Quote for the day

Few Evangelical leaders promote unfettered intellectual inquiry. They know that such inquiries always lead away from what Evangelicals believe is the “faith once delivered to the saints.” Pastors know that once devotees question the inerrancy of the Bible, creationism, the virgin birth, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and other cardinal beliefs, it is only a matter of time before they will lose their faith. While this loss of faith may not lead to atheism, it certainly leads to an exodus out the back doors of Evangelical churches. When truth — not religious dogma masquerading as truth — becomes the object of intellectual inquiry, it’s only a matter of time before the Evangelical house built on myth and supernatural nonsense comes tumbling down. Either science is right, or creationism is. Both can’t be right. Either virgins can have babies or they can’t. Either three-day old dead people can come back to life and eat dinner at Taco Bell or they can’t. Take every supernatural claim in the Bible and measure it by what you know to be empirically and experientially true. Both can’t be true. Knowledge-informed thinking and not cognitive dissonance should always be the goal.

Bruce Gerencser, ex-Christian and ex-Pastor

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that.

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Where’s Sarah?

Veteran Kremlinologists are turning their attention closer to home, asking, Where’s Sarah?

Tuesday saw yet another record broken by the Trump White House: the longest run without an official news media briefing.

At 43 days and counting, this information drought supplants the previous record of 42 days without a briefing, set in March — which broke the 41-day record set in January.

At some point, one cannot help but wonder: What is the job of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who holds the title of White House press secretary?

There is speculation afoot that she found documented proof of multiple public lies in the Mueller report embarrassing, but skeptics point out that she is a preacher’s daughter and devout Christian. “Maintaining fictions is what those people are all about,” said one, “I’d expect her to love the challenge.”

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Enabling 2020 Russian interference

According to the New York Times, you can’t talk to the First Felon about governmental efforts to prevent Russian interference in the 2020 election.

In the months before Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to resign, she tried to focus the White House on one of her highest priorities as homeland security secretary: preparing for new and different Russian forms of interference in the 2020 election.

President Trump’s chief of staff told her not to bring it up in front of the president.

A lot of Americans seem unwilling to do the unavoidable work of citizenship nowadays, but the Mueller report speaks plainly, unambiguously, and dispositively to the matter of Russian interference in the 2016 election. What is more, the Trump campaign knew of Russian meddling and sought to exploit it, and failed to alert the government that it had such information.

There is today, in the public domain, a strong and uncontested prima facie case for treason, and nobody who has read the Mueller report should be the least bit surprised that the First Felon refuses to address whatever Russia has in store for 2020.

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Meet my neighbors, ctd

A North Carolina pastor briefly gained national prominence 2-years ago when he publicly denounced the appalling Nazi and white supremacy marches in Charlottesville, Virginia. A not-much-remarked irony is that Pastor Robert W. Lee is a distant descendant of the iconic Confederate general whose statue was at the center of the ruckus, Robert E. Lee. Even less remarked, thanks to the press of events and the First Felon’s more prominent failure of leadership and ordinary decency, is that the church he pastored fired him because, as everybody knows, Jesus was a white guy and nigras are the descendants of Ham, or Cain maybe, but definitely not worth ‘saving.’

Apparently, Pastor Lee didn’t know that the brave Tarheel pastors who supported the civil rights movement were routinely fired, sometimes burned in effigy, and beaten on a few occasions.

Now he’s out with a book, A Sin by Any Other Name.

Good luck to him … and I hope his publisher knows better than to bother scheduling North Carolina venues on his book tour.

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Heresy at Southwest Baptist University

I pointed a while back to a dispute at a Missouri school called Southwest Baptist University, where an especially conservative heresy-hunter was fired for surveilling the doctrinal purity of his colleagues. Since theological disputes are not susceptible of objective resolution by appeals to facts, y’all will probably not be surprised to learn that the matter remains unresolved.

What do you know? A group of alumni have somberly concluded that Good Ol’ SBU has got some problems, allright.

Having observed the recent controversies at our alma mater, Southwest Baptist University (SBU), a number of like-minded alumni have corresponded and determined it would be beneficial to provide alumni testimony and express our concerns regarding SBU.

All of us had amicable relationships with our professors. Some of our professors welcomed us into their homes and treated us with genuine kindness and respect. These positive experiences notwithstanding, we are compelled by recent events to bring to light doctrinal concerns related to some of the Redford faculty and their teaching.

Especially troubling is that one of the faculty claims to see contradictions in the story of Jesus’ unhappy encounter with the fig tree.

We are concerned about recent statements made by Dr. Reeves, who has recently affirmed the doctrine of inerrancy. In his recent affirmation concerning biblical inerrancy, he has gone so far as to say that he affirms inerrancy even as it is defined by the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. For many of us who sat under his teaching, we regret that Dr. Reeves did not speak with such conviction and confidence in the classroom. At least one alumnus experienced his teaching to directly contradict this affirmation when twice calling the account of the fig tree in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark a contradiction. Dr. Reeves gave no further explanation for his statements. Many of us were unsettled, either by his intentional lack of clarity on the doctrine of Scripture or by his teaching that challenged or contradicted the doctrine of inerrancy.

You can see what a serious problem this is; the Bible is inerrant or it isn’t, and there can be no contradictions if it is inerrant.

Don’t laugh: These characters are serious, and seriously alarmed, and the well-being and livelihood of real people hang on the outcome.

Can they prove that a supernatural being exists? They cannot. Can they prove that the supernatural being that Abraham was so proud of exists? They cannot. Can they prove that the supernatural being whose existence they can’t prove somehow superintended the production of the Bible? They cannot. They are not merely intellectually dishonest, they are intellectually corrupt because they refuse to do the hard work of establishing their premises; the entire fairy-castle of theology floats on … nothing. But, even so, careers will inevitably be destroyed in order to gratify the certitude of resolute ignoramuses.

That goes to character, and faith is bad for character.

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