Friday, November 16, 2007

All of the cool kids are doing it!

"Atheism is in." - Stan Guthrie

You guys have to read this article.

Some of the most prominent evangelical leaders and Christian apologists recently
addressed thousands of believers amid a trend of atheist outspokenness.

We're a trend?
"Let's face it: Atheism is in," Stan Guthrie wrote in Tuesday's column in
Christianity Today magazine.But arising to disprove atheist claims are not
just Christian arguments of faith or citations from Scripture, but evidence.


Oh, for Pete's sake. When faced with a rise in vocal atheism, Christian apologists are trying to dismiss the increase in atheism in the same way that 50's parents tried to dismiss Rock-and-Roll? Wow... that's pretty pathetic, even from a theist perspective. What? Are they expecting 10% of the American population to gather at Wrigley Field and burn Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens books in a disco-is-dead backlash?
And...what is this evidence that they speak of? I'm intrigued, now.

"We have a defensible faith that stands up to scrutiny and investigation," said
Lee Strobel, a former atheist and author of the bestselling book The Case for
Christ.


If the Christian faith stood up to scrutiny and investigation, then there would be far fewer atheists or people of other faiths. And, quoting Lee Strobel's works as evidence is a stretch. And, exactly where is that book "best selling"?

Lee was a featured speaker at this year's National Conference on Christian
Apologetics, held Nov. 9-10 at Calvary Church in Charlotte, N.C. The annual
conference, presented by Southern Evangelical Seminary, came as America has been experiencing a surge in attacks against religion – more specifically,
Christianity.

It's never a good sign when their "evidence" and "defense" is an appeal to an authority that most people could care less about. Let's see...Christian author, conference on Christian apologetics, North Carolina, and presented by a seminary. Hmmmm. They couldn't possibly have an agenda to promote, could they? And, does anyone else suspect that Christians have a Karl-Rove-esque type of color warning system?

In recent years, books on atheism have hit best-selling lists and the authors
have gained prominence across the country.


This is like shooting fish in a barrel. Lee Strobel is supposed to be considered an authority and respected because his book is a best seller. But, the same does not apply for Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens? Nice double standard.

"There's a phenomenon going on right now," Strobel said, according to The
Charlotte Observer. "In response to this proliferation of attacks on
Christianity that we're seeing in best-selling books and on the Internet,
there's a new hunger in the church for apologetics – that is, defending the
faith."

Mmmmmkay. Christians rising up to defend their beliefs by trying to say "nah, nah...we can write books, too."? Stop the presses!! They must be right if there's a hunger and a battle cry of oppression.

Churches are now finding a need to equip Christians with rebuttals and answers
that go beyond an acceptance of the authority of Scripture. In response,
Christian apologists are filling the void, teaching a language anchored in
reason and science.


Ahahahahahahahahahahhaaa!! You know...if you're in any situation and there are people questioning the validity of your position (and using logic and reason and evidence to question your position), don't you think it might be wise to reconsider the merits and evidence of your position? Notice that they're not saying, "We're encouraging Christians to study their faith and apply equal standards." Notice that they're not saying, "Reason and science are good places to start when faced with a dilemma." No! They're doing the exact opposite. They're providing the sheep with dumb responses and implying that reason and science are the enemy.

And if the Church wants to keep the younger generation, Christian leaders should
start stressing evidence and proof, as one 17-year-old suggested.

I have a feeling that the standards of "evidence and proof" are going to be quite different from our standards.

"We've grown up in a place and a time where everything can be proven," Emily
Koll, a member of Calvary Church, told the local newspaper. "And then, all of a
sudden, with God, you have to take a leap of faith. We're not used to that. It's
outside our comfort zone."

Emily Koll must be the smartest person in the world. Hell, I'm an atheist and even I wouldn't go so far as to say that we live in a "place and time where everything can be proven." What fun would that be? And, I just love her last sentence. The statement is pretty close to true, but why do I have a feeling she's going to jump to the wrong conclusion?

Nearly 4,000 people convened at Calvary this past weekend to hear speakers like
Strobel and Charles Colson talk about apologetics.

Nearly 4,000? OMGZ!! It must be true.
Oh. Wait a minute. My google blogger analytics dashboard says that 5,182 people viewed my page today. Holy shit!! I must be completely and totally above question. You know? For a religion that claims world domination, an attendance of 4,000 seems pretty weak. I mean, come on...Reliant Stadium's average attendance for a Houston Texans game is between 30 and 40 thousand people...and they're the worst team in the NFL. 4,000 Christians willing to shell out some coin to hear their best quarterback isn't something to brag about.

But before even diving in to the proof, Colson said it was time Christians
define Christianity, which culture, popular media and atheists have apparently
done."What is Christianity?" Colson posed at the
conference.
"Christianity is an explanation of everything," he said.

Ok. So, Christianity has the explanation behind the cure for cancer?

It's not just about morality, getting saved or being part of some religious
group. And it's much more than a relationship with Jesus, he told The Charlotte
Observer.

Yeah...it's about the money!

Christianity, essentially, gives an explanation for all of the great questions
of life such as ‘What is truth and justice?’ ‘Why do we exist and where did we
come from?’ and ‘Where are we headed?’” said Tom Gilson, who attended the
conference, about Colson's talk.

Rrrrrriiiiiiiight. The only problem with that is the fact that I'll give you an answer for any question you can think up. Come on. Hit me! Oh. Wait. You want accurate answers? Man, you people are fucking picky!

"The Bible does not speak directly to every question," Gilson wrote on his blog,
ThinkingChristian.net. "Yet Biblical principles apply to all of life, as
explanations of what the world and life are about, and as guidance for all that
we do. Too many of us compartmentalize Christianity into some 'religious'
sphere. But God is King of all."

As the Non-Prophets would say, "The Bible is the great big book of multiple choice."

The recent National Conference on Christian Apologetics was designed to equip
individuals to "win the battle" of other worldviews in addition to atheism.

For my money, I think they should've rolled out Freddie Mercury and a great sound system. It would be just as effective as this bullshit.

7 comments:

Milo Johnson said...

Seems to me that if you refer to the reasoning behind your belief as "apologetics" that you've already confessed the weakness of your position.

Russ said...

From my perspective, PMomma, Christian Apologetics might be the worst thought crime a person can perpetrate against one's self. It takes at least two convoluted forms.

In one case, they start from the conclusion that Christianity is always right; they cut any idiocy-strewn pathway to some point of concern - abortion, homosexuality, limbo, whatever; and, then they slap on the ol' Q.E.D. as if they the exercise they just conducted constituted proof of something.

Another case is that of beginning somewhere other than the conclusion, and then through some truly bizarre and rather oafish connecting of often unrelated and/or imaginary dots, as though they were constructing a chain of reason, they work their way back to their foregone conclusion that their religion is correct.

It reminds me of so many third-grade level riddles. RIDDLE: You, a chalkboard and chalk are the only things inside an otherwise completely empty room with no windows or doors. How do you get out? ANSWER: You draw a doughnut which has a hole and you crawl out the hole.

Of course, depending on which specific one of the 34000 or so extant Christianities(World Christian Encyclopedia) you are puzzling out, you might need to draw a door, or a window, or flue pipe, or a submarine hatch, and then worm your way through that, but the effect is the same: instead of looking at a contradiction as a sign that the veracity of the religion is logically impossible, the apologist sketches out how they want the world to work and declares it to be so.

Realize that they can have absolute confidence in their chalk-drawn sketch since as reality brushes against and rubs out or obscures the image, it can simply be redrawn exactly as is, or completely reinvented so as to achieve the same result. Christianity just like its myriad apologetics is constantly changing. I see Apologetics as being no more intelligible than that.

To me, through apologetics there is an important but suppressed message trying to reach broad consciousness. The message is a concise sort of New Bible Code, a new way to interpret the Bible. The message becomes clear if we note that the text of the Bible occupies about 3.5 megabytes while the existing apologetics needed to duct tape, putty up, caulk, spackle over, or backfill the cracks, crevices, holes, gaps and abysses amounts to thousands of times that amount.

Recall that that that wrote the Bible was ominscient, omnipotent and all that, but what was written requires thousands of times its original space in explanation by ordinary - at least physiologically if not psychologically - humans who disagree to vast degrees concerning those same apologetics.

Apologetics clearly tells us that religion is manmade. Apologetics tells us that without a doubt the Bible is not true.

shaun said...

The recent National Conference on Christian Apologetics was designed to equip
individuals to "win the battle" of other worldviews in addition to atheism.


*Shakes head and rubs eyes*

The recent National Conference on Christian Apologetics was designed to equip
individuals to "win the battle" of other worldviews in addition to atheism.


Yeah - it DID say that!

Hoooooleee shit - they actually got something right! Atheism is NOT a worldview!

ShadesOfGrey said...

Now, honestly, why would I want to read that article (which would just make me cry) when I can read your play-by-play tearing them apart blog entry (which makes me laugh so hard that I cry)?

My current response to any articles like that one is to play The God Delusion book-on-CD until I feel at peace again (pick a track, any track).

Ian Adams said...

"Yet Biblical principles apply to all of life, as explanations of what the world and life are about, and as guidance for all that we do." (Emphasis mine.)

Wow, did they really just go there?

*rolls up sleeves*

So according to the Bible, we should be incestuous (Gen 11:29, Gen 19:33–36, Gen 20:12, Gen 22:20–23, Gen 28:8–9, Gen 36:2–3, Gen 29, Gen 38, Exod 6:20, Num 36: 5—12, 2 Sam 13), misogynistic (1 Cor 11, 1 Cor 14, Deut 22:20-21, Eph 5:22-24, 1 Tim 2, 1 John 20:17), child-killing (Psalm 137:9, Exod 21:1, Prov 20:20, Lev 20:9, Ezek 9:5-7, Isa 14:21, ), homophobic (Lev 20:13, Rom 1:24-32), murderous (Deut 17:12, Exod 22:17, Lev 20:27, Lev 20:10, Lev 21:9, 2 Chron 15:12-13, Zech 13:3, Deut 13:7-12, Lev 24:10-16, Deut 13:1-5, Deut 18:20-22, Num 1:48-51, Exod 31:12-15, Jer 48:10, Exod 32:26-29), war-mongering (Deut 13:13-19, Jer 51:20-26, Isa 13:15-18, 1 Sam 15:2-3, Num 25:1-9, 1 Kings 18:36-40, Jer 50:21-22) slave-owning (Exod 21:20-21, Lev 25:44-46, Col 3:22, Col 4:1, Eph 6:5, 1 Tim 6:1-3, 1 Peter 2:18, Titus 2:9) rapists (Deut 20:10-14, Deut 21:10-14, Deut 22:28-29).

<sarcasm>Such inspiring moral homilies!</sarcasm>

aimee said...

I know this go with your discussion, but I thought everyone would like this. A christmas ornament of the flying spaghetti monster.
http://friendlyatheist.com/2007/11/15/a-christmas-tree-ornament-youll-enjoy/

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I'm doing this atheist thing for the chicks man. They digg it when I scream their name instead of G O D's

:)