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 It’s all probably out of date by now and I’ll have to do more catch up reading before I can revisit those.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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