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My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible
The 17th century painting Judith Beheading Holofernes, by Artemisia Gentileschi, depicts a biblical scene.
February 25th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible

Editor's note: Steven James is the author of more than 30 books, including "Flirting with the Forbidden," which explores forgiveness.

By Steven James, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The Bible is a gritty book. Very raw. Very real. It deals with people just like us, just as needy and screwed up as we are, encountering a God who would rather die than spend eternity without them.

Yet despite that, it seems like Christians are uncomfortable with how earthy the Bible really is. They feel the need to tidy up God.

For example, look in any modern translation of Isaiah 64:6, and you’ll find that, to a holy God, even our most righteous acts are like “filthy rags.” The original language doesn’t say “filthy rags”; it says “menstrual rags.” But that sounds a little too crass, so let’s just call them filthy instead.

And let’s not talk so much about Jesus being naked on the cross, and let’s pretend Paul said that he considered his good deeds “a pile of garbage” in Philippians 3:8 rather than a pile of crap, as the Greek would more accurately be translated.

And let’s definitely not mention the six times in the Old Testament that the Jewish writers referred to Gentile men as those who “pisseth against the wall.” (At least the King James Version got that one right.)

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The point?

God’s message was not meant to be run through some arbitrary, holier-than-thou politeness filter. He intended the Bible to speak to people where they’re at, caught up in the stark reality of life on a fractured planet.

Dozens of Psalms are complaints and heart-wrenching cries of despair to God, not holy-sounding, reverently worded soliloquies. Take Psalm 77:1-3: “I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help” (New Living Translation).

And rather than shy away from difficult and painful topics, the Old Testament includes vivid descriptions of murder, cannibalism, witchcraft, dismemberment, torture, rape, idolatry, erotic sex and animal sacrifice. According to St. Paul, those stories were written as examples and warnings for us (1 Corinthians 10:11). So obviously they were meant to be retold without editing out all the things we don’t consider nice or agreeable.

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I believe that Scripture includes such graphic material to show how far we, as a race, have fallen and how far God was willing to come to rescue us from ourselves.

God is much more interested in honesty than pietism.

And that’s what he gives us throughout Scripture, telling the stories of people who struggled with the same issues, questions and temptations we face today.

Peter struggled with doubt, and we hear all about it.

Elijah dealt with depression; Naomi raged with bitterness against God; Hannah struggled for years under the burden of her unanswered prayers.

David had an affair and then arranged to have his lover’s husband killed. Noah was a drunk, Abraham a liar, Moses a murderer. Job came to a place where he found it necessary to make a covenant with his eyes not to lust after young girls (Job 31:1).

It’s easy to make “Bible heroes” (as Protestants might say) or “saints” (as Catholics might refer to them) out to be bigger than life, immune from the temptations that everyone faces.

I find it encouraging that Jesus never came across as pietistic. In fact, he was never accused of being too religious; instead he partied so much that he was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton (Matthew 11:19).

Jesus never said, “The Kingdom of God is like a church service that goes on and on forever and never ends.” He said the kingdom was like a homecoming celebration, a wedding, a party, a feast to which all are invited.

This idea was too radical for the religious leaders of his day. They were more concerned about etiquette, manners, traditions and religious rituals than about partying with Jesus. And that’s why they missed out.

That’s why we miss out.

According to Jesus, the truly spiritual life is one marked by freedom rather than compulsion (John 8:36), love rather than ritual (Mark 12:30-33) and peace rather than guilt (John 14:27). Jesus saves us from the dry, dusty duties of religion and frees us to cut loose and celebrate.

I don’t believe we’ll ever recognize our need for the light until we’ve seen the depth of the darkness. So God wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty with us about life and temptation and forgiveness. And grace.

Only when the Bible seems relevant to us (which it is), only when the characters seem real to us (which they were), only then will the message of redemption become personal for us (which it was always meant to be).

We don’t need to edit God. We need to let him be the author of our new lives.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Steven James.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (5,744 Responses)
  1. Andrew Librizzi

    Steven's observation is clearly illustrated in the emerging faith-based movie industry. Where life has been "tidied" up to point where it is hardly recognizable. to As a Christian filmmaker, I believe it is so very important to portray life in all it's "untidiness" to be able to truly illustrate the glorious power of God's love and mercy and how, by it, life can truly become beautiful. The bible puts it this way, "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." (Romans 5:20) By diminishing the TRUE state of man, we, as Christian filmmakers, diminish and even cheapen the magnificent grace and forgiveness of God. http://www.beyondthefartheststar.com

    February 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Brad

      I wouldn't say that we often diminish the true state of man. We fail to understand and represent it, except perhaps by words we say that we don't often pay attention to as we say them:

      "Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves."

      But then, this is too harsh for most people to accept.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  2. Hacked

    "stark reality of life on a fractured planet."
    ... this planet is NOT fractured and reality is how you create it.

    February 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  3. JESUS2020

    IF YOU DON'T FOLLOW MY RELIGION..
    YOU WILL BURN IN HELL FOREVER!!!!!

    February 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • FOUND

      IM reporting you cuz you abuse what a true christian is about and sling someone name around for badness

      February 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • FOUND

      dont listen to this guy real jesus2020 is loving and cares about all souls.....amen

      February 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Dumb and dumber

      Jeebus, he's reporting you. You will have to go to the Princpal's office. I know you are scared.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  4. DarthWoo

    It's like many say: the Bible is one of the best persuasive tools of atheists.

    February 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      that comment makes 0 sense.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  5. Jimmyboy

    If he didn't want the bible to be translated like that, then it wouldn't be. If you truly believe in God, than you believe that he is the divine puppeteer of all that is sanctioned on this earthly realm. He is the guy who puts a smile on your face, and the spring in your step. He is also the guy who lets millions of children die each year from malnutrition. Oh is it their fault that they were born into an impoverished country? It must be. Because god WOULD NEVER DO THAT. Also god is not real. That is all.

    February 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Justice

      Have you ever thought that all this is done by Evil instead of God. Maybe it's easier for you to blame God cause you don't know jack about Satan.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • fredd

      mabye god was punishing someone

      February 26, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • atomD21

      Or maybe, just maybe, we are supposed to be making sure starvation ceases to exist and have turned our backs on it to sit here and argue about stupid things. I'll admit, I'm just as guilty of letting millions of children die as you are, so what are we going to do about it? I don't care if you believe in God, science, the flying spaghetti monster, etc. We are all in this mess together and need to work together to fix it. Once everything is better, then let's debate.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  6. ANDERSON, WANT YOU TO HAVE JESUS LOVE IN YOUR HEART AMEN! REALLY REACH OUT TO YOU WITH LOVE OF GOD

    JESUS2020.COM GO HERE

    February 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Dwight Corvelo

      Please Anderson, tell Choda-boy here "yes" so that he'll shut up and go away.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  7. OrangeW3dge

    OK, first off: Trying to equate any form of human society with modern-day yuppie culture is a vast waste of time. THEY DON'T GET IT. Compound that with the lily-white ivory-tower mentality of the elitist better-than-thou Puritan exclusion-ists and you end up with a bunch of people who can't handle the truth (a la Jack Nicholson). Too Bad...
    When "Americans" go back to slaughtering their own food and digging in the dirt (and fertiliser) to cultivate crops, they may begin to understand the nature of themselves and the world again, but I think it is lost on average supermarket shopper/sitcom watcher.
    Religion? Gods? The Bible? all ancient by-product history. But what remains true of human beings, and can be evidenced in our "entertainment", is that we are still a visceral, violent, untameable boor. You don't need a Bible to understand how people really are. You only need a scorecard.

    February 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  8. well

    Not clueless or lying or deluded. Actually an agnostic. I'm just confused by the emotion that atheists invest evangelizing in their belief system. Even if they are correct, statistical surveys show that they are less happy of fulfilled than the religious. Perhaps I just answered my own question. All the bitterness and sadness built up living in a Godless and empty world drives the atheist to lash out at those they are sure are inferior to themselves. Like the sad little abused kid who kicks the dog.

    February 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Brian Holbrook

      I was an evangelical protestant for thirty years. I am now an agnostic who rejects all of the religious myths and am much happier for it. Religion made me miserable for decades and mine was hardly a unique position. If religious people are happier, I've never seen it. If it seems that I am attempting to counter or destroy religion, it's because I am. It is a destructive and terrible force used for destructive and terrible things.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • beauty in chaos

      I find that weird since the happiest countries in the world are the least religious ones.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Larry Mandrell

      Like Lucifer atheists are arrogant and aloof, filled with pride at their own superiority,
      they go crazy dealing with us simple minded believers.
      We can not convince them that God is real and they don't have a chance convincing us that He is not!

      February 26, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • alan

      @ Brian Holbrook....I would doubt you ever really had a any type of real relationship with God. You followed rules and became disillusioned, no more than a pharisee. Doubting God doesn't meet you wont meet Him

      February 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
  9. ANDERSON, TELL EVERYONE ABOUT JESUS

    TELL EVERYONE ABOUT JESUS2020.COM ON YOUR TALK SHOW.

    February 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  10. jb

    good thing it is filed under opinion

    February 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Alec

      Good thing people like JB are around to remind us of what is an opinion. thanks JB, your pharisee relatives would be proud, thanks for judging!

      February 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  11. JM

    All these post validate is the fact that we all search for answers to questions that come from the deepest parts of our soul. As Billy Graham once said, "I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there is not rather than live my life as if there is no God and die to find out there is". For those who don't believe, have you ever asked yourself what your plan is when you die for answering to a Creator you never believed in during your life here on Earth?

    February 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Dwight Corvelo

      lol. Seriously? why would anybody PLAN on answering to a creator they didn't believe in while on this earth? What's your plan for answering to Allah, or Siddhartha Guatama, or Krishna, or Zeus, or Odin? Please share...i'd like to borrow it if you're right.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Agnostic

      My answer? "Man, why didn't you just say something? I mean, the Quaran, the Torah, the Dao, and oh the so many different versions of the bible! How was I supposed to know which one would save me from eternal hellfire? But hey, I lived a good life...I raised a family, took care of my parents and parents-in-law, and was always true to my morals, even if I didn't read your book. So, I guess what I'm saying is, please don't torture me for eternity for not believing in you, or any of the other gods that people told me existed."

      How's that? I mean, only a truly *evil* god could torture me forever after that, right?

      February 26, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      Spot on agnostic. The world is a better place with you in it. Hope you raised your children that way as well.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  12. Melortegas

    Excellent!

    February 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  13. GOD LOVES ANDERSON COOPER AND WE WANT ANDERSEN TO HAVE GODS LOVE IN HIS HEART TOO AMEN!

    JESUS2020.COM WE WANT YOU TO OPEN YOUR HEART UP TO JESUS LOVE TO ANDERSON AMEN!

    February 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Observer

      Why not skip the hypocrisy and grow up?

      February 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  14. LET US PRAY FOR ANDERSON COOPER FUTURE WIFE AND GOD BRING HIM STRONG CHRISTIAN AND THEY BE SAVED

    GODLIFE.COM YES AMEN!

    February 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Dwight Corvelo

      Is so very niiiice! Wa wa we wah! excuse me while I go pull an Onan.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Observer

      Why not skip the hypocrisy and worry about the MUCH MUCH greater number of Christian adulterers than gays.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • turn2christ

      why judge another man when you dont know him. im sorry but that is disgusting. you dont know him at all.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Apples and oranges, Observer. Have you ever really looked at fruit? I mean in all the ways you can look at fruit?

      February 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Observer

      The "oranges and apples" apply to the Ten Commandment sin of adultery versus an abomination like eating lobster.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Observer, don't bother. Herbie is feeling insignificant again and finds it necessary to get attention by posting under my name. Ignore him. He's an idiot.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  15. k m huque

    This is truly applicable for all scriptures for this one sentence alone : God is much more interested in honesty than pietism. In substance over sanctimonism

    February 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Gumball

      God doesn't give a diddly scat about much because God actually doesn't exist.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Dwight Corvelo

      frankly, I'd say he's guilty of some serious substance abuse. Regardless of how much pietism he's been smokin.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  16. Charles

    This is a relevant time when Idol worship is as it's peak. When Jesus matters more than before and if it were not for God there would be no CNN. And CNN does a great job of reporting thank God. Well about the article it's interesting but the truth will always be the truth, Yes the Bible was intended to be simple and readable by ordinary people. Yes in translation perhaps some things "words" are lost while others are left out. You could always go back to the original though. It's true people like to sugar coat the Bible in some regards but the words of Jesus are clear. But we sugar coat a lot of things in life to present them as less offensive . That's human nature.. But the truth as set out and spoken by the creator will always be the truth. If we can give more and help these poor people being afflicted in the world that would make us better humans. Please give...

    February 26, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Idols are as relevant as god.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Mrs. Cover J.

      IT IS a time when you baby boomers are beating the religion drum as loud as you can!
      The youth is leaving the church in droves for science.
      Reason will prevail.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  17. DESIRING FOR ANDERSON COOPER TO RECEIVE JESUS INTO HIS HEART

    GODLIFE.COM AMEN AGAIN

    February 26, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • I know it's obscure, but have you ever heard the term "goodlife" ?

      February 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Observer

      Grow up.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • JfCal1968

      Hit Report Abuse on this Zealot ^^^^^

      February 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  18. DEFINITELY WANT ANDERSON COOPER TO GET SAVED AMEN!

    JESUS2020.COM

    February 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • ashrakay

      But you'd settle for Anderson Cooper in your bed.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Dwight Corvelo

      lol. I think he means "shaved" not "saved." I'm just sayin'

      February 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Stand for Christ

      disgusting comment kay. disgusting.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  19. brobin

    I love how people argue about something that doesn't exist, like they have personal knowledge. Statements about the bible being written by God.. nonsense. Every religion has the same convictions and about the same evidence (none). The bible is the way it is because that is how society was when it was written, by MEN. (note, it also plagiarizes many earlier religions while claiming they are wrong)

    February 26, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • HispanicMan

      What proof do you have that God does not exist? I have made this challenge numerous times here already, and not one Atheist has been able to provide the proof, They keep making weird comments and remarks about this and that and then tell me to prove that there is a God. I can most definitely prove that God does exist, even without using the bible, but I am the one who made the challenge first. So all you Atheists, prove first, with facts, that God does not exist, and THEN I will prove, with facts, that God the Almighty, Creator of all things does indeed exist.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @Hisp Man – It is YOUR job to prove something does exist. Like Unicorns as someone previously stated. Until there is proof something is real, than it isn't. I think there is a 500 foot tall lizard under the see the plays guitar, do you believe that?

      February 26, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Dawn

      So everyone who has religious beliefs is wrong and YOU'RE right because you have some ability to know what exists and what doesn't. It must be amazing to have such powerful knowledge.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • HispanicMan

      @NVRWRNG.... The only job I have is to be Hispanic and die. This is only a challenge. If you're not up to it and are incapable of accepting my challenge, feel free to move on to an easier debate. I hear Faux News has a weird Whitney Houston article I'm sure will intrigue you.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @Dawn – Just saying that in everything else in life, things that aren't proven are claimed ridiculous, like unicorn, leprechauns, etc. But this ONE thing gets a pass to be real until proven not? Not how it works.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @HIsman – What does Fox News or Whitney have to do with anything. I just asked, nicely, a simple question to state how you know your god exists. No hard feelings, I just throughout you'd share your facts with me. If you don't mind, I'm asking politely, do you believe we came from a single celled organism?

      February 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • HispanicMan

      @NVRWRNG.... The answer to your question is 100% ABSOLUTELY NOT!

      February 26, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @Hispanic – That's all I needed to know, from here on out, your opinions should be taken with a shot of everclear. Thanks for trying to contribute though.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • HispanicMan

      @NVRWRNG.... Its not my opinion. You asked a very simplistic question that has but one answer with medical proof to back up my answer, and yet, you just dismissed it. Enjoy your everclear.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • well

      Nvrwng, you act as if unicorns are ridiculous. The oldest mention of the unicorn is by Pliny the Elder and was clearly describing a rhinoceros. So, there you go. That proves that God, just like unicorns exists.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @well – about the unicorns you just went against yourself by proving that stories change and get mixed up over time. Like the bible and its reasons for being written. It was never written to do what it has done today. Well originaly anyways. The later versions are doing exactly what they were meant to do. Population control. It's working perfectly.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Observer

      HispanicMan,

      Prove God exists to show that this isn't a pointless waste of time.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • HispanicMan

      @Observer... That is my whole reason for making this challenge to ALL Atheists. This is not a pointless debate. This is very real and very serious, but the fact remains, there is not one single Atheist who has brought the proof that God does not exist. All they have done so far is talk about nothing and bring up "opinions" as to their own "feelings" on the matter. I simply have stated that I indeed do have irrefutable proof that God, our Creator, does indeed exist. I just want the Atheists to FIRST prove he does not exist, and THEN I will provide the proof he does exist. Fair enough?

      February 26, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @Hispani – Reread what you are saying. That is mind boggling. I don't have to prove to you something DOESN'T exist, you have to prove it DOES exist. BTW, you just happen to hold you proof in till I prove to you otherwise? Well its been proven that everything in this world could have happen by chance. It's proven we can make all essential amino acids and life requiring molecules through chemical reactions, not man-made. We also have proven that evolution is in fact 100% real. So now I ask of you. Prove to me your "knowledge."

      February 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • HispanicMan

      @NVRWRNG.... And who said that Hitler murdered millions "because" of the Catholic Church? I know I didnt. So who did since you're so well educated?

      February 26, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @His -Maybe I misread your comment below about the catholic church and Hitler. Besides the fact. You can't have it both ways. If Iranians believe in a god, it must be yours, since there is only "one god." You don't get to pick who's right and who's wrong.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @His – But then again you don't believe in factual information, nor will you tell me your factual information. So this argument is moot. BTW evolution is scientific fact. Even christ would tell you that.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • atomD21

      No one can prove or disprove if God is real. We all need to step off our pedestals for a second and realize that. Second, we need to get past this "I'm right, you're wrong" crap. It's only our arrogance and need to be validated that bred that. No one is completely right about how this all works. Science and faith can and do coexist, but only when one the adherents of both stop trying to smack each other around.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  20. I may not always be right, but by God I'm NVRWRNG!

    February 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      Have yet to be proven so tonight.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • ashrakay

      d@mn, I just got that... I thought it was "never worrying" and I was thinking... good for you!

      February 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Curious

      This sounds interesting. What is your position, NVRWRNG?

      February 26, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • well

      Nvrwrng-If by nor being proven wrong, you feel you are proven right, please prove there is no God. By doing so, you would prove that the theists are wrong. Otherwise, they are right...Right?

      February 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @Curious – My position is that I only believe in science. I believe that there is a reason and a scientifically backed reason for everything that happens in life. I don't believe in a god, just like i don't believe in monsters, leprechauns and unicorns. I am just very scientific in the way my brain works. I can tell you that, if there was any evidence at all for an existence of a god I would most undoubtedly chosen the side of the theists, but since in fact, there is way more evidence proving that a god is not necessary for how the world formed and how life came to be, I will stand my ground to proven otherwise!

      @well – I don't need to prove there is a god, you need to prove there is one. Your stance is moot and unfair. It like saying prove to me there isn't a unicorn. Well in 7 billion years that is no fossil or human recall. Statistics say it is not a good chance there are unicorns.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • well

      nvrwng, that is the weakest argument of the Atheist. That a notion believed by the majority of humans is the position that must be proven, rather than the faith expressed by a small minority. In any other argument, the consensus belief is the one which must be dis-proven. So please proceed.

      February 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @well – okay. I guess I'll be clearer. First you do have to prove something exists. Standard protocol. Pretty sure I can administer a test on a patient that hasn't been cleared. I think I might lose my job. So there's your proof that things need to be dis-proven first before they are proven. Shows your misguidance. Second. I never claimed atheism, I claim science. Lastly, as an example to prove you are right here is what I'll draw out for you:

      Me: I think that there is a dragon under the sea that eats boats in the middle of the pacific
      You: No way.
      Me: Yes, now prove me wrong. Because I am right until proven otherwise!

      Get the picture?

      February 26, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      *Can't administer. Sorry

      February 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • HispanicMan

      @NVRWRNG.... You're starting to sound like the Iranian President who doesnt believe the Holocaust happened. He truly believes he is right regardless of all the proof that millions were murdered by Hitler and blessed by the disgusting perverted catholic church. I think you need to move to Iran and live with those who TRULY do not believe in God but another form of deity.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @His – Hitler didn't kill people because of the Catholic church......

      February 26, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Curious

      Science depends on faith of a kind. Here's something that can't be proved: this instant depends on the ones that precede it and all the conditions that prevailed before it.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @Curious – Actually it is proven, through physics. Example: I went to the store, bought matches and gasoline, came home, poured the gas on m front lawn and lit in on fire.

      I can explain the past, present and future, scientifically in every aspect of that statement.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Scientist

      I'll start off by saying I'm a scientist (DNA analyst) that would claim to be agnostic for reasons that will remain my own. I agree with NVRWRNG that something needs to be proven before it can be disproven. Everything begins as a theory, that theory is rigorously tested, and if nothing disproves that theory, it is generally accepted as truth. Ignoring that, I'll play Hispanic Man's game and offer what I consider to be evidence of evolution and science as opposed to creationism.

      First, some background info in as plain of terms as I can come up with. Everybody has two copies of every gene in the DNA sequence, one from your mother, one from your father. Assuming Adam and Eve were what we call heterozygous (have different copies of each gene, as opposed to the same copy twice), there are four total versions of any gene. In DNA, we have seen many more than 4 possible versions of a gene. Genetic mutations can account for some of this, but I highly doubt mutations alone can account for the genetic diversity that is seen in todays population (mutation rates exist, but I'm too tired to look them up and do the math to have the numbers to back this claim up, so for now I will just state this is my opinion).

      Similarly, there is a DNA profile used in forensics called the Y-STR profile. This stands for Y-chromosome short-tandem-repeat. The Y chromosome is only found in men, and as such it does not change when passed from father to son (since women have no Y chromosome, they can't pass any of this along). If we were all descendants of Adam, we would all have the same Y-STR profile. In reality, there are several thousand Y-STR profiles, and I again think that genetic mutations cannot account for that much diversity.

      I won't say this proves one argument over another. I am simply offering this as support that at least the Adam and Eve portion of the bible is not entirely accurate.

      February 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Curious

      NVRWRNG

      Your explanations would depend on assumptions that a lot of people don't feel comfortable making. You might review Hume on time, unappealing as that is, but the important thing is that you would be working with an idea about time and causality that is useful just now and accepted for only that reason. No proof.

      February 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.