All posts tagged history

Learning our history

So … I get email. Email I signed up to receive, usually. I’m subscribed to the “Question of the Week” email newsletter, because that’s occasionally been interesting blog fodder. From time to time the organization uses the newsletter list to send out fundraising requests or, somewhat less often, promotions for other Christian resources. I […]

On “warped thinking and terrible doctrine”

Commenter Luke Holzmann wrote in response to a recent post: [For] me, the teachings of Christ (if not the Torah itself) — long before secular humanism — gave us reason to value both body and soul. It is warped thinking and terrible doctrine that believes those coerced into the Kingdom of God are part of […]

Why care about accuracy in scripture?

There are many points of disconnect between how atheists talk about religion and how religious people think about their own beliefs. I’ve written about various ones several times before (just a few old posts, but there are plenty others). However, while I’ve discussed contradictions and errors in scripture as reasons why I don’t believe — […]

Better Angels: Religious hypocrisy

I’ve recently finished reading Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, via a recommendation from Adam Lee (and subsequent enthusiastic endorsement from my husband). In it, Pinker lays out the evidence that, although it might feel like the modern world is worse than ever, violence has been on the decline for centuries and we’re […]

Did Jesus really exist?

There’s a lot of scholarly work out there attempting to settle the question of whether or not the Jesus of the Christian Bible really existed. I’m not going to pretend to summarize or even really discuss that work here. I just want to highlight something I think is often missing from debates between Christians and […]

Why are there still Catholics?

I’ve been thinking about the Catholic Church quite a lot recently. There was FFRF’s full-page NYT ad last month, vjack’s post two weeks ago about people’s reasons for leaving Catholicism, and Adam Lee’s post last week about the papacy’s apparent embrace of its slow slide into irrelevance. On top of all that reading, though, there’s […]

Proof of Jesus’ resurrection?

I’m always prattling on about how, if presented with actual evidence and logical arguments, I would change my mind and convert to whatever religious belief system provided that compelling evidence. That’s why I feel like I ought to examine carefully the supposed compelling evidence put forward by theists, at least from time to time. Yesterday, […]

Simply because it was written in a book

The Google Doodle today (replacing the usual Google logo) commemorates Nicolas Steno, one of the 17th century founders of modern geology and specifically stratigraphy. As it happens, Steno was also a Catholic bishop who was actually beatified — yes, he’s on the path to sainthood — by Pope John Paul II in 1988. Now, plenty […]

Review: Jesus Under Fire

At last. The book I originally went to the library to find (because I sure as anything wasn’t going to pay real money for it): Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus, edited by Michael J. Wilkins and J.P. Moreland. A Christian friend of mine kept citing it in our conversations about the […]

Case study: Peoples Temple

I certainly don’t know from personal experience, but I’m under the impression that most religious people consider their religion to be unique. Yes, there are some people who believe there are “many ways to truth,” but I don’t think I’m going out on too shaky a limb to claim that the majority of religious believers […]