No word from R yet, but he did have time to post a smear piece about Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger, naturally. Assert, but don’t engage – CSOP (Christian Standard Operating Procedure.) But it got me thinking again, because that’s what I do. I drink and I think things.
One of the key tactics of the Evangelical Anti-Choice crowd is to build a straw-man of the Pro-Choice position. Continue reading
Well, it seems R doesn’t seem too interested in engaging on this subject, so I think I’ll carry on from here and invite him (or others, for that matter) to disagree as he will or won’t.
There is a song by Steve Camp from the early 90’s called “Face to Face.” As you might guess, it’s about the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. There’s a line in the second verse that, as a thumping pro-lifer back in those Evangelical glory days, used to send chills down my spine:
“We’ll see every murdered unborn child standing by his side!”
Our lament for one million murdered babies per year was very real. That’s how we looked at it.
But we felt like we’d sort of win anyway in the end, because we’d see those babies someday in Heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ and all His angels.
Now, with that thought in mind, let’s take a look at the four questions I asked R to consider. Continue reading
This is just a quickie of a post, but I’m delighted to say that I’ve been invited back to Western Seminary for another class dialogue session.
My regular readers will recall my visit there last year, which was a truly rewarding and interesting dialogue for everyone involved.
Dan emailed me over the weekend and asked if I’d be interested, to my delight. And of course I accepted. Didn’t even have to consider it. It won’t be until February, but with advance notice, I’m able to get it on my calendar and ensure I’ve got the time to make it work.
I also live another 90 minutes further away, so it will require an overnight trip this time, so hopefully that means more time to visit with Dan and his family and friends.
This time I hope to video the session and post it here for review and discussion. I’ll keep you all up to date as the time approaches.
I have an old friend, R, who has in the past wrangled with me here on this site. It hasn’t always been pretty, and we’ve both been guilty of some pretty poor behavior toward each other. We’ve set aside those mistakes and have had fewer, but more constructive dialogues here and there.
Recently, on Facebook, he challenged my pro-choice position. He calls it “pro-abortion,” of course, but I reject that specificity on the grounds that 1.) it doesn’t accurately represent my position and 2.) it still assumes I have some choice in the matter myself. Continue reading
A couple years ago a young lady, a college student perhaps, going by the handle Young88Apologist, took the time to read through one of my posts and left a long comment challenging my conclusions. There was nothing new to the comments, but what made her comment stand out in my mind is that she strongly recommended I reconsider my position by listening to an audio series produced by Pastor Chip Ingram, of Living on the Edge Ministries.
She couldn’t have known, of course, that I was very familiar with Pastor Chip, as he had been my pastor at Santa Cruz Bible Church from 1990 until I moved my family out of the area in 2001. I was very active and dedicated, running music and drama programs for most of my time there. Even though the church grew to 2,500 people, I had the opportunity to be personally acquainted with him and his family.
I was pretty surprised that, of all the apologists out there, she would choose the one guy I knew. Since then, I vacillated on whether I wanted to take the time to listen to the series. It’s over 4.5 hours of listening time, and I’m pretty sure I know what he’ll say. I may even have been there when he said it (I’m not sure when the series was originally recorded, but they consist of recorded sermons.)
So recently I’ve been interested in meeting my critics where they are and checking out some of the material they find so convincing. Continue reading
News recently surfaced that Tim LaHaye, co-author (along with Jerry Jenkin) of the hyper-best selling Christian apocalypse revenge-porn series Left Behind, has passed away.
No, I’m not here to dance on his grave. I hope his passing was peaceful, even if I don’t believe he found what he was expecting on the “other side.”
But it makes me think back to reading the series, which I’m both amused and ashamed to say that I read through to the end – all 14 volumes.
Five years ago this month, I don’t recall the precise day, I shed the delusion of the Christian religion and stepped into the bright glaring light of reality.
Well, as best I could anyway.
As a person, I’ve always been very enamored of dates and anniversaries. Their arbitrary nature doesn’t move me at all. I become very reflective on my birthday, New Year’s day, and other benchmarks in time.
Such as this one. Continue reading
A couple weeks ago I was getting an itch to get back into addressing apologetics, just because that’s how I roll. I was going to go back to the Limbaugh book, and eventually I will, but I thought the R.C. Sproul book would be meatier. I think I’m wrong, but the sciency part of it still compels.
Originally Pastor Chuck and I were going to spar over this book, but after showing himself unwilling to address arguments directly and his continual deflections to his aspersions on my character, he finally backed out, read the book on his own, declared it perfect, and wandered off into the sunset. I figure I’ll just have to go it alone and hope someone else comes along to wrangle.
Or not. Continue reading
Twice yesterday I found myself briefly surrounded by little children. They were running about and playing and to them I was but another tree in the yard, another chair to dodge and dash around.
Life swirled around my knees, tiny vortices of vitality, alive with wonder and with presence.
One little vortex ran straight for me, then stopped just short of a collision and looked up at me, eyes wide with wonder, sparkling with amazement that some obstruction had filled his path. We made eye contact and I said, “Hi!” His mouth split wide into a smile, shiny little teeth gleaming on the verge of a laugh that was almost expected but somehow out of place.
He changed course and tottered on at full speed. I was not even a memory I’m sure, because no one is more present than a little child.
I felt a faint rush of life, as if just by being close I was gifted with a bit more than I could contain. For that moment the scars and cares of adulthood, of life, faded to the immediacy and joy of being wholly human and only innocent.
May I never grow so old that the young become a nuisance. May I never close my nose to the fragrance of youth, the perfume of hope and promise. May I never be jaded by the knowledge that someday they too will know hardship. May I instead drink in the gift of life and the memory that the present moment can be simply a joy in itself.
A year or two back, a friend of mine (also an atheist, but without the indoctrination history I had, nor the particular urge to explore this sort of stuff over and over again) made an interesting remark as we were bantering over a hair-splitting topic. I’ll paraphrase, because I don’t remember his exact wording, but he basically said:
The church’s big mistake was making god out to be All-Powerful. Once they made him Omnipotent and Omniscient, they made him completely impossible.
I’ve been thinking that through lately. The more I think about it, the more right I think he is. Continue reading