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June 22nd, 2011
12:28 PM ET

U.S. evangelicals gloomy about future, 'global south' optimistic, study finds

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Half the world's evangelical Protestant leaders are optimistic about the future, confident that evangelical Christians have an increasing influence in their countries and that things will be better for them in five years.

The other half are pessimists, convinced they're losing influence on the life of their countries and mostly not persuaded that things will be better for Christianity where they live in the future.

Those are among the findings of a groundbreaking survey of more than 2,000 evangelical leaders from around the world, which the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released Wednesday

The split on optimism is between north and south, and the way it breaks down might surprise you.

It's evangelicals in the comparatively poor south who see a bright future ahead - Africans, Latin Americans and Middle Easterners.

Those from the developed world, where evangelical Christianity was born, are the pessimists. And Americans are among the most glum of all, with more than eight out of 10 evangelical Christian leaders there saying that the movement is losing influence in the United States today.

Among other results from the survey:

- Only 3% of evangelical Christian leaders believe in evolution as defined by scientists. About half believe God created the planet and life on it as it is now, while four out of 10 say there has been evolution, but it was guided by God.

- Nearly all believe abortion is usually or always morally wrong. A similar number say the same thing about homosexuality.

- They feel generally positive about Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Jews but have a low opinion of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and atheists, with atheists rating the lowest of all. (Evangelicals from Muslim-majority countries tend to have higher opinions of Muslims than those who live elsewhere, the Pew Forum found.)

- Half say the Bible should be read literally. Half say not everything in it should be taken literally.

- Half say it is necessary to believe in God to be a moral person. Half say it isn't.

Pew Forum Director Luis Lugo said the "optimism gap" between north and south struck him the most about the survey.

"There are huge differences between the global south, who see things getting better, compared to the global north, and particularly the U.S., where we get down to 31% who see things being better five years from now," he said.

But the respondents' perceptions may not reflect reality, said Michael Cromartie, an expert on evangelical Christians and a senior adviser to the Pew Forum not involved in the survey.

"In the United States, evangelicals feels like they're losing influence because the elite culture isn't sympathetic or sees them as intolerant - which I don't think it is the case, but it's how they're perceived," said Cromartie, who directs the Evangelicals in Civic Life program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

In the global south, on the other hand, "You could see yourself having influence because the numbers (of evangelical Christians) are growing so fast," he said.

"The numbers are exploding. That doesn't necessarily mean you have influence, but you feel like you have influence."

Both sides think the south - where a majority of evangelicals now live - should have more influence on the movement as a whole, the survey found.

"We were surprised to see a majority thought that the global south should be contributing more - and leaders from the global south were even more self-critical," Lugo said.

Leaders from the south tend to be more conservative than those from the north, a pattern that mimics that in the global Anglican Communion, for example. If the south gains influence over time, it could push the movement as a whole in an even more conservative direction.

But Lugo points out that the south is not a monolith.

"Latin America is much closer to North America and Europe than to the rest of the global south" in its attitudes, he said. "They tend to be less conservative on homosexuality even than European leaders, and less conservative on tithing and biblical literalism than the rest of the global south."

The Pew Forum surveyed 2,196 participants in the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization held in Cape Town, South Africa, in October. The respondents were leaders sent by their home churches and mirror the geographical map of evangelical Christians around the globe, the Pew Forum said.

There are at least 260 million followers of the movement worldwide, the Pew Forum said.

The conference where it conducted the survey is a follow-up to one Billy Graham convened in 1974 in Switzerland.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

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soundoff (611 Responses)
  1. Reality

    Adding to the pessimism:

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    o An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    o p.4
    o "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    o p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    o So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:12 am |
    • brad

      People who have been clinically dead are resuscitated every day. And while this is awesome, it usually isn't a world-changing event like the resurrection of Christ. The scholars you're impressed with are talking about a mere bodily resuscitation. A genuine resurrection cannot even be described.
      As for the scholars? Well, those who knew Jesus face-face went to martyrdom witnessing that they had seen the resurrected Jesus. The scholars, 1800 years removed from the events, have produced a body – on paper, wearing white gloves.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Reality

      brad,

      References to support your comments?

      June 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • TheRationale

      @ Brad

      Well going by the "stopped heart = dead" approach, yeah, CPR, shocking, etc. will "resurrect the dead." Technically you've got zombies on your hand but no biggie.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  2. Zelda

    Only unlearned people imagine a person can be okay without God. America has no idea what it is like to have atheists in full control. I hope she doesn't need to go through that lesson actual way. Nazi Germany, the Soviet Russia, Communist China and others went through enough horrors. Americans are cute and stupid when they say atheists are okay.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:09 am |
    • Sybaris

      Thanks for another point refuted a thousand times (PRATT). The problems in those countries you mentioned isn't due to religion or lack there of, it's due to politics. Atheism is not a form of politics. Your ignorance is cute and funny.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:16 am |
    • brad

      In a very small way, we now know what St. Stephen in acts must have endured. If we even hint that God exists, we get stoned by e-rocks. The enemies of God are right on script.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Lacking Evidence since 14 Billion BCE

      Bad people do bad things. The difference is they just don't have a book to help justify doing those bad things. They just wanted power. And Hitler was a Catholic for the record.

      June 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Zelda

      @Lacking: Every human is bad; the reason we need God's Book, the Bible. Hitler was Darwinian and a self-worshipping bully just like present secular Americans. He was taken down by the Christian Americans.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • gozer

      Zelda, Hitler was an avowed Catholic. http://www.nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm
      Based on your posts, you are the self-inflecting one. Look outside and start learning about the real world. Reality is very different from the delusions that you hide behind.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Scott

      Only the Afghans know what it is like to have the clergy in full control, although the Iranians have a pretty good idea. There was a time in the west when the church controlled every thing... it is called the dark agaes

      June 23, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
  3. Mikey

    Anybody ever see jebus on a grilled cheese sandwich?

    June 23, 2011 at 6:36 am |
  4. po'boy

    I would be worried if I was them. First of all, there is no end of days. There is only the evening and the moonrise. Next the rapture is just a physical thing. Then there is history.Soon every child will know that the world evolved and did not arise out of some deity's spite. So yes if I was a nut like these people I wouod be worried.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:18 am |
  5. Mike H.

    I get a chuckle out of those who point out how they believe the Bible is fictional or otherwise innaccurate and then turn around and use text from The Book to make a weak point against Christianity. I'm puzzled by those who continue to confuse Christians with Christianity. The two are not the same. And as for the post by "Reality" I can only say...you've got a career ahead of you in creative writing. Now, about the pessimism in America on the part of evangelicals...perhaps it's the result of more and more folks taking it upon themselves to study The Bible without the (sometimes) selfish interests of evangelicals (men) who have been known to use God's word for their own detached purposes. Just a thought....

    June 23, 2011 at 4:51 am |
    • gozer

      Hey, Mike H., try adding some support to your declarations. Oh wait, there isn't any.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Scott

      Well since they won't listen to logic, reason or science and insist on disregarding anything that is not in the bible the only tool left to me that might allow me to communicate with them is their bible. Since many of them believe it is the inerrant and literal word of there god, I hope that when I can point out passages that disagree with their view point they might pay some bit of attention. I do my best to communicate with them in the only language they claim to acknowledge.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  6. SixDegrees

    "Half [are]...confident that evangelical Christians have an increasing influence in their countries"

    The American Taliban.

    June 23, 2011 at 3:55 am |
  7. Alverant

    Long and short of it is that christianity is scared it's loosing it's preferred treatment and special privileges in western society. That it will be subject to the same sort of questions and treatment as it has given to other religions. When that happens, it will lose its power and that is what all people in power fear the most.

    June 23, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • Barbara Young

      Yes you are right, but the current christian philosophy is in reality the Catholic sterilization of the true Christ-man and woman philosophy that, through an inner visual state, you were guided into the Kingdom for an objective, visual, and telepathic awareness with the Family of God. Jesus Family consisted of God the Mother and Her Chryseis Daughter as well as God the Father and His Christ Son. In Their Living Presence, you took in as memory Their Nature as well as it allowed Them to Place Their Hand on your Spiritual Head for the Transfiguration of your spirit's matured memory into Their Light/Divine Nature, just allowing your spirit, your true state of being, to advance from a Son or Daughter of God to Completion, as a Man or Woman of God, and Individualized Being of Pure Light–your Robes of Glory. It is the current mind religion that takes on the mantle of a son or daughter of man, the religion of man and the mind, where the mind denies the Divinity and Splendor of the Nature of one's own spirit.

      June 23, 2011 at 3:22 am |
    • gozer

      Barbie, what you been smokin?

      June 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
  8. Blogson

    Jesus avoided becoming involved in anti-Roman occupation politics and basically his only relevant politically-related statement was that people should pay their taxes. His major conflicts were with the Jewish religious authorities and it was they who prevailed upon the Roman occupation government to have him executed. Christianity gained numbers of adherents during Roman times in the face of governmental authority which demanded worship of the emperor, which Christians refused to do. It is interesting that in many areas where Christians experience persecution of various types, rather than enjoying political influence, Christianity is growing most rapidly rather than declining. American "evangelicals" who lament their loss of influence on the political scene need to be more truly evangelical by more closely following Jesus' teachings and what he stands for by his life and example.

    June 22, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • Dan

      Yes!

      June 23, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  9. TheRationale

    If these numbers are accurate, being an evangelic greatly increases your chances of failing biology 101.

    June 22, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • Dan

      Sure, if by "failing" you mean not conforming.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • TheRationale

      @ Dan

      Not conforming? That's like having a doctor telling you "Taking cocaine like that is going to kill you" and you disagree because you don't want to "conform." It's not conformity if there's actually a right answer.

      Science makes your computer work, your fridge work, your car run, it makes your food readily available, and it cures you of all sorts of diseases. But as soon as it contradicts your ancient doctrine made by the equivalent of Sand People from Tatooine a few eons ago, you think you can just toss it out the window and pretend like it's applicable only to your convenience.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • John

      People like Dan are to dumb to listen to things like facts and logic. It's much better to believe a what some book says. I for one choose to lead my life based off the fine book "Green Eggs and Ham".

      June 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • gozer

      Green Eggs and Ham >> the bible

      June 23, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  10. Reality

    Once again, why the pessimism?

    Tis simple, it is caused by the flawed history and theology of Christianity.

    For a quick summary for posting on every church door:

    THERE WAS AND NEVER WILL BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY !!!!

    A longer summary:

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment.

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:

    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    Nex topic!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • back2basics

      I think, therefore I am. Perhaps this is what created physical matter, which is the newest dimension of the universe. The first and final, and most natural dimension of the universe may be one we have no perception of based on our limited intelligence. From the earliest days of primitive man, there may have been some links to that dimension that had nothing to do with one's own preconceived measure of intelligence. It may not be wise to discount whatever links may exist, just because one thinks he's too smart to accept something that he would classify as religion.... maybe.

      June 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Dan

      So, if Jesus was illiterate as you say, why did those who knew him report that he read from the book of Isaiah (Luke 4:14 – 21. Matthew 4: 12 – 17)? Why should I believe a word you say, when you don't check even the simplest of the arguments you try to make? You are at best a poor researcher and an outright liar at the worst.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Reality

      o The illiteracy of the simple preacher man aka Jesus, as per contemporary experts:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton's commentary in his book, Rabbi Jesus, An Intimate Biography,

      "What Luke misses is that Jesus stood in the synagogue as an illiterate m–amzer in his claim to be the Lord's anointed". Note: Luke 4: 16 is a single attestation. No where else in the NT does it say Jesus could read thereby making said passage historically unreliable.

      Professor JD Crossan notes that Jesus was illiterate coming from a landless peasant background, initially a follower of John the Baptist. e.g. The Excavation of Jesus (with Professor Reed), pp 30-31..

      The question of Jesus's literacy has been much discussed in modern scholarship; the Jesus Seminar and others feel references in the Gospels to Jesus reading and writing may well be fictions.

      The only Gospel reference to Jesus writing is John 8:6 in the Pericope Adulterae, widely considered a later addition, where it is not even clear he is forming letters in the dust, and the Greek "εγραφεν" could equally mean he was drawing.
      Luke 2: 41-52, the twelve year old Jesus in the temple- As per Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 275, " the episode is unhistorical" (again, a single attestaion). See also http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=433_Jesus_at_Twelve

      It is very unfortunate that Jesus was illiterate for it resulted in many gospels and epistles being written years after his death by non-witnesses. This resulted in significant differences in said gospels and epistles and with many embellishments to raise Jesus to the level of a deity to compete with the Roman gods and emperors. See Raymond Brown's book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (Luke 4:16 note on p. 237) for an exhaustive review of the true writers of the gospels and epistles.

      Of course, Muslims believe that Mohammed was also illiterate. This way, they can claim that the only way he could have received the "angelic", koranic passages of death to all infidels and Islamic domination of the globe by any means, was orally since he could not read and write. Google it for verification

      June 23, 2011 at 7:06 am |
  11. tallulah13

    I would hope that evangelicals in America realize that this is a secular nation which allows people of all faiths (even those who don't believe) to coexist peacefully, or at least legally. They can worship as they will, they can refrain from acts they find "sinful", but no laws of any church have any place in the laws of this secular nation. (Thou shalt not kill or thou shalt no steal, etc.are common to most civilizations and are simple common sense.) If anyone should find freedom to be offensive, I suggest they find a country with a more repressive regime where they might feel more at home.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • billy wingo

      fortunately the kids in America are leaving religion in droves. why should they pray to a god that has been responsible for the crusades against muslims (40 million murdered, Hitler the still not excommunicated catholic, and his 55 million deaths. The HOlY inquisition where books were burned and same with anyone who dared to challenge the church.

      And also justified slavery as per the bible. And now justify demonzization and hatred of our gay friens and neighbors.

      cheers to all those kids who dont sell their minds to those whose only goal is power and money over others, while selling a BS insurance policy of life after death based on 2000 year old stories about a jewish Rabbi of long ago.

      the few people he brought back to life were probably stoned on something. the blind almost certainly had now wwell understood psycho-symatic mental problems, eg the people who cant see, but seem to have an uncanny abiltiy in their subconscious to avoid walking into poles and trees. Its realted to Multiple personality disorders.

      Our nation would be so much richer if we only spent all the money we waste on religion rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges, building factories to make things in America instead of commie china, and insuring medical care for all.

      And building more prisons for all the hierarchy of the catholic church, who not only turned a blind eye to child molestation, but moved known vile priests to new locations where they continued to keep the collection plate full and the childrens mouths and butts full also.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • dave

      Indeed.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • Dan

      Billy Wingo:

      Forty million died in the Crusades? LOL... You really believe that? No serious scholar would agree with you. The population of the entire Levant in the Middles wasn't even that high.

      As to the RCC not excommunicating Hitler, you are completely unaware that Hitler himself reject the religion, which negates any need by the church to do so. It's self-excommunication. The church only excommunicates people who are part of the religion, but do not conform to orthodoxy.

      You, like Reality, are either a poor scholar or an outright liar.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  12. Denise

    I've grown to hate Christians.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • back2basics

      Whatever it's worth, the bible says God is love. Whoever believes that should be hated? Why?

      June 22, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Alverant

      @back2basics
      The bible also says god cursed Adam & Eve for learning. Take a look at the bible and you'd find many acts of god that would, by any reasonable standard, be considered hateful and evil. The claim that "god is love" is not supported by god's actions and is little more than a line of propaganda.

      June 22, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • back2basics

      Alverant: One of these days you may get the chance to ask him about that. Could be an awkward moment.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • Peace2All

      @back2basics

      "One of these days you may get a chance to ask 'him' about that. Could be an awkward moment."

      Hmmm... 'awkward moment' for whom...?

      Regards,

      Peace...

      June 23, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • TheRationale

      @Peace2All

      Bingo! hehe...

      @back2basics

      I must agree that "God is love" is a line of propaganda. It seems like you didn't actually respond to that, nor the bit about actually reading through the Bible. Just the fact that a human sacrifice is/was required to partially save everyone from sin is completely barbaric on its own. If you want to use God's actions in the Bible as a judge of his character, love is the last thing he is.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Scott

      I try not to hate anybody; but, that's just the atheist in me showing through

      June 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  13. Water to Whine

    Christians should stop trying to turn the rest of the world into them. Missions to convert other cultures to Chritianity is a destroyer of cultures. Any religion that compels its followers to convert others is no better than Fascists compeling citizens to desolve all other political parties. Evangelicals shouldn't worry over their influence in the world and just focus on being good people.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • blessedgeek

      They are the salt of the world, they believe. My question is whether they are table salt or kosher salt.

      They are the light of the world, that's what they think – is it incandescent, compact flourescent or new-fangled super energy saving LED. Or traditional oil lamp.

      They are a peculiar people, that's what they tell themselves – Yes, indeed, they do have their peculiarities. Which is at times annoying.

      They used to believe that Christmas is evil and paganistic but nowadays they insist supermarkets and commercial malls wish them "Merry Christmas". Despite being "merry" means "go get drunk".

      They used to preach for the poor. Now they believe it is better to preach for the rich. And yes, they don't think excessive human activities are exacerbating global warming because what-me-worry-jesus-is-coming-soon.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • billy wingo

      thats one of the reasons Africa is so (4 letter ,,,,ed) up. Christians went there, took over their countries, robbed them of everything they had in an attempt to make them christian by the sword. Same re India, china, Vietnam re the Frnech etc.

      I used to wonder in elementary school why so many countries in Africa and elsewhere had European names as well as their own name.

      Now I know – it was called colonization/ The roobing of those poor people , esp their natural resouces , by christians who had much more effective implemts of war vs spears.

      Same thing with the native americans here. America violated almost every treaty we had with the indians, often sending them off from their homelands in the winter, resulting in mass starvation and freezing.

      Of course that was all done by christians who thought they had the right.. vs the indians with their "pagan" gods.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • Dan

      I've got news for you, Water-to-Whine, scientists, doctors, teachers, professors, etc., also change cultures. No culture has ever remained unchanged for any length of time. We are constantly coming into contact with others and adopting new ideas. To pretend that Chritianity alone is responsible for that change is disingenous at best. You all accuse the religious of fearing change, yet you accuse Christians of effecting change. Hmmm...not well thought out.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • 1 John 3:23

      Jesus doesn't say to convert others, He only says to tell others. No one can believe for you and no one can make you believe.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Water to Whine

      @Dan
      Yes Dan, but doctors, scientists, teachers, and professors bring change for a rational better (even though it doesn't always work out that way). Religious missionaries bring change, because they feel compelled to do so for fear of eternal damnation. Now, tell me Dan, which group is bringing change for the betterment of their fellow man, and which group does it to buy a ticket to heaven? The discussion is about religious thinking, not doctors, scientists, etc. And, just for the sake of stirring up the usual Belief Blog back and forth, which group do you think has used tactics that involve the pain of death in converting indigenous cultures in third world lands? Doctors or Christians? I'm pretty sure the history of the Americas will answer that one for you. Christian Europeans didn't virtually wipe out the first nations on the basis that they didn't accept a vaccination. Sure, change in this crowded world is inevitable. But only the change brought by logically useful information and healthy practices is worth anything to the untouched regions of the world. Leave their beliefs alone.

      June 23, 2011 at 3:11 am |
  14. SDFrankie

    Well I'm a Christian and I'm pessimistic. I believe in Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, but I worry that I don't believe in exactly the right way. I've been told I need to believe on his name. That preposition throws me. What does "on" mean in relationship to a name exactly. If they changed it to "in" it would be better, but it still doesn't quite make sense to me. Shouldn't I believe in the person rather than the name? I really want to do this correctly because what's riding on it is me being burned forever and ever. I am very afraid of fire and would like to avoid it of at all possible. It's just so confusing. I hope I don't get burned just because I believed "in" instead of "on", but I'm somewhat pessimistic about my chances.

    June 22, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • blessedgeek

      Do you dare, are you willing, to spend eternity in eternal fire for doing the right thing?

      OTOH, what is the "right thing"? It's relative, other people say. It's absolute, you say, after hearing your leaders say so. The problem is, throughout centuries what your leaders have declared as "absolute" were their own judgment that led to needless wars and slaughter of millions.

      So, you stand aside and sit down and revisit the meaning of your life. Your scripture tells you to abandon the world because it says you are not of the world. But then you see your leaders now and throughout centuries getting really deeply involved in the affairs of the world while at he same time preaching "abandoning the world".

      Today, the only action I see evangelicals in their act of "denying the world" is denial of human activities causing ecological disaster. I have no idea why evangelicals are so deeply entrenched in defending their positions against efforts to conserve the planet. What interests are they protecting? Is ecological conservation a conspiracy of the antichrist? You mean you guys have the power and is determined to stop what your scriptures are pronouncing would come to pass? Like Demi Moore in the movie The 7th Sign? You guys live contradictory lives and are in deep conflict with your own beliefs.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Dan

      BlessedGeek: The guy is obviously trolling.

      SD Frankie, your parody of Biblical doctrine is not well thought out. If you looked at the original Greek of teh text, you would have found out that the word "onoma" can mean both "name" and "character." To the ancient Jew the two were synonomous. It is a directive to believe in/trust his character. Beliving "on" his name is merely the language of King James. Languages evolve. Today we say we believe in, not on him.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • Scott

      Don't worry. This is all part of God's plan. He made so many contradictory rules to insure that you must break some to keep others. He is having a really good laugh watching us sweat and burn each other at the stake about keeping his rules and at the end he intends to damn us all and have a nice, quiet, empty heaven to himself

      June 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  15. frank

    If Jesus is god and the holy ghost too, doesn't that mean he raped his own mother in order to be born in order to commit suicide? Also, he said he'd be right back to usher in the kingdom of heaven, waited 2,000 years, then appeared on a burnt eggo waffle to be sold on ebay? Seems a little out there, imo

    June 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • cosmicsnoop

      Hey man, stop making fun and stick to the FACTS! Jesus did not commit suicide; it was suicide by cop, or whatever they called it back then.

      June 22, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • billy wingo

      Actually we are all born of incest per the bible – Adams rib gave rise to eve.I guanantee that you will find the more religious people are the more incest there is.

      just as the more religious they are , the more child molestation there is. google "southern baptists and child molestation"

      386000 responses per Gooble. its almost like being a molester is part of the christian, and of course catholic beleifs.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • Scott

      And Moses said unto them “Have ye saved all the women alive?... Now therefore Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him, but all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves” Num 31:1-2, 9-11, 14-18

      June 24, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  16. glenda

    I do not consider tv preachers to be christians, they're nothing but salesmen. They use God's name to rake in the money, and then use the money for personal use. Kenneth Copeland is the worst. He has 4 planes he uses, and has his own landing pad at his Mansion, all paid for by suckers. These sales people bettered enjoy live here, because there's no way they're going to leave this earth, and spend eternity with God. They are going to have alot to answer for.

    June 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  17. Christ Follower

    Where do you think we'd be without these following Christians...
    Christians and the Christian worldview were crucial to the formation of the early sciences. . . . If science, technology, and medical advances, properly used, are examples of God's grace to us, then those who brought them into being should be credited for them. . . . None of these men was perfect... I have deliberately chosen to respect all Christians who have honored the living God with their lives and work, regardless of their theological differences. They began their search for truth with the assumption that God exists, that His Word is true, and that He has created an orderly universe that reveals Himself."
    [NOTE: This list has nothing to do with the Church of Christ, Scientist, whose members are known as Christian Scientists (note the capitalized "S" in "Scientists." Christian Science is just one denomination within Christianity, and most members of the denomination are not scientists. Here is a separate list of famous Christian Scientists.]
    Some Famous Scientists who were Christians
    John Philoponus late 6th Century Aristotle's early Christian critic
    Hugh of St. Victor c. 1096-1141 theologian of scienceRobert Grosseteste c. 1168-1253 reform-minded bishop-scientistRoger Bacon c. 1220-1292 Doctor MirabilesDietrich von Frieberg c. 1250-c. 1310 the priest who solved the mystery of the rainbow
    Thomas Bradwardine c. 1290-1349 student of motion
    Nicole Oresme c. 1320-1382 inventor of scientific graphic techniques
    Nicholas of Cusa 1401-1464 grappler with infinity
    Georgias Agricola 1495-1555 founder of metallurgy
    Johannes Kepler 1571-1630 discoverer of the laws of planetary motion
    Johannes Baptista van Helmont 1579-1644 founder of pneumatic chemistry and chemical physiology
    Francesco Maria Grimaldi 1618-1663 discoverer of the diffraction of light Catholic
    Blaise Pascal 1623-1662 mathematical prodigy and universal genius
    Robert Boyle 1627-1691 founder of modern chemistry
    John Ray 1627-1705 cataloger of British flora and fauna Calvinist (denomination?)
    Isaac Barrow 1630-1677 Newton's teacher
    Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 1632-1723 discoverer of bacteria
    Niels Seno 1638-1686 founder of geology
    James Bradley 1693-1762 discoverer of the aberration of starlight
    Ewald Georg von Kleist c. 1700-1748 inventor of the Leyden jar
    Carolus Linnaeus 1707-1778 classifer of all living things
    Leonhard Euler 1707-1783 the prolific mathematician
    John Dalton 1766-1844 founder of modern atomic theory
    Thomas Young 1773-1829 first to conduct a double-slit experiment with light
    David Brewster 1781-1868 researcher of polarized light
    William Buckland 1784-1856 geologist of the Noahic flood
    Adem Sedgwick 1785-1873 geologist of the Cambrian
    Augustin-Jean Fresnel 1788-1827 the physicist of light waves
    Augustin Louis Cauchy 1789-1857 soulwinning mathematician
    Michael Faraday 1791-1867 giant of electrical research
    John Frederick William Herschel 1792-1871 cataloger of the Southern skies
    Matthew Fontaine Maury 1806-1873 pathfinder of the seas
    Philip Henry Gosse 1810-1888 popular naturalist
    Asa Gray 1810-1888 influential botanist
    James Dwight Dana 1813-1895 systematizer of minerology
    George Boole 1815-1864 discoverer of pure mathematics
    James Prescott Joule 1818-1889 originator of Joule's Law
    John Couch Adams 1819-1892 codiscoverer of Neptune
    George Gabriel Stokes 1819-1903 theorist of fluorescence
    Gregor Mendel 1822-1884 pioneer in genetics
    William Thomson, Lord Kelvin 1824-1907 physicist of thermodynammics
    Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann 1829-1907 the non-Euclidean geometer behind relativity theory
    James Clerk Maxwell 1831-1879 father of modern physics
    Edward William Morley 1838-1923 Michelson's partner in measuring the speed of light
    Pierre-Maurice-Marie Duhem 1861-1923 the physicist who recovered the science of the Middle Ages
    Georges Lemaitre 1894-1966 the prist who showed us the universe is expanding
    George Washington Carver c. 1864-1943 pioneer in chemurgy
    Arthur Stanley Eddington 1882-1944 the astronomer who ruled stellar theory

    June 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • mike

      not to mention the millions and millions of people horribly tortured, maimed and killed in the name of christianity

      June 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Andrew

      Interestingly enough though, once you get into the more modern era, where god seems to be a superfluous assumption instead of 'the only way we know how to describe the world', you start to get more atheist or pantheist believers such as Richard Feynman, Paul Dirac, Francis Crick, Stephan Gould, Peter Higgs, William Bateson, Pierre Laplace, Godfrey Hardy, Alan Turing, Steven Weinberg, and of course the ever popular Carl Sagan (Who, admittedly, didn't contribute anything quite as grand as the others, but was really cool anyway)

      Considering how small a fraction atheists are compared to the general public, and how large a fraction christians const-tute, it's a curious statistic that scientists tend to be highly disproportionately atheist. Science may have favored the religious when atheism was virtually unheard of, but in the modern era, scientists don't seem to need a belief in god to do great work.

      June 22, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Christ Follower

      Albert Einstein is probably the best known and most highly revered scientist of the twentieth century, and is associated with major revolutions in our thinking about time, gravity, and the conversion of matter to energy (E=mc2). Although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in "Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists." This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: "I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details." Einstein's famous epithet on the "uncertainty principle" was "God does not play dice" – and to him this was a real statement about a God in whom he believed. A famous saying of his was "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

      June 22, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Mike

      A similar list could be made for great minds from other faiths. Of significant note is that while Christianity was an impediment to intellectual development and free thought in Europe during the dark ages, the muslims (Moors) in Spain (Al-Andalus) were coming up with the worlds technical advances and had the most sophisticated civilization in the Arts and Literature. The main point being a man's spiritual faith has little to do with his endeavours outside of the spiritual realm (the Sciences). If you must proselytize, do it with reason.

      June 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Andrew

      By the way, I didn't really feel like fact checking them all, but I feel I should mention that while yes Lemaître did provide some observational evidence for an expanding universe, Hubble was a lot more thorough. It would be like saying Kirchhoff or Maxwell were the ones to show us light travelled at a constant speed in all reference frames just because that is what they derived and had evidence to support. You yourself cited Edward Morley, who in his experiment with Michelson did the rough equivalent of what Hubble did for Lemaître, Friedman, Walker, and Einstein. Lemaitre deserves quite a lot of credit, I'm not saying he doesn't, but his work for Hubble's law is not his most impressive feature.

      June 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And Einstein never did prove the uncertainty principal wrong despite spending much time of doing so in his latter years. Also, while you have been fairer than most christrians in attempting to show that Einstein was a believer (at least to some extent), it would not be difficult to find other quotes (such as "I received your letter of June 10th. I have never talked to a Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.

      – Albert Einstein, letter to Guy H. Raner Jr, July 2, 1945, responding to a rumor that a Jesuit priest had caused Einstein to convert from atheism; quoted by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic, Vol. 5, No. 2 ") that indicate he did not beleive in god as many would like to pretend.

      June 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Christ Follower

      MORE CHRISTIANS HAVE BEEN KILLED FOR THEIR FAITH IN THE 20th CENTURY THAN HAVE BEEN MARTYRED ...

      Their first interview was with a group of young boys whose village had been attacked by Islamic soldiers. The elderly and infants were killed on the spot. Twenty-seven children, 14 boys and 13 girls, were taken to a military camp about 9 miles from their village. That evening, the boy's hands and feet were tied behind their backs and they were ordered to deny Christ. Each refused. Burning coals were piled on the ground in front of the boys. As they refused to deny their faith, they were held over the burning embers. Still, they refused to deny their faith.

      -----
      MUSKOGEE, OK (ANS) - "It is inconceivable to think someone would kill in a house of worship," Janet Reno said after seven people were fatally shot by 47-year-old Larry Gene Ashbrook at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Forth Worth, Texas. Think again, Janet.

      More Christians have been killed for their faith in the 20th century than have been martyred in the total history of Christianity. As you sit in a comfortable pew and worship this beautiful Sunday morning, there are Christian men, women, and children in sixty countries around the world who are imprisoned, tortured, and sold into slavery for the same privilege.

      In the last six months, more than 25 evangelical pastors have been killed and up to 300 churches destroyed in Colombia. In January of this year, Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons Philip and Timothy were brutally murdered. In Sudan, Christians are sold into slavery. In Sri Lanka, churches are burned and pastors fear for their lives.

      A few months ago, members of Voice of the Martyrs, founded by Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned for fourteen years for his participation in the Romanian underground church, traveled to Sudan, Vietnam, and Indonesia to film testimonies. Their first interview was with a group of young boys whose village had been attacked by Islamic soldiers. The elderly and infants were killed on the spot. Twenty-seven children, 14 boys and 13 girls, were taken to a military camp about 9 miles from their village. That evening, the boy's hands and feet were tied behind their backs and they were ordered to deny Christ. Each refused. Burning coals were piled on the ground in front of the boys. As they refused to deny their faith, they were held over the burning embers. Still, they refused to deny their faith. The older boys escaped that night and were placed in a refugee camp. The younger boys died. No one knows what happened to the girls. These boys lifted their dirty shirts and showed t! he terrible scars on their stomachs

      Another Sudanese Christian named Alex stopped the crew and begged for a Bible. He had been praying for two years to receive a Bible. He shared that in his village, there was one Bible for 200 believers. A difficult concept for American Christians who own several Bibles, which might be carelessly tossed under the bed or lie unread on the shelf.

      November 14 marks the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. An estimated 100,000 churches will take part. Perhaps it can be taken a step further and taught in Sunday school or in our families. Blankets, clothing, medicine, and encouraging letters could be sent to organizations such as Voice of the Martyrs - http://www.persecution.com). Others who work with the Suffering Church include Open Doors with Brother Andrew – http://odusa.org – and ASSIST Ministries - http://assist-ministries.com.

      In a day that Christianity is increasingly mocked and held up as intolerant and outdated, Janet Reno and even our towns and cities must understand that persecution has a new face in America. It is not inconceivable that there will come a day we have to prove we belief in our faith, especially in light of recent events - events, which have caused me to look deep inside myself and at the state of Christianity in America. 1 Peter 1:7 (NIV) says "These (trials) have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." I wonder. If American Christians were put on trial today for our faith, would there be enough evidence?

      --------------------------–

      June 22, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Christ Follower

      "Nine hundred years ago, our forefathers carried the name of Jesus Christ in battle across the Middle East. Fueled by fear, greed and hatred, they betrayed the name of Christ by conducting themselves in a manner contrary to His wishes and character. The Crusaders lifted the banner of the Cross above your people. By this act they corrupted its true meaning of reconciliation, forgiveness and selfless love.

      On the anniversary of the First Crusade we also carry the name of Christ. We wish to retrace the footsteps of the Crusaders in apology for their deeds and in demonstration of the true meaning of the Cross. We deeply regret the atrocities committed in the name of Christ by our predecessors. We renounce greed, hatred and fear, and condemn all violence done in the name of Jesus Christ.

      Where they were motivated by hatred and prejudice, we offer love and brotherhood. Jesus the Messiah came to give life. Forgive us for allowing His name to be associated with death. Please accept again the true meaning of the Messiah's words:

      'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.' "

      June 22, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Christ Follower

      In a day that Christianity is increasingly mocked and held up as intolerant and outdated, Janet Reno and even our towns and cities must understand that persecution has a new face in America. It is not inconceivable that there will come a day we have to prove we belief in our faith, especially in light of recent events - events, which have caused me to look deep inside myself and at the state of Christianity in America. 1 Peter 1:7 (NIV) says "These (trials) have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." I wonder. If American Christians were put on trial today for our faith, would there be enough evidence?

      --------------------------–

      June 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Jean

      I'm wondering how many of these individuals publicly professed to be Christians in order to avoid being burned at the stake as heretics. What they believed and what they said may have been different.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Andrew

      Honestly while I like Einstein, Dirac was my hero from that era. I mean, solving the Dirac equation required a pretty damn brilliant intuitive leap, one Einstein never really showed he could do. Though I should mention a few things. First, I hate it whenever anyone says "E=mc^2". He never had that in any of his papers, and that is a mostly boring and pointless feature of relativity which only discusses mass-energy equivalence for a massive particle in its own reference frame. By the very nature of relativity needing to talk about multiple reference frames, such an equation only applies in absurdly trivial circ-mstances. A much more reasonable equation would be E=γmc^2 (γ of course is the Lorentz factor), but even that only works for massive particles. The best structure is E^2=p^2c^2+m^2c^4, which works for massive and massless particles in any reference frame. That is interesting, and useful, E=mc^2 is trivial, and if you want to check it, take 0 for momentum (at rest) and it reduces to E=mc^2, and 0 for mass it reduces to E=pc, the energy of a photon.

      Hell, it wasn't even Einstein who first generated the equation, but rather Poincare. Mass-energy equivalence is truly one of the most mangled concepts the general public have picked up. Saying 'the conversion of mass into energy' highlights exactly what I mean, or, in the words of David Griffiths, what goes on is "rest energy is converted into kinetic energy (or, in the absurd language of the popular press, infuriating to anyone with the slightest respect for dimensional consistency, 'mass was converted into energy')"

      Sorry, I'm a physics major and that equation's misrepresentation as 'mass can be turned into energy' becomes more and more of a pet peeve of mine as the years go on.

      Now, on to the rest of what you said. Yes, Einstein liked the idea of Spinoza's god, I specifically said 'atheist or pantheist', he did a rough redefining of the universe as 'god'. Einstein would have still been fine with the idea of a self-propogating universe, that'd well be in line with his philosophy. Personally, it's too 'spiritual' for a reductionist like me, I side with Dirac and Feynman, but I can understand Einstein's philosophy.

      Further, Einstein's quote on the uncertainty principle was actually a really large count against him, because all evidence indicates... he was wrong. Dead wrong. Or, as a famous reply by Hawking goes, "Not only does God play dice, but he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen." He didn't like the randomness of quantum mechanics, but Einstein as he got older tended to do the same thing Planck did to him, consider these new ideas wrong because they fundamentally challenged the way he saw the universe. Einstein's dislike for quantum mechanics as it expanded is fairly well doc-mented, and kinda sad.

      Finally, yes I know that quote quite well, I've read Science, Philosophy and Religion, A Symposium multiple times. Here is the quote in context.

      But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. "This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

      That has nothing to do with any god, or any real religion, it has to do with the basic epistemological faith that scientists must have that the universe behaves orderly, predictably, and that we can learn truths about the universe. This really is a faith assumption, as we cannot provide evidence for it. But this is the faith Einstein had in Spinoza's god, and this is the faith that realistically all scientists must have. But the quote generally is used in ways I sincerely doubt Einstein meant for.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Re your list:
      They all had a big toe too. So what ? You have not demonstrated a causal or even incidental relationship between their faith and their scientific work.
      BTW Albert Einstein make a lot of mistakes, including (and admitting) that the "god doesn't play dice" concept was flawed.
      By 1927 his ongoing debate with Bohr about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Theorem had been considered a "draw", and in the end Bohr is considered to have won the argument.
      For another list, of Einstein's mistakes, see : http://discovermagazine.com/2008/sep/01-einstein.s-23-biggest-mistakes

      June 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Water to Whine

      As if Christians are the only group to be influential in the world.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • Colin

      Andrew, please become a regular contributor to this blog.

      June 22, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • pyrrho

      Christ Follower. You forget how many of the early scientists had no choice but to "acknowledge" they were christians or they were burned at the stake. You also forget that christainity created the dark ages and most of philosophy and science prior to the dark ages was saved by the non christian Arabs or all of that would have been lost forever.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Christ Follower

      Re: your list... I think we could pretty much all agree with the contributions of most if not all of the people listed.

      However, your buried 'implication' is that it somehow 'also' gives 'credibility' to Christianity. It does not. This is an offshoot or version of the 'argumentum ad populum.' By using numbers of people of an arguably 'superior' class (scientists) you seem to be attempting to assert some kind of 'proven validity' of Christianity.

      It does not.

      Very 'nice' list thought. Kudos !

      Regards,

      Peace...

      June 23, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • Boojum

      @Christ Follower
      From your "list": "Nicholas of Cusa 1401-1464 grappler with infinity" = Grappler with infinity? Really? *rolls eyes*

      "Blaise Pascal 1623-1662 mathematical prodigy and universal genius" = Universal genius? w-t-f? The man was an idiot who couldn't understand simple logic. Nothing genius about him.

      "Ewald Georg von Kleist c. 1700-1748 inventor of the Leyden jar" = I'm probably off on this one, but wouldn't the Leyden jar have been invented by someone named Leyden? ?? I mean really...

      "Carolus Linnaeus 1707-1778 classifer of all living things" = Oh, really? Does he have god-like powers then?

      "Leonhard Euler 1707-1783 the prolific mathematician" == Is this something to be proud of? Accuracy is better than prolixness.

      "Augustin Louis Cauchy 1789-1857 soulwinning mathematician" - you have GOT to be kidding me. *facepalm*

      "Matthew Fontaine Maury 1806-1873 pathfinder of the seas" - that is ridiculous, too. Exploration of the worlds oceans and seas was done by thousands of different people.

      In fact, most of these are puffed up in some grandiose way. This is a list that is just grabbing wildly at straws, hoping that their "Christian" declarations were valid – as if it made any difference whatsoever.
      Their "faith" whether fake or not, did not give them the science. It just gave them something to do on Sundays.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Boojum

      @Andrew
      While I understand your need to be critical of those whose shoulders you stand upon, you are only a physics major, yes?

      There should be no need to even recognize the personal religious beliefs of any scientist, as religion creates no facts, no truths, but only hinders the clear thinking needed by every scientist.
      And science is not a religion. No faith is needed in epistemology, despite your efforts to insinuate such a thing.

      btw, talking math in a religion blog is ridiculously stupid. I wonder if you're even a physics major. Unless you mean high school. Yeah, real "major". No intelligent physicist would bother trying to tie physics and religion absent any proof.

      June 23, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Boojum

      @Andrew
      Sorry, I read your post too fast. Don't shoot! Me peaceful injun!

      June 23, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  18. Christ Follower

    Eternity is a long time to be wrong about Jesus! Please don't be deceived. Check out the following link...
    http://www.oneplace.com/ministeries/the-connection/listen/the-bible-from-god-or-form-men-part-2a-193831.html

    June 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • frank

      you're afraid of death AND afraid of life lol

      June 22, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • pat carr

      how do you know that Odin, Thor, Allah, Loki or one of the other thousands of gods wasn't the RIGHT one LOL

      June 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Convert to Islam or the Puppy Dies!

      Eternity is a long time to be wrong about Allah. Best you convert now.

      June 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Adelina's Cruise Director

      Pascal's Wager. Not again. Zzzzzzz.

      June 22, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Water to Whine

      A lifetime is a short time to waste on religious destraction. Focus on rational solutions to real life problems.

      June 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • rigel54

      Fundamentalist religions usually have as their heart a fear and hatred of the joy of like, and carry repression, fear, and guilt. Many more moderate religions carry milder versions of these poisons. Most importantly, their claims about the world are nonsensical, and lead to errors that have killed and will kill millions.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • rigel54

      That's life, of course, not like! (Though I like life!).

      June 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  19. ReligionIsNotTheAnswer

    shut up stupid

    June 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • pyrrho

      "shut up stupid" is even less of an answer.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  20. scoobers

    @Religionisnotheanswer

    For someone who doesn't beleive in God, you sure waste a ton of time posting comments on religious stories. Seems that these religion pages really intrigue and anger you. I was under the impression that the evolved, intelligent, most awesome atheists had much better things to do with their time....guess I was wrong and you my friend are a troll 😦

    June 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • rigel54

      Although it is without foundation in the real, physical world, religion is very important in human society. It has been responsible for great evil and destruction, some good, and great error and confusion in social and other policy. It is for those reasons that it is important to confront it and demand that it answer for its "sins," drop its pretense of answers, and get out of the way.

      June 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Alverant

      There's another reason. Religion has become a threat to humanity. You have fundamentalists talking about trying to destroy the world for their god (not just in islam, but christianity too by way of trying to get Jesus to arrive sooner). You also have religion trying to replace science in schools and make secular subject to religious interpretation.

      How is it a waste of time to fight back against the destructive forces of religion?

      June 23, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Dan

      Alverant: You are completely ignorant of Christian beliefs. Jesus clearly taught that there was an appointed time that was determined by the Father. No one can alter that timing except the Father himself.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • pyrrho

      Dan. What you said is correct but many Jews have been bankrolled by grants from U.S. evangelical Christians, who regard the return of Jews to the Holy Land as part of an apocalyptic prophecy foretold in the Bible.
      "What I'm seeing is the Scriptures being fulfilled right before our very eyes," said Bishop Huey Harris, whose First Pentecostal Tabernacle Church in Elkton, Md., raised $2,500 from its congregation to help finance the American Jews' journey. And more Bishop Huey Harris said:
      "What's next? I'm looking for the church to be raptured, Jesus returning for the church . . . and the Jews would receive him as their Messiah."

      Forgotten amid all the excitement was the fact that many of the 371 newcomers had been bankrolled by grants from U.S. evangelical Christians, who regard the return of Jews to the Holy Land as part of an apocalyptic prophecy foretold in the Bible.

      "What I'm seeing is the Scriptures being fulfilled right before our very eyes," said Bishop Huey Harris, whose First Pentecostal Tabernacle Church in Elkton, Md., raised $2,500 from its congregation to help finance the American Jews' journey.

      "What's next? I'm looking for the church to be raptured, Jesus returning for the church . . . and the Jews would receive him as their Messiah."

      June 23, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • LinCA

      @Dan

      You said: "You are completely ignorant of Christian beliefs. Jesus clearly taught that there was an appointed time that was determined by the Father. No one can alter that timing except the Father himself."

      Considering that there are, by some count, 34,000 different christian denominations that ALL claim to know "the truth", there is no way for anyone to know what particular nonsense you happen to believe in. Your interpretation of what christian beliefs are is clearly not universal, as evidence by Harold Camping, and others. Like it or not, they are christians, too.

      So before you scold someone about "being ignorant" about your belief, you should really clean up the mess within christianity. Come back when you have unified ALL christians into one religion. Until you do that, you are just another lunatic swinging his dick in public*.

      *Having religion is like having a penis. It's OK to have one. It's OK to be proud of it. Just don't whip it out in public.

      June 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Jesus clearly taught that there was an appointed time that was determined by the Father."

      @Dan – he also said that the time would come before his generation had passed. Or did you miss that part?

      June 23, 2011 at 4:20 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.