Opinion by Leslie A. Wickman, special to CNN
(CNN) The remarkable discovery, announced this week, of ripples in the space-time fabric of the universe rocked the world of science – and the world of religion.
Touted as evidence for inflation (a faster-than-the-speed-of-light expansion of our universe), the new discovery of traces of gravity waves affirms scientific concepts in the fields of cosmology, general relativity, and particle physics.
The new discovery also has significant implications for the Judeo-Christian worldview, offering strong support for biblical beliefs.
The prevalent theory of cosmic origins prior to the Big Bang theory was the “Steady State,” which argued that the universe has always existed, without a beginning that necessitated a cause.
However, this new evidence strongly suggests that there was a beginning to our universe.
If the universe did indeed have a beginning, by the simple logic of cause and effect, there had to be an agent – separate and apart from the effect – that caused it.
That sounds a lot like Genesis 1:1 to me: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.”
So this latest discovery is good news for us believers, as it adds scientific support to the idea that the universe was caused – or created – by something or someone outside it and not dependent on it.
MORE ON CNN: Big Bang breakthrough announced; gravitational waves detected
Atheist-turned-agnostic astronomer Fred Hoyle, who coined the term “Big Bang,” famously stated, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics."
As Hoyle saw it, the Big Bang was not a chaotic explosion, but rather a very highly ordered event – one that could not have occurred by random chance.
We also need to remember that God reveals himself both through scripture and creation. The challenge is in seeing how they fit together. A better understanding of each can inform our understanding of the other.
It’s not just about cracking open the Bible and reading whatever we find there from a 21st-century American perspective. We have to study the context, the culture, the genre, the authorship and the original audience to understand the intent.
The creation message in Genesis tells us that God created a special place for humans to live and thrive and be in communion with him; that God wants a relationship with us, and makes provisions for us to have fellowship with him, even after we turn away from him.
So, we know that Genesis was never intended to be a detailed scientific handbook, describing how God created the universe. It imparts a theological, not a scientific, message.
(Imagine how confusing messages about gravity waves and dark matter might be to ancient Hebrew readers.)
As a modern believer and a scientist, when I look up at the sky on a clear starry night, I am reminded that “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1). I am in awe of the complexity of the physical world, and how all of its pieces fit together so perfectly and synergistically.
In the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, the writer tells us that God “established (his) covenant with day and night, and with the fixed laws of heaven and earth.”
These physical laws established by God to govern interactions between matter and energy result in a finely tuned universe that provides the ideal conditions for life on our planet.
As we observe the complexity of the cosmos, from subatomic particles to dark matter and dark energy, we quickly conclude that there must be a more satisfying explanation than random chance. Properly practiced, science can be an act of worship in looking at God’s revelation of himself in nature.
If God is truly the creator, then he will reveal himself through what he’s created, and science is a tool we can use to uncover those wonders.
Leslie Wickman is director of the Center for Research in Science at Azusa Pacific University. Wickman has also been an engineer for Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, where she worked on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station programs. The views expressed in this column belong to Wickman.
Before I read the comments on these posts, I had no idea how much proselytizing Atheists do.
Just looking at the sheer volume of content written by the Atheists on this board, you would think that they were fighting for their religion.
If Christians could only be as passionate about their beliefs as these Atheists are, the world would be a better place.
Christianity affects how people in this country get to live their lives so you should expect people who are not Christian to question their beliefs.
"You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one. I hope someday you will join us."
Just to be clear, atheism isn't a belief system, although there are usually attendant beliefs. And "beliefs" is probably not the best word.
Like it or not Atheism is a belief system just like other religion. Unless you can show me 100% proof of the non existance of god ........
You are mistaken. Atheism is the lack of a belief. As I mentioned, there are usually attendant "beliefs". For example, many atheists would consider themselves humanists. Humanism isn't a belief system, but it IS a lifestance and philosophy. We could go on and distinguish between positive and negative atheism, but for our purposes, it is enough to say that atheism per se isn't a belief system, no matter how many times theists repeat it.
Also, I don't need to conclusively disprove the existence of god to be an atheist. I only need to conclude that there are no good reasons to believe in god to be an atheist. The burden of proof is on the claimant, not on the skeptic.
Sorry Sungrazer, Atheist BELIEVE there is no God. They have NO PROOF that there is no god. And even in the face of a philosophical probablity that there IS a god (a causative being or power above and outside of our physical realm) they still illogically insist and BELIEVE there is no GOD.
I don't presume to dictate to you what you believe or why you believe it, so I would appreciate the same courtesy.
My post above contains my entire response to your comment. Please read it. I am an atheist: I lack a belief in the existence of any gods. The burden of proof is not on me to disprove god. It is enough for me to conclude that there are no good reasons to believe in god.
It's called a "blog", get it??
And one more time.... atheism is a lack of belief in god..... it's really that simple,,, nothing more....
What's that word right before the word "Blog" at the top of this site? I don't have many beliefs on birds. So I don't post very often on the Bird Blogs. I am just wowed at all the posts about Not Believing something I find on the Belief Blog.
It is a public service.
What type of atheism depends on the individual Atheist. Some are mad at what they perceive God did or did not do, some believe only in scientific proof (also known as worshiping the Creation instead of the Creator), some live such noisy lives they just can't hear God's voice. Proofs exist (e.g., Thomas Aquinas) if you are open to simple logic without letting anger or hate getting in the way.
"What type of atheism depends on the individual Atheist."
This is true. As with anything, it's better to ask someone what they believe or do not believer instead of relying on a label.
"Some are mad at what they perceive God did or did not do"
This is rarely true.
"some believe only in scientific proof (also known as worshiping the Creation instead of the Creator)"
All we have is science and reason. On that basis, I don't see any good reasons to think that a god exists. I also do not engage in any worship. I am in awe at the natural world, but I do not worship it.
"some live such noisy lives they just can't hear God's voice."
Not sure what the point is here.
"Proofs exist (e.g., Thomas Aquinas) if you are open to simple logic without letting anger or hate getting in the way."
Three of Aquinas' proofs involve infinite regress and there is no reason to think that god provides a terminator, much less the Christian god or any other god. A fourth proof says that humans can be both good and bad, so maximum goodness doesn't reside in us and therefore must reside in god. Dawkins' retort is: "You might as well say, people vary in smelliness but we can make the comparison only by reference to a perfect maximum of conceivable smelliness. Therefore there must exist a pre-eminently peerless stinker, and we call him God." The fifth proof is the Argument from Design and is really the only argument anyone uses these days. It may have once been a strong "proof", but advances in science show that it can no longer be supported to say that if something looks designed, it must have been designed. All of Aquinas' proofs are failures.
"I had no idea how much proselytizing Atheists do."
You do realize that the entire article we are commenting on is one long proselytizing piece from a Christian making opinion claims that the less intelligent may take as fact because the writer has a background in science.
As it says in the disclaimer "The views expressed in this column belong to Wickman"
All the atheists on this board are doing is pointing out the flaws in her opinion.
I thoroughly do not believe in Bigfoot, NBHA. But I spend very little of my time explaining all the flawed logic of those who do.
Atheists have a passion for their belief-set that I don't see very often. It is especially surprising when the Atheists are passionate about NOT believing something.
People rarely vote and/or discriminate against others based on their belief in Bigfoot.
That passion is similar to smokers that have quit and become virulently anti-smokers. They recognize the harm done and the difficulty of escaping from their addiction and seek to save others from the agony.
While not all atheists gain their passion by discarding a flawed belief system, I suspect at least a few do.
When faced with a dizzying array of belief systems it sometimes is necessary to say "I think you're all wrong".
Riiightt, and i suppose YOUR opinions are somehow more valid than a Scientist's. Aren't we full of ourselves.
So then you would accept the scientific consensus that humans evolved from a common ancestor with the chimpanzee?
"If Christians could only be as passionate about their beliefs as these Atheists are, the world would be a better place."
You mean, like they were during the Dark Ages? Or do you mean, during the crusades? Or as passionate as they are in Northern Ireland, or when they bomb abortion clinics, or when they protest against gay marriage, or when they deny contraception to women in Third World countries, or when they pass the death penalty for gays in the Uganda Parliament, or when they allow millions to die in Africa due to opposition to condom use, or when they try to stop the teaching of evolution in school, or when they deny HPV vaccinations to their children.
No my friend, Christianity and morality are not necessarily synonymous.
The problem with your statement is you are confusing Christians with other Christian like organizations. No one is perfect, not even Christians, but the groups responsible for the acts you mentioned were not in fact Christians.
And there's no true Scotsman either.
I do believe the theory of evolution is an agenda driven religion that conflicts with real science. It is interesting how atheists embrace it without really investigating for themselves.
now that's a hearty generalization. i was raised in a very christian home, educated in 3 fields of scientific study, including experiments creating selective pressures to highlight evolution in insect populations, and am certainly atheist now. why? how? because at the age of 14 i started thinking about what these guys in funny hats were telling me. it doesn't hold up. i've seen evolution happen. the "it's just a theory" argument just shows ignorance of the definition of a theory. gravity's a theory too, but i don't see you jumping off tall buildings.
Then there were no Christians, anywhere, for about 1400 years after JC's death?
The world will be a better place after God's will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
Quoting mythology..... very effective!
Willlburrrrr, you been talking to that horse again? How do YOU know what goes on in 'heaven?" Have you been there?
The world will be a better place after Odin's will is done on earth as it is in Valhalla.
Very True Wilbur! Praying for that day to come!
'God's will' has been playing out since 'creation' ....if you don't like how its played out thus far then you might want to re-think spending eternity with him:))
Your statement is false. God gave man free will. Many of the things we do is against God's will. He has always tried to steer us in the right direction but never using his authority over our own free will. My guess is, its the only way we can learn. But don't classify all that happens as God's will.
"He has always tried to steer us in the right direction but never using his authority over our own free will. My guess is, its the only way we can learn."
Tell that to the Pharaoh.
Willfully ignorant, eh guidans? We don't believe in a god or gods. We don't preach, but we do point out the fallacies in your Babbling Book of Fairy Tales. Tell me how a man can live for three days in the belly of a whale?
Why does what I believe bother you so much that you would go to such lengths to prove I am wrong?
I understand why Christians, Mormons, and Muslims do it: because they are concerned about your eternal fate. The thing is, I really don't get what you have to gain by changing the mind of a believer.
because the religious lobbyists garner ridiculous influence over public policy, especially education, and we're a little concerned that our kids are going to be taught silly crap like the planet is 6000 years old. we're concerned with THIS life and promoting rational thoughts and actions now.
That response tells me that you're tired of the debates because you cannot win. You've resorted to the "Well, what do you care anyway" response. I love it.....we're winning one person at a time.
"If Christians could only be as passionate about their beliefs as these Atheists are, the world would be a better place."
Christians are very passionate about their beliefs – and they have no problem subjugating, imprisoning, torturing and murdering those who aren't Christian.
"Christians are very passionate about their beliefs – and they have no problem subjugating, imprisoning, torturing and murdering those who aren't Christian."
I am in no way trying to justify Christians who do those things, but you do realize that far more Christians are actually victims of subjugation, imprisonment, torture, and murder, simply due to the fact that they're Christian, right?
i'd like to see data to support that in the 21st century. but if it is factual, it's not at the hands of atheists, but at the hands of other religious types. when was the last time you heard of arguments between atheists and, well, anybody resulting in physical violence? we tend to resort to logical discourse to address these issues. which makes sense because it's logical thoughts that tend to result in us rejecting religious constructs as preposterous.
Oh. please, put your persecution complex back in your prayer shawl. If I was talking about Muslims, you'd be tripping over it to agree with me.
LOL, you sound like a junior high school girl. Anyone who disagrees with you is bitter.
Please tell me what is "bitter" about telling the truth about how Christianity is promoted at gunpoint. If I was talking about Muslims flying planes into buildings, would you call me bitter?
Laughable, childish comment.
You need to learn what a Christian is before commenting. It only shows your stupidity. Maybe smoked to many Doobzz?
You need to learn not to assume that you know what a person's experiences have been, Pew. It only shows your stupidity, and apparently it's not due to weed, it's just the way you are...stupid.
BTW, it's too, not to. Idiot.
Most atheists do not do such things. But, yes, some pretty much are prostelyzing and defending their belief system (or their non-belief systems) as much and in some cases even more than religious people do.
Non Christians and non believers have to speak out, otherwise Christians sneakily pass laws discriminating against anyone who doesn't agree with them.
I had no idea how much proselytizing Atheists do.
- Yes, atheists on religious bulletin boards do a lot of proselytizing.
Just looking at the sheer volume of content written by the Atheists on this board, you would think that they were fighting for their religion.
- It's not a religion. It is unbelief, but yes we are fighting to be heard.
If Christians could only be as passionate about their beliefs as these Atheists are, the world would be a better place.
- If by "passionate about their beliefs" you mean Jesus' message of 'love one another', then yes, I agree completely.
Atheism is not a proper noun. And it is not a belief system. Sorry. End of story. Goodbye.
Hmm. It's funny how this is a "Belief" Blog isn't it?
If Atheism were really just a "lack" of beliefs, you would think that this would be a weird place to spend time.
I suppose if their were a true Non-belief Blog on mainstream media site, few believers would bother to enter (would you?) as it would be akin cats playing with a mouse (no fun for the believer). So in this BB forum (named more for the alliteration than anything, I bet), we atheists can mingle among the believers in equal numbers and speak to a somewhat captive audience. It promotes (most of the time) a healthy debate. I'm pretty sure that's why the same bloggers (on both sides of the issue) come back here every day. So enjoy the fracas!
So you have 100% proof that God does not exist ? Please share it with us .
We're still waiting for a shred of proof that God exists. It's the claim religion makes but can't back up except to cry "Faith" is required. PT Barnum's statement "There's a sucker born every minute" applies to religion with a vengeance.
Atheism is as much a belief system as not collecting stamps is a hobby.
Yeah, at one point, this was called The Crusades and it didn't fare too well for the non-Christians.
Us athiests and agnostics only spout off because like I said before the believers are constantly pushing their 'beliefs' on the rest of us and trying to convince us how we're wrong.
So we fight back with logic and ask them to prove their beliefs with something substantiative that can be tested without a doubt and not some ancient texts written by MEN (no matter how many times they claim it's 'HIS' word).
If they could there would probably be a lot of us on this side that would step over. But they can't so they need to stop preaching it or trying to control everyone.
Maybe then we would stop fighting back.
How original. I'm sure no one else has ever been clever enough to conflate atheists' behavior with that of fundamentalist believers'.
Talk about reaching.
Atheists are passionate non-believers, not believers. Not believing is not the same as believing.
Yes that is what we need religious people to be more passionate. History has shown they are amply passionate. Just ask the victims of forced conversion. If you can find any.
"However, this new evidence strongly suggests that there was a beginning to our universe."
No, it doesn't. It tells us something about what happened after or during the big bang.
And even scientists such as Vilenkin who co-authored the paper that suggests that this universe being past infinite is unlikely reveals that many assumptions were made (akin to working in a sterile environment), and that their theorem didn't suggest anything beyond the space-time boundary; didn't rule out multi-verse and other theories under consideration.
reveal not reveals
By definition nothing is past infinite.
Do you understand the word "modifier", wilburrrr?
Does it mean error?
For you it mean try again.
wilburrrr – since you can't seem to grasp the intention of "past infinite", then "past incomplete" might make sense, but I doubt it. Scientists also frequently use "past eternal" when speaking on this notion, but I would think that would make your head hurt as much as "past infinite".
Doris, Past infinite is a mathematical error. It does not make sense. Tell them to stop saying things that do not make sense.
"Tell them to stop saying things that do not make sense."
Says the genius who believes in hell, devils and all manner of imaginary creatures.
apply Occam's razor, cut away what is unnecessary to the explanation and you're closer to the truth. god is unnecessary, a child-like way of explaining the universe. be braver - think for yourself.
"Science does not know how life began on earth" - Neil deGrasse Tyson
neither does any religion. Igaftr
That just shows Neil is smart enough to admit we do not know when we don't.
Religions could learn from his honesty.
You don't know that God exists and that God knows exactly how life was created. It that what you were trying to say?
wilburrrr – If that's the best you can do at interpreting igaftr, then I'd hate to think of how you'd bastardize literature pertaining to your own belief system.
And you also do not know if "god" exists, or what , if anything, "god wants.
There is still no sign of any gods.
Yeah, If only the Almighty was as smart as Neil.
wilbur, I think it was pretty clear. Religion has no explanation that it can back up with evidence – not yours, not any of the others. The fact that a god couldn't clearly communicate with all of its "creations" shows that that god is not the omnipotent, omniscient creature claimed.
igaftr Wrote: "And you also do not know if "god" exists, or what , if anything, "god wants.
There is still no sign of any gods"
Rather than arguing if your statement is true. Please just explain how you could know if there were any signs that any gods exist. See. Really when it comes down to it, you think you know as much as there is to know. You are saying in your statement that you not know about it means it does not exist.
"Rather than arguing if your statement is true. Please just explain how you could know if there were any signs that any gods exist."
Translation: I don't have any answers, so I'll try a diversion by asking a question.
doobzz wrote: "Rather than arguing if your statement is true. Please just explain how you could know if there were any signs that any gods exist."
Translation: I don't have any answers, so I'll try a diversion by asking a question."
My response: Wrong. It is illogical to say that God does not exist because you can't look everywhere to verify it. It was in no way shape or form a diversion question at all. It hit the issue at the central core of the conversation dead center. It could not have been closer to the main point.
Since god is all knowing he should know exactly what he needs to do to prove himself to every individual on the planet, and since he is all powerful he should be powerful enough to then do that.
Wilbur = we have a live one!
The burden of proof is not on the skeptic to disprove the god. This has been stated many times on these pages.
That said, the case has been made that if the Christian god exists, then "God should be detectable by scientific means simply by virtue of the fact that he is supposed to play such a central role in the operation of the universe and the lives of humans", with the conclusion that "[e]xisting scientific models contain no place where God is included as an ingredient in order to describe observations."
"My response: Wrong. It is illogical to say that God does not exist because you can't look everywhere to verify it. It was in no way shape or form a diversion question at all. It hit the issue at the central core of the conversation dead center. It could not have been closer to the main point."
LOL, wilburrrrrr, answering a question with a question is a classic diversion technique. Just because you can string together some words and say it was relevant doesn't make it so.
In other news, Fred Phelps is dead. Good riddance.
Not all deaths are sad.
God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
He didn't seem too upset when he drowned every living thing.
He said he regretted making mankind but then must have felt bad about destroying them as well since he then invented light refraction so that rainbows would appear to remind us that he won't wipe us out with a flood ever again. Apparently with Gods you can only use the superpower "Global Flood" once per universe.
Today is also International Happiness Day.
Leslie Wickman is director of the Center for Research in Science at Azusa Pacific University. Wickman has also been an engineer for Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, where she worked on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station programs.
Maybe that is why the Hubble was launched with the wrong eye sight and had to be repaired with a contact lens. This article is rife with logic flaws, conclusions drawn on false premises, etc. This is an embarrassment to Ms. Wickman.
I'm still not sure why "a faster-than-the-speed-of-light expansion of our universe" would indicate anything supernatural at all. We already have what could be considered faster than light travel with quantum physics sp00ky action at a distance so we already know our understanding of the physics is what is flawed, not that there is some need for a supernatural being to explain the parts of it we don't yet understand.
The speed of light limitation doesn't apply to space-time itself. Inflation fits into what we already know about physics.
Also, concerning entanglement, I believe the explanation is that information is not transmitted faster than the speed of light.
Yes, I understand that quantum entanglement is not actually showing anything moving faster than the speed of light, or moving at all for that matter, but it does show how little we truly understand about how both space-time and physics and quantum physics behave so if we are making a claim based on a predictor we don't yet understand then there is virtually no chance we might be correct in our hypothesis. This so-called "scientist" writing the article makes a claim because of her indoctrination that she has modified in order to fit the facts, which is not science, it is wishing on a genie in a bottle for your already held beliefs to be true.
Yes, absolutely, your point stands.
She is not content to let it stand with the Big Bang; it is not warranted to "multiply enti.ties beyond necessity".
“All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.” - Max Planck (Founder of Quantum Physics)
“God existed before there were human beings on Earth, He holds the entire world, believers and non-believers, in His omnipotent hand for eternity." - Max Planck (Founder of Quantum Mechanics)
"We must assume "
Ah yes, the big "Assume". Funny how Max never explains why we "must" assume this.
I saw some photos of the Sahara Desert the other day and those sand dunes look like they were somehow raked into complex wave patterns. I guess I must assume some Sand Giants were out with their rakes then eh?
Or what about these patterns? Obviously someone pauses the video and makes the complex designs by hand, right?
more opinion wilbur. Just because he believed, does not make it so. There is still nothing showing any gods.
So Max Planck believed in some dumb shiz too. Sir Issac Newton believed in alchemy. So f'ing what.
Prime Examples of Flawed Logic:
"evidence for inflation" "sounds a lot like Genesis 1:1 to me: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.”
Oh how the religious struggle to make the facts fit their preconcieved belief.
If the above "evidence for inflation" is somehow evidence for God then the quantum phenomenon of sp00ky action at a distance is proof of house elves.
So are we illogical to conclude this is a prophesy that Israel would be reformed a 3rd time, which occurred in 1948:
“Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.
24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land."
My logic dictates that Israel was formed by taking all the Jews out of all countries and putting them back into their own land exactly as the Bible described 1000s of years ago. What does your superior logic tell you genius?
Wilburrrrr – I don't even think Nostradamus would make that silly leap. Maybe his idiot brother – you know Nutsadamus – he would make all kinds of crazy predictions...
Oh look – some of the offspring of the gophers that were in these holes have come back and are using the same holes... (eyeroll)
Yes, you are illogical. There is not a single line of actual prophecy contained in your entire post and you are a moron for believing it does contain anything of the sort. The world is full of self fulfilling prophecies and they come from nearly every religion and only serve to prove how gullible humans really are.
An illogical Computer Scientist. I must be the first.
It had to happen sometime...
It's amazing to think that people who believe they were given land by God would try and take the land back after they lost it, huh? Who would have thunk it?
Or that the people that got kicked out would write about how they would get their land back at some point in the future.
Nice condescention in your post.
That is an example of a self fulfilling prophecy. People who read the bible said it was supposed to happen and worked to make it happen. If it was not in the bible, it likely would not have happened.
If I write something that says there will be a castle on top of one of the local hills, and after 100 years, a whole buch of people read what I wrote and then build the castle, is that prophecy, or self fulfilling, that the castle would have never bbeen built if not for the"prophecy" I wrote.
Same thing with Isreal. The zionist movement kept bringing the "prophecy" into the spotlight, and enough people believed it should happen, and made it happen. Self fulfilling prophecy.
See why it is not really a fulfilled prohecy as such?. If no one knew about the prohecy, and it still happened, and then afterward we found the prophecy, yuo would have something, but that is not the case.
My thoughts exactly. A lot of heartache and loss went in to fulfilling that prophecy...it just shows how divisive christianity can be.
Except that it wasn't "all" of the Jews. It was just some of them.
All the Jews that are in Israel. Duh
"All the Jews that are in Israel. Duh"
"24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land."
I guess he meant "you" in that "you all whomever I can get but not ALL of you from everywhere because that would be stupid" kind of "you"...
Wilbur this is what you wrote: My logic dictates that Israel was formed by taking all the Jews out of all countries and putting them back into their own land exactly as the Bible described 1000s of years ago. What does your superior logic tell you genius?
YOU said all of the Jews, not just some of them. If that is what you meant then you should have written that instead of something else.
joey3467, I should have phrased that a bit different. You got me. I should not have said "all Jews". Here let me correct it. God took some of the Jews out of the nations and put ALL of those Jews that he took out of the nations and put them all into Israel. Some of the Jews were put into Israel and some were not. But ALL the ones that he put into Israel were clearly was prophesied in the Bible thousands of years before.
Without an exact date as to when this would happen it is more like wishful thinking that turned out to be correct. For it to be a prophecy I need names and dates so that there is no doubt it was in fact a prophecy.
Would you consider this a prophecy if it happens at some point in the future?
North and South Korea will go to war.
Are you honestly suggesting that all the jews now live in Israel? Not even close. So your analysis is false.
I had a dream that I was sitting beside the most beautiful trickling brook in the universe. Only God could have made it.
Then I woke up and sure enough, the cat box needed changing. Praise the Lord and pass me a beer!
Oh and I forgot .... (eyeroll)... lol
Bell's Two Hearted or Surly Furious.
Utterly ridiculous to suggest ANY "god did it".
This article is evidence that Leslie has been in the the communion wine cabinet again.
♰ ♰ ♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰ ♰ ♰
The "First Cause" God Almighty, The Father, Son (Lord Jesus Christ) And Holy Spirit.
This creation, the universe and life in it, is a "Prima Facie" Evidence of God, hence ""Natural Revelation."
The Scripture is the Message of God, the Holy Bible, hence "Special Revelation."
God bless you Leslie A. Wickman.
Yes, may Odin bless her...
You felt so neglected you had to reply to yourself 33 minutes later?
At least he didn't change his name to do it.
"At least he didn't change his name to do it."
Who did that?
Vic, you keep referencing your horrid "scripture" as if it is something wonderful. It isn't. Your nasty Christian book of horrors AKA the bible actually has some nasty demands that your vicious, bigoted, and murderous sky fairy makes of you, such as these:
17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”
Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.
Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.
And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.
So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.
And then there is the Jesus-sacrifice-salvation nonsense that you keep claiming about your "lord". How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there.
Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
May God bless the reading of His word.
"This creation, the universe and life in it, is a "Prima Facie" Evidence of God, hence ""Natural Revelation.""
No, it's not.
"We also need to remember that God reveals himself both through scripture and creation. The challenge is in seeing how they fit together. A better understanding of each can inform our understanding of the other."
The Bible clearly lays the answers to the foundational questions as it relates to origins, life, meaning, purpose and eternal life.
The Bible outlines the relationship between God and the first man that walked on planet earth and continues to reveal that important relationship between God and man to this day.
The Bible is a complete revelation to mankind about questions on "life".
It is one story among many. By what criteria did you rule out the others?
The bible doesn't meld with the age of the universe, so it's extremely unlikely that if there is a god factor involved (yet to be shown with any evidence) that it would be the vindictive god of the bible. So many other gods it could be if any at all.
Ben, what you posted is a complete lie. The bible was written by man and is nothing more than complete mythology.
How do you know the God of the Bible is the one true God? What about other creation stories? What about other gods?
–Great, valid questions.
–The Bible clearly states that God warned the people at various points in history to not worship false gods, to worship the one true God.
So you believe there's only one god and that god is Yahweh because his followers said that he said he was in a book they wrote about him?
What you've given isn't an answer to the question asked.
The Christian god isn't the only god with the claim of being the One True God, nor is the Christian god the only god that has forbidden worship of other gods.
You are just begging the question. Why do you follow the bible as opposed to other holy texts and oral traditions?
"Why do you follow the bible as opposed to other holy texts and oral traditions?"
His honest answer would most likely be this: "Because of where I was born and my parents & peers I grew up around told me that the bible was the only true holy text and that I would be shunned if I even looked at another religion with interest."
Yes. The number one predictor for a person's religious beliefs is the religious beliefs of that person's parents. It is very nearly a simple matter of geography. This is not unknown to believers, but is much repressed.
"one true god" narrows it down from approximately 10,000 gods to over 400.
There are over 400 "one true" gods.
I agree, Ben.
Why does one follow the God of the Bible?
Read about gods, myths, stories and cultures and then come to a conclusion.
The book "Jesus among other gods" is a good read that that walks through a comparative analysis of various myths and gods.
One question Ben, did you read "Jesus among other gods" before or after you would have considered yourself a Christian?
The ti.tle alone tells me it is not an unbiased treatment.
The Quran does that too. Why did you not reference that?
What about the Koran? Why is the Koran not referenced?
–There is no mention of a prophet or Mohammed in the Bible that was going to come after the final revelation.
- Also, the final revelation to mankind was already made at the time of ascension.
"–There is no mention of a prophet or Mohammed in the Bible that was going to come after the final revelation."
– Also, the final revelation to mankind was already made at the time of ascension."
So there cannot be a prophet unless one was previously predicted before their existence?
Well yeah, according to the Bible, but how do you know for sure that the Bible isn't wrong, and that the Koran is correct. Basically why should anyone just believe what the bible says if it can't be proven without using the bible?
There can be three approaches to the Bible.
#1 The Bible is the word of God because of a inner conviction by God.
#2 Start with the assumption that Bible is right and put it to the test in terms of all the challenges raised.
#3 Start with the assumption that the Bible is not right and put that assumption to test by all the evidence that point otherwise.
All three approaches require a honest and open mind in search of truth, a determination to seek out the truth and a will to stay focused in finding the truth.
The bible says, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
I was raised in a Catholic family, and did 8 years in a Catholic school, so it's not like I've never been introduced to God and the Bible. I also have read, listened to, and watched countless debates in regards to God. Lack of convincing evidence of God and the Bible has given me the present stance I take.
Your forgot a couple of ways to deal with it.
Ignore it (or be one of those that have never heard of it) since truth exists outside of the bible
Read the bible, which should be enough to show you that it is incorrect.
Read the bible , realize it is wrong, and then try to find why there are so many that still believe in it
I'm sure there are many other ways.
#1 and #2 are flawed because they don't start with the null hypothesis.
In other news: Rock Chalk!
Do you think they can play as well as Wichita State?
I'm not sure they can play as well as New Mexico. Kansas has great individual talent, but they don't put it all together very often and they're iffy at point guard.
Yea, this is an off year for Kansas – but I wouldn't under estimate their players and coach. It is interesting that Wichita State is having more success than Kansas and K-State.
I think Self is the best coach in America. That sounds like I'm biased. Maybe I am. But I have seen what he has done with Kansas teams in the past that had no business being as good as they were. Particularly 2012.
It is Kansas so they will either lose in the second round or make the final four. I have them in the final four in my bracket so if you are smart you will bet on them to lose in the second round.
A complex subject, a nice discovery and very well articulated post about the latest discovery!
"If God is truly the creator, then he will reveal himself through what he’s created, and science is a tool we can use to uncover those wonders."–Indeed!
“We are ourselves creations. We are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves. This is the God-force extending itself through us. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using creativity is our gift back to God.”
– Julia Cameron
And if he's not, then science is still a tool which we can use to uncover the wonders of ... the Universe.
I don't know if we ever will, or can, know if a creator god started it all. But there is no reason to think this god would just happen to be the Christian god or any other god invented by man. A personal god, for me, is ruled out. In any case, it leaves open the question of who created the creator.
It all begins with Genesis 1:1
Still doesn't prove your god exists and using the bible to attempt that huge feat fails.
Yes it begins with Genesis 1:1...that is the first place that the bible is wrong.
And immediately contradicted by Genesis 2 & 3.
"However, this new evidence strongly suggests that there was a beginning to our universe. If the universe did indeed have a beginning, by the simple logic of cause and effect, there had to be an agent – separate and apart from the effect – that caused it."
Christians have been saying this for two thousand years...
This isn't a leap from "we don't know what caused it to 'God did it.'" But what it DOES do is to point an authoritative finger at the fact that there WAS a beginning. Logic then tells us that since infinite causal chains do not exist, then there must have been a first cause, that was itself, uncaused.
We call that God. What do you call a supernatural and eternal cause of the physical universe?
I certainly don't call it a magical sky-fairy or an imaginary guy in the sky (like some imagine). I call it Creator, Great Spirit of the Universe, Maker: God.
Oh, I thought you two were Christians. What you described is certainly nothing like the Christian god described in the bible. I think you should call it something else since calling it god is misleading and makes it seem like you DO believe in sky fairies (the Christian god).
I know! That is what a few atheists and some right-wing fundamentalists keep telling me: that I'm not a real Christian.
We've been through this. Since no two Christians seem to believe in the same version of god, we know at least all but one of them are wrong.
A lot of us are agnostic about aspects of God. And we are encouraged to not be so certain that we are right.
Scripture makes it clear that God's ways are not our ways, so practicing some humility in this area is wise.
I will let you know if you say something that changes the fact that the Christian god doesn't exist.
Ok. We will put you in charge of that. You should patrol all the religious blogs and not let anyone violate your rules.
The burden of evidence lies with the ones making the ridulous god claim. I don't need to monitor boards to look for someone who is able to provide a reason to believe. If there were any such reason, it would be world-wide news given none exists thus far (despite many people devoting their lives to trying to show evidence of the existence of a god).
I'm glad you don't need to monitor or patrol religious blogs insisting everyone who doesn't believe like you is ridiculous.
What is your hypothesis on the origin of our physical universe?
It had a beginning.
Since the physical universe had a beginning, 1) it is not eternal, and 2) it's origins had to be supernatural (since it was outside of physical reality
Avoiding infinite causal chains, the first cause of our physical universe was itself un-caused.
We call that God – the supernatural and eternal creator of the physical universe. What do you call it?
I don't have a hypothesis and your hypothesis is implausible. Even if your hypothesis was true, we would still have no answer to the question, where did god come from? You are left saying, "I don't know" just as I am. I just prefer to be more honest about what I don't know.
I just told you, asking "who created God" is an invalid question because it begs the position of the existence of an infinite causal chain.
In effect, it is a ruse. Because you know that infinite causal chains do not exist. You also know that this physical universe had a beginning. Logic now demands that our physical universe was caused by something that was both eternal and supernatural.
"I just told you, asking "who created God" is an invalid question because it begs the position of the existence of an infinite causal chain."
LOL, how convenient for your ridiculous position! Believing
So you DO believe in infinite causal chains? Who's believing in fairy tales now?
Theo, no amount of poor logic will convince anyone that, "Where did your hypothetical god come from?" is an invalid question. I'm not going to waste time arguing about such an idiotic, twisted concept.
This breakthrough is exciting news for us all. Well, unless you reject science.
“Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover…. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”
–Astronomer, physicist and founder of NASA’s Goddard Inst.itute of Space Studies Robert Jastrow
"That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact."
You're quoting a guy who makes such oxymoronic statements. If something is supernatural, it isn't scientific by definition. Supernatural things are things that CAN'T be explained by science.
Regardless, we all know there are anomolies in every group of people. There is a small minority of scientists who twist evidence to allow themselves to believe in the supernatural. The vast majority of scientists think they're crazy.
You are not a scientist, but you think they are crazy. Yes. Most scientists do not think believers in God are crazy. Nor are they anti-theists. Most scientists are not atheists.
You do know that he was an agnostic, non-believer right?
Regardless – his standing as a scientist and (I'm certain) a very intelligent man has no standing on wether his views are factually true. Intelligent people are just as likely to believe irrational things as less intelligent people. Indeed, they are often better at rationalizing their beliefs. This is why the scientific process is so important, it acts as a screen to remove as much subjectivity from the discovery process as possible.
Either way, the concept that the universe is finite is nothing new, this is just more evidence in favor of it. Where I think most people get caught up is that the big bang was the beginning of time – from our perspective. There's nothing that prevents time from having existed before the singularity, there's just no way to (currently) access information from before that time.
If you wish to believe there was an intelligent agency behind that event, I see no reason to dissuade you, but I feel making that assumption of existence isn't intellectually honest as I don't see sufficient evidence to support the conclusion.
+ You do know that he was an agnostic, non-believer right?
Yes. That doesn't bother me.
I honestly believe in God. I understand there are some anti-theists that hate that and some agnostics who don't understand that. But, generally, we can all live in harmony.
"I honestly believe in God. I understand there are some anti-theists that hate that and some agnostics who don't understand that. But, generally, we can all live in harmony."
I agree that theism, atheism and agnosticism can all co-exist because they all only speak to a limited set of questions. But when you throw Yahweh into the mix, you've changed the dynamic. When someone claims certainty and exclusivity there's little room for dialog. From either side.
I don't claim certainty or exclusivity. Nor does my religion teach me to do so.
It is ok for me to be agnostic about God's ways. And to practice tolerance and acceptance for those who believe differently from me. I'm asked to love others, not claim to be certain or have exclusive access to knowledge. That provides a lot of room for dialog. I wouldn't be a Christian if I wasn't allowed to question or bring my own dialog into my church.
"I don't claim certainty or exclusivity. Nor does my religion teach me to do so."
Perhaps, but I have trouble believing that based on what you've said. Your use of "God" instead of "god", to me, indicates that you are certain that Yahweh, as described in the bible is the one and only god. That is both certain and exclusive.
Maybe this man, who definitely used "God" can help you better understand:
"Christian exclusiveness, for that is what the lack of charity suggests, cannot face the requirements of modesty, the notion that all is not known and that we do not know all. When devout Christians believe that only Christians of a particular doctrinal stripe have access to God, that, for example, God hears their prayers only, they stand in cosmic immodesty. The Christian Bible more than once makes the point that God’s ways are not our ways, and that the mind of God is vastly different from our own minds. Thus, when Christians state categorically that Jews, or Muslims, or believers in other faith systems are outside the provisions of God, they utter arrogant nonsense. A respectful agnosticism is called for when often there is offered in its place a self-interested certainty. If God is the God of all, and not just a tribal deity, then God has made provision, not necessarily known to us, for the healing and care of all his creation, and not simply our little part of it.
J. B. Phillips observed many years ago that one’s God is too small if within God’s providence there is no care and awareness of the other. This is what the hymn writer F. W. Faber meant in “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy,” when he said:
For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of our mind:;
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.
If there is any good news that is truly good news for everybody, and not just for a few somebodies, it is this: God is greater and more generous than the best of those who profess to know and serve him. This is the radical nonconformity with the conventional wisdom that Jesus both proclaimed and exemplified, and, alas, it cost him his life. Will we hope to fare any better, as disciples of his nonconformity?"
Dr. Peter Gomes
"When devout Christians believe that only Christians of a particular doctrinal stripe have access to God, that, for example, God hears their prayers only, they stand in cosmic immodesty. "
Sorry but this just proves my point. "only christians of a particular stripe" – ignores every other non-chrisitan theology. You are automatically dividing the world into "believers" and "non-believers". That's the definition of exclusivity. Unless you concede the Yahweh may not exist, you are expressing a certain (and exclusive) claim.
I don't begrudge you, I just don't agree with your logic.
"... offering strong support for biblical beliefs."
Without actually providing anything than poor logic and assumptions.
What an idiot. Too many flaws in thinking to point out.
More garbage leaping from we do not know what caused it, to goddidit. This simply does not confirm nor deny any of the prevelant theories or god hypotheses, yet the debate will flare up again, with neither gaining nor losing ground.
On the plus side, it is one step closer to finding truth.
"So, we know that Genesis was never intended to be a detailed scientific handbook, describing how God created the universe."
She makes this statement without offering any explanation as to how we "know" this. If the bible isn't correct (and we know it isn't), then the Christian version of god does not exist. Additional scientific findings can't tell us anything new about the Christian god because that matter has been resolved for a long time.
I don't believe the origin story is meant to be taken literally. I have never been taught I should. Yes, there are some who think it should. It is a story of our relationship – between Creator and creature. Jesus used parables, too. They revealed a truth, even though they were not literally true.
The irony being that I see christianity as a parable about Jesus created by Paul's church.
You can't have it both ways..... it's the word of god? but not to be taken literally??? god left it open to interpretation? how absurd..
"it's a story..." you got that right!
I think the story points to God's relationship with us. But it is not God. The story has flaws and is not perfect. But, yes, with some understanding and context I can interpret what the author was trying to convey.
What that old story teaches me is important and relevant today.
Of course many christians would disagree with you and believe the bible is the word of god... but lots of stories from works of mythology can convey important lessons that are relevant today... for example, the story of Icarus from Greek mythology.... but like the stories from the bible, they are all fiction. It is ridiculous to believe the christian god created "the heavens and earth" just because it says so in the bible. There is zero evidence to indicate this is fact.
Yes, some Christians (and some anti-theists) can only accept a literal interpretation of the Bible. And proceed from that understanding.
I don't "believe the christian god created 'the heavens and earth' just because it says so in the bible."
You can either read the bible as literal or you can read it as fantasy fiction, you can't have it both ways.
@Dala – "I don't "believe the christian god created 'the heavens and earth' just because it says so in the bible."
Um, yes, you do. Please show how you would believe in a Christian God if the bible did not exist? In fact, please show how if you had been born in India you would for sure now be a Christian. You are the religion you are because of where you were born and to whom.
You want me to tell you a story that is not literally true?
The Bible does exist. I was not born in India. I choose to be a Christian.
"I choose to be a Christian."
Did that choice happen to start out with parents taking you to church and telling you God was watching you and Gods name is Jesus and you better believe because you don't want your mother to cry herself to sleep every night thinking you are going to end up in heII?
Sounds about as much like a choice as choosing who your parents are.
+ Did that choice happen to start out with parents taking you to church and telling you God was watching you and Gods name is Jesus and you better believe because you don't want your mother to cry herself to sleep every night thinking you are going to end up in heII?
Is that what you imagine?
I was free to choose.
I know many people whose parents took them to church and told them what you imagine.
And they became atheists. And they turned out relatively well. They just choose a different belief system.
It was certainly meant to be taken literally because if it is not the sacrifice of Jesus to forgive original sin doesn't make any sense whatsoever. All of Christianity hinges on a literal reading of Genesis in my opinion.
Yea, I don't share in your opinion. I like what this pastor says:
"The story of the Garden of Eden is what is called an origin story and every culture has theirs. Origin stories tell us how the world came about and where we came from and other important things like why snakes don’t have legs. We think we might know our origin story really well, but in the Genesis account of the Garden of Eden, there actually is no mention of sin, or a fall, or Satan, or temptation, and I hate to break it to you but there wasn’t even an apple involved. Which means the cultural understanding of the story of the Garden of Eden is slightly corrupted. This is due in part to the countless paintings throughout the history of Western art which for some reason portray a tree and a snake and an extremely white Adam and Eve holding a Red Delicious.
See, for generations folks have called the tale of Adam and Eve and the serpent and the forbidden fruit “The Fall from grace” or “The story of Original Sin."
That's a little weird to me. Like, God created the heavens and the Earth and animals and it was like, this awesome all-inclusive primeval club-med for Adam and Eve – they ran naked through the warm sunlight of an idyllic paradise and everything was theirs for the taking – except for that one tree that they were told to steer clear of. And this absolute paradise in the garden between God and Humanity lasted approximately 20 minutes. Until Eve had a chat with a talking snake and then disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. And because Eve, ate some fruit she was told not to, now all of humanity is cursed and this so-called original sin of Eve’s became sort of like a se.xually transmitted disease.
One more time, atheism is NOT a belief system........ lets not start the word twisting again.
Some people treat atheism like a belief system. Ironically some act a lot like religious fundamentalists.
Dala, You believe that the christian god created the universe while rejecting the christian story. That makes no sense at all.
I believe God created us and the universe.
I accept Jesus Christ. I understand the Genesis story as revealing truths, but it is not to be taken literally true. It deals with our spiritual nature. We Christians embrace science to study our physical nature, which also reveals truths about God and us.
Dala, "Some people treat atheism like a belief system."
No, that's just another dodge because you can't actually provide any evidence or articulate a reasoned argument for a god.
Dala, Your only evidence of a god is what is written in the bible, if you don't believe that what credibility does it have? What other evidence is there for a god? Surely a god that made itself known to the ancients could have told them the truth about the universe and species, and not tell lies about Noah, etc.
I know atheists that claim atheism can be like a belief system, too. I don't really consider atheism a belief system. But I do see some that treat it like one.
I believe what the Bible says.
I don't believe what you imagine that means. Like Jesus parables, not all is meant to be literally believed.
The Bible points to God. So do other things, like science, art, music and life. Other people. Prayer and meditation. Reading other books.
"No. Is that what you imagine? I was free to choose."
Really? So what religion were your parents and when did you first hear about the idea of a deity?
I have read the bible cover to cover and could give you a cliff notes version from Genesis to Revelation if I wanted to. From the first prophecy of the seed being bruised in the heel and the serpent being bruised in the head to wild beasts coming out of the waters to God wiping away every tear and placing his tent with mankind. I have also studied the Vedas which have many other theories for universal origins. I even spent several years studying Egyptian and Greek theology. What has all of my studying shown me? That all of it is opinion based on the social evolution of humans for the last 100,000 years as we have attempted to decipher our origins with only our physical senses coupled with our internal emotions to go on. If something "feels" true, that was good enough for our ancestors and they went with it.
Some people act like god is real, and some people act like atheism is a religion that doesn't make either true however.
Without original sin what purpose does Jesus dying on the cross serve?
My parents were Christians/agnostics. I went to sunday school up to the 2nd grade. Usually my dad just dropped me and my sister off, went home, read the newspaper, and then came back to pick us up. My parents later split up, and I lived with my mom who wasn't very religious. My sister became interested in church through her friend. She was confirmed and went to church each week. I didn't. I identified as an atheist at the age of 16.
I choose to follow Christ today. I have a very secular education and life up until a few years ago. Some of my preconceived notions about religion and religious people have been proven false. I've learned to know him is different from knowing about him. I'm actually happier now than I was before. I have more serenity, peace and patience in my life, even though there is a lot of calamity around me.
I'm glad you found what works for you.
+ Without original sin what purpose does Jesus dying on the cross serve?
He died for my sins. For the harms I've caused. For the lies I've told. And all the ways I have failed to live up to our ideals. In him I find the power to overcome my sins and take responsibility for my actions.
How do you take responsibility for your actions by letting Jesus be held responsible for you sins?
I attempt to make amends to those I harmed. I repent. I forgive others for the harms they've caused me. If I fail at making amends, repenting or forgiving – I know God is merciful and will offer me forgiveness and grace.
"But, yes, with some understanding and context I can interpret what the author was trying to convey."
I would argue that without the use of textual critism we cannot begin to know who the author or their context was.
You can interpolate from the bible based on who you believe wrote it and in what context you believe it was done. But in my exprience most of the most common beliefs about the authors/context of the bible stories are wrong. So any interpolating done on this basis will be flawed from the start. Garbage in = garbage out.
That is why I read a variety of criticisms, both for and against my beliefs. I'm lucky to be in a community that allows and encourages that. But, were not trying to be common.
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.