your thoughts… to give a specific example of what I’m asking… is it even proven Vaticanus originated in Rome at all (Hort thought so)… but other provenances like Egypt are suggested… it seems to me all the codices couldn’t have been controlled by the Vatican… is that right?

    • Bart
      Bart  January 16, 2017

      I’m referring to a particular interpretation of the second amendment, not to the amendment itself. As you know, the amendment itself does not provide specifics about what it means. Fundamentalists tend to share a particular interpretation of what it means.

      • TWood
        TWood  January 16, 2017

        Fair enough… I just want to point out that even here in liberal CA there are many people I know who are not religious in any sense, and who understand American jurisprudence in a way that favors strong second amendment rights. I have no doubt you’re right about fundies generally agreeing with this too. Even a broken clock is right twice a day I guess…

        But here’s my question… I hear from KJV-Only types that the critical text is “from the Vatican.” I know Vaticanus is in the Vatican, but Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, etc. plus all the thousands of fragments… is there any evidence to suggest the Vatican somehow controlled the production of the critical text… I have found no evidence for this… but “serious” “scholars” on their side seem totally convinced of this… just wondering your thoughts… to give a specific example of what I’m asking… is it even proven Vaticanus originated in Rome at all (Hort thought so)… but other provenances like Egypt are suggested… it seems to me all the codices couldn’t have been controlled by the Vatican… is that right?

        • Bart
          Bart  January 17, 2017

          There’s no way this was a Vatican plot. The Vatican was opposed to it.

          • TWood
            TWood  January 17, 2017

            In a quick summary statement, why was the Vatican opposed to it? (I think I might know, but I know you know). A quick answer will help buttress my argument…

          • Bart
            Bart  January 18, 2017

            At the time the Vatican promoted the translation of the Latin Vulgate as the authoritative text.

You must be logged in to post a comment.