Theology from Exile

This book aims at providing liberal Christians no longer able to believe in most elements of traditional Christianity an useful resource for finding a faith and an identity.

It heavily relies on the ideas of some influential members of the Jesus Seminar such as Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan.

Borg

Rejection of traditional Christianity

Rejection of dogmas concerning salvation

They rightly observe that the extent of our love for our fellow human beings is going to hugely depend on our view of God, called Gottesbild in German. They are correct that many theologies hinders justice from unfolding within our earthly world.

They emphasize that the return of Jesus is NOW and that isn’t punitive.

2ndcoming

Light isn’t Jesus but Jesus is part of the light. The authors often speak of “Cosmic Christ” in that concept.

There are no personal sins, all sins ” meaning “missing the mark” ” are committed against one’s human and natural environment.

Paul himself was a mystic who perhaps went as far as requiring all other Christians to become mystics.

God’s covenant of Justice was not about vanquishing our personal sin but inviting us into a new community of distributive justice.

The natural man cannot participate in just social and economical systems, he needs to be born anew vis a vis these unjust structures

They rightly point out one can find conflicting interpretations of God’s moral nature in the Bible and side with Jesus who did not use violence against the Roman occupants.

They are also appalled by the fact many American leaders orient their politics towards Israel according to their literal interpretation of the last books of the New Testament.

They swap the faith notion they’ve grown up with “suspension of belief” with “Commitment to Justice”.

They also sharply advocate the separation between the Church and the State because unhealthy interaction can begin taking place otherwise.

Rejection of the supernatural

“God” has become the Cosmos which necessarily means there will be no second coming.

The Great Evolution we’re a part of replaces the incarnation. The resurrection is  a metaphor expressing the fact that our universe is a symbiotic system where one part dies so that all the others may live.

The authors seem to frequently confuse the word “Postmodernism” (which means a great skepticism towards ALL knowledge claims) which Modernism according to which we live in an objectively existing universe utterly bereft of meaning.

postmodernism

There is nothing outside of the world defined by cosmology.

The New Covenant should be between Humanity and Nature which is called “God” in the latter case.

We ought to reinterpret our resurrection imagery because today we “know that nobody rise from the dead”.

We should therefore rather see the Easter Hope as a political transformation of extraordinary scope.

Irrational theology

They speak of “the love and compassion of the universe”  but this is completely absurd. A complex material bunch of particles cannot feel anything, let alone convey anything relatively close to compassion.

Given this definition of God, the phrase is “God gives all to all” is technically correct but also terribly incomplete:  it also entails that God gives cancer, genocide, aids and starvation without any chance for the victims to get their suffering compensated.

Thus a faith in the “goodness” of the created order seems to be nothing more than an irrational leap in the dark.

When they write that “those who love their enemies have no enemy” , this seems to be nothing more than a semantic trick since the  person hating them hasn’t most of the time lowered his hatred.

The authors try to paraphrase the apostle Paul in Corinthian 13 as follows:

“We are not pitiful if we are raised for the new social order”.

The problem is that it is an astronomical watering-down of Paul’s statement back then.

According to Sea Raven et al. there will be no vindication for all those who have laid their life for Justice’s sake. Their elementary particles will soon get back to the still emptiness of an indifferent universe which will have quickly forgotten them.

On contrast, the first Christians hoped on a God who would vindicate every one of them personally.

I think that what theologian  Francis Schaeffer wrote about the liberal theologians of his days is still valid in that context:

Often this answer — of beginning with the impersonal — is called pantheism. The new mystical thought is almost always some form of pantheism — and almost all the modern liberal theology is pantheistic as well. Often this beginning with the impersonal is called pantheism, but really this is a semantic trick, because by using the root theism a connotation of the personal is brought in, when by definition the impersonal is meant.

Francis_Schaeffer

Conclusion

I have no doubt that the authors of this book are kind people who really strive for making the world a better place. And in that respect they  might be far closer to Christ than countless culture warriors who neglect the works of social justice.

That said, I cannot view them as Christians because they neither believe in an afterlife nor in a personal God which are the hallmarks of the Christian hope. I think they have rightly pointed up many problems with the conservative Christianity they come from, but I don’t believe that rejecting the miraculous nature of our faith is necessary or sufficient for handling this problem.

The hope yearned by a world in a disastrous state is that for a perfectly good God, even if this causes the problem of evil of reconciling His just and loving Nature with what one can observe around us.

 

 Disclaimer: I received this book through a generous offer of Speakeasy. I confirm I reviewed this book objectively.

 

 

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On the probability of evolution

 In the following post, I won’t try to calculate specific values but rather to explicate my own Knowledge-dependent frequentist probabilities by using particular examples.

https://lotharlorraine.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/geek-zone.gif

I strongly encourage every reader new to this topic to first read my groundwork (Click here).

The great evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould was famous for his view that Evolution follows utterly unpredictable paths so that the emergence of any species can be viewed as a “cosmic accident”.

 

 

Stephen Jay Gould

He wrote:

We are glorious accidents of an unpredictable process with no drive to complexity, not the expected results of evolutionary principles that yearn to produce a creature capable of understanding the mode of its own necessary construction.
 
“We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a ‘higher answer’– but none exists”

“Homo sapiens [are] a tiny twig on an improbable branch of a contingent limb on a fortunate tree.”

 

Dr. Stephen Jay Gould, the late Harvard paleontologist, crystallized the question in his book ”Wonderful Life.” What would happen, he asked, if the tape of the history of life were rewound and replayed? For many, including Dr. Gould, the answer was clear. He wrote that ”any replay of the tape would lead evolution down a pathway radically different from the road actually taken.”

 

You’re welcome to complement my list by adding other quotations. 🙂

 

Evolution of man

evolution

So, according to Stephen Jay Gould, the probability that human life would have evolved on our planet was extremely low, because countless other outcomes would have been possible as well.

Here, I’m interested to know what this probability p(Homo) means ontologically.

Bayesian interpretation

Image Of Thomas Bayes

 

 

For a Bayesian, p(Homo) means the degree of belief we should have that a young planet having exactly the same features as ours back then would harbor a complex evolution leading to our species.

Many Bayesians like to model their degrees of belief in terms of betting amount, but in that situation this seems rather awkward since none of them would still be alive when the outcome of the wager will be known.

 

Traditional frequentism

 

Let us consider (for the sake of the argument) an infinite space which also necessarily contain an infinite number of planets perfectly identical to our earth (according to the law of the large numbers.)

According to traditional frequentism, the probability p(Homo) that a planet identical to our world would produce mankind is given as the ratio of primitive earths having brought about humans divided by the total number of planets identical to ours for a large enough (actually endless) number of samples:

p(Homo)   ≈           f(Homo) = N(Homo) / N(Primitive_Earths).

 

Knowledge-dependent frequentism

 

According to my own version of frequentism, the planets considered in the definition of probability do not have to be identical to our earth but to ALL PAST characteristics of our earth we’re aware of.

Let PrimiEarths  be the name of such a planet back then.

The probability of the evolution of human life would be defined as the limit  p'(Homo) of

f'(Homo) = N'(Homo) / N(PrimiEarths‘)

whereby N(PrimiEarths‘)  are all primitive planets in our hypothetical endless universe encompassing all features we are aware of on our own planet back then and N'(Homo) is the number of such planets where human beings evolved.

It is my contention that if this quantity exists (that is the ratio converges to a fixed value whereas the size of the sample is enlarged), all Bayesians would adopt p'(Homo)  as their own degree of belief.

 

But what if there were no such convergence?  In other words, while one would consider more and more  N(PrimiEarths‘) f'(Homo) would keep fluctuating between 0 and 1 without zooming in to a fixed value.

If that is the case, this means that the phenomenon  “Human life evolving on a planet gathering the features we know” is completely unpredictable and cannot therefore be associated to a Bayesian degree of belief either, which would mean nothing more than a purely subjective psychological state.

 

Evolution of bird

I want to further illustrate the viability of my probabilistic ontology by considering another evolutionary event, namely the appearance of the first birds.

Let us define D as : “Dinosaurs were the forefathers of all modern birds”, a view which has apparently become mainstream over the last decades.

For a Bayesian, p(D) is the degree of belief about this event every rational agent ought to have.

Since this is an unique event of the past, many Bayesians keep arguing that it can’t be grasped by frequentism and can only be studied if one adopts a Bayesian epistemology.

 

It is my contention this can be avoided by resorting to my Knowledge-Dependent Frequentism (KDF).

Let us define N(Earths’) the number of planets encompassing all features we are aware of on our modern earth (including, of course, the countless birds crowding out the sky, and the numerous fossils found under the ground).

Let us define N(Dino’) as the number of these planets where all birds originated from dinosaurs.

According to my frequentism, f(D) = N(Dino’) / N(Earths’), and p(D) is the limit of f(D) as the sample is increasingly enlarged.

If p(D) is strong, this means that on most earth-like planets containing birds, the ancestors of birds were gruesome reptilians.

But if p(D) is weak (such as 0.05), it means than among the birds of 100 planets having exactly the known features of our earth, only 5 would descend from the grand dragons of Jurassic Park.

Dino

Again, what would occur if p(D) didn’t exist because f(d) doesn’t converge as the sample is increased?

This would mean that given our current knowledge,  bird evolution is an entirely unpredictable phenomenon for which there can be no objective degree of belief every rational agent ought to satisfy.

 

 

A physical probability dependent on one’s knowledge

 

In my whole post, my goal was to argue for an alternative view of probability which can combine both strengths  of traditional Frequentism and Bayesianism.

Like Frequentism, it is a physical or objective view of probability which isn’t defined in terms of the psychological or neurological state of the agent.

But like Bayesianism, it takes into account the fact that the knowledge of a real agent is always limited and include it into the definition of the probability.

 

To my mind, Knowledge-Dependent Frequentism (KDF) seems promising in that it allows one to handle the probabilities of single events while upholding a solid connection to the objectivity of the real world.

 

In future posts I’ll start out applying this concept to the probabilistic investigations of historical problems, as Dr. Richard Carrier is currently doing.

 

 

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Biblische Inspiration und Randal Rauser

Image

English version: Biblical Inspiration and Randal Rauser

 

Randal Rauser, der zweifelsohne einer der größten evangelikalen Theologen, Philosophen und Verteidiger des Glaubens (sowie ein liebevoller Mann) ist interviewte vor kurzer Zeit den Pastoren und Theologen Tyler Williams über die Kluft zwischen den Resultaten der historischen kritischen Methode und der Art und Weise, wie Pfarrer zu ihren Herden predigen.

Ich beschloss, darüber zu bloggen, weil ich mit genau diesem Problem zwei Tage zuvor konfrontiert wurde.

Ich ging zu einer evangelikalen Bibelstudie über das Johannesevangelium und wies darauf hin, dass viele Aussagen von Jesus dort nicht historisch sein können, weil es zu große Diskrepanzen mit der Weise gibt, wie er sich selbst ausdruckt in den synoptischen Evangelien

Viele Leute dort waren unwillig, darüber zu diskutieren und sagten nur, dass sie die Historizität dieser Passagen annehmen und ihren Glauben darauf aufbauen wollen.

Es ist bestimmt konsistent mit den Bemerkungen von Tyler (und auch von Randal), dass viele Menschen ihre Zweifel nie in der Kirche zugeben, aus Furcht ausgeschlossen zu werden.

Meiner Meinung nach ist es ziemlich unverantwortlich, denn es ist schon wichtig, ob Jesus diese Dinge wirklich behauptet hat oder ob sie der Theologie von Johannes entspringen (der selbst alles von vornherein hätte erfinden können oder wahre Aussagen Christi modifiziert und spritualiziert hätte).

 

Sie erwähnen den Fall von Barth Ehrmann, der nachdem er ein Fundamentalist gewesen war eine starke Entkonvertierung erfuhr und nun den gesamten christlichen Glauben in Frage stellt.

Zurecht betonen sie die Tatsache, dass ein starres Glaubenssystem viele intelligente Personen dazu führen kann, das Kind mit dem Bade aus zu schütten, sodass sie dann Atheisten oder mindestens Agnostiker werden.

Nachher versuchten Randal und Tyler die Doktrin der biblischen Irrtumslosigkeit zu erretten, indem der Sinn des Begriffs so erweitert wurde, dass  Gott beabsichtigte, die gesamte Bibel als einen heiligen Kanon zu deklarieren.

Sie haben recht, dass es mit nicht-historischen und mythologischen Erzählungen innerhalb der Bibel vereinbar ist, da sie uns geistliche Wahrheiten beibringen.

Das Konzept, dass Gott fälschlich zugewiesene Schreiber in den Kanon einschliessen würde ist schwerer zu verschlucken, bleibt dennoch nicht sehr unplausibel, wenn die Autoren profunde spirituelle und moralische Einsichten hatten.

 

Dennoch ist die Gegenwart von “Terrortexten” innerhalb des Kanons, wobei Gott als ein völkermörderischer Monster beschrieben wird, ein unbesiegbarer Einwand gegen jeglichen Glauben an die Irrumslosigkeit.

Randal geht davon aus, dass Gott die Absicht hatte, diese Texte in die Bibel einzuschliessen, um uns zu lehren, Gott gegenüber ehrlich zu sein und um uns die Verderbtheit  unserer eigenen Herzen zu zeigen, die wir allzu einfach auf Ihn hinein projiziert.

Aber es ist sehr problematisch.

Einerseits ist es gewiss richtig, dass sehr früh Gläubige wie die Kirchenväter Origen und Gregor radikal  die in den Terrortexten ausgedruckte Theologie ablehnten. In der Tat, wie Thom Stark und viele anderen darauf hingewiesen haben  hatten sogar andere biblische Autoren wie Ezechiel und Jonah in dieser Hinsicht  eine sehr unterschiedliche Theologie im Vergleich zu den Schreibern von Joshua und Samuel.

Andererseits kann es nicht verleugnet werden, dass die Terrortexte einen sehr schlechten Einfluss auf nicht wenige Menschen ausgeübt haben, die sie als Ausrede missbraucht haben, ihren eigenen Hass zu begründen.

Aus diesem Grund bezweifle ich sehr, dass Gott wollte, dass sie Teil eines Übernatürlichen Kanons werden.

 

Tatsächlich verwerfe ich die Idee, dass die Bibel unser Fundament sein sollte, um zu lernen, wie Gott ist. Ich denke, dass wir unsere Theologie auf dem Konzept basieren sollen, dass Gott perfekt sein muss, um überhaupt Gott zu sein.

Dies sollte unser Startpunkt sein.

Wir können dann  die unterschiedlichsten biblischen Texte als die menschlichen Gesichter Gottes ansehen (um Thom Starks wundervollen Ausdruck zu benutzen), das heißt als genauso inspiriert wie Bücher ausserhalb des Kanons (wie die von den Kirchenvätern, Aquinas, Wesley, C.S. Lewis und nicht zuletzt Randal Rauser selbst verfassten).

Und ich bin überzeugt, dass nicht-christliche Autoren viele Aspekte von Gott erleben können und Dinge über Ihn gut begreifen können.

Wie ich in einer zukünftigen Post argumentieren werde, haben wir gute Gründe zur Annahme , dass auf diese Weise  der Apostel Paulus im Laufe seiner Rede in Athen  einige heidnische Autoren betrachtete.

 

 

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Anti-atheist non-sense

Regular readers of my blog certainly know I’m no big friend of anti-theists, that is to say people who yearn for the disappearance of ALL religions and advocate the use of mockery, ridicule and emotional bullying (along many other means of heinous propaganda) for waging this unholy war.

But I am also all too well aware there are many anti-atheist religious fundies out there.

I just stumbled across a blog post that truly infuriated me. It is entitled “ADHD” which rose my attention since it actually means a condition called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder I have  (I’ll certainly write a full-fleshed “coming out” if I’m in the mood one day”).

However the author meant something quite different:

anti-atheist ads

“ADHD

 
All atheists have a deadly case of ADHDAtheistic Depraved Hellish Disorder. ADHD can affect atheists of all ages— adolescents and adults. It’s estimated that in the United States alone, as many as 2 million atheists have ADHD. The specific cause of ADHD is the Love of Sin, forgetting God, and rejecting Jesus Christ. Studies of the Scriptures indicate that this disorder is highly heritable, and that Adam’s genetics is the main factor. This disorder causes the victim to have an impulsivity to love their sins more than their own soul, and it leads them down a dark, lonely road to misery and hell. Some symptoms become more and more present after their conversion and discipleship to Darwinism. Many symptoms are present by age 10. They fail to give close attention, and miss very important details about life and death.  They are inattentive to Biblical truth and moral details, and make deadly mistakes in their moral and spiritual judgments.
 
ADHD patients have difficulty focusing on the one Person that can save their soul from the Love of Sin. They don’t seem to listen when spoken to about reality, mortality, and Eternity.  They struggle hard with following simple Biblical instructions. They become bored after only a few minutes unless they are committing a sin they enjoy. They have great difficulty learning something new besides Darwin’s fairy tale. They frequently switch from one sinful activity to another. They have trouble processing scriptural facts as quickly and accurately as a moral person. They have trouble sitting still while listening to a sermon about sin, judgment, and the Cross. They daydream about ungodliness and can’t control their impure thought life. They also talk nonstop about how their granddad was an orangutang.
 
ADHD causes poor concentration and the atheist is often forgetful about God and the brevity and frailty of life. Every day feels likes an endless challenge, because they refuse to retain God in their knowledge. They are easily distracted with the things of the world and have great difficulty sustaining attention when it comes to remembering God. They do not seem to listen when spoken to directly about Eternity and the Blood of Jesus Christ. They talk excessively about Darwin, evolution, deny being sinful, and insanely think they came from a monkey and will die like a cat. They think, speak, and act sinfully without regard to the eternal consequences of their sins. They blurt out inappropriate profanities and wicked blasphemies about God. They have difficulty waiting their turn in conversation and butt into conversations.
 
People with ADHD are borderline insane and have symptoms of stubbornness, aggression, frequent temper tantrums, deceitfulness, cursing, lying, or stealing. ADHD victims often fidget and squirm when being witnessed to about their Crucified Creator – Christ Jesus – and the eternal destiny of their soul. They don’t follow through on simple instructions about Salvation and fail miserably to complete moral duties each day. Atheists love sin more than anything and they try to mask these difficulties and completely deny they have ADHD. 

Wicked pride and sinful habits keep the atheist from coming to the feet of Jesus. They avoid or dislike anything that requires sustained moral purity and the forsaking of their self daily. They often lose their way, and will eventually lose their soul. These troublesome symptoms of deadly inattention and sinful impulsivity will persist in the atheist all through his Godless life. Statistics show that all atheists that deny their ADHD symptoms grow worse and worse and end up damning their own soul. ADHD is a long-term fatal condition without receiving personal help from Christ Jesus Himself.
 
The only true remedy in the universe for Atheistic Depraved Hellish Disorder (ADHD) is to go directly to your Heavenly Health Care Provider, the Great Physician, Christ Jesus Himself and receive His divine medicine (God’s Precious Blood) into your soul by faith today. Drop to your knees, Call 9-1-1, and simply ask for JESUS.

I can only call this an incredibly evil, silly and morally offensive parody, even if the author might have written it out of ignorance rather than out of meanness.

The fact is that MOST atheists living under the sun are not anti-theists, they can be quite kind and nice persons and (more importantly) they believe there is no God because they’re sincerely convinced it is the case. I disagree with them on that point and find their arguments extremely wanting, but I can’t systematically accuse them of dishonesty.

The assertion that they’re “distorting the truth” demands very strong evidence due to its stark initial implausibility, Paul’s sayings notwithstanding (and the interpretation of this passage might be much more complex than many people seem to realize).

There is not a scrap of evidence that statistically speaking atheists are less moral than other groups.

hateful sign toward atheists

But this very blogpost shows us why there are so many atheists in America who have gotten fully angry. If all religious folks they’ve encountered act in such a manner, it seems natural they conclude the world would be better off without Religion.

Still, this gives them absolutely no excuse to bully nice believers who have never done them any harm.

What I like about secular Continental Europe is that there are lots of friendly atheists and religious believers who don’t view each others as deluded or deceitful and engage in rational and respectful dialogs.

As progressive Evangelical theologian Randal Rauser wrote:

“Martin Marty has observed that the new division which will define our age is not between conservative and liberal, or religious and irreligious, but rather between mean and non-mean. “

I wish everyone would let this thought sink in.

 

 

On the pain of being driven out of one’s own land

Progressive British Journalist Robert Fisk wrote an impressive article concerning one aspect of the conflicts between Israel and Palestine which is currently seldom mentioned.

I’m reproducing his article because I find it greatly interesting. This shouldn’t, though, be viewed as my endorsement of everything he had to say.

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

 

 

OK, so by this afternoon, the exchange rate of death in two days was 40-0 in favour of Israel. But now for the Gaza story you won’t be hearing from anyone else in the next few hours.

It’s about land. The Israelis of Sederot are coming under rocket fire from the Palestinians of Gaza and now the Palestinians are getting their comeuppance. Sure. But wait, how come all those Palestinians – all 1.5 million – are crammed into Gaza in the first place? Well, their families once lived, didn’t they, in what is now called Israel? And got chucked out – or fled for their lives – when the Israeli state was created.

And – a drawing in of breath is now perhaps required – the people who lived in Sederot in early 1948 were not Israelis, but Palestinian Arabs. Their village was called Huj. Nor were they enemies of Israel. Two years earlier, these same Arabs had actually hidden Jewish Haganah fighters from the British Army. But when the Israeli army turned up at Huj on 31 May 1948, they expelled all the Arab villagers – to the Gaza Strip! Refugees, they became. David Ben Gurion (Israel’s first Prime Minister) called it an “unjust and unjustified action”. Too bad. The Palestinians of Huj were never allowed back.

And today, well over 6,000 descendants of the Palestinians from Huj – now Sederot – live in the squalor of Gaza, among the “terrorists” Israel is claiming to destroy and who are shooting at what was Huj. Interesting story.

And same again for Israel’s right to self-defence. We heard it again today. What if the people of London were being rocketed like the people of Israel? Wouldn’t they strike back? Well yes, but we Brits don’t have more than a million former inhabitants of the UK cooped up in refugee camps over a few square miles around Hastings.

The last time this specious argument was used was in 2008, when Israel invaded Gaza and killed at least 1,100 Palestinians (exchange rate: 1,100 to 13). What if Dublin was under rocket attack, the Israeli ambassador asked then? But the UK town of Crossmaglen in Northern Ireland was under rocket attack from the Irish Republic in the 1970s – yet the RAF didn’t bomb Dublin in retaliation, killing Irish women and children. In Canada in 2008, Israel’s supporters were making the same fraudulent point. What if the people of Vancouver or Toronto or Montreal were being rocket-attacked from the suburbs of their own cities? How would they feel? But the Canadians haven’t pushed the original inhabitants of Canadian territory into refugee camps.

And now let’s cross to the West Bank. First of all, Benjamin Netanyahu said he couldn’t talk to Palestinian “President” Mahmoud Abbas because he didn’t also represent Hamas. Then when Abbas formed a unity government, Netanyahu said he couldn’t talk to Abbas because he had unified himself with the “terrorist” Hamas. Now he says he can only talk to him if he breaks with Hamas – even though he won’t then represent Hamas.

Meanwhile, that great leftist Israeli philosopher Uri Avnery – 90 years old and still, thankfully, going strong – has picked up on his country’s latest obsession: the danger that Isis will storm west from its Iraqi/Syrian “caliphate” and arrive on the east bank of the Jordan river.

“And Netanyahu said,” according to Avnery, “if they are not stopped by the permanent Israeli garrison there (on the Jordan river), they will appear at the gates of Tel Aviv.” The truth, of course, is that the Israeli air force would have crushed Isis the moment it dared to cross the Jordanian border from Iraq or Syria.

The importance of this, however, is that if Israel keeps its army on the Jordan (to protect Israel from Isis), a future “Palestine” state will have no borders and will be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory.

“Much like the South African Bantustans,” says Avnery. In other words, no “viable” state of Palestine will ever exist. After all, aren’t Isis just the same as Hamas? Of course not.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Getty Images) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Getty Images)

But that’s not what we heard from Mark Regev, Netanyahu’s spokesman. No, what he told Al Jazeera was that Hamas was “an extremist terrorist organisation not very different from Isis in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Boko Haram…” Tosh. Hezbollah is a Shia militia now fighting to the death inside Syria against the Sunni Muslims of Isis. And Boko Haram – thousands of kilometres from Israel – is not a threat to Tel Aviv.

But you get the point. The Palestinians of Gaza – and please forget, forever, the 6,000 Palestinians whose families come from the land of Sederot – are allied to the tens of thousands of Islamists threatening Maliki of Baghdad, Assad of Damascus or President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. Even more to the point, if Isis is heading towards the edge of the West Bank, why is the Israeli government still building colonies there – illegally, and on Arab land – for Israeli civilians?

This is not just about the foul murder of three Israelis in the occupied West Bank or the foul murder of a Palestinian in occupied East Jerusalem. Nor about the arrest of many Hamas militants and politicians in the West Bank. Nor about rockets. As usual, it’s about land.

As I mentioned elsewhere, a cultural genocide has been carried out by the French government in my region and I feel extremely grieved while driving through villages where the Germanic dialect of the past has almost died out.

But I CAN’T really imagine what it is means to know that one’s entire land has been stolen away.

It makes me truly sick to see that for countless Conservative Evangelicals, the lives and well-being of Palestinians are far less important than those of Israelis due to their literalist interpretation of Christ’s second coming.

 

As I have explained here, I really think that fundamentalism is destroying Christianity in America.

 

 

 

De Kirch geje Pevertierunge (with translation)

English Version: The Church against perversions.

What follows is written in the dialect of my homeland, Lorraine Franconian.

 

E britische Friend von mir, de Rob, hat e mol mieni Ufmerksamket uf de folgende Comic geruf.

 

 

Iwersetzung

– Dieni Wohl von Lewensstil isch eeni Abomination.

– Awer sit miener Kindhet bin ich immer so gewenn.

– De Schrifte son, dass’s von de Däiwel kummt.

– Awer wen verletze ich, wenn ich so bin?

– Es isch IWEL! De muss ‘s Verhale do ufginn!

– Was, wenn es nadirlich isch?

– Es gibt keen Bewäis dofir!

[So sieht ‘s us, im Mittelalter e Linkshänder ze sin].

 

Eine Frage: wäre es damals möglich gewesen, viele Gründe zu finden, um Linkshänder dazu zu führen, sich wie Rechtshänder zu verhalten, weil sie sonst sündigen würden?

 

 

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Welcome to the mad house!

Hello, you’re all warmly welcome to my progressive Christian blog!

Hallo, ihr seid alle herzlich willkommen zu meinem progressiv christlichen Blog!

My interests encompasses many fields like science, philosophy, theology (progressive Christianity), ethics, politics, the never-ending war on injustice everywhere (and even women at times :-)   ).

Meine Interessen umfassen viele Felder wie Naturwissenschaft, Philosophie, Theologie (progressives Christentum), Ethik, Politik, den immer währenden Krieg gegen Ungerechtigkeiten überall (und manchmal sogar Frauen 🙂 ).
I’ll inevitably raise much more questions than provide firm answers.

 Ich werde unvermeidlich viel mehr Fragen aufwerfen als feste Antworten liefern.

On this regularly updated page I will give the most important and relevant posts I have ever written.

Bei dieser regelmäßig aktualisierten Webseite werde ich die wichtigsten und relevantesten Posten angeben, die ich je geschrieben habe.

I truly hope you’ll appreciate it!

Ich hoffe echt, dass ihr es geniessen werdet!

On progressive Christianity

The central message of Jesus

Faith and the New Atheists

Christmas tale in my homeland

Easter tale in my homeland

On this page, you can find my critical thoughts on militant atheism, also called the New Atheism or Anti-Theism.

 Bei dieser Webseite könnt ihr meine kritischen Gedanken über militanten Atheismus finden, der auch Neuen Atheismus oder Anti-Theismus genannt wird.

I have also dealt a lot with Calvinism, a theology according to which God determines everything.

Ich habe mich auch viel mit dem Calvinismus auseinandergesetzt, einer Theologie, der zufolge Gott alles bestimmt.

Interviews

Here are all INTERVIEWS I had the great honor to perform.

Hier befinden sich alle Interviews, die ich (auf Englisch) mit einem großen Vergnügen führen konnte.

Biblical Scholar and historian Mike Licona about the resurrection: Did Jesus leave his grave behind?

Sociologist and historian David Marshall about militant atheism: The Truth about the New Atheism.

Progressive Evangelical theologian Peter Enns about inerrancy: Renewing the Evangelical mind: an interview with Peter Enns

Philosopher Jerry Walls about Calvinism:  Predestined to eternally suffer? An interview with philosopher Jerry Walls

Christian movie maker Kevin Miller responsible for the film Hellbound? concerning universal salvation:  Intelligent design, eternal torment and the restoration of everything: an interview with Kevin Miller

Conservative theologian Matt Flannagan about Biblical genocides: Genocides in the Bible? An interview with Matt Flannagan.

Conservative Calvinist Chris Date about the nature hell: eternal torment or irremediable death?  Eternal hell and conditional immortality: an interview with Chris Date

A prominent former Christian fundamentalist from Britain about his experiences:   Leaving fundamentalism: an interview with Jonny Scaramanga

An Unbelievable faith? An interview with Justin Brierley

More about me

Mehr über mich.

I’m Marc from Lorraine, not a beautiful girl but a region in France where an ethnical minority still speaks a Germanic dialect (in the eastern part).  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorraine_Franconian

Ich bin Marc aus Lothringen, einer Region in Frankreich, wo eine ethnische Minderheit immer noch ein deutsches Dialekt spricht (im östlichen Teil).

The name of this blog stems from my deep love for my motherland which was founded by king Lothar, one of the sons of Charles the Great.

Der Name von diesem Blog stammt aus meiner tiefen Liebe für mein Mutterland, das von König Lothar, einem der Söhne von Karl dem Großen, gegründet wurde.

 

Besides that I have a PhD in chemistry and am hugely interested in the philosophy of probability.

 Daneben bin ich ein promovierter Chemiker und habe ein riesiges Interesse für die Philosophie der Wahrscheinlichkeit.