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The Truth About Religion

Most people don’t spend much time questioning their own religious beliefs; they either accept most or all of whatever they learned in their childhood or reject it completely. If you’re one of the relatively few who actually thinks about what you’ve been taught (“If the first people in the world were Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, and Seth, where did Cain’s and Seth’s wives come from?”), you may enjoy these articles.

The Bible

The Bible is NOT a History Book! — It looks like history to our modern eyes; but our modern idea of “history” was invented during the Enlightenment. The Bible is not a science textbook and not a history book — it’s theology.

Homosexuality Before the Bible — A questioner on Quora asked, “Was homosexuality an issue before the Bible was written?” Short answer: No. People were too busy taking seriously the commandment to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the Earth. (Maybe today’s silly uproar about the nonsensical allegation that God, having made gays gay, hates them for it has arisen because people are thinking, “Okay, we’ve filled the Earth and then some. What next?”!)

The Hebrew Scriptures

Thinking Through the Noah’s Ark Myth — Fundamentalists and most evangelicals insist that the Bible is not an ancient collection of Bronze Age writings, but instead a history book written to 20th-century standards of factuality. If the Noah’s Ark myth had happened in The Real World, how did Noah get one to seven breeding pairs of several million species of animals onto the Ark? . . . and similar questions.

The Christian Testament

Is the Christian Testament Historically True? — Short answer: The Bible is theology, even though most of it is in a form of narrative that scholars call “salvation history,” a euphemism for “myth.”

Who Was Yeshua bar Maryam? — The Roman Empire renamed him Jesus Christ, but the actual human being on whom the myth is based would not have answered to that name.

How Jesus Became God — The baby boy born some time close to 7 or 6 BCE to a woman poorer than a peasant was probably not the “God in a man-suit” worshiped today.

What If You Don’t Believe Christian Dogma Any More — and how do you tell your Christian friends that your beliefs have evolved?

The Nature of God

Who Is the Holy Ghost? — as in “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost?”

If God Exists, Why Is There Suffering? — The age-old question of theodicy: can God be both omnipotent and omniscient AND omnibenevolent? If God is Love, why do children die of cancer?

The Problem of Omnipotence — This is a later evolution of the post about why God permits suffering. The true question is, “If God exists, and evil exists, and sin exists, and suffering exists, and free will exists, why do people still believe that God is BOTH omnipotent AND even slightly benevolent?”

Can God Hope? — or does God’s omniscience make “hope” meaningless?

Was Jesus Divine? — If Jesus was divine, what he taught ought to be considered much more important than what Paul of Tarsus taught about him. And if Jesus wasn’t divine, what Paul taught is irrelevant. So why do most Christians follow Paul and mostly ignore Jesus?

Jesus Has a Message for Fundamentalists — and it’s not an approving one.

Comments»

1. woody s. - April 12, 2011

MM. Here I think we diverge in thought. It isn’t about what god is or isn’t. It is simply “God isn’t”. All the rest then makes sense.

2. webster wallace - July 21, 2012

Hear! Hear!!! I always wondered why most of the New Testament revolves around Paul, rather than Jesus.


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