Reason for the Season

A lot has been said in the past couple of weeks about what I, and others, believe.  A lot has been said around the nation, even the world, about Christmas, its meaning, and how it came to be.  But I won’t be drawn into that right now.

This post is not about taking sides.

This post is about what I *do* believe.  Some of these beliefs are conclusions based on observable fact.  many of them are emotional ideals, unprovable, and based on nothing more than the way I might wish things were.

I believe we only go around once.

I believe it solely up to us to decide what sort of life we will lead.

I believe that every human being is absolutely equal.  None of us asked to be here.  All of us are going to leave here.

I believe that if anyone has value, then everyone has value. Continue reading

All Systems Go

Well, it seems it’s past time to deal with another misconception.

In a long comment thread down below a couple of my Christian commenters make a positive claim.  They both assert the following:

That my rational application of reason on the claims of the bible is a “belief system” of the same sort as their faith in Jesus Christ and the biblical God.

Before we can analyze whether this is true, we should define “belief system.”

Wikipedia defines “belief system”:  A belief system is a set of mutually supportive beliefs. Continue reading

Pillars of the Earth

Another aside from the Survey of Doubt.

I found this video on the other day.  If you’ve kept up with the posts, you know that it’s my contention that Christianity (actually all of the Abrahamic Religions) are constructs of man attempting to explain the, at the time, unexplainable.  Man experienced unexplainable phenomena, while still dealing with the same great unknowns we still wrestle with today.

This video illustrates the possibility that what became Moses’s pillars of smoke and fire were actually a volcano.

A couple things to keep in mind.  One, the guy is an unbeliever, so he can be snarky (can’t we all?)  So apologies in advance to Christian friends who view this.  Two, this is only a conjecture.  Continue reading

Changing Filters

My groceries paid for, I rolled the shopping cart toward the door of the local Safeway.  Near the door was a video kiosk.  One family was selecting a movie at the screen, and two other families were waiting for their turn.

My first thought was that this family was going to waste their night watching some mindless, devoid-of-meaning movie.  Then I was amazed as I realized my Evangelical Filter was on.  26 years of thinking of everything in light of Evangelical theology and so-called biblical meaning dies hard.

Pastor and author John Piper wrote a book a few years back called Don’t Waste Your Life.  Here’s a blurb from the back cover: Continue reading

Cruel and Unusual – Hell and Punishment

Does the punishment fit the crime?

This is a key concept in modern society.  In the name of justice, fairness, reasonableness, compassion, and many other related motivators, western society is adamant that no criminal suffer unreasonably for the wrong they committed.  Even a state willing to execute criminals finds itself concerned about limiting the suffering of the condemned.

According to Evangelical Theology, the biblical god created Hell to punish the unrighteous.  Hell is the eternal aftermath of judgment.  Since god created Hell, as his perfect punishment, one would expect that punishment to reflect his nature.  Theologically, Hell is the execution of god’s perfect Justice.  But if god is omnibenevolent, perfectly good, loving, merciful, and forgiving, as well as just, we would not be remiss to expect his final punishment to also embody those aspects too.  After all, god is who he is, and nothing he does can ever fall outside his nature.

So, how does one get to Hell? Continue reading