Thursday, November 19, 2009

How Come These Bible Verses Are Never the Inspiration for a Sermon?

Irreverend Mike's Biblical Indecency


Eric Schansberg said...

I haven't preached on any of those, but have taught on 7 of 10.

Many people are surprised to learn that the Bible is an R-rated book-- for sex, violence and adult themes.

Unfortunately, most people don't know much about the Bible. And many skeptics use methods of interpretation that are far more ridiculous than the fundamentalists that many of them find so amusing/bothersome.

Michael said...

Can you give me an example of what you teach in regard to these verses.

I'm an atheist and I'm not surprised, what is surprising and sad is that people base their lives upon a book they do not read and/or understand.

I disagree, fundamentalist interpretations could never be topped (for absurdity) by skeptics.

Did you listen to the Richard Dawkins lecture--just curious?

Eric Schansberg said...

I have detailed notes on all of those passages. But they wouldn't fit in your comment section!

One interesting tidbit is that the Genesis 38 passage has been used to teach against masturbation. But clearly that isn't the point-- in context.

A lot of people-- of all stripes-- base their lives on stuff that is ultimately silly, misunderstood, etc.

Sure, look at how people treat the most popular verse today-- Matthew 7:1a. Out of context of the Bible and even the passage itself. Funny/sad.

Or outside of Scripture, look at the atheist's willingness to believe the Evolution narrative-- as a comprehensive story about the development of life-- and to fool himself into thinking it's an "explanation" or that it doesn't require tremendous faith to embrace the narrative.

No, I didn't listen to Dawkins. I've read some and heard more. An impressive mind, good at rhetoric, speaking beyond his expertise.

Michael said...

Yeah, I figured that wouldn't be your cup of tea, so to speak...

you mind trying to explain to me "how" Dawkins speaks "beyond his expertise"... feel free to use the lecture on this blog as an example so we have a common frame to work with...

kind of a funny statement from an economist and theologian?

Eric Schansberg said...

You don't respect me as an economist-- and I doubt you would respect me as a theologian-- so I doubt you'd be open to further comments on Dawkins.

Any thoughts on misinterpretations of Mt 7:1a or the Evolution narrative?

Michael said...

so why bother talking to me eric?

i don't want to read/engage with dawkin's ideas (just knee-jerk dismiss them) but I am curious what you think of evolution?

i don't think you will respect me as a theologian but wht do you think of matthew 7.1?

are you kidding me?

Eric Schansberg said...

I don't know your beliefs. But maybe we can find some common ground and learn something!

Econ is apparently out; you apparently know more than me in that area.

But given your interests, I thought you (and your readers) might get a kick out of the point about Bible interpretation (strange efforts from fundies and skeptics alike). And the hand-waving of both those who believe in a Creator God and those who believe that Evolution provides a more powerful narrative.

Michael said...


How could you not know my beliefs--they are all over this website.

You teach econ? Why would you think I know more than you?

I do not view evolution as hand waving and find it amusing that you want to place it on the same level as fairy tales.

Once again, I would recommend you listen to the Richard Dawkins in the post below--if you want to talk about these things lets use it as a common reference. Afterall I have read the bible front-to-back seven times, you could at least engage one text from my viewpoint?

Eric Schansberg said...

You've told me a few times that I'm in error on something I've said about econ.

Lower-case evolution is not hand-waving at all. It is fact; it is science; it is an explanation for various events. But capital-e Evolution clearly engages in all sorts of hand-waving-- and on crucial matters. For example, can you (or anyone) *explain* how natural selection worked through the evolution of vital or reproductive organs?

A lot of people think that Creationism and Evolution provide an "explanation" for the origins and development of life. But saying "God did it" or "Evolution did it" are narrative/story, not explanation.

C.S. Lewis asserts that Christianity is the Myth that's true. Others would assert that Evolution is the Myth that is true. But both are fantastic stories-- one rooted to some degree in history, the other rooted lightly in science.

Michael said...


Lets address these in order:

1)Simply because I have pointed out what I see as errors of mainstream economics---this causes you to say I will not discuss the discipline (economics) I teach, research and consult? Really?

2) I have done the same in regards to your half-baked understanding of evolution and your advocacy for the fairy tale of creationism. Yet you continue to want to discuss this issue. What is different here? My critiques of your half-hearted religious queries are much stronger than those of your economics. Yet, in this case you continue? Are you trolling, hoping to win me over for god, because I can save you some time... I am not an untutored non-believer, I was raised and studied your religion...

3)Lower-case/Upper case... thanks, I needed a good laugh

4)I'm not an evolutionary biologist and so I am not going to explain the intricacies of that scientific discipline, but I did ask that it you want to discuss these issues with me that you listen to the richard dawkins presentation (an evolutionary biologist who directly critiques your dismissals and confronts the claims of creationism) if you wish to continue this discussion (considering that I have read your multiple versions of your holy text 7 times, front-to-back). I understand your anxiety/fear, Dawkins demolishes creationist thinking in a discussion of facts and reason. I suppose you think Creationists deal in facts? If so, perhaps you would enjoy my colleagues photo-documentary of the Creationist Museum (I place I have toured--in Northern KY) Fun and Games at the Creation Museum

5) Creationist theory is based upon fairy tales. Evolutionary theory is based upon scientific fact. CS Lewis, despite his love of writing christian mythos into fantasy books, was a dedicated Oxford scholar with a respect for science, would have despised creationists and their ignorant attempts to propagate illusions.

6) I have numbered these because you have a difficult time addressing my claims and/or answering my questions. Perhaps this might help...

Eric Schansberg said...

did you get my last reply?