2009-05-14

posts and comments

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by Neil Godfrey

Notice some comments from way back that included urls did not get through — am belatedly correcting that now.

Have finished writing re Timothy Keller’s The Reason for God. He relies heavily on Richard Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, and I have already addressed that in more than enough detail. He also draws on N.T. Wright often enough, and he has been, and will be addressed, enough in other posts. It is also too tedious to be reading Keller’s ignorant and arrogant insistence that there is no such person as a real “in their heart” atheist, and straw man insistence that nonbelievers are moral relativists, and that it is moral arrogance to think one can judge as inferior the cruder standards of the bible, including its endorsement of slavery. (He comes close to even writing a panegyric of biblical slavery, almost conveying the impression that apart from a few rotten apples it was the best thing that ever happened to any society.)

And I simply can’t bring myself to take the time to address his convoluted and frequently fatuous arguments that confuse metaphors with realities to rationalize the need for a spirit man in the sky to actually give his son over to be butchered for us to be forgiven and have a personal relationship with him. Not to mention his tortured assertion that by submitting totally to a book’s precepts we are engaging in a meaningful “two-way” personal relationship with a deity! (I have addressed a little of the damage all this has inflicted on too many in a few of my posts in my Fundamentalism category and in my notes on Marlene Winell’s Leaving the Fold.) His explanations of how faith changes lives is also a non-starter and reminded me of what I discovered when I began to think about my own faith — how faith is a mindgame, a very useful and positive one for many, but not one to judge others over.

Also want to finish off my Josephus section with a discussion of the James (brother of Jesus called the Christ) passage in Josephus’ Antiquities 20, but that involves a bit of organization work to prepare and edit.

Also I have fallen way behind in collating and editing my years old notes from earlier studies that I would like to revisit and think through again by posting here. — including my notes on Old Testament studies and archaeology. It’s all probably out of date by now and I’ll have to do more catch up reading before I can revisit those.

And I’m bemused by the fact that the most hit-on post on my blog (4000 in 9 months) is an incidental notice re the Venus of Willendorf.

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4 Comments

  • Fabrizio Palestini
    2009-05-14 15:25:05 GMT+0000 - 15:25 | Permalink

    Well, this comment of mine is actually not exactly related to this particular entry in your blog, but I would like to thank you very much for your thoughtful, erudite, always interesting considerations. We share the same ideas about religion, about the details of the historical development of religions (Detering, Marcion, etc), about politics (Palestinians …).
    Glad to see I’m not alone! ;-D
    Fabrizio
    Italy

    • 2009-05-17 23:37:34 GMT+0000 - 23:37 | Permalink

      Good to make acquaintance with another concerned about the Palestinian issue.

  • Danny
    2009-05-14 21:02:06 GMT+0000 - 21:02 | Permalink

    I’ll eagerly await your posts on the OT. I’m currently building up my library with works by William Dever, Lester Grabbe, “the minimalist school”, Jonathan Kirsch, Eric Cline, Frank Moore Cross, and even SBL books (free for download in third world countries!) on ancient near eastern studies (ugaritic, canaanite, egyptian, etc.).

  • 2009-05-16 19:29:51 GMT+0000 - 19:29 | Permalink

    aw shucks, thanks guys. (but if/when i ever get a chance to get back to my old testament notes it will mostly be just summarizing the research of others that you’ve probably already read. – still a teacher at heart, like to find ways to arrange the scholarly works for others who would not normally be exposed to them.)

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