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October 23–27, 12222

  1. Aru Shah and the End of Time
  2. TODAY'S WORD from the Pastor
  3. Monthly Bibliography

Sure some movies move us to tears and for Christians their tears are holy unto the Lord. There is absolutely no doubt that Johnston and Detweiler and Callaway are real film buffs and it is clear they have friends, literally, in the film scene in Hollywood. As faith leaders who are obviously serious disciples of Jesus, we should listen to them and their good call to media literacy. Lindvall is correct in saying that:. This stellar work invites readers to join an ongoing conversation among some of the most cinematically literate companions one can find.

Lets help get that surprising message out there — that God cares about all of life and that we can we must! Our BookNotes and our special discount offers will come to your inbox about once a week. We are especially grateful when we get good feedback and lots of orders the point of this bookselling biz, of course for books we commend. Reading this book will help you understand your Bible better and help you gain a better vision for dedicated Christian living in these trying times. This is potent, missional stuff, directly inspired by a close reading of Romans.

As I explained, Romans Disarmed book fits well within the decades of work and witness and writing Brian and Sylvia have done. They are a bit rare — academics who publish in the finest scholarly journals who work an organic farm, stewarding it well with old ways and some innovative permaculture approaches. And they have animals and heirloom tomatoes and do workshops on all kinds of homesteading skills. Plus, they have served among the homeless in Toronto, done campus ministry with college students, have mentored young adults in starting social service ministries and justice-seeking businesses.

In that column I named some of their other books as well. Which is all just a way of saying that their broad intellectual and life influences, their years of research and writing and their fruitful leadership has made them into the sorts of authors we want our customers and friends to know about. Agree fully or not with this robust new or is it ancient?

We hope you are glad for this advice from us here at the shop even if it is a hard adventure further up and further in. We would be honored if you ordered it from us. It pleases us greatly that we have had the pleasure of shipping a bunch of these out this past week. It would make an ideal companion — more conventional, but powerful, eloquent, and inspiring.

I suspect that they would have much in common and a few significant differences, and a bunch of quibbles about exegesis text by text by text. There have been a lot of books on St. Paul, lately. Of course, we have raved about the novel-like biography of Paul colorfully written by N. I think it will. If you are a campus minister or youth worker or one who hangs out with those who are on the fringes of faith; that is if you are an evangelist or friend of the un-churched, I wonder how this can help you share the gospel more faithfully?

I think the way Brian and Sylvia interact and reply to the good questions their fictional interlocutor raises would be very helpful to model healthy conversations. Know anybody like that? Know someone who maybe needs a shift in perspective and some renewed energy to move deeper into Christian discipleship?

If you need to have your world rocked a bit, Romans Disarmed will shake some truisms you thought you knew and push you into some wild waters. Hang on, and go for it. It could save your life! Rather than merely reminding us not to spend so much on consumer goods and pressing us to avoid plastics and toxic junk, they channeling Berry invite us to a stewardly vision of life, rooted in a sturdy view and a quite Biblical view of creation.

All of these books — some of our favorites — have at least one big thing in common. Richard Middleton not to mention listening to the albums of Bruce Cockburn but a whole lot of Wendell Berry. A whole lot of Wendell Berry. What great stories they are, lovely, calm, mature, wise, and perfect for summer reading. We hope you have at least a few of his poetry collections. Let the arguments commence for those fans that are true Berry aficionados. For most of us, we need a reliable introduction, a good, well-chosen collection and these are almost perfect.

So these new, handsome Library of America editions are wonderful and fill a real need for those wanting such a good collection. There are three ways to buy them. There is volume 1, offering work from his earlier years, there is volume 2 which includes more contemporary writing, and there is the boxed set of both, entitled Where I Stand that comes in a very nice slip-case box.

What a treasure! For those wanting to dip into Mr. Oh my, this is another one of those exceptional books that to describe well I simply have to use superlatives. You can pre-order it easily by using our order form link shown below. We breathe in the toxic air, take up habits and values and ways of being in the secularizing, modernist world without too much self-awareness that it could be otherwise.

Which is why books like this are so very important. And this one is happily not only insightful and important, but interesting and enjoyable and practical. He is looking not only at symptoms of our discontent but the ethos of the age. And, yes, he explains Charles Taylor. His sense of place — and his invitation to us to deepen our own loyalties to our own places — is palpable. Lately, many Christian folks have shifted in how we talk about our work in the world and I think it is a good thing. Many are now talking about their efforts to love their neighbors well by describing commitments to the common good.

We hear talk about civic virtue. These are all pretty nascent and it is encouraging to hear this kind of talk about social architecture and civil society and the common good. Jake is on the cutting edge of all this and his book will help us all. The best of these efforts sound refreshingly neither old school left or right but something new, offering a counter-cultural witness, a city on a hill.

It is indispensable for anyone wanting to think well about our time and place and what God is calling us to. And, yes, he uses Wendell Berry a lot. Keller notes, by the way, that when he entered evangelical and Reformed pastoral ministry nearly forty-five years ago the lines of debate in conservative churches were largely theological in nature. He outlines in a sentence or two some of the issues that many argued about and I felt the knot in my stomach as I read but he observes that increasingly the fault lines between churches and the most vehement debates nowadays are about culture.

And as our culture is weakening and fragmenting and the dissatisfaction with political leaders and churches and other formerly respected institutions wanes, we are increasingly moving towards very hard times. I assume you know this. This has long been a classic conservative argument, that as society is unmoored from deeper roots by even well intended revolutionary goals, we lose tradition and values and end up with just atomistic individuals doing whatever pleases them.

And voting for those who will help them keep their stuff. So, as Jake illustrates without pressing this exact point we need something more profound than a left wing critique or a historic conservative critique; both have true insights but neither are adequate. We need some Berry-esque, neo-agrarian? On some pages of In Search of the Common Good Meador sounds pretty darn conservative and he is pretty traditionalist on matters of family and sexuality and on other pages he rails against unjust income disparities and institutional racism.

In this, he might offend older conservative types, but he seems to have the church fathers and the best Christian scholars over his shoulder, so this is no facile jive. Indeed, he bolsters his critique of the economic gods of progress and growth by citing the likes of Augustine, Aquinas, and Calvin. He does love Oscar Romero, and quotes him from time to time. He tells us, in other words, how we got ourselves into this mess. Like a serious doctor giving a diagnosis, nothing cheap will do.

So he goes deep and gives us the bad news. Jake is young and idealistic and has a healthy small church and good friends who, together, are forging a new way of being faithful to God in their daily lives. I have rarely read a book that has such a delightful survey of deep philosophical currents and which is also so lovely in being down to earth.

He offers good practices to restore our sense of wonder, inviting us to regain a child-like appreciation of the joy of small things. Get this: in a way, our culture, especially since the Enlightenment and the start of the so-called modern age, has moved towards increasing fragmentation. We wear so many hats and can hardly imagine being whole, seamless. We feel like different people at work and church and home; some days it feels like we should just drop out and watch Netflix. Many of us hardly even know our neighbors. Our suburban ennui is felt even in small towns and rural spaces and it is palpable.

Our very streets and housing designs and habits of commuting and such preclude a holy life of simple service to neighbors. What in the world does the common good look like in a cul de sac? Some of all this exhausting trouble is caused by the over specialization that leads to abstraction, living in our heads, failing to engage the real world around us, as Matthew Crawford writes. To wit: Jake points us in new ways to get, literally, more down to Earth. We can fight incoherence and alienation and abstraction by slowing down.

Alan probes our fast-pace habits through the lens of Taylor, but Jake takes us back a bit further, looking at how our utter individualism, enshrined in some of our American civic documents and our revivalist religions, drove capitalism and disruption and abstraction. It is very good writing; I was engaged from the beginning.

They emerge from our age, but they become problems, or obstacles, then, that keep us from experiencing authentic community. The chapters are on the loss of meaning, the loss of wonder and the loss of good work. I have to say I cried through some of this — in part because I was so glad to hear these words so plainly put, translating my own decades of reading about the roots of Western culture and the idols of our age.

I was strongly moved by this, being reminding of very important concerns. He names these losses in the modern age and it is good to hear, painful and tragic as it may be. I love how he cites an indie-rock singer songwriter on one page and John Keats on another. And he nicely retells a scene or two from a Wendell Berry novel. What fun! This is a short book, so the second half is not even pages, but in it he invites us to quite a lot. It is one of the finest explorations of faith and work in the modern work-world that I have read. He shows how an increasing facelessness and inhumanity surrounds us — shades of Jacque Ellul, again, and his critique of how we overvalue and overdo technique and speed and efficiency.

That Meador says we should be thoughtful and intentional about what kind of businesses we support is precious. As you know, it is our opinion that this generally precludes working with Amazon, faceless and greedy as they are. In any event, this chapter is provocative and wise and influenced by the right sorts of cares and concerns. He is asking hard questions about what a Christian commonwealth might be like and how Christian societies might emerge.

This will, necessarily, involve repentance and sacrifice. Some of this chapter is just sensible stuff — distinguishing between political doctrine and policy, for instance. I suppose this is partially because he is so rooted in a Christian democratic appeal that is in part-pre-modern, taking hints for contemporary citizenship through a lens of Augustine and Aquinas, Luther and Calvin. I know he studies the likes of Abraham Kuyper. And did I mention he likes Wendell Berry?

Meador cares about place and beauty and integrity and family and order and competency and joy and sacraments and grace and kindness and, well, who can support a leader who despises these deeply Christian values? Again, his vision of citizenship is not left-leaning or liberationist but is gracious and humane, maybe the sort of stuff one might catch at the Front Porch Republic.

He tends to talk about covenants, not contracts; the common good, not individual rights; like the Bible, when talking about politics, he talks more about public justice than individual freedom. He is interested in nurturing among us a long-haul sort of discipleship that creates good neighbors and good citizens. They will care about peacefulness and neighborliness and solidarity. Yes he reminds us when considering politics we have to think of policy. But policy proposals are often ambiguous, proximate; good people can disagree. Indeed, it may be that heaven is very much like Narnia, a world restored, a garden healed, a renewed creation.

I am so glad he does some direct exegesis of the mistranslated and misinterpreted 2 Peter , for instance insisting that God is not going to destroy the world. This is new creation theology and visionary hope that thrills me. I hope it thrills you. I love how it ends with his own love of the stories of The Hobbit. It reminds us that the road runs right to our very door, and that road might take us anywhere and toward anything. It reminds us that God stands over and above his creation calling us further up and further in.

The road will lead to a cross. But only things that die can be resurrected. And so as sure as the road leads us to the cross, in leads us to the eternal city, to the home of a king, to the desire of all nations, to the joy of every longing heart. That is the sort of Tolkien-esque, virtuous, costly, hopeful, adventure a deep Kingdom vision that serves the common good might evoke. This righteous concern for the rhythms of creation and common good is growing among us, and realizing the obstacles and challenges and Biblical guidance is urgent.

Whether you are younger older, evangelical or more mainline, a quieter type or a missional activist, I think In Search of the Common Good: Christian Fidelity in a Fractured World by Jake Meador will be a great companion on your journey. Order it today. I want to say a lot about it, but know some of you will tune out. On steroids. Where he meets the pagan slave woman, Iris. What a story, laden with scholarly footnotes and even Bible references who knew the list of names in Romans 16 could be so informative and yield such an interesting story!

I might add there are several fun books that do this sort of thing, but not many. Besides this page-turning fictional device in Romans Disarmed that is just one chapter in a book that weighs in at just under pages , there are so many fascinating and important historical details, including first-century urban archeological, linguistic, political, and theological matters that are above my pay-grade to comment critically upon.

Whenever I read a Biblical commentary and the writer asserts that a Greek word really means this or ought best to be translated like that, I have to choose to appreciate their scholarship and trust their instincts or not. From the famous conflict between the Judeans and the Gentiles in the Roman house churches to the equally famous vile spectacles of the likes of the Nero and Caligula, Keesmaat and Walsh have done their scholarly work and brought it alive in astonishing, colorful, detail.

If you like this sort of historical background stuff, you will be riveted by all they explain. I might as well just say it. Will they appreciate how much social location matters? Will they know why they draw so much on Elsa Tamez and her book Amnesty of Grace exploring justification by faith through the lens of suffering and repression in Latin America? This book will upset some people. It is relentless in bearing witness to what they themselves experience as they grapple, as a married couple, parents, homemakers, pastors, preachers, scholars, permaculture farmers, citizens, and leaders of faith communities mostly among college students in Toronto although also in more conventional Anglican parishes where they have ministered to and become friends with marginalized folks, those cast aside by other churches and the mainstream culture.

From LGTBQ students and friends to urban homeless folks to First Nations people seeking reparations from stolen land and treaties broken, Brian and Sylvia care for their land, their place, and those whom God has given them; their taking Pauline mandates to welcome all, to serve the stranger, to be inclusive and caring to outsiders, has become a huge part of their lifestyle and is a lens through which they do life.

They are able to see the subversive teaching in the Bible and let it be said: they know and love their Bibles much better than most and especially of the Apostle Paul, because they themselves spend time with the marginalized and oppressed. And, boy, do they ever see these themes in Pauline writings! Like the Old Testament prophets so beloved by Paul, they are nearly crass in their punchy denunciation of idols old and new. Few contemporary political movements and leaders are left unscathed in this broadside, so my fear is that our customers especially those on the political right will be offended.

I hope as Brian and Sylvia do, I know such readers hang in there with their arguments about how the epistle of Romans can help us live in a more Christ-like way. Or is it the other way around? They rightly in my view think our imaginations have largely been captured by the ethos of technology and progress and greed and hubris and that our own government and media are seducing us into acceptance and complicity in grave injustices.

By the way, as an aside: did you know that James K. One can see their common concerns about not weaponizing the language of worldview and realizing that our faith is embodied, not abstract, lived out in but not of the surrounding culture and its deformed and deforming ethos. Nobody, though, has put this stuff in conversation with so close a reading of the Apostle Paul. Romans Disarmed is a major, major contribution to a distinctively Christian social-political vision and a major, major contribution to Pauline scholarship.

It is a must read for anybody who cares about the New Testament. Idols, you know, are good things that become ultimate things; things we trust for communal salvation and that we start to serve and even become like. Almost a decade ago, Brian teamed up with beloved environmental studies professor and creation-care advocate at Hope College, Stephen Bouma-Prediger to write a book that, again, forms a nearly essential backdrop to the work he and Sylvia have done in Romans Disarmed.

Broadly researched and splendidly written, this book is essential reading for anyone who wants truly to comprehend and mend our culture! Beyond Homelessness is admitted a big and sprawling book, but it is a wonderful and significant companion to Romans Disarmed. It remains the best book on the subject, and the one the engages the Bible the most! Home-breaking, Homelessness, and Home-making in Romans? You have got to read it to believe it! It really should be pondered. Wright and whose work is sometimes cited by him as influential in his own thinking is, within the more scholarly world, a major conversation partner and professional colleague with many other renowned scholars.

She has chapters in many books, including one in the British festschrift for N. Sigh — I know. Why, Fortress, why? Brian has one in that collection as well. Her preaching is often imaginative and poetic and she laces her Biblical exegesis with stories of planting environmentally helpful shrubs around their watershed and their solar panels and their eating habits, but she has earned the right to be taken very seriously by the guild of Biblical scholars. She is remarkably gifted and has studied long and hard to be able to see the inter-connections between different parts of the Biblical story, how New Testament writers draw on the Hebrew Bible.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! This is not a house of condemnation! Slavery is never the last word in this story. Liberation is always at hand. Homecoming remains available. The promise is not nullified and cannot be nullified even by our home-breaking ways. And then a paragraph about being called out of slavery and being crowned in glory, etc.

Of course, this language echoes the exodus from Egypt. When a Judean talks about being set free from slavery, the exodus is the memory being evoked. When a Judean says that we have not received a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, the story of fearful Israel in the wilderness longing to return to Egypt resonates through these words. When a Judean talks about being led by the Spirit, a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night is the unmistakable reference.

When a Judean speaks of receiving a spirit of adoption, wherein their slave status is overturned through covenant promise, then the nation-constituting exodus is undoubtedly ringing in the background. When a Judean refers to the Spirit bearing witness with our spirits that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs of God, their language of inheritance reaches back to Moses leading the children of God toward their inheritance.

Oh my, this line of thought goes on for a page more, and it is wonderfully inspiring. It brings a lot of insight about how these texts might have been heard and, in doing so, help us get their import and impact for our own faith communities. Leaving aside the question of whether it is wise to appropriate secular ad campaigns for evangelistic purposes, the point Brian and Sylvia are making is helpful. Brian and Sylvia help us by introducing us and unpacking what might have been assumed and understood on the streets of first century Rome.

So, this is a really useful book, functioning as a socio-cultural Biblical study with a good eye for the original social context. And it insists — as most Bible commentators would, but few really do much with — that this pastoral letter from the great apostle to the Christ-followers of Rome has great application for our discipleship, congregational life, and spirituality today. Where they really are fresh and provocative is how they insist Paul was knowingly and the hearers were knowingly aware of a subversive rhetoric against the powers and values of the Empire, and how that may be a key for understanding the power of the gospel for us today.

Aru Shah and the End of Time

We are welcoming and non-violent as Christ was and as the Kingdom should and will be. First, Brian and Sylvia teach us although they are not the first, but they are among the most vivid and clear and compelling about it that our social location matters if we are going to see and interpret the Bible well. After energetically describing a joyful moment one night on the dance floor at Sanctuary in downtown Toronto, they tell how the mood changes as they needed to embrace some hurting brothers as some harsh songs brought prophetic denunciation of injustice perpetrated against First Nations peoples.

Their empathy is palpable and they remind us of how this is, if you will, a hermeneutical key:. Without standing in such places, we will miss the power of this epistle both in its ancient context and in a contemporary setting. I think they are right. It is right there in the text! They say this specifically and directly and their own personal stories have illuminated their work as Biblical scholars.

This becomes evident in the first two pages that had me wiping tears away from my cheeks as they told us about the joys and sorrows of the ragamuffin folk that make up the Sanctuary Community in downtown Toronto to whom the book is dedicated. Secondly, our knowledge of the Bible itself in its narrative flow, its major themes, its socio-political setting and the interconnection of texts and themes is immensely important. Too few of us really understand the key moments of the Biblical history of redemption.

Serious Bible scholars may agree on the importance of background and context, but my sense is that so much of the way Keesmaat and Walsh connect various themes, Older and Newer Testaments and the socio-economic stuff is exceptionally illuminating, bringing fresh and solid insight into what was going on in that context. T Wright has done this for us a bit; our old friend the late, great Kenneth Bailey did so in remarkable ways. Some scholars I trust have expressed concern that some have overstated the anti-Empire themes in the New Testament.

Similarly, my Dutch Calvinist mentor Peter J. Who knew then that stewardship was more than giving money to the church, but the primal call of humans to care for creation? That salvation in the Bible often include inheritance of land, and that land reform and social justice are often talking about in the Bible. Thanks be to God. Shane Claiborne is mostly right, then, when he says that Brian and Sylvia are two of his favorite Bible scholars. This new book is perfect for scholars and new Bible readers alike, and for everyone in between. And they constantly shift between way back then and today, talking about what it must have been like for Christ-followers in Rome to welcome those of different eating habits and positions of power in the city and those with different degrees of loyalty or disdain for the Empire itself to break bread together and then they reflect on what it is like for most of us in our own congregations as we try to be friendly to guests or talk well among ourselves over matters of importance.

The shift from the era of Paul and Caesar to your church and Trump moves quickly and it is stimulating and provoking, to say the least. On the other hand, it could be a godsend of Biblical insight to stimulate those who are put off by the sometimes abstract and nearly pointless detail of some Bible commentaries. Romans Disarmed is, as the subtitle shouts, both a serious bit of Biblical scholarship and a charter for a counter-imperial Christian community. From a Trump official saying last summer that we have to obey them because of Romans 13 oh, what a misreading!

Not at all. Those who assume it is primarily a magisterial theological outpouring will be challenged to think about Romans in this new perspective, but it is quite compelling, I think. Just because it is long? By taking the letter and its anti-Imperial tone and its socio-political and economic context seriously, it allows us to de-escalate some of the peculiar debates about it, and how it tends to be used these days to close down conversation or flog people with. Is this merely a new kind of weaponizing of Romans, using it for a far left, counter-Imperial, anti-American narrative, beating up Republicans and those living for the American Dream?

Because they are pushing back on behalf of those who have been hurt, badly hurt, by toxic religion often based on what they believe are mis-readings and certainly mishandling of Romans, they can be strident. In some ways, they are trying to help those who are leaving the evangelical world because of the way the Christian right has been so ugly, helping them see a new way to be Christian and a new way to read and love the Bible again.

I get that. But, happily, they are often quite clear about inviting authentic diversity and being welcoming to all regardless of politics or point of view. Since they are allies and advocates for the dispossessed and marginalized, it is a live question about how — in a communal conversation or small group Bible study, say — we keep it safe for LGBTQ brothers and sisters, for instance, if someone in the group is bombastic and unkind? They tell of one such encounter and how they handled it might surprise you. And — of course! What in the world might it have been like for slaves and masters, Jews and Gentiles, sexually abused women and children and their perpetrators to hear the great apostle tell people they are one, to welcome all?

This is explosive, painful, hard, breathtaking stuff. That few commentaries on this book of the Bible explore with much depth or passion this extraordinary re-making of social relationships then and there not to mention here and now is almost professional malpractice among the theologians and Bible teachers. I heard NT Wright talk about how many classes on Romans just peter out before they get to the upshot of it all in the last few chapters, just skipping that as not particularly urgent.

In his newer perspective, and in Romans Disarmed, it surely is the point, how the gospel of grace forms a new egalitarian community that can serve as a count-weighted witness to the violence of the powers that be. At any rate, this volume helps us see the need for and helps us become equipped to form this kind of inclusive and just community despite our huge differences.

This is part of the agenda of Romans Disarmed and what allows the well-informed authors to unpack this so fruitfully for us. One of the ways they enact this exact sort of hospitable discourse is by using a device they featured creatively in Colossians Remixed. Just when some of their teaching is getting heavy and their Bible interpretation seems a bit speculative, in comes another voice, in italics, an interlocutor. This new conversation partner is skeptical enough, but seems to be on board more with their claims, asking wise and good questions, seeking clarification of their exegesis and theological views and telling stories from his own life about the difficulties of applying this kind of anti-imperial lifestyle.

This dialogue partner, even though pushing back against some of their statements, is sincere and eager to learn and grow into deeper more relevant fidelity to the gospel. In doing so they model the kind of robust conversations that are needed within our faith communities and they anticipate the kinds of questions many readers will have while reading Romans Disarmed.

It makes the book more interesting and more useful for us all. I suspect that as you are reading Romans Disarmed you are going to want to have some conversations about a lot of different things and How the Body of Christ Talks just might be tool that will save you a lot of grief, guiding you towards being communities of missional conversation and prophetic dialogue. Oh yes, this is rich, thoughtful, good stuff and would make a great companion volume to read alongside Romans Disarmed. Smith assures us that practices of conversation — especially while eating together — can be transformational within local congregations, and this resonates with the sort of body life that is described in Romans Disarmed.

Much depends on how you eat, with whom you eat, and what you eat. Eating is, of course, foundational to all of life. And where there is food, there are questions of justice, inclusion, and equality, and, most importantly, of identity. The whole anti-imperial agenda of this letter, together with its commitment to the formation of an alternative home at the heart of the empire, hangs on what happens when Jesus followers gather for the family dinner. But they also are clear that following nearly every other major, well-informed Bible scholar when Paul uses the word righteousness, he means very much something like what we today might call social justice; as N.

This is not liberal social gospel rhetoric, but the best, most faithful rendering of what the Bible itself really says. Which maybe starts with hospitality, being welcoming and listening well, especially to the marginalized and hurting. I have a hunch that even if you find them, as I do, a bit strident at times, you will like them a lot. They know a lot about philosophy, about church history, about contemporary political issues, about rock music, about urban architecture, and contemporary social science, and, yep, they grow food and love to bake bread and do many, essential home-making arts.

They know their Bibles and they love Jesus. Their organic farm community that practices regenerative agriculture is called Russet House Farm. The story of their acquiring stewardship of it is itself nearly a miracle; they do educational events and offer hospitality and welcome. Check them out.

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I think that the disagreements that this book itself will engender will, if faced in the proper spirit, in the context of the welcoming grace of the gospel itself, mirror some of the difficulties of this new Christian communities forming in and around the Roman Empire in the first century. Just think of Galatians or 1 Corinthians or what are sometimes called pastoral letters. Romans, Keesmaat and Walsh insist, is one of these, writ large. It is not primarily or firstly if at all an abstract theological treatise and they explain well why they believe that.

The history of assuming and privileging this kind of de-contextualized doctrinal reading is itself part of our problem in blunting the revolutionary socio-economics and political resistance which is nearly overt and surely implicit in this pastoral letter from the hand of Paul. The Paul who would eventually come to Rome and visit all those people he mentions by name in this letter — rich and poor, slave and free, men and women, Judean and Gentile — and end up in jail, killed for sedition against the Empire.

The increased importance of air attacks from both coalition warplanes and cruise missiles led to controversy over the number of civilian deaths caused during Desert Storm's initial stages. Within Desert Storm's first 24 hours, more than 1, sorties were flown, many against targets in Baghdad. The city was the target of heavy bombing, as it was the seat of power for Saddam and the Iraqi forces' command and control. This ultimately led to civilian casualties. In one noted incident, two USAF stealth planes bombed a bunker in Amiriyah , causing the deaths of Iraqi civilians who were in the shelter.

Saddam's government gave high civilian casualty figures in order to draw support from Islamic countries. The Iraqi government claimed that 2, civilians died during the air campaign. A Harvard University study predicted tens of thousands of additional Iraqi civilians deaths by the end of due to the "public health catastrophe" caused by the destruction of the country's electrical generating capacity. An investigation by Beth Osborne Daponte estimated total civilian fatalities at about 3, from bombing, and some , from the war's other effects. A United Nations report in March described the effect on Iraq of the US-led bombing campaign as "near apocalyptic," bringing back Iraq to the "pre-industrial age.

Some estimate that Iraq sustained between 20, and 35, fatalities. According to the Project on Defense Alternatives study, between 20, and 26, Iraqi military personnel were killed in the conflict while 75, others were wounded. According to Kanan Makiya , "For the Iraqi people, the cost of enforcing the will of the United Nations has been grotesque. A figure was supported by Israeli sources who speak of "one to two hundred thousand Iraqi casualties. Department of Defense reports that US forces suffered battle-related deaths 35 to friendly fire [] , with one pilot listed as MIA his remains were found and identified in August A further Americans died in non-combat accidents.

In all, coalition troops were killed by Iraqi fire during the war, of whom were American, out of a total of coalition deaths. Another 44 soldiers were killed and 57 wounded by friendly fire. The number of coalition wounded in combat was , including Americans. This number was much lower than expected. Among the American dead were three female soldiers. While the death toll among coalition forces engaging Iraqi combatants was very low, a substantial number of deaths were caused by accidental attacks from other Allied units.

Many returning coalition soldiers reported illnesses following their action in the war, a phenomenon known as Gulf War syndrome or Gulf War illness. Common symptoms that were reported are chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and gastrointestinal disorder. Researchers found that infants born to male veterans of the war had higher rates of two types of heart valve defects. Some children born after the war to Gulf War veterans had a certain kidney defect that was not found in Gulf War veterans' children born before the war.

Researchers have said that they did not have enough information to link birth defects with exposure to toxic substances. In , the U. This publication, called the Riegle Report , summarized testimony this committee had received establishing that the U. Significant controversy regarding the long term safety of depleted uranium exists, including claims of pyrophoric , genotoxic , and teratogenic heavy metal effects.

Many have cited its use during the war as a contributing factor to a number of major health issues in veterans and in surrounding civilian populations, including in birth defects child cancer rates. Scientific opinion on the risk is mixed. External exposure to radiation from depleted uranium is generally not a major concern because the alpha particles emitted by its isotopes travel only a few centimeters in air or can be stopped by a sheet of paper. Also, the uranium that remains in depleted uranium emits only a small amount of low-energy gamma radiation. However, if allowed to enter the body, depleted uranium, like natural uranium, has the potential for both chemical and radiological toxicity with the two important target organs being the kidneys and the lungs.

On the night of 26—27 February , some Iraqi forces began leaving Kuwait on the main highway north of Al Jahra in a column of some 1, vehicles. Bush decided that he would rather gamble on a violent and potentially unpopular ground war than risk the alternative: an imperfect settlement hammered out by the Soviets and Iraqis that world opinion might accept as tolerable.

This event was later called by the media "The Highway of Death. They'd already learned to scamper off into the desert when our aircraft started to attack. Nevertheless, some people back home wrongly chose to believe we were cruelly and unusually punishing our already whipped foes. By February 27, talk had turned toward terminating the hostilities. Kuwait was free.

We were not interested in governing Iraq. So the question became "How do we stop the killing. Another incident during the war highlighted the question of large-scale Iraqi combat deaths. This was the " bulldozer assault", wherein two brigades from the US 1st Infantry Division Mechanized were faced with a large and complex trench network, as part of the heavily fortified "Saddam Hussein Line".

After some deliberation, they opted to use anti-mine plows mounted on tanks and combat earthmovers to simply plow over and bury alive the defending Iraqi soldiers. Not a single American was killed during the attack. Reporters were banned from witnessing the attack, near the neutral zone that touches the border between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Anthony] Moreno said. A Palestinian exodus from Kuwait took place during and after the Gulf War. During the Gulf War, more than , Palestinians fled Kuwait during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait due to harassment and intimidation by Iraqi security forces, [] in addition to getting fired from work by Iraqi authority figures in Kuwait.

The Palestinians who fled Kuwait were Jordanian citizens. In the 23 June edition of The Washington Post , reporter Bart Gellman wrote: "Many of the targets were chosen only secondarily to contribute to the military defeat of Iraq Military planners hoped the bombing would amplify the economic and psychological impact of international sanctions on Iraqi society They deliberately did great harm to Iraq's ability to support itself as an industrial society Iraqis understood the legitimacy of a military action to drive their army from Kuwait, but they have had difficulty comprehending the Allied rationale for using air power to systematically destroy or cripple Iraqi infrastructure and industry: electric power stations 92 percent of installed capacity destroyed , refineries 80 percent of production capacity , petrochemical complexes, telecommunications centers including telephone networks , bridges more than , roads, highways, railroads, hundreds of locomotives and boxcars full of goods, radio and television broadcasting stations, cement plants, and factories producing aluminum, textiles, electric cables, and medical supplies.

During the conflict, coalition aircrew shot down over Iraq were displayed as prisoners of war on TV, most with visible signs of abuse. Iraqi secret police broke his nose, dislocated his shoulder and punctured his eardrum. Only one, Chris Ryan , evaded capture while the group's other surviving members were violently tortured. Since Saudi Arabia houses Mecca and Medina, Islam's holiest sites, many Muslims were upset at the permanent military presence. The continued presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia after the war was one of the stated motivations behind the 11 September terrorist attacks , [] the Khobar Towers bombing , and the date chosen for the US embassy bombings 7 August , which was eight years to the day that US troops were sent to Saudi Arabia.

In a December interview with Rahimullah Yusufzai , bin Laden said he felt that Americans were "too near to Mecca" and considered this a provocation to the entire Islamic world. On 6 August , after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait , the UN Security Council adopted Resolution which imposed economic sanctions on Iraq, providing for a full trade embargo , excluding medical supplies, food and other items of humanitarian necessity, these to be determined by the Council's sanctions committee.

From until , the effects of government policy and sanctions regime led to hyperinflation , widespread poverty and malnutrition.

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During the late s, the UN considered relaxing the sanctions imposed because of the hardships suffered by ordinary Iraqis. Studies dispute the number of people who died in south and central Iraq during the years of the sanctions. The draining of the Qurna Marshes was an irrigation project in Iraq during and immediately after the war, to drain a large area of marshes in the Tigris—Euphrates river system.

Formerly covering an area of around 3, square kilometers, the large complex of wetlands were almost completely emptied of water, and the local Shi'ite population relocated, following the war and uprisings. The draining of the Qurna Marshes also called The Draining of the Mesopotamian Marshes occurred in Iraq and to a smaller degree in Iran between the s and s to clear large areas of the marshes in the Tigris-Euphrates river system. The marshes are typically divided into three main sub-marshes, the Hawizeh , Central, and Hammar Marshes and all three were drained at different times for different reasons.

Initial draining of the Central Marshes was intended to reclaim land for agriculture but later all three marshes would become a tool of war and revenge. Many international organizations such as the UN Human Rights Commission , the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq , the Wetlands International , and Middle East Watch have described the project as a political attempt to force the Marsh Arabs out of the area through water diversion tactics.

The Kuwaiti oil fires were caused by the Iraqi military setting fire to oil wells as part of a scorched earth policy while retreating from Kuwait in after conquering the country but being driven out by coalition forces. The fires started in January and February , and the last one was extinguished by November. The resulting fires burned out of control because of the dangers of sending in firefighting crews. Land mines had been placed in areas around the oil wells, and a military cleaning of the areas was necessary before the fires could be put out. Apart from the impact on Arab States of the Persian Gulf , the resulting economic disruptions after the crisis affected many states.

The Overseas Development Institute ODI undertook a study in to assess the effects on developing states and the international community's response. A briefing paper finalized on the day that the conflict ended draws on their findings which had two main conclusions: Many developing states were severely affected and while there has been a considerable response to the crisis, the distribution of assistance was highly selective. The ODI factored in elements of "cost" which included oil imports, remittance flows, re-settlement costs, loss of export earnings and tourism.

International response to the crisis on developing states came with the channeling of aid through The Gulf Crisis Financial Co-ordination Group. The World Bank responded by speeding up the disbursement of existing project and adjustment loans. The war was heavily televised. For the first time, people all over the world were able to watch live pictures of missiles hitting their targets and fighters departing from aircraft carriers. Allied forces were keen to demonstrate their weapons' accuracy.

But, moments later, Shepard was back on the air as flashes of light were seen on the horizon and tracer fire was heard on the ground. On CBS, viewers were watching a report from correspondent Allen Pizzey, who was also reporting from Baghdad, when the war began. Rather, after the report was finished, announced that there were unconfirmed reports of flashes in Baghdad and heavy air traffic at bases in Saudi Arabia. Moments later, Brokaw announced to his viewers that the air attack had begun.

Still, it was CNN whose coverage gained the most popularity and indeed its wartime coverage is often cited as one of the landmark events in the network's history, ultimately leading to the establishment of CNN International. The network had previously convinced the Iraqi government to allow installation of a permanent audio circuit in their makeshift bureau. When the telephones of all of the other Western TV correspondents went dead during the bombing, CNN was the only service able to provide live reporting. After the initial bombing, Arnett remained behind and was, for a time, the only American TV correspondent reporting from Iraq.

The station was short lived, ending shortly after President Bush declared the ceasefire and Kuwait's liberation. However, it paved the way for the later introduction of Radio Five Live. They were responsible for a report which included an "infamous cruise missile that travelled down a street and turned left at a traffic light.

Newspapers all over the world also covered the war and Time magazine published a special issue dated 28 January , the headline "War in the Gulf" emblazoned on the cover over a picture of Baghdad taken as the war began. US policy regarding media freedom was much more restrictive than in the Vietnam War. The policy had been spelled out in a Pentagon document entitled Annex Foxtrot. Most of the press information came from briefings organized by the military. Only selected journalists were allowed to visit the front lines or conduct interviews with soldiers. Those visits were always conducted in the presence of officers, and were subject to both prior approval by the military and censorship afterward.

This was ostensibly to protect sensitive information from being revealed to Iraq. This policy was heavily influenced by the military's experience with the Vietnam War, in which public opposition within the US grew throughout the war's course. It was not only the limitation of information in the Middle East; media were also restricting what was shown about the war with more graphic depictions like Ken Jarecke 's image of a burnt Iraqi soldier being pulled from the American AP wire whereas in Europe it was given extensive coverage. At the same time, the war's coverage was new in its instantaneousness.

About halfway through the war, Iraq's government decided to allow live satellite transmissions from the country by Western news organizations, and US journalists returned en masse to Baghdad. Throughout the war, footage of incoming missiles was broadcast almost immediately. A British crew from CBS News, David Green and Andy Thompson, equipped with satellite transmission equipment, traveled with the front line forces and, having transmitted live TV pictures of the fighting en route, arrived the day before the forces in Kuwait City, broadcasting live television from the city and covering the entrance of the Arab forces the next day.

Alternative media outlets provided views in opposition to the war. Deep Dish Television compiled segments from independent producers in the US and abroad, and produced a hour series that was distributed internationally, called The Gulf Crisis TV Project. News World Order [] was the title of another program in the series; it focused on the media's complicity in promoting the war, as well as Americans' reactions to the media coverage.

In San Francisco, Paper Tiger Television West produced a weekly cable television show with highlights of mass demonstrations, artists' actions, lectures, and protests against mainstream media coverage at newspaper offices and television stations. Local media outlets in cities across the USA screened similar oppositional media. The following names have been used to describe the conflict itself: Gulf War and Persian Gulf War are the most common terms for the conflict used within western countries , though it may also be called the First Gulf War to distinguish it from the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent Iraq War.

Most of the coalition states used various names for their operations and the war's operational phases. These are sometimes incorrectly used as the conflict's overall name, especially the US Desert Storm :. Precision-guided munitions were heralded as key in allowing military strikes to be made with a minimum of civilian casualties compared to previous wars, although they were not used as often as more traditional, less accurate bombs. Specific buildings in downtown Baghdad could be bombed while journalists in their hotels watched cruise missiles fly by. Precision-guided munitions amounted to approximately 7.

Other bombs included cluster bombs , which disperse numerous submunitions, [] and daisy cutters , 15,pound bombs which can disintegrate everything within hundreds of yards. Global Positioning System GPS units were relatively new at the time and were important in enabling coalition units to easily navigate across the desert.

Since military GPS receivers were not available for most troops, many used commercially available units. To permit these to be used to best effect, the "selective availability" feature of the GPS system was turned off for the duration of Desert Storm, allowing these commercial receivers to provide the same precision as the military equipment. Both were used in command and control area of operations. These systems provided essential communications links between air, ground, and naval forces.

It is one of several reasons coalition forces dominated the air war. American-made color photocopiers were used to produce some of Iraq's battle plans. Some of the copiers contained concealed high-tech transmitters that revealed their positions to American electronic warfare aircraft , leading to more precise bombings. The role of Iraq's Scud missiles featured prominently in the war. Scud is a tactical ballistic missile that the Soviet Union developed and deployed among the forward deployed Soviet Army divisions in East Germany.

Scud missiles utilize inertial guidance which operates for the duration that the engines operate. Iraq used Scud missiles, launching them into both Saudi Arabia and Israel. Some missiles caused extensive casualties, while others caused little damage. The US Patriot missile was used in combat for the first time.

There have also been numerous depictions in film including Jarhead , which is based on U. Marine Anthony Swofford 's memoir of the same name. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the war in — For other wars of that name, see Gulf War disambiguation. For other uses, see Desert Storm disambiguation. Yeosock Walter E. William Kime Robert B. Persian Gulf Wars. Gulf War. Regional organisations. Algeria pro-Iraq pro-Syria. Splinter groups. Related topics. Politics portal Socialism portal. This article is part of a series about.

Presidential campaigns. Main article: Gulf War air campaign. Israeli civilians taking shelter from rockets top and aftermath of attack in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv bottom. Main article: Battle of Khafji. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Battle of Norfolk. See also: Task Force Infantry. Main article: Liberation of Kuwait campaign. See also: Gulf War order of battle ground campaign. Main article: uprisings in Iraq. Main article: Coalition of the Gulf War.

Main article: Australian contribution to the Gulf War. Main article: Gulf War syndrome. Main article: Highway of Death. Main article: Palestinian exodus from Kuwait Gulf War. Main article: Operation Southern Watch. United Nations Security Council Resolution Main article: Draining of the Mesopotamian Marshes. Main article: Gulf War oil spill. Main article: Kuwaiti oil fires. See also: Environmental impact of war. Main article: Media coverage of the Gulf War. The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.

You may improve this section , discuss the issue on the talk page , or create a new article , as appropriate. January Learn how and when to remove this template message. Further information: List of Gulf War military equipment. Iraq portal Kuwait portal United States portal War portal s portal. Different sources may call the conflicts by different names. The name ' Persian Gulf ' is itself a subject of dispute. This dating is also used to distinguish it from the other two 'Gulf Wars'.

Archived from the original on 12 January Retrieved 1 February Archived from the original on 5 November Retrieved 13 September Chain of Command. Penguin Books. MSN Encarta. Archived from the original on 1 November Robert H. Brassey's, , p. Crusade, The untold story of the Persian Gulf War. Houghton Mifflin Company, Buchs, B. Commander, Knights In the Desert.

Retrieved 5 July Another 12 Bradleys were damaged, but four of these were quickly repaired. The Jewish Agency for Israel. Archived from the original on 24 January Retrieved 22 June Red Cross. Project on Defense Alternatives. Retrieved 9 May Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 20 March Archived from the original on 11 December Archived from the original on 2 January Retrieved 18 March Out of Area or Out of Reach?

RAND Corporation. Archived from the original on 25 July Retrieved 26 March Retrieved 13 May Middle East Report. Borer Army Professional Writing Collection. US Army. Archived from the original on 11 October Retrieved 12 October A History of the Modern Middle East. Gordon, "U. US Department of State. Archived from the original on 7 January Retrieved 2 January Archived from the original on 26 May Retrieved 30 June Library of Congress Country Studies.

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Retrieved 14 April Military Power. United States Naval Institute. Fred Hart 1". Archived from the original on 18 August Air Combat Information Group. Retrieved 17 April Daniel Abraham Center for Strategic Dialogue. The Journal of Intelligence History : 74— Newcastle University. March Middle East Forum. Retrieved 17 January New York: United Nations. Jewish Virtual Library. Middle East Review of International Affairs. Archived from the original on 4 August The History Professor.

Concord Learning Systems. Archived from the original on 14 January United Nations. Retrieved 13 April The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 16 September Retrieved 17 October Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. Feldheim Publishers, p. Retrieved 2 September Newsday Washington Bureau. Long Island, N. Retrieved 24 October Retrieved 30 September Commitment to Region Continues". Archived from the original on 8 June Here, welsh language eisteddfodau, choral festivals are a big thing.

DD interviewed parents bringing their children — part of her college course, and asked how old these festivals were and was surprised most thought they pretty much went back to the dawn of time, but in fact they were invented by a guy in the 19th century who claimed to have discovered old manuscripts about them. Actually he had forged these documents.

Did pagans wanting to become Christians have to become Jews first. The answer over years ago was a resounding no. So the references to Jewish Cultural laws and arguments that Christians are bound to them are completely irrelevant. But people who want to argue will argue regardless. Yeah, but how can you hate fags without the Old Testament? See things from the standpoint of Westboro Baptist church.

It was a no from Paul. From the James contingent, the story was different. The fundamental christian disagreements we see today look like those that go all the way back to the beginning. But in John, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene. Why was it called the Field of Blood? Or was it called the Valley of Slaughter, per Jeremiah because people were killed there? In Mark , a leper politely begged Jesus to heal him.

Did Jesus react with compassion, per most manuscripts, or with anger, per the older manuscripts? Assyrian records show that Hezekiah got the Assyrians to call off their siege of Jerusalem by paying hefty tribute to Sennacherib, incl his daughters, and swore to renew his vassalship. So there are errors in the Christian bible.

And when Christians disagree, what then? Will you take on the job? Great question. It involves going to the enormous collection of ancient texts in existence. Unlike other classics, such as Greek and Roman texts of antiquity, we have not only a hundred times as many, we have fragments that can be traced to the first and second centuries. This gives the ability to use textual criticism and determine errors and the original message. The others are the existence of verses in a minority of manuscripts that do not appear in the majority and the oldest copies.

No, no fragments from the first century. Mark says Jesus reacted to a leper begging him to be healed. Most manuscripts said he reacted with compassion but the older manuscripts say he acted with anger. Scholars, as a rule, go with the harder reading, figuring that a scribe is more likely to accentuate the positive than the negative. But there is no way to know for sure. There are no fragments that can be traced to the first century. There was a claim about a first century manuscript but that turned into a great big embarrassment after several years.

One of the oldest of fragments has some missing text cannot say what other manuscripts say. There must be at least one word missing. Which word? Does it say what they think it says? Few, if any, New Testament books can be reconstructed from second century fragments. It has been shown that there are more changes between the manuscripts before canonization than after. That means there is no reason to think the earliest copies were reliable either. Stop trying to exaggerate the reliability of the New Testament.

What we have shows that it is fiction based on the fictional literature of the day. They rely on the Old Testament for their information about Jesus. Peter denied Jesus 3 times. Interestingly, nobody seems to have done that yet. Or can you give us the title of the book where that distillation is described? Or admit you just pulled it out of your ass. Or demonstrate your abject dishonesty by ignoring that issue. It looks a lot like nobody knows where we can find the results of that analysis. Or maybe nobody has done that analysis.

Or you know what it really looks like? I suppose life is easier for people who just believe what their authority figures tell them. There are no first century fragments of the NT in existence…so you are lying…ignorant…stupid…. But Christianity is used as a club within American society. Maybe because believers are attempting to force down on non-believers their ideas. Just to begin with. If indeed the bible is a message to mankind and not just a collection of texts from an already established religion.

If there is very little internal inconsistency in the Iliad , does that make any of it true, or false for that matter? Matthew, Mark, and Luke say the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus happened on Friday. John says it was all on Thursday. That is an internal inconsistency about the most important event in Christianity. Then one is killed for sins and the other is released into the wilderness, the way one goat is killed for the sins of the people while the other is released into the wilderness in Leviticus But the problem is that the ritual is for Yom Kippur, Atonement Day, which is about five months after Passover.

Then there is the Mocking of Jesus that follows the bit about Barabbas. The spelling in Greek for Barabbas and Carabbas is the same after the first letter of each. The youths accost Carabbas, taking him to the gymnasium, dress him in a door mat for a cloak, make a crown of papyrus leaf, give him a scepter made of papyrus, then act like he is a king.

Mark invented the story from other literature but John alters it a little for theological reasons. So, yes, the day of the week is a small point compared to the whole story being completely contrived from other literature. You run out of arguments and resort to infantile threats of imaginary retribution. Keep fighting, Greg. Do you spend your time arguing against the existence of Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy? When they are adults and still believe stuff like that, I do. Are you saying you do not try to convince adults who believe that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are real that they are wrong?

Or do your arguments against SC and TF strike too close to your religious beliefs? Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are not abusive wankers like your god who likes blood sacrifices and makes up shitty rules about sex and ownership of other people. Never underestimate the violence associated with what was fairy belief in the past. Fairies were once gods and goddesses prior to the invasion of Christianity.

Each sept…or clan…had their favourites, and were believed to help in battle. The oldest body of myths stemming from the Heroic Age is found only from the early medieval period of Ireland. As Christianity began to take over, the gods and goddesses were slowly eliminated as such from the culture. Because Christians are blundering through American society damaging things. Can this possibly be new to you? I gave up voting in national elections 20 years ago. How am I messing up things for you, Bob?

Because Christians, and by extension the imaginary crap the believe, means no harm? Wise ta fuck up. Why are atheists angry? Or is it because they have legitimate reasons to be angry—and are ready to do something about it? Armed with passionate outrage, absurdist humor, and calm intelligence, popular blogger Greta Christina makes a powerful case for outspoken atheist activism, and explains the empathy and justice that drive it. This accessible, personal, down-to-earth book speaks not only to atheists, but also to believers who want to understand the so-called new atheism.

Yet I have not heard of any atheistic foundation if truth that is certain, i. You might be imaginary, Amos. And you seem to be constructing a strawman. They are not great in number, but yes, they exist. But that is irrelevant. So pah! And I doubt you will, because you are too stupid, even after all this time, to realise that atheism deals with one thing, and one thing only. There is only one thing all atheists have in common, can ya guess what it is yet? Anything else two atheists agree or disagree about, it has bugger all to do with what they believe about the existence of gods.

Ah, solipsism. I might be imaginary. But you just run on along there sonny, since the comment you are failing to address was to show the ignorance of your own position. That is, your silly beliefs are a lot more detrimental to societies than belief in fairies, or Santa Claus, yet equal on evidence for the existence of all three. Hence the reason some atheists have decided to open their gobs to online arseholes and let them know the absurdity of their particular flavour of nonsense and why.

No, I first rejected it because there were too many problems to believe it is true, after all that I realized Christianity is a predatory religion. It is poison and a cancer on humanity. God is just a character in your play and has no more power than what you give him in your imagination. Ah, so you are a noble warrior against Christianity for the good of your neighbor and mankind? Hey, if my neighbor is selling poison in the guise of candy I would be wrong not to point it out. I do not like paladins. Of course we reject the God of the bible. How do you reconcile all the monstrous and immoral things he does as I pointed out above and I could have gone on.

How do you deal with this violence from your God who is suppose to be all loving? You must be reading s different Bible then I have. The same God who suffered and died for sinners as Jesus Christ will also send those who do not repent and believe to everlasting punishment. Yeah your Mad Blood God of the desert will torture people for not thinking the right thoughts…we know…that is the poison. Nobody will go to hell for not believing.

They will justly go to hell for violating the moral laws of God. According to you and your religion everyone violates the moral laws of God…only those that think the right thoughts will be exempt…so yeah not believing is the only difference. Correct again. A wonderful truth in light of the fact that we have all sinned and fallen short. All are judged—we will either face God in our own righteousness or the righteousness of Christ. If we do not repent and trust in Christ then we will face a holy judge who will punish us for our sins, as justice demands.

Bob, we are all in a crashing aircraft. Christ is the parachute God freely offers. You have but to accept it and put it on. Your God drowned the entire world, women, children, babies and animals who were innocent of any crime all because he fucked up with his own creation as written in your bible. He regretted his mistake and vowed to never do it again but failed to realize humans would always be, by nature, what he got all pissed about and wanted to drown.

Some omniscient God, not. Why this threat of everlasting punishment? Why not just live a good life without all this believing bullshit? Explain how this Jesus character had to go through a crucifixion to save me, because a fictional Adam ate from the tree of knowledge because a talking snake told him to do so? What is love, Tommy? If you are the end result of random mutations and evolution then love is nothing more than chemical reactions on your brain. The quality of being just; fairness. The principle of moral rightness; equity. Conformity to moral rightness in action or attitude; righteousness.

Sending someone to everlasting punishment is neither fair nor equitable. Do you have a beloved friend or family member who is an atheist? Would you send them to everlasting punishment? Also, how much fun will heaven be knowing that all your atheist and Mormon friends are suffering for all eternity with no chance of redemption while you are basking in glory.

Does it make you feel more special? More chosen? While the party is happening in the mansion upstairs, the torture chamber is on down below and the archangel Michael is selling tickets so you, too, can watch your ex-loved ones be skinned alive, over and over and over again…! One of the key things that demonstrated for me the absurdity of all this is that we all, Christian and non-Christian alike, express horror at what the Nazis did to the Jews, and yet that will pale in comparison to what God is going to do them.

By whose standard, the standards of man or God? If Hitler would appear before you fur judgement, what would be a fair sentence? We have sinned against the highest authority in the cosmos. Even our own system of justice recognizes the severity of crimes against authority. Punches the eternal, holy and good God that gave him life and sustains his every breath. There is literally and justly hell to pay. Hitler was a Christian. What punishment he deserves IMO and what punishment he would get under Christian theology are not within shouting distance of each other.

Everlasting punishment for finite sins is neither fair nor equitable. Why or why not? Judges in democracies receive their power and authority through the people. Spirits, lunar deities and even minor war gods like Yahweh are typically not dependent on anything for their authority. So yeah, still in error. I hear you. Any god that would punish finite crimes with everlasting torment is a heartless bastard.

Markus R, are we talking about the same God who created evil, drowned everything on earth but one family, incinerated cities, killed the first born of everything in Egypt, wants to be called Jealous, loves the smell of burning flesh, needs you to cut the end of your dick off, hates mixed fabrics and shell fish, condones slavery and rape and…. When somebody wants to sell you something, do you buy no questions asked? I think it is best to investigate things first. You should take a critical look at the stuff you are pushing.

Paul loved to talk about Jesus, though. Below is everything he tells us. Mormons will tell you the same thing when you raise problems with the BOM. And Muslims with the Koran. Share this evidence with us and make it Christianity-specific, not something vague that could apply to any god. Speaking of passover lambs. Take a look at this.

I think that is just an analogous feature noticed a century later. I think the idea of crucifixion is from Paul in Galatians I think the Jerusalem Christians denied that Jesus was crucified. Galatians 12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that try to compel you to be circumcised — only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. Throughout Galatians, Paul railed against the circumcision faction, which he identifies James as a leader of and Cephas kowtowing to.

I was more thinking along the lines that The Visualizations of the crucified lamb would have been well known to those writing The New Testament. Who knows what sorts of symbolism or ceremonies surrounded the act of hanging the lambs. It was after all a religious ceremony and sacrifice. I think idea of crucifixion was established by Paul and Mark. It is more of a big deal in the gospels which came later. Of course if you had any knowledge of ancient literature you would be astounded by the reliability of what exists. Am I correct? There are more inconsistencies in the New Testament manuscripts that we have than there are words in the New Testament.

I like Bible studies but I restrict them to only with fellow believers. Your problem with the Bible is not the inconsistancies. Most people learned that by the time they are 10 years old. Not you though…nope. Of course it can. It just requires equivocation of the meanings of the symbols. It is true for larger values of 2 or a smaller value of 5. No, I have no problem with the inconsistencies. I find it amazing that we have still have most of the writings the NT authors used to create their fictions and fantasies.

I think Mark is a fantastic writer. He melds Old Testament and Apocrypha into the popular and classic Greek literature. When Telemauchus began to search for his father, he visited some kings who might give insight where to look. He travel on foot to one where there was a feast and he sailed to the other, and so does Jesus. One of the feast had nine ranks of so Mark rounded up for one meal and down for the other. When Jesus is on trial, Peter is outside. The Gospel of Mark is really fascinating when you read it as fiction and to recognize the literature of the day.

Believing it is like believing the Three Bears. Not all are meant to understand. Nobody gives to hell for not believing. The 10 Commandments. How do you stack up? Ever told a lie? Ever stolen anything? Ever looked at a woman with lust? And those are just 4 of the God has written these laws upon the human conscience. You know in your heart they are wrong. You are lying and you deserve hell for lying…except your believe the right thoughts so you will be ok. Otto, one day you will stand in front of Jesus Christ. You will be judged according to your righteousness or his righteousness. If you choose to stand in your own righteousness, please know that every thought and action in your life is known to him.

Every lie. Every thing you ever stole. It is for those sins that you will be sent into eternal and everlasting punishment. And that same word tells us that all who repent and trust in Christ will be forgiven and receive eternal life. Please consider this. Your religion is a joke, I take it no more seriously than Scientology. You are part of a cult and you spread poison and lies. I also find it interesting that after I show that you contradicted yourself and your religion you completely ignored it. Go sell your snake oil somewhere else Mr. Con Man. Please consider that.

You have a wild and hateful imagination. If you ever find yourself actually believing all that nonsense affects other people and their real lives, please get some mental health help. And you wonder why your arguments fail? Just by magic? You are talking to an awful lot of ex-christians who have heard this nonsense and eventually realized there is no reason whatsoever to believe it. You are either too indoctrinated to think or such an unwilling thinker that indoctrination is the most comfortable thing that could ever have happened to you..

I oringinally resounded precisely in topic contradictions in the Bible. As for support, I have answered consistently from my worldview and the Bible remember it is the topic. You posture yourself as the judge of truth as do others here, but not one has offered a foundation for truth in their worldview other than their subjective opinion. Pretend all you like. Indeed, when negative or adverse outcomes are the explicit result of a decision, not mentioning them is insincere and absurd.

Be a shame if anything happened to it. What the shout is depends on whether the cliff is real or a figment of the imagination of the person shouting. We have read the same book you have and realize it is mostly fiction. We are trying to make you turn around so you can return to reality. Forget it. I guess you missed John For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him emphasis mine shall not perish but have eternal life.

Moses smashed the tablets and went to get another set. Read Exodus 34 for the actual Ten Commandments. That is correct. And Moses read from those new tablets in Deuteronomy 5. How are you stacking up by those, Bob. I fail miserably and I need a savior. Yeah, in Gnosticism. But tell me more about this enormous gap in my knowledge of ancient literature. Yeah, I know. Unimportant—it still sucks. If your god thingy is perfectly good and love is one of his attributes, then love must be good.

If the god thingy fails at loving, then it is not perfectly good. There is nothing more evil than torturing someone for long periods of time, except for doing it to billions of people. Therefore, your concept of God is evil which cannot be described as perfectly good. I am trying to think of a scenario where I would condone creating a place where my spaniel would yelp, catch fire, and tremble forever the next time he jumps into the front seat of my car. We have violated his very character and nature.

And that is a very serious act. A potter can do what he wants with a pot but it is irrational for the potter to blame the pot and to punish it for how it is made. Your rhetorical question does not address the question I asked. This is one of the things that makes absolutely no sense. None of us asked to be created. God supposedly is omniscient, which means that he created us knowing that he was creating the vast majority of mankind for eternal torment. He dragged people into eternal existence, judges them for a blink of an eye moment in time only to condemn them to eternal torment.

Markus throws around attributes of God like love, justice, perfectly good and yet these things are the exact opposite. The story simply makes no sense. The emperor has no clothes. I mean, at least come up with something believable, right? Your god is a sadistic, vindictive asshole if he even thinks about punishing us for eternity. It only matters that the judge is real and has absolute authority. God is real and he has spoken. It is all about how gullible the defendant is about the judge. My hope is that I might cause one reader to see the light. Hell is hot and eternity is long.

I have no desire for you to spend eternity there, Greg. The why is their punishments for blasphemy? Kind of thin skinned. We all realised that the light you preach was very dim indeed, in comparison. Ignorant, could you be wrong about that? What is your source of absolute truth? Of course. Could you be wrong? Do you still believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus?

If not, why not? How do you know you are not wrong? What method do you use to verify yuou are not wrong? By the same token El, Asherah, Baal, and other deities of the Semitic pantheon, who can be recognized in the Bible, are real too. How does an imaginary, fictitious, non-existent critter have anything to do with reality? You have to show your mythical, make-believe, hypothetical god exists before you can claim any attributes for it. Show me that your god exists.

They are expected to rule justly, fairly, equitably. Condemning someone who punches the president in the nose to torture for the rest of their life would not be considered just, fair or equitable. A ruler might have absolute authority, but one who would do such things is not considered good, loving or just. They are considered a tyrant. Infinite punishment for finite sins is not the action of a good, loving and just God; it is the action of a tyrant. The story makes no sense. The pieces of the story have to make sense if you want people to believe it. Your god is absolutely powerless outside your own imagination.

Is God so sensitive? So petty? The Christian god is an insecure narcissist. According to the propaganda he needs to be continually told how great he is and otherwise have his ego stroked or else he pouts and goes into smiting mode. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. The sarcasm must not have been evident. Am I supposed to be impressed with accusations of thought crimes? Try again, this time using logic and evidence instead of anti-humanist propaganda.

No, the sarcasm was not evident. Just a plain Biblical quote without other commentary is a common response Christians use when faced with evidence that their god is an asshole. Blood sacrifice is an obsolete technology. Remember phone books and VCRs? Obsolete too! You make a distinction between punishing and harming. I know this because natural catastrophes the ones that insurance policies call acts of god harm countless creatures.

Like us humans do all the time. Why the sacrifice needed? Why the blood shed? And oh what a sacrifice if you get to come back to life in less than 48 hours. Just forgive them all? Would that be justice?

Monthly Bibliography

People have limited resources and limited life spans but they can get over issues and forgive a lot better than your god thingy in many cases. The God of the Bible story drowned the world? Would you forgive him? Making him and others like Stalin pay for the countless deaths and suffering from the POV of each victim and preventing them of going insane. Once ended, if they beg pardon pardoning them in return. Also… you asked what to do with Hitler. I would have stopped him. Punishing him after the fact does nothing for the victims. Stopping him would have. Any atheist would invent a hell far more just than what your asshole of a god created.

You know, you can just stop, right? I was an atheist once.