Shai Reads The Case for Christ
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01-05-2017, 10:11 AM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2017 11:11 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(01-05-2017 07:51 AM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  
(30-04-2017 08:10 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  The Christians are all pussies. They are all pussies. This atheist lives more to The Word than any fucking wannabe Christian pussies. Hypocrites the lot of them.

Don't cut yourself on all that edge that's somehow coexisting with sweeping generalizations Girly. Plenty of assholes are everywhere, no matter one's religious beliefs or lackthereof. Granted, I'd take most atheists I know over Strobel any day of the week.

Apparently I had been drinking. I blame Cantor. You're okay with Girly, graboid. Even if you are a metaphysical pussy.

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01-05-2017, 11:48 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(01-05-2017 08:25 AM)morondog Wrote:  A few years ago a friend who shall remain nameless lent me a copy of Case for Christ. A few years later he asked for it back. I meantime had forgotten completely about it, and hotly denied ever accepting it from him. Then maybe 4 weeks ago I found it in a trunk of old uni books... Oops Blush

Anyway, it warms the cockles of my heart to have been such an evil heathen and denied him his bullshit-book for all this time, but I suppose I'll have to return it to him and make him into an even more smarmy apologist than he is already (he posts Ray Comfort videos on facebook Facepalm ).

As someone Strobel doesn't probably consider to be a Christian, and who has masochistically gone through this tripe...it warms my heart to hear that you deprived him of it unintentionally as well. Big Grin But hey, if you want to give it back to him now that you found it...heh. And Comfort. Facepalm Not that it helps, but my cousin's husband keeps constantly posting stuff from Prager U, like the one about how there is no morality apart from God.

(01-05-2017 10:11 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(01-05-2017 07:51 AM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  Don't cut yourself on all that edge that's somehow coexisting with sweeping generalizations Girly. Plenty of assholes are everywhere, no matter one's religious beliefs or lackthereof. Granted, I'd take most atheists I know over Strobel any day of the week.

Apparently I had been drinking. I blame Cantor. You're okay with Girly, graboid. Even if you are a metaphysical pussy.

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Perfectly fine, and I don't have the drinking reason, I've just had a crappy last 5 days of mixed rather major bad news, followed by a string of things that would normally only rankle as minor annoyances but needle more when following that part, and thus was a bit low on temper. Tongue So my apologies for that. As for being a metaphysical pussy; fair enough.

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01-05-2017, 12:42 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
I don't think it's fair to say that Shai is "attacking his own religion". He's attacking dishonest people who use dishonest methods to try to convince others to adopt that religion... the Liars for Jesus™ club. There's a key difference.

As for the PU propaganda, I swear I have yet to see one of their ads (they like to air them when I watch Secular Talk, so I have to watch the whole video so Kyle K gets paid for the full ad, in the wake of the YouTube-pocalypse demonetization scandal, where they yanked most ads from all the atheism shows) that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out and scream at the person on the screen... rather like Shai feels about Strobel.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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01-05-2017, 01:50 PM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2017 02:04 PM by Shai Hulud.)
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(01-05-2017 12:42 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I don't think it's fair to say that Shai is "attacking his own religion". He's attacking dishonest people who use dishonest methods to try to convince others to adopt that religion... the Liars for Jesus™ club. There's a key difference.

As for the PU propaganda, I swear I have yet to see one of their ads (they like to air them when I watch Secular Talk, so I have to watch the whole video so Kyle K gets paid for the full ad, in the wake of the YouTube-pocalypse demonetization scandal, where they yanked most ads from all the atheism shows) that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out and scream at the person on the screen... rather like Shai feels about Strobel.

Poor Kyle. Sad I never see their ads, only their videos posted by cousin's husband. For some reason I keep getting Gaia Disclosure adverts.

And thanks RS, appreciate that you're drawing that distinction (which I feel is kind of important, personally). Also, just a thought from letting the mind wander during a documentary in class today, to what extent is it the same religion? In theory we're both Trinitarians, we both believe Christ rose from the dead, etc. However, how we go about it is vastly different in nature, and several doctrines I hold to, he would hold in utter contempt. If you could get a non-evasive answer out of him, pretty damn sure he'd tell you that Catholics aren't Christians and they're bound for Hell. It's "No True Scotsman" writ large.

Anyhow, yeah, he was so blatantly Lying for Jesus ™, as you like to call them out for it, by the point of the Habermas interview that I didn't want to pick this thing up again. Still haven't read the interview with him, but while reading his "Verdict of History" concluding segment, all I could think was, "Lee, I believe in Christ, and you didn't even convince me. If anything, you're making David Fitzgerald seem downright reasonable."

Edit: Son of a biscuit, logged on to FB and the first thing in my feed was cousin's husband posting a Prager U video on "Why isn't Communism as Hated as Nazism?"

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01-05-2017, 04:44 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(30-04-2017 09:12 PM)adey67 Wrote:  
(30-04-2017 06:43 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Yeah, but it is fun to watch a Christian beat up his own religion. Thumbsup
If they cannot even agree on its basic tennents, how effective has their almighty god been in getting his message out ? Big Grin

> “Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the true religion--several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven.” (Mark Twain, The Damned Human Race) Consider
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01-05-2017, 05:26 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
PU, such delicious, unintentional irony............

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
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02-05-2017, 10:51 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(01-05-2017 01:50 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  Edit: Son of a biscuit, logged on to FB and the first thing in my feed was cousin's husband posting a Prager U video on "Why isn't Communism as Hated as Nazism?"

I have to admit, I'm kind of in awe of the determination with which the PU types are tirelessly working to construct a strawman of leftist thought to attack, and their willingness to outright lie about basic principles (in order to fool their target audience) like conflating "Marxism/communism" with the specific half-varieties we've seen in places like Russia, which would be Leninism/Stalinism, or China's Maoism. Asking "why isn't communism as hated as Nazism" is dishonest from the jump, since Nazism is a specific form of fascism, and the proper comparison would be between communism and fascism, or between applied varieties of them like Leninism and Nazism. There are several fascist governments to which people do not, or have not generally, objected to in the same way we would object to Hitler's version of fascism... for instance, the US support of Pinochet in Chile, plus many other brutal, fascist-style governments we propped up in Nicaragua, Bolivia, El Salvador, Argentina, Paraguay, and much of the Caribbean (as bulwarks against popularly elected communist leaders/governments in those countries). So when I watched that video, all I could think was how I wanted to scream "Why do YOU think the fascism the US supported is better than democratically-elected communism?"

I don't mean to side-track this thread; I'm just expressing an equal degree of awe and contempt for the PU propagandists, who are just as dishonest in their religion videos as they are in their political ones. But all that said, they actually have an outstanding video among all their trash, posted by a US Military Academy (West Point) professor, which explains in very clear, honest, and direct terms why the Civil War was in fact about slavery, despite all the denialists out there. When that one popped up--it was only once--I was flabbergasted.

*sigh* I'm just realizing how many of their bullshit videos I've had to watch. I hope Kyle's paycheck is worth it!

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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02-05-2017, 10:59 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(01-05-2017 12:42 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I don't think it's fair to say that Shai is "attacking his own religion". He's attacking dishonest people who use dishonest methods to try to convince others to adopt that religion... the Liars for Jesus™ club. There's a key difference.

As for the PU propaganda, I swear I have yet to see one of their ads (they like to air them when I watch Secular Talk, so I have to watch the whole video so Kyle K gets paid for the full ad, in the wake of the YouTube-pocalypse demonetization scandal, where they yanked most ads from all the atheism shows) that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out and scream at the person on the screen... rather like Shai feels about Strobel.

He's able to critically examine his own religion, and to not throw up defensive insults and other nonsense when asked questions. I respect that Smile

I get the feeling Shai doesn't define his whole identity as being Christian like many others I've talked to.

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06-05-2017, 09:04 PM (This post was last modified: 06-05-2017 09:34 PM by Shai Hulud.)
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Well everyone. I've had Confession, Mass, and have pizza. Will not be in a better mood, so let's finish this thing. We've made it through this together now, without resorting to drinking! It nearly calls for a celebratory drink.

(02-05-2017 10:51 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  *good stuff*

*sigh* I'm just realizing how many of their bullshit videos I've had to watch. I hope Kyle's paycheck is worth it!
That's a wonderful point about the sheer hypocrisy involved in those videos, pointing out how we did in fact install many a fascist to replace popularly elected Communists. Sad Though now I may have to go look up the slavery and the Civil War video. Also hopefully it is; at least he's apparently not a victim of the Adpocalypse.

(02-05-2017 10:59 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  He's able to critically examine his own religion, and to not throw up defensive insults and other nonsense when asked questions. I respect that Smile

I get the feeling Shai doesn't define his whole identity as being Christian like many others I've talked to.
Thanks Smile And if I was a better Catholic, I should do that. But...heh. It does hold its primacy, but no, not alone. If anything, my morality is more firmly rooted in humanist values compared to Biblical ones.

An Interview With Lee Strobel Okay, how bad could it-no, bad sandworm, do not tempt Murphy. Bad! Halfway through, second strikethrough...this post contains gratuitous profanity, apologies.

This 12 page interview is conducted by author and apologist Mark Mittelberg. He's a close "ministry associate of Strobel since 1987" according to page 294. This screams, "expect softballs" to me, but who knows. Apparently Mittelberg is also the author of at least two books himself: The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask and Confident Faith. I've actually heard of the first of these two books before, and it's supposed to basically be exactly like the explanations we've heard in this book (no surprise, eh?); where it's the narrowest most wiggling interpretations possible and outright doublethink and doublespeak.

Anyhow, what's our first question? Oh how surprised he's been, and the guy makes sure to fluff with, "I'm sure you never anticipated it would sell nearly ten million copies in its various formats or be translated into twenty languages". Wow, I apparently was not far off on the softballing and probably should've guessed verbal fellatio was inbound as well. What does Lee say? Basically that he's like the Cubs batter who gets a gust of wind that sends the ball further, and God is the wind in the metaphor.

Second question wants to know some of the 'great stories' about people who have been influenced by the book. Strobel toots his own horn about how many emails, phone calls, letters, and tweets he's gotten from people who were Saved due to this book or who went into seminary due to it. One story he highlights is an atheist who sat on a copy of the book at a bookstore while looking for an astronomy magazine and heard an Inner voice that said to read it, and it converted him. Also a Christian's atheist dad read it and was converted. In Colorado an atheist computer engineer read it to discredit it, and was Saved.

You know Lee, I honestly do believe that some people have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior due to their book. However, it's not due to you entirely. For one thing, there's Jesus, He kinda gets all the credit when someone's heart is changed. For another thing, you've sold, as of the printing of this version (which isn't the latest one by the way), ten million copies. Statistically, it's impossible for you to have NOT converted anyone.

Third question, "Then there was Evel Knievel..." That's the entire question. Apparently the daredevil was on a beach and God told him to embrace Christ, so he "called the only Christians he knew and asked them about Jesus. They recommended the Case for Christ. He read it and said the God used it to cement his new faith in Jesus", page 295.

Next series of questions is interlinked. This book is so awesome and beloved by all, including skeptics, so how has it been received by the youth? Lee starts to talk about a scholar, question is asked "Which one?" page 296. Lee doesn't want to say, but the guy told him no one would read the book because we're a postmodernist culture. "So what happened?" The book sold best among 16-24 year olds, which is why he partnered with Jane Vogel to right the Student Edition of the book.

Next questions asks about what he'd say to readers for whom reading the book is the first step on a long path of spirituality. "Ask God -- even if you're not sure he exists -- to guide you to the truth. Then once the evidence is in, courageously reach a verdict." page 297.

"Are there aspects of The Case for Christ that have gotten stronger since the book has come out?" Apparently scholars are "taking the New Testament a lot more seriously these days". And there "have also been strides in research on the resurrection" and talking about a book that was written.

"Certainly the field of Christian apologetics, or the defense of the faith, has changed since the time your book came out." page 297. Did I mention the verbal fellatio going on here? Because it sure as Hell seems like one. I'm waiting for "Lee, tell me how much of a sexual beast you are with your wife, given you keep saying in interviews how you were afraid she'd become a prude". Anyhow, Lee's answer. Basically yes, because there's more books and more preaching on it in churches.

Next question, Mittelberg is taking Lee's entire ego into his mouth with page 298, "Do you think your book helped to spark any of this?" Lee humbly says it's a cultural shift. Also on page 298, "In spite of the growing body of evidence that supports Christianity, there are more and more people who doubt." Also 3 of the 6 reasons in a study he cites on why people leave the church is because of intellectual reasons.

Next question asks about how it has critics as a book. Strobel brushes this off as his experts being awesome and how the critiques are, according to page 298, "pretty easily answered."

Page 298-299:
"Some Critics claim you weren't really an atheist when you wrote the book."
"Well, they're right! I never claimed to be. It's true that I was an atheist for much of my life, until my wife Leslie's conversion to Christianity prompted me to use my journalism and legal training to investigate, whether there's any credibility to Christianity or any other world religion. I did that for a year and nine months. [skip to end of answer] As I said in the introduction, the book retraces and expands upon my original investigation."

Bull. Fucking. Shit. You. Assfuck. You VERY heavily intimated you were an atheist during this research. VERY heavily. LYING BY OMISSION AND MISDIRECTION FOR JESUS IS STILL FUCKING LYING LEE.

That good mood I had going? Strobel's killed it and we have 5 more pages of this interview. Next question...isn't that interesting, just basically when did you decide to write a book, when he joined the staff at his church. Next, why did Zondervan approve his proposal for a book. "They said it was because they could see my obvious passion for the project. And I think they believed that the book would have a unique perspective because of my background as both an atheist and a journalist." Page 300 there. Next, was it hard to get interviews with scholars, nope, they all immediately agreed.

"Did you face any challenges during the writing of this book?" on page 300, apparently his editor wanted it to be a narrative journey instead of just like this Q&A. So do we blame the editor for this basically coming across as him seemingly lying all the time on this investigation? I miscounted btw, there's six more pages of this interview. Six!

Oh, page 301 asks, "You didn't interview any skeptics for the book. Some have criticized you for that." Lee replies, smugly in my interpretation of his answer, that he was the skeptic and he read enough atheist arguments, so he didn't need to interview any skeptics. Given I could argue his atheistic points better than he did, I call fucking bullshit.

Next question brings up the Jesus Seminar criticism that I levied, about him not asking their side. He claims it was unimportant to do so because people can read that for themselves. And that they didn't give conservatives a voice, so why should he give them one? The paragraph reads like a petulant child. Next question is a follow up, followed by more than a page of ranting about how the Jesus Seminar isn't really Christian and no one should pay attention to them.

Next question is about how some people (like me) think he was too easily persuaded and never bothered with follow up questions! Page 303, his two paragraph reply of ass covering that can be summed up by its shortest sentence/excuse, "One book can't deal with every possible issue." Still on page 303.

Next, do people put up resistance to Christianity they don't to other beliefs? Strobel says most seekers are authentic, but many "ratchet up their skepticism". He says when he gets pointed questions he demands people prove their identity, and how their ID isn't forged, and a friend or spouse can't attest to their identity either, because it's apparently totally the same thing. You know Strobel, you come off as an ass in this book frequently, but in this Q&A you come off as a complete douchebag. And how some people "raise our skepticism unreasonably high" page 304.

Is he excited CfC is now in Arabic? Yes he is, because it shows how Islam is wrong on several points. Interviewer agrees, he has a Muslim friend who was Saved thanks to CfC. Are there any other books planned? He lists his entire bibliography seemingly in his answer and then says he doesn't want to talk about future projects, except some are planned.

Asked about his drunken lifestyle before finding Jesus. he says most skeptics aren't like that, but that it's totally logical to be that way if you don't believe in God. Lee is asked about his kids, proudly talks about them being Christian authors, and how his son is a professor at the theological seminary that came up seemingly an infinite number of times in this book.

Last two questions are a paired affair. Since it would take more faith to be an atheist, do you ever have doubts? Sometimes, but only temporary is the answer, due to the wealth of evidence. "What do you mean?" is on page 306. And basically, you know it in your heart through God's spirit, as William Lane Craig told him.

And...we're done. The rest of the book is just a list of citations from the various chapters when he end-noted things annoyingly. This was not a well written book. It was accessible, yes, but that's because it was written to a lowest common denominator. This book isn't written for a person who is trying to take a truly intellectual look at Christianity, rather, it's written for Jim from the church youth group who is having doubts before heading out to college, or Sally who watched a single video by The Bible Reloaded. Mostly, this book is for church small groups to reinforce their own beliefs, while being reassured there's evidence out there, and they don't need to look at it, because you already did. All in all...the Case for Christ failed to convince me of a proposition I already believed. In fact, going to quote my own Facebook here, "Surviving Strobel's dishonesty and outright lies is a better argument for God than this piece of crap book."

Anyhow, why kill a thread when the thread is going strong. So now let's do a sneak peek at our next book, at 151 pages it's literally half the length of this one, Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins' Case Against God. Unlike this abomination, I actually like one of the authors of this book, so hopefully that won't increase my bias in their favor heavily. The cover art is a riff on the God and Adam touching hands painting, but instead has Dawkin pointing an accusatory finger at God, while his genitalia are covered by The God Delusion. Our authors are Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker. Unlike with Strobel, I've talked shop before with Scott Hahn in person, and most of his Catholic stuff is absolutely eviscerating of Evangelical beliefs. Let's see if he is in this as well. Honest declaration: I seem to recall abandoning this book when I first got it after we started talking probabilities so...

Our dedication is to Anthony Flew, for changing his mind. They also, in the acknowledgements, thank a non-theist who caught some of their mistakes and had them make corrections. There are nine sections to the book, tonight we'll take a look at the Introduction.

Introduction Because I shouldn't probably be starting a new book while still pissed from the last one.

Subtitle: Why Argue With An Atheist?

"Gone are the days of polite atheism" the first page assures us halfway down after talking about The Four Horsemen, "Christianity is under attack." Also by this point, I realize how dated the book already is; this was released before the passing of the late Christopher Hitchens, and refers to him in the present tense. Gone, they lament, are the greats like Nietzsche, but now we live in an age of "mass produced unbelief" as it's put on page 3.

The impetus for the book is that a member of the theology department came to one of the authors, Hahn, and said that one of his students had come to tell him how several of her theology majors had lost faith due to Dawkins arguments in The God Delusion, while the theological staff had all considered it to be so poorly argued as to not worry about it. However, if Dawkins was having an impact at their super Catholic university, what about other places? Thus, Hahn and Wiker set out to release a refutation timed for the paperback release of Dawkins' book.

For those who aren't keyed into Catholic life, let me just take a moment here to speak a bit about this. They have a good point here about it being alarming, to those of faith, that Dawkins words would find fertile ground at Steubenville. Franciscan University of Steubenville is one of America's premier private Catholic universities when it comes to turning out people who specialize in theology and catechetics to go work among the faithful, rather than become academic theologians in their own right. I know at least a dozen graduates from there personally, most of them now teaching in Catholic schools or parishes across America. Steubie is well known also for its absolutely MASSIVE youth conferences it puts on across the United States, including one that was in my city last summer and drew an estimated 10,000 youth (local parishes made thousands of handmade Rosaries to give out for free). They also have a pretty fun monthly Night of Worship event series that I've been to a couple of times when I was a graduate student over the border from them in Pennsylvania (it's located in Ohio). So when Hahn relays this story of a student talking about other students in the theology program losing faith, it's really quite scandalous compared to the reputation to the university enjoys in devout American Catholic circles.

Anyhow, for funsies before we get back to me being forced to go against someone I like, possibly, have the promo for this summer's youth conference by Steubie:



Oh holy crap, they're coming back this summer according to the "Coming to" list.
Okay, moving on, why not try to refute every atheist book then? Because of the influentialness of Dawkins and this book and because atheist arguments are, they say, quite repetitive. Then they do the cherry picking of Christians and atheists alike who have panned The God Delusion; including one they describe as a "Darwinist". Oy, this isn't a good first sign guys, when you label people as Darwinists.

Next we do two pages of how caustic Dawkins is in The God Delusion, complete with citations from the hardcover edition of the book. They try to say that this is a let down from his other work, which they admit is brilliant. Then they say that Dawkins overlooks the efforts of regimes which were anti-religion and quote him where he says he doubts there's a single atheist in the world that would engage in destruction of religious properties, and how he ignores what the Soviets did to the Orthodox Church.

They accuse Dawkins of basically engaging in the type of rhetoric that a fundamentalist preacher would, but that he's basically preaching atheism. Anyhow, last paragraph here, "We shall proceed in a gentlemanly way. If we might borrow from Dawkins, who says before he begins, "I shall not go out of my way to offend, but nor shall I don kid gloves to handle religion any more gently than I would handle anything else" [citation here to page 27 of The God Delusion], we too shall be as gentle as we can be with Dawkins' atheism -- but no more. His arguments may seem strong, as long as he can hold forth without an adversary to call his position into question, and we think that he may well realize this. We offer our book for all those swayed into doubt by Dawkins, so that reason may triumph over rhetoric."

Introduction is self aggrandizing and holier-than-thou and preachy about not slipping down to Dawkins caustic level while sinking down to a super passive aggressive level.

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06-05-2017, 11:40 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Sad part is, your buddy is right. "The God Delusion" has some good parts, but mostly I found it to be poor counter-apologetics. There's much better stuff out there...but since TGD has taken on something of a life of its own in popular circulation, it's a logical target.


That said, your buddy is a douchebag for trying to play the martyr card with that "Christianity under attack" nonsense, given that pretty much every denomination has rallies that dwarf the biggest atheist gatherings ever held, have churches on every street corner across the nation, and has been able to change our national motto, pledge, and holiday system to heavily favor Christianity...see the recent National Day of Prayer.

It's also douchebaggery to refer to people who grok science as "Darwinists", given the loaded and often pejorative nature of that term. It doesn't bode any better for their intellectual honesty than referring incorrectly to what Hitch says about religions. It always strikes me that the more a Believer claims to be open minded and neutral, the more likely I am to discover them Lying for Jesus™.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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