The Skeptics Annotated Bible

A Christian turned skeptic set out on the laborious task of showing that the bible is not inerrant, not the word of a loving God, and the reason for faith is largely because people don’t actually read the bible or teach all of it. Here’s a blurb from the author:

“The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible (SAB) attempts to remedy this imbalance. It includes the entire text of the King James Version, but without the pro-Bible propaganda. Instead, passages are highlighted that are an embarrassment to the Bible-believer, and the parts of the Bible that are never read in any Church, Bible study group, or Sunday School class are emphasized. For it is these passages that test the claims of the Bible-believer. The contradictions and false prophecies show that the Bible is not inerrant; the cruelties, injustices, and insults to women, that it is neither good nor just.”

Have a look at the full site here. The author put in quite some time and effort into this project. There’s even a random verse from the bible displayed on the homepage that could be troubling for some believers. Through and through, it’s all pretty elaborate. He divides his arguments up by category, even! To his credit, he even links the Christian response to his website, a response that took seven years to complete. See the rebuttal to SAB here.

In this back and forth, it’s presupposed that truth, rationality, morality, and consistency are all of the utmost importance. What worldview gives the basis to account for any of that? Why is the outcome of examining the bible for errors or atrocities of any relevance? These two authors have all the same information and are coming to differing conclusions. What does this mean about the problem that remains? Who’s being consistent with their worldview in this debate?

 

 

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Christianity and Climate Change

“I read this morning a newsweek article from the 1970s talking about global cooling. It said the science is clear. It is overwhelming. We’re in a major cooling period and it’s going to cause enormous problems worldwide and the solution for all the advocates in the 70’s of global cooling was massive government control of the energy sector of the economy and aspects of our lives. Now, the data proved to be not backing up of that theory. So then, all the advocates of global cooling suddenly shifted to global warming. And they advocated it’s warming and the solution, interesting enough was the exact same solution: government control of the energy sector and every aspect of our lives. But then the data don’t back that up. So, if you notice, the terms have shifted and now it’s climate change. And again, the solution is government control of the energy sector and every aspect of our lives. And when someone keeps proposing the same solution regardless of the problem, you start to think maybe they just like government control of the energy sector and every aspect of our lives.”

When it comes to data, we all have presuppositions to filter through before we decide what the information placed before us means. Some say that global cooling / global warming / climate change is happening, some say it isn’t, and some say it is, but not to any significant degree. People with all the same data are coming up with different theories to what may or may not be happening.

I have my take on this, but my intention in writing this isn’t to sway anyone’s belief one way or the next. All I’m going to do is state what the Christian approach to this is. By that I mean, what does the bible say about climate? My go to verse is Genesis 8:22:

“While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.”

In context, this verse follows the aftermath of the flood. God promises not to punish the wicked in this way again. In saying that the cold and heat, summer and winter will not cease, He’s practically guaranteeing that the seasons will continue to change. Based on that scripture alone, if global warming climate change is happening, it won’t be so significant that the seasons will cease to change. To be explicitly clear, we don’t have to worry about the climate destroying the earth.

If the climate was going to destroy the earth, why would Jesus tell us the meek would inherit it (Psalm 37:11, Matthew 5:5, Romans 4:13, Isaiah 60:21, etc)? Over and over and over, the word of God confirms for us that God is sovereign over the weather. Let’s not forget, one of the most famous signs that Jesus showed was the calming of the storm. If He is indeed the risen Christ, will the weather not continue to obey Him?

As Christians, we have the responsibility to continue to tend to this garden we’ve been given. The science behind this discussion is important to help us facilitate the means to make the right decisions concerning it. Does it not honor God to seek renewable energy sources, to reduce waste, and to reduce our carbon footprint? Of course, it does! For these reasons, I would not argue with a Christian on this issue no matter where they’re at on the spectrum of ideas. My only concern would be to what degree their belief lies. Either extreme can potentially lead up to some bad decisions. More importantly, they both could lead up to thinking that’s just not biblical, and that’s the most important thing for the Christian.

More from Smarter People
On the Sovereignty of God Over Weather
How Christians View Climate Change
Where is that quote from?
Bill Nye Debates Climate Change

Songs of Ancient Israel

Have you ever wondered what it was like to sing the songs that Jesus sang? What was it like to sing the psalms of David? What did they sound like? What kind of instruments did they use? What was the phrasing like? If you’re passionate about worship and music, these things may intrigue you. From the digging around I’ve done, I’ve found this intrigue is actually common in this age! A lot of people share this same interest!

It’s been fascinating to find that there are artists that still sing songs in Hebrew. I haven’t found anything concrete on the inspiration behind the melodies, unfortunately! A simple search on Youtube will turn up similar performances of different psalms. If you’re interested in singing the songs in English, I’ve found a few projects revolving around that idea too!

There’s an artist known simply as “Shane” that’s setting all the psalms to contemporary worship style music. His endeavor is called “The Psalms Project“. As of this post, he’s put out three albums that span 30 psalms. He’s planning on composing material for all 150 psalms. This ambitious idea is tentatively going to take over two decades should he get the opportunity to finish it. Check out his progress on Spotify!

There are numerous guides out there too. There’s lots of information to be found about Gregorian chants, developing a meter, the history of psalms as worship, so on and so forth. All these things can be found easily by a google or YouTube search. There are some resources on Amazon for the scholarly artists among us as well.

I haven’t checked them out yet, but I’ve heard that the Sons of Korah have done some arrangements of the Psalms too. There’s also some arguments to be heard about exclusive psalmody (worship exclusively through psalms) and inclusive psalmody (including the psalms in worship). Here are a few resources to mull over:

Psalm Singing and Scripture Study
Worship From Genesis to Revelation
Music, Song, and Worship – A Brief Overview
Inclusive Psalmody

The RTS App

rts

Looking for another app that’s a great resource for learning about doctrine, theology, and practical application? I think I found one that could be of help! With the RTS app, you have access to seminary level courses via audio stream complete with the required reading material for the students that actually attended. There are about 20 courses available all completely free of charge! The entire package is included!

The lectures, the syllabus for each subject, and a list of the required textbooks all completely free of charge. They even tell you how many credit hours each course is worth! Not only that, but there’s a list of credentials each professor has, information about the various campuses this material is coming from, news articles & blogs on issues the church is facing today, and enrollment information for those that are considering pursuing a degree. You can even virtually browse their library right from the app!

Also included in the software is a daily bible reading program, an audio bible, and a bible in text format (I think the translation is ESV).

To top it all off, there are even more lectures from guys like Al Moler, Timothy Keller, and John Frame on many things from church history, preaching, to biblical counseling. If all that doesn’t sell you on this, I don’t know what will!