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July 26th, 2014
05:56 PM ET

Why the Jesuits (including Pope Francis) are on the frontlines of faith

Opinion by Matt Emerson, special to CNN

(CNN) - Is Andrew Garfield, star of films such as “The Social Network” and “The Amazing Spiderman,” considering the priesthood?

Last month, paparazzi snapped a picture of Garfield walking as he carried “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything,” the Rev. James Martin’s insightful overview of Jesuit life and spirituality.

According to reports, he’s consulting the book as he prepares to play a Jesuit in a film adaptation of “Silence,” a novel about Catholic missionaries in Japan.

Garfield’s reading material – and the movie he’s studying for – captures the continuing cultural impact of the 474-year-old Catholic religious order officially known as the Society of Jesus.

Sometimes called "God's Marines" (not all appreciate the nickname) for their willingness to go to the frontlines of faith, Jesuits form the largest order of Catholic priests in the church, with approximately 18,000 members worldwide. And, at a time when most religious orders are shrinking and pining for new candidates, the Jesuits say inquiries about joining their ranks are surging.

What explains the Jesuits’ enduring appeal?

Much of it has to do with their academic legacy. In the United States alone, there are 60 Jesuit high schools and 28 Jesuit colleges and universities. They are part of a network of secondary and post-secondary institutions that stretch from Los Angeles to Lagos to Tokyo. A good number of those schools are named after the founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Born in Spain in 1491, Ignatius – then Iñigo Lòpez de Loyola – was groomed for a conventional path in service of the Spanish crown.

Known as something of a ruffian and a ladies’ man, Inigo entered the military and, in 1521, encountered the French at the Battle of Pamplona, a fight that left his right leg badly wounded by a cannonball.

With time to pray and reflect, Inigo underwent his remarkable conversion from swashbuckling soldier to spiritual pilgrim. A new man and now disciple, Inigo adopted a new name: Ignatius, which some say marked his newfound respect for St. Ignatius of Antioch.

In addition to Ignatius’ captivating conversion, his work “The Spiritual Exercises,” continues to inspire contemporary Catholic movements in education and prayer, and serves as the foundation for all Jesuit ministries. The exercises are essentially a retreat manual, a series of guided meditations that enable people to experience the love of God and strengthen their relationship with Christ.

With the aide of the Spiritual Exercises, which members of the Society of Jesus are required to periodically revisit, a steady stream of Jesuits from nearly every country and background have shaped the culture, politics, and events of their day.

There’s Matteo Ricci, the 16th century missionary to China, a polymathic priest and a groundbreaking figure in connecting Asian and European cultures.

There’s Gerard Manley Hopkins, the nineteenth century English poet, whose verse is regarded as some of the best of the Victorian era and regularly included in poetry anthologies.

And there’s Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the French Jesuit born in 1880 who, as a paleontologist, was instrumental in discovering and examining “Peking man,” and who, as a theologian, remains notable for his efforts to synthesize science and Christianity.

Their lives demonstrate the ways that a distinctly religious worldview can speak to the world’s needs, an emphasis on practicality that is thoroughly Jesuit in origin. "Contemplation in action," runs one well-known Jesuit motto.

“Jesuits, as their tradition insists, can be found in almost every country, in almost every workplace imaginable,” Jonathan Wright writes in his book, “God’s Soldiers: A History of the Jesuits.”

That includes war zones, retreat houses, business schools and chemistry labs. There are Jesuit doctors, lawyers, engineers and psychologists, as well as artists and television producers.

In this variety and geographic reach, the words of one early Jesuit, Jerónimo Nadal, ring true: “The whole world . . . is our house.”

Today, the Jesuits are as well-known as at any time in their history. This popularity starts at the very top of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis, himself a Jesuit for more than 50 years.

In an extensive interview published last September in America magazine, Francis spoke at length about his Jesuit identity and background.

He decided to join the society as a young man in Argentina, the Pope said, because he admired its "missionary spirit, community and discipline," even though he was himself not very disciplined.

A key to understanding Pope Francis

He later came to appreciate Jesuits' open-mindedness and willingness to see God in all things, great and small, Francis said.

"The Jesuit always thinks, again and again, looking at the horizon toward which he must go, with Christ at the center. This is his real strength. And that pushes the Society to be searching, creative and generous."

Catholic leaders who know the Pope well say his Jesuit training is the "key to understanding" Francis. "Pope Francis is the quintessential Ignatian Jesuit,” said Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, one of the Pope's closest confidants.

For instance, O'Malley said, consider the Pope's decision to wash the feet of a group of prisoners on Holy Thursday in 2013, just after his election as pontiff, instead of following Vatican tradition and celebrating a Mass at St. John Lateran's Archbasilica.

"With a simple gesture, the Holy Father was challenging core assumptions about power, authority and leadership," O'Malley said, adding that his actions "jostled" Catholics out of complacency.

Francis may be the the most well-known Jesuit, but others engage the culture in influential ways as well.

Martin, author of “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything,” appears regularly on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” to discuss topics like heaven and hell, social justice and the latest news from the Vatican. And Jesuits can often be relied upon to converse about more far-out topics – like really far out.

For example, Jesuit brother Guy Consolmagno, who recently won the Carl Sagan Medal for communicating science to the public, has co-written a forthcoming book titled “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?” a question that only a Jesuit could love. (Pope Francis, for the record, says yes.)

Given its history and global presence, you might think the Society of Jesus would closely guard its legacy. But this is one area where the Catholic order breaks with typical expectations.

A hallmark of Ignatian spirituality is the emphasis on remaining indifferent. That doesn't mean apathy or disinterest, but rather a radical availability to the will of God. As Jesuits say, this “Ignatian indifference” is about freedom from attachments that displace God as the center of one’s life.

How to really measure the 'Francis effect'

That freedom has imbued the Society of Jesus with a spirit of re-creation for five centuries, and I wouldn't be surprised if it continues to inspire Jesuits for the next 500 years.

One day my children might enjoy a new technology created by a Jesuit who works at Google or a Jesuit whose path to the priesthood was perhaps inspired by a movie starring a certain Hollywood celebrity.

Father Andrew Garfield? Seems impossible, right?

Not exactly. Read the biography of Ignatius, and you’ll know why.

Matt Emerson blogs for the Jesuit magazine America and teaches theology at Xavier College Preparatory, a Jesuit high school in Palm Desert, California. The views expressed in this column belong to Emerson. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture & Science • Opinion • Pope Francis

soundoff (327 Responses)
  1. colin31714

    Would you baptize and extraterrestrial?

    Well, first, the extraterrestrial would want to be baptized. To do so, it would have to believe each of the following;

    (i) there is a god. The creation of, and belief in gods is quite possibly an entirely human affair; and

    (ii) that, of the thousands of gods created by human beings, the Judeo-Christian god is the correct one, and that (to take a small sample) Azura Mazda, Angus, Belenos, Brigid, Dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Allah Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, God, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Ganesh, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Shiva Thuno, Tir, Vishnu, Weyland, Woden, Yahweh, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, Saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Herne, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, Ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fukurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac and Zaramama, are not; and

    (iii) that, out of the various Christian sects, which includes the Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Episcopalians, Mormons, United Church of Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Assembly of God, Evangelicals, Seventh-Day Adventists, Eastern Orthodox, Coptics, Disciples of Christ, Quakers, Mennonites, Amish and Hitti.tes, the Catholics got it right.

    Accepting (i) to (iii) above, will, of course, entail our theoretical ET believing that the Catholic God created the entire Universe and its 400,000,000,000 odd known galaxies; chose the Milky Way Galaxy as his “favorite”; then out of the 200,000,000,000 likely stars and planets in our galaxy, chose the Earth as his planet; and then, out of the 200,000,000 odd people alive about 3,000 years ago, chose a few thousand Jews to be his “Chosen People.” About a thousand years later, this Catholic God impregnates a human being – a Greco-Roman Jewish virgin – with himself, to give birth to himself and then sacrifice himself to himself to forgive the Original Sin of a couple everybody now knows never existed.

    I’m thinking ET might decide that the Jews made God in their image and note vice-versa and will respectfully decline undergoing this Dark Ages religious ritual.

    PS: A nod to Doc V for putting the above list of gods together.

    July 27, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
    • Doris

      colin: "I’m thinking ET might decide that the Jews made God in their image and note vice-versa..."

      Goodness – on a side note, I can just imagine one of these orthodox nut cases getting a hold of an ET baby and trying to circumcise something on it...

      July 27, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
  2. ausphor

    Could it be that Baptists, especially Southern Baptists, just suck at being Christian, right TOPHER?

    July 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
  3. Science Works

    http://io9.com/does-the-new-pope-believe-in-evolution-453874239

    July 27, 2014 at 11:19 am |
  4. cynthiaavishegnath

    EVOLUTION.

    The Jesuits are the hallmark of why the Catholic Church does not find the theory of Evolution contradictory to the teachings of the Church.

    All of you who incessantly scratch around for funny ridiculous reasons against EVOLUTION, learn from them.

    July 27, 2014 at 9:13 am |
    • igaftr

      Learn science from religious zealots?

      Do you learn accounting from a fireman?
      Learn how to be a chef from you garbageman?

      July 27, 2014 at 9:25 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        I see this one has failed to study Evolution or she'd comprehend that the biblical account and the science account are two very different things.

        July 27, 2014 at 9:27 am |
        • Russ

          @ truthprevails:
          1) you might want to revisit your categories (your "science vs religion" narrative is perpetuating the problem, not addressing it).

          2) here's a paper to help you out...
          http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/Keller_white_paper.pdf

          July 27, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • igaftr

          russ
          How does that help? It is opinion.

          Science tries to discern the truth. Religion claims to be the truth with nothing at all to back it up.
          When science finds a given truth, religion then adjusts it's "truth" to fit.

          The main reason for this is that religion is based off imagination, science is based on reality.
          It really is that simple.

          July 27, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        • bostontola

          I don't see science looking for truth in a deep sense, only in a proximate sense. The results of a well designed and executed experiment can be validated and hence shown to be true, but the underlying theory is not proven by scientific experiment. Science models aspects of the universe and the model is tested. The aspects of the universe tested so far are both wonderful and limited. Science doesn't even claim truth.

          The problem with most religion is that they make unsubstantiated claims at truth. The worst, retain absurd claims that have been falsified in an objective way, resorting to outlandish explanations that are arguably dishonest.

          Catholic scientists have been some of the most important in the history of science. Their effort to recognize science and accommodate it in their system is a good thing in my opinion. I agree with the OP that other religions should emulate that model.

          July 27, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Bostonola: I see your point, however there are so many divides between religion and science.

          July 27, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • bostontola

          Truth,
          That depends on which religion you are referring to. Science clearly conflicts with literal Abrahamic religions. It does not conflict with religion in the abstract.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • igaftr

          "I don't see science looking for truth in a deep sense,"

          The ONLY purpose of science is to determine what is true. It is often quite difficult to know when you have the whole truth, so no, science does not claim truth...at least not very often.

          Science is the opposite of religion.
          Religion claims to have truth, with NOTHING to back it up, does the opposite of the scientific method, and has no basis in reality.
          Science on the other hand starts with observation, then works out the how, why by direct and indirect testing. It is only as infallible as the one employing the scientific method. That is why we need peer review confirmation of data and theories.

          Religion simply self affirms based on nothing but peoples desire for it to be true. All religious texts are nothing but propoganda, stories and myths....no substance.

          religion is an exploration of mans wants and desires, a psychological phenomena.
          Science's ultimate goal is always truth.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • bostontola

          Igaftr,
          I would dispute that the only purpose of science is to find truth, but that is a small argument (science has a purpose to provide a solid foundation of human technologies that help the human condition, true or not).

          But the bigger question of truth, science makes no claim to searching for truth. Like I said, scientists are modeling phenomena and are validating those models. I claim there is not 1 significant scientific theory that has been proved. You can easily prove me wrong by finding one. Science can prove things in a sense that have clear human definitions. Science can prove Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system yet discovered. Science can prove direct observations are true, e.g. Infectious disease can be caused by microorganisms. Those are proximate truths. Deep truths like physics theories of spacetime, quantum theory, etc. are not about truth, they are models that can be validated or not, and they work in the validated range of parameters.

          This is my opinion. You are enti.tled to your opinion of what the objective of science. Whether science has proven any undefined theory is a fact, it hasn't. Truth requires proof in my definition.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • igaftr

          Germ theory is 100% true, proven.
          The Big Bnag theory ( the fact that it happened, not what caused it)
          Evolution, again that it is ongoing, just the mechanisms are still being examined.
          Transistor theory ( leading to microchips)
          Combustable engine theory.
          Theory of electricity ( leading to generators and electric motors)
          Photosynthesis theory ( now leading to improved solar energy efficiency)
          Some theories are smaller than others, and thus easier to prove.

          MAny, many other proven theories are out there.

          Science , at all times, is looking for what is true...sometimes we find it, sometimes we get closer, sometimes we find out what is NOT true, but always pursuing truth...always.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • bostontola

          Igaftr,
          We are arguing with different definitions of terms. I thought I was clear about making a distinction between the proximate truths of things defined and observed by humans and truth regarding existence.

          Germ theory is 100% true, proven. Proximate truth regarding observation.
          The Big Bnag theory ( the fact that it happened, not what caused it) Not proven.
          Evolution, again that it is ongoing, just the mechanisms are still being examined. The phenomenon is a scientific fact, the theory is far from proven.
          Transistor theory ( leading to microchips). Just a model,that works, proximate truths, no deep truth here.
          Combustable engine theory. Same as above.
          Theory of electricity ( leading to generators and electric motors). Model that works.
          Photosynthesis theory ( now leading to improved solar energy efficiency). Phenomenon regarding an observed thing that is known (again proximate) the underlying theory is far from proven.

          Science has various philosophies associated with it. You are expressing yours. Mine is similar to the name of a poster on the blog, Science Works. Yours may be, Science is Truth, but I don't subscribe to that.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • igaftr

          Science is not truth. It is a tool. It helps us to find truth.
          "proximate truth"? What is that supposed to mean.
          Those aren't models that work, they were scientific principles, theorized then proven. I don't know what more you want. Do you understand how science works?

          A guy THEORIZED that if you take silicon and germanium in a certain configuration, it would work like a switch....then it was tested, refined , tested again...and PROVEN...theory to proof...not a working model, a theory that was then proven.

          It was THEORIZED that germs cause disease....only a fool would say that hasn't been proven beyond any doubt.

          Religion claims truth, and refuses to back up its claims.

          July 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • bostontola

          Proximate truth applies to things humans define and directly observe, Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. The theory of semiconductors is a high level model of condensed matter physics, not a deep truth of existence. It is an approximation that works in a useful range of parameters.

          Truth and proof are the realm of mathematics and logic. We can make definitions that map observation to math and logic. Within that realm, we can determine truth. The deep theories have no such mapping. They are models that are not proof of deeper underlying truth of the universe.

          Like I said, you have your opinion, I have mine. Science isn't about truth. It would be closer to say science is about what hasn't been shown false (not the same as truth). Even closer is to say science is about what is falsifiable (also not truth).

          I don't rule out the possibility that some day in the very distant future science will find the deep truths. Today, science is not doing that. It is an open epistemological question of what is knowable whether science ever addresses the deep truths. Even the most disciplined mathematicians know there are mathematical statements that are beyond proof.

          July 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • igaftr

          Proximate truth? jupiter IS the largest planet in our solar system. Not "proximate truth"...it is not close to the truth or adjacent to the truth, it is the truth.
          "Proximate truth" would mean close to the truth, so has little meaning in science.

          July 28, 2014 at 8:12 am |
        • bostontola

          igaftr,
          You just defined proximate truth in a way different than I did. I invented the term as I was typing and defined it. It is like contrasting a proximate cause and a root cause. Proximate truths are surface level or high level truths that are enabled by human definitions. This distinction may not be useful for you, so ignore it.

          July 28, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • Reality

      If Jesuits were interested in the truth, they would not be Jesuits but atheists. Details previously presented.

      July 27, 2014 at 10:53 am |
      • bostontola

        Atheism doesn't represent truth, or claim to. It is a simple lack of belief that God is true. Why would a truth seeker have to be atheist? Wouldn't that also bias the truth seeker? Just because Christianity in the literal sense is false, doesn't make atheism true. I am an atheist and can see that.

        July 27, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • Reality

          If atheism is not the truth of the matter then that allows wiggle room and there is none if one seeks the truth from reading the studies and history of religion. Reading material to find out the truth about the historical Jesus and Christianity has been previously presented. Ditto for other religions:

          The results in summary form:

          Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

          • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

          • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e. the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

          • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

          • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

          • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

          • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

          • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

          Added details available upon written request.

          A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

          e.g. Taoism

          "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

          Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

          July 27, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • bostontola

          Perhaps you missed this part:

          " Just because Christianity in the literal sense is false, doesn't make atheism true."

          July 27, 2014 at 11:38 pm |
        • Reality

          It is all part of the complete package as all religions fail the truth test.

          July 28, 2014 at 6:58 am |
        • bostontola

          Every religion being false doesn't make atheism true.

          July 28, 2014 at 7:31 am |
        • Reality

          Not completely but it gets as close as we are going to get.

          July 28, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • bostontola

          Now go back to your statement. Atheism is neither required for being a truth seeker, nor is a qualification (you would probably be better off as an agnostic for that role).

          July 28, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • Reality

          The personal journey: Red-neck Catholic -> Truth Seeker (using the references previously presented)- > agnostic -> More Truth Seeking -> Atheist Forever

          July 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
        • bostontola

          Do you actually think atheism is truth, that it is a fact? If so, you are as dogmatic as a Southern Baptist.

          July 29, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • Reality

          dog·ma

          /ˈdôgmə/

          noun

          noun: dogma; plural noun: dogmas

          a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.
          "the Christian dogma of the Trinity"

          Atheism is not laid down by an authority but is found by seeking the truth via the means previously presented.

          July 30, 2014 at 12:30 am |
        • bostontola

          I wasn't referring to atheism being dogmatic, I was referring to you. You assume the statement: 'There is no God' is a fact and true. That is a dogmatic position as there is no proof. I believe that statement is correct, but I don't know it. Every religion I've studied is false in the literal sense, but that is as far as you can go factually.

          July 30, 2014 at 7:33 am |
  5. Reality

    Again, saving Christians and the Jesuits from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors (e.g.Notre Dame, Catholic U, Georgetown) 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 records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension 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

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

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

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

    p.4

    "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."

    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. "

    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, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    July 27, 2014 at 8:12 am |
  6. No Wake Zone

    Life is absurd everywhere and always.

    July 27, 2014 at 6:41 am |
    • ddeevviinn

      Thank you Albert.

      July 27, 2014 at 10:10 am |
      • ausphor

        devin
        You are just so priceless in erudite comments.

        July 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          You really have no idea as to the intent of the reply, do you?

          July 27, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        Camus?

        July 27, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          SUN

          I always knew you were bright.

          July 27, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          I just read a lot.

          July 27, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        Ha. I just now got that. So, you were wrong.

        July 28, 2014 at 10:26 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          " I just now got that"

          I assume you are referring to my little double entendre?

          " So, you were wrong" ?

          You'll have to help me with this one???

          July 28, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • ddeevviinn

          Ha, and I just now got THAT. Touche.

          "Camus was the right answer, so you get to maintain your brightness.

          July 28, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat.

      -George Carlin

      July 27, 2014 at 11:57 am |
      • ausphor

        When you are born again, and again, over and over again, you are the freak show.

        July 27, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
  7. jennyroca

    God bless !

    July 27, 2014 at 2:41 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Which god??? Zeus? Odin? Thor? or any of the many others invented by man??

      July 27, 2014 at 5:56 am |
      • No Wake Zone

        You could worship anything...a paper plate...and it would be cool if it brought people together, but that's not how it works man.

        July 27, 2014 at 6:21 am |
      • mistersensible

        No the one you used to believe in before the deceiver got a hold of you. You will come back.

        July 27, 2014 at 6:41 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Oh prey tell, which one would that be and who is the deceiver??

          July 27, 2014 at 6:48 am |
        • mistersensible

          No it's oh pray don't tell. See you are so close and on your way back.

          July 27, 2014 at 7:16 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No it is prey! To pray means to speak to an invisible unproven deity and that would simply be a foolish waste of time! Prayer does nothing more than appease the person saying the prayer and makes them believe they are doing good when in fact they are being lazy!
          No rational, logical person returns to your god or have you not read the bible? Your god is not something worthy of worship.

          July 27, 2014 at 7:21 am |
        • mistersensible

          Quick story....I was praying the other day that if a situation arises where I can help let be sensitive to it. I was at Chipotle and they accidentally placed the lady behind me plate on my tray. I moved through the line and paid for it. People were laughing but it was all good. She and her adult daughter thanked me and the mom started crying because she was considering moving back into the area and had prayed to receive sign. When I told them my prayer they both cried because the daughter wanted her to come back home, and now she was because of that moment. God is great and loves us fully. I know you think it is a coincidence etc...But prayer works, and God still loves you even though you deny him.

          July 27, 2014 at 7:30 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Personal experience does not count as evidence to anyone but you! So you have not proven that prayer works, you have merely proven that you are biased and think it does due to your extremist views.
          We know prayer doesn't work...numerous studies have proven this and you being weak, doesn't change that.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:00 am |
        • mistersensible

          It worked in that moment. I base my faith/proof on personal experience of which i have had multiple successes utilizing prayer. Please be nice it feels a lot better. Jesus knows your soul and wants you to return.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:06 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          So what??? You have yet to prove prayer works! You provided personal story and in reality, it counts for nothing to anyone but YOU!! For you to think it counts as evidence to anyone else is pure ignorance arrogance on your behalf!

          July 27, 2014 at 8:16 am |
        • igaftr

          mister
          Since you do not know if any of the supernatural part of your Jesus story is true or not, you do not know if Jesus did ior does anything.

          You believe he loves everyone, but you do not know, so stop acting like like you do, because you are lying.

          You can say you BELIEVE this and that about your man god, but to say it like it IS true, is a lie.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:35 am |
  8. thesamyaza

    Jesuits aka the order of the buzz kills. on the front-lines of always ruining the party, seriously i stopped inviting my Jesuit friend to all my parties. when i go all Panty Anarchy, the last thing i want is for some one to tell me I am going to Burn for eternity.

    July 27, 2014 at 1:59 am |
    • No Wake Zone

      I know right? That is the FIRST thing I want them to tell me.

      July 27, 2014 at 6:23 am |
  9. RichardSRussell

    The New Doxology
    Tune: Old 100

    Praise "God" from whom all cyclones blow,
    Praise "Him" when rivers overflow,
    Praise "Him" who whirls down house and oaks
    Who sinks the ships and drowns the folks.

    Praise "Him" whose dinosaurs all died,
    Whose cøckroaches have survived.
    Praise "God" for war, for strife and pain,
    For earthquake shock and hurricane,

    I’ll praise "Him" less as time goes on,
    As more and more I feel "moron"
    To think that really there’s a "God"
    Who runs this scene - Tis strangely odd!

    So now instead I’ll praise the fact
    that human beings can react
    With loving wisdom of their own,
    No need to some weird "God" enthrone!

    Praise life from which all questions flow,
    Praise minds which search both high and low
    To find the truth that makes us free
    From nonsense and from bigotry.

    Praise truth which marvels at the seas,
    At universe and galaxies,
    At light years - and at human love,
    At laughter - and the lowly dove!

    —Don C. Shaw, SecHum listserv

    July 27, 2014 at 1:26 am |
    • mygodreigns425

      Ironic that your new doxology fulfills the Bible text Romans 1:25: They exchanged God's truth for a lie and worshipped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.

      July 27, 2014 at 3:40 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Creation implies a creator and given that you have zero evidence for it, you once again show that you prefer lying over truth. Given that there is zero evidence that your imaginary friend stated anything, saying it is gods truth is merely you showing that you like to lie and remain ignorant!! Pathetic uneducated dolt!!

        July 27, 2014 at 5:55 am |
        • mistersensible

          Faith prevails and in your life it will win in the end.Calling someone a dolt is evidence of lack of love. Christ would never call you that. You will return.

          July 27, 2014 at 6:43 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Faith is belief without evidence, so while you may not care that what you believe is true some of us do. Calling yourself sensible when you don't honestly care about evidence is like calling your murderous, rape approving, slavery approving god good...quite the contradiction!

          July 27, 2014 at 6:47 am |
        • mistersensible

          Do you deny Chris walked on this earth. There are accounts of his existence by historians. You seem bitter, thats why Christ came, to give you rest.

          July 27, 2014 at 6:58 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You are so seriously wrong. There is no verification that this Christ character walked the earth, so you are lying unless of course you care to back your delusional claims!

          July 27, 2014 at 7:01 am |
        • mistersensible

          Check Josebus and the like. Plato Socrates etal must not have exited either since we cant prove it. God loves you Truth and you will see that again.

          July 27, 2014 at 7:15 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Even if a person named jesus walked the earth, it doesn't prove he was anything more than a man. It doesn't prove he was the son of this god or that he was born from a virgin. All the supposed existence and stories thereafter prove is that man is great at embellishing stories. Considering stories were passed verbally back when the bible was written, it is relatively easy to see that those stories would be vastly different from the original. Considering nothing was written about jesus until 30-40 years after he died (apparently...if he even existed...much controversy over that), those stories can't be relied upon.

          July 27, 2014 at 7:30 am |
        • mistersensible

          I understand what you are saying. But let's think back thirty years ago to an event that took place in your life that was of either catastrophic or of overwhelming significance, not unlike the events told of Jesus miracles. You could probably recall them very well. including time place and person you were with. A God event like that would be of special significance and would be quite easy to remember. Heck I remember the last game of a beach volleyball championship I was in 20 years ago and what was said and how it went down. Not quite as important as healing the blind, or the leper. God loves you.

          July 27, 2014 at 7:37 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You're listing real time personal experiences and that doesn't count. Just because a man named jesus might have walked this earth and impressed people doesn't mean a god is at play.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:01 am |
      • realbuckyball

        Ironic that your new doxology fulfills the Bible text Romans 1:25: They exchanged God's truth for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.

        @mygodreigns
        Divination and omen reading were forbidden in Leviticus. It was an abomination. Prophecy was not about telling/predicting the future UNTIL the late Apocalyptic Period.

        There are as many if not more unfulfilled prophecies than fulfilled ones. Anyone can cook up general predictions and claim they apply to a particular situation.

        July 27, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
  10. RichardSRussell

    My favorite Jesuit was a fictional one, the narrator of Arthur C. Clarke's short story "The Star".
    To see why, Google that phrase to find the YouTube video of the author reading it.
    16 minutes well spent.

    July 27, 2014 at 12:51 am |
  11. k3vinf

    Sick and twisted. I say this as a man with personal experience dealing with Jesuits.

    July 27, 2014 at 12:10 am |
    • sumevita

      Rubbish, I say – as a man with personal experience dealing with bloggers.

      July 27, 2014 at 12:13 am |
      • mygodreigns425

        The goal of Jesuits is to eradicate Protestantism and restore Catholic power. Unfortunately, Marines is too nice a word. This is historical fact.

        July 27, 2014 at 3:48 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        You're a coward for jesus...no care for your fellow man, just care for the non-existent.

        July 27, 2014 at 5:53 am |
        • mistersensible

          You shouldn't call people names, that is not very nice. You believed once and will again.

          July 27, 2014 at 6:45 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Oh dear, you seem to think you know more than you do. The best thing I have ever done is escape your divisive, hate-filled group..it's truly mind-opening and enlightening.
          Everyone knows that if I mumble anything about your imaginary friend while on my death bed, they are to accept it as the medication messing with the brain chemicals nothing more. So your claim that I will believe again is complete garbage and proves you to be a liar!

          July 27, 2014 at 6:51 am |
        • mistersensible

          Wait if that proves me to be a liar, you are assuming a non fact to be a fact, not unlike your faith argument. You will see the light again, because it is His will.

          July 27, 2014 at 7:01 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          mister-non-sensible: You're a complete loon. I bet your imaginary friend wouldn't like you judging people It is your hell, you can enjoy it....not all are so weak that we're worried and living in fear!

          July 27, 2014 at 7:04 am |
        • mistersensible

          You keep calling people names, who is judging who in this blog? You are a good person in Christ eyes, he just loves you.

          July 27, 2014 at 7:10 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          mister-non-sensible: Does reality and the truth hurt? Skip the hypocrisy...you're the one thinking I will return to the vindictive god you believe in and I'm telling you that you have zero way of knowing that but yet you keep spewing it!

          July 27, 2014 at 7:25 am |
        • mistersensible

          That's ok Truth I still love you in Christ even though you keep trying to demean me.

          July 27, 2014 at 7:39 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Do you not think it is demeaning to us to have you think you have the slightest clue about our future? Skip the damn hypocrisy...it's arrogant.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:03 am |
        • mistersensible

          Don't know your future other than you will come back before you breathe your last breath. Judgement is his not mine.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:09 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          mister-non-sensible: To say that you know that is a complete lie! You are judging when you make statements like that! Pure arrogance and ignorance on your behalf!
          Once I take my last breath, that is all there is...no evidence of anything thereafter and you believing there is, proves the fear factoring of your religion and how very weak minded you are.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:15 am |
        • mistersensible

          Not a lie, a prediction. They aren't the same.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:25 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You claimed not to be judging but yet you claim to know that I will close my mind and return to believing. Given that you have no way of knowing that, your so-called prediction isn't much of a prediction and you contradicting yourself, then trying to cover your tracks makes you a liar!!

          July 27, 2014 at 9:04 am |
        • realbuckyball

          "You shouldn't call people names, that is not very nice. You believed once and will again."

          .....and you have doubts, and will doubt again.

          July 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
  12. pnswrites

    Who cares.....seriously who cares...the world plagued with internal strife and environmental disasters has reached it's tipping point...9 bn is way too many ppl...there will be a correction..the earth will correct itself...you and me are not even specks in the history of the world. Religion is just a vessel to help us cross this period of suffering, despondency and internal diabolical strife...true awareness begins within...pray upon the divine that he may show the path...seek within....om shanti

    July 27, 2014 at 12:06 am |
  13. readerpan

    "A hallmark of Ignatian spirituality is the emphasis on remaining indifferent." A hallmark of the ignatian spirituality is that they can prove both sides of any spiritual argument are true, at least to their own promiscuous satisfaction.

    July 26, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
    • sumevita

      A sign of true spirituality. I don't expect the unenlightened to understand it.

      July 27, 2014 at 12:03 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        And we don't expect the educated to understand that spirits are non-existent. Skip the hypocrisy and follow the golden rule!

        July 27, 2014 at 5:52 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          And we don't expect the educated

          should be uneducated (which has been proven to be the case for far too many Christians)

          July 27, 2014 at 6:58 am |
  14. alonsoquixote

    One famous Jesuit priest that wasn't mentioned is Georges Lemaître, who was also an astronomer and professor of physics. He proposed what is now known as the Big Bang theory for the origin of our universe and was the first academic to propose the theory of the expansion of the universe.

    July 26, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
    • otoh2

      alonso,

      I don't think that Lemaître was a Jesuit. From what I read, he studied under them in secondary school, but the seminary that he attended was not Jesuit. He was ordained a priest but was not a member of a religious "order". Believe it or not, they call them "secular priests".

      July 26, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
      • eedude1

        He was a Jesuit

        July 26, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
        • otoh2

          eedude,

          Can you provide a source for that info? I haven't found anything like that.

          July 26, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
        • eedude1

          otoh2- I just tried to look it up to verify and only that he attended a Jesuit secondary school. I remember reading that and I think it clicked in my head that he was a Jesuit. So... apparently it is an open question. Interesting how the things I think I know turn out to be something I don't know! Cheers

          July 27, 2014 at 12:11 am |
      • alonsoquixote

        Thanks for the correction. I've seen some sources stating he was a Jesuit priest, e.g., in a 2001 National Geographic article Probe Will Lift Off Saturday on A Mission to Peer Into The Past on NASA's Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) mission at news.nationalgeographic.com/news/pf/66934204.html and at the Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit site at goodjesuitbadjesuit.blogspot.com/2007/09/fr-georges-henri-lemaitre-big-bang.html. But double-checking I don't see any Catholic sites indicating he was a Jesuit priest only that he received a Jesuit education at the secondary school level. Alan P. Lightman states in Ancient Light: Our Changing View of the Universe that he "received his doctorate in science and mathematics from the University of Louvain, Belgium, in 1920. He then pursued ecclesiastical studies at the Seminary of Malines, leading up to his ordination in 1923."

        July 27, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
  15. jeffrey

    There is no way to prove that there is no God. You just have to take it on faith. (Woody Allen)

    July 26, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
    • tallulah131

      However, there is a complete and utter lack of evidence that any god(s) exist, therefore belief in god(s) is more habitual than rational.

      July 26, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
      • jjmcdade

        "there is a complete and utter lack of evidence that any god(s) exist, therefore belief in god(s) is more habitual than rational".

        ALSO, there is a complete and utter lack of evidence that God DOES NOT EXIST. Atheists seem to always skip that that part. Spare me the tea pot and noodle monsters comparisons please, besides, they're much more rational than nothing.

        Just in case you decide to invoke it:

        The Flying Spaghetti Monster, leprechauns, tooth fairies, etc. are not scientific arguments and are devoid of any intellectual substance. Across every generation as people age, they DO NOT come to believe in Santa Claus, however, they DO come to believe in God. Belief in God is by far more logical and reasonable than to not.

        Sources:
        Absence of Evidence, Evidence of Absence, and the Atheist’s Teapot by Brian Garvey (Philosopher, Lancaster University)

        As People Age:
        Older People Hold Stronger Belief in God by Discovery News
        After Atheism: An Analysis of Religious Monopolies in the Post-Communist World by Paul Froese

        Belief in God Rises with Age, Even in Atheist Nations by William Harms. Study in Reference: Belief About God Across Time and Countries at NORC at the University of Chicago

        Concerning the religious belief of Scientist:
        Scientists May Not Be Very Religious, but Science May Not Be to Blame. Article by Patricia Donovan. Study in Reference: Religion Among Academic Scientist – Elaine Howard Ecklund & Christopher Scheitle

        I study sociology, history, theology and the new atheists, so I have all my sources covered. Including the fact that science concurs that Christians (or religious people) are more intelligent and psychologically stable than the non-religious.

        In short, religious belief is the rational choice, not atheism.

        July 27, 2014 at 12:50 am |
        • RichardSRussell

          "ALSO, there is a complete and utter lack of evidence that God DOES NOT EXIST."

          There's a complete and utter lack of evidence that ANY non-existent thing does not exist.
          There is no such thing as evidence for non-existence.
          Asking anyone to produce evidence for the non-existence of, say, unicorns or leprechauns will get you the exact same results.
          By your line of "reasoning", then, the existence of unicorns and leprechauns has been conclusively demonstrated.

          It's laffable that you invoke rationality, when any rational person will tell you that the burden of proof is one the person making an assertion to produce convincing evidence for it.

          July 27, 2014 at 12:56 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Burden of proof lies on the one making the claim, not the one saying they don't believe it...without using your bible or any other apologetic crap that circles back to it, provide the evidence or admit you merely believe on faith alone and thus don't care about anything other than appeasing your imaginary friend, in turn not caring about humanity!

          July 27, 2014 at 5:51 am |
        • mistersensible

          Youre being so assumptive Truth, don't let "him deceive". Christ loves you.

          July 27, 2014 at 6:50 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          mistersensible: Wow, you're not following the golden rule! Christ is a figment of mans imagination and unless you provide hard-core evidence outside of your buybull, your entire point of it loving anyone is moot! You poor brainwashed man...I'm sorry your parents and the education system have failed you so miserably!

          July 27, 2014 at 6:57 am |
        • mistersensible

          Truth please don't prove your lack of faith by acting so insensitive to who I am. I was once an atheist just like you, but now I am found. You will find Christ again if you look hard enough. Faith isn't religion, please don't compare the two. God Bless You.

          July 27, 2014 at 7:06 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          mister-non-sensible: Then you were an Atheist for the wrong reasons! You found a crutch, nothing more...nothing to validate it. Faith is nothing more than belief without evidence and has much to do with religion. I'm sorry you don't like the true definitions of words but you nor your bible redefine them!

          July 27, 2014 at 7:23 am |
        • mistersensible

          Hope is a feeling without evidence, but I trust you have and believe in that. Christ loves you. Love will prevail

          July 27, 2014 at 7:42 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Oh my, you are quite the ignorant one!! Your god is not love. Read the bible..your god is a vindictive monster and you a gullible fool for accepting it and living your life in fear of it. Stop wasting your life on something that can't be proven to exist....what a blemish that is on advancing our species and saving us! If we have any hope, religion needs to be ignored and humanism needs to prevail!

          July 27, 2014 at 8:06 am |
        • mistersensible

          That wasn't very nice to call me ignorant because I don't believe the way you do. You aren't arrogant you are just trying to find your way. You will come back in time. Jesus loves you.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:13 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You are ignorant! You keep pushing your belief and not once do you care about what others have to say. You just keep spewing what you can't possibly back with evidence nor do you care about evidence.
          Skip your persecution complex, you're insulting people every time you say they will return to your imaginary friend...you are persecuting people yourself (very typical of most Christians-can't handle the truth but cry foul when called out...immaturity at its best...Christianity stymies the brain and makes it stop thinking).

          July 27, 2014 at 8:21 am |
        • mistersensible

          your response is so far off the mark it barely deserves a response. You say the cliche things that don't apply to me based on my love for you and others. You are gay based on previous admissions, and I still love you in him. Love prevails, I pray you will lose the bitterness that seems to prevail in you. This got posted below accidentally.

          July 27, 2014 at 8:23 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          mister-non-sensible: I don't know how to put this any other way but to say I AM NOT GAY! You are using the word in a very condescending way and you're making a complete ASS of yourself here.
          I am in a very happy, very stable common-law hetero relationship with a better man than you'll ever hope to be. Stop pretending you have a clue when obviously you don't.
          Can we say that you received brain damage at one point and that is why you gave up functioning brain cells for the religious virus?
          Now stop judging and stop lying...your imaginary friend apparently doesn't like either and those two things will doom you-it is your hell, you believe it foolishly, so you can enjoy it. BTW: Thank you for helping our side!

          July 27, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • mistersensible

          You return when you need him. He is totally patient and is waiting for your love. God bless you, and thanks for allowing me to love that person who wants to be my enemy.

          July 27, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • tallulah131

          i would guess "mistersensible" is a troll.

          July 28, 2014 at 3:20 am |
        • mistersensible

          Tallulah Jesus loves you no matter if you think I'm a troll which is not a very nice thing to say about a person. But its ok we all fall shot of the glory of God.

          July 28, 2014 at 7:10 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Tallulah: Absolutely a troll. Sadly this dolt doesn't clue in to it...just keeps repeating his delusions as if saying them will make them true and thus him a little less crazy. I don't understand how people like this possibly go unnoticed for the potential risk to society they are.

          July 28, 2014 at 7:53 am |
        • new-man

          TP,
          for someone who has used their words to be supportive of "gays", why do you feel it necessary to make such a strong defense of and place such a great distance between 'their' and YOUR "orientation"?
          This is very strange. If I were to read into this I'd say you don't believe your own words... you believe with your heart and not your head, so saying something with your mouth doesn't necessarily mean you believe it in your heart.

          In any event, God wants us to believe, rely and trust in Him with our hearts. He rewards greatly those who diligently seek Him.
          I Bless your week greatly, in Jesus' Name.

          July 28, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          and you know that "God wants us to believe, rely and trust in Him with our hearts. He rewards greatly those who diligently seek Him." how? Oh, that's right ... you read it in an old book written by men with the ulterior motives of power and money. Very credible.

          Try reading the Harry Potter books. There's a lot to believe in them too.

          July 28, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • igaftr

          newman
          "In any event, God wants us to believe, rely and trust in Him with our hearts."

          More baseless nonsense. You have no idea if any "god" exists, let alone what it wants.
          You base this on the works of men...not any gods.
          You want your imagined god to be real, not only to the point you convinced yourself it is real, but that you know what this god wants. The only way that is possible, is if by "god" you mean the imaginary god that only exists in your head...that is the opnly way for you to know what "god" wants.

          July 28, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • LaBella

          Because mrsensible was flat out lying? Not once, but many times?
          So you not defend yourself when someone lies about you repeatedly? Or do you say nothing and let the lie continue?

          July 28, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          new-man: I took the stance because mister-non-sensible gave an absurd answer to a simple question. How does ones writing show their sexual orientation? He was off base and has been in many of his rants.
          The rest of your post has nothing to do with that issue and has therefore been considered moot.

          July 29, 2014 at 4:15 am |
        • mistersensible

          New Man..You hit the mark right on. Unfortunately satans net of deception is cast greatly over innocent people like TP and Tallullah and the like. Lord I pray for these individuals who have fallen under satans spell. God bless you all for each and every negative portrayal you express here. For we shall love the enemy, for they know not what they do.

          July 29, 2014 at 4:34 am |
        • mistersensible

          Fyi in a previous blog TP admitted to being gay which is fine, and if I have the wrong one, I totally apologize, if this is the same TP that admitted to it, Jesus loves you as He loves all others.

          July 29, 2014 at 4:37 am |
        • tallulah131

          Yep. "mistersensible" is indeed a troll.

          July 29, 2014 at 4:41 am |
        • mistersensible

          Thank you Tallulah:}, by the way I love your name.

          July 29, 2014 at 4:58 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          mister-non-sensible: What blog?? I think you're delusional and VERY MUCH a TROLL. Such a LIAR!! This is the only blog I comment on, so you are as always LYING!! Apparently you fail to comprehend when I said I'm not gay and new-man isn't right, nor will he or ever be (hint: you both think god is real).

          July 29, 2014 at 6:20 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          oh and mister-non-sensible: Your god and his minion satan are figments of your imagination, so unless you can verify they exist you are MOOT and both you and your boyfriend new-man ( cause no woman would be stupid enough to date either of you) are both LIARS and delusional blemishes on humanity. See not all are so weak that they require imaginary friends to get by in this world, some of us happen to care that our species survives and so we don't live waiting on the fallacies of Christianity to help us.

          July 29, 2014 at 6:31 am |
        • mistersensible

          They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

          He knew you before the beginning of time....

          July 29, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
  16. jwcalla

    Quite the whitewash of reality from this guy but it does the world no favors. The Jesuits have hemorrhaged vocations since the "new pentecost" of Vatican II came along to free us from the "shackles" of tradition and no, sorry, there is no "Francis Effect". Inquiries don't mean vocations.

    Apparently young men today aren't too eager to hand over their lives to a cause of milquetoast indifference.

    As the pope himself said... just follow your conscience. Prosletyizing is solemn nonsense. Who are we to judge? So... God's Marines or a flaccid army?

    July 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
    • sumevita

      And precisely what proof do you have to these claims you make about "hemorrhaged" vocations? Sorry, bitter hopes and personal bile don't count as evidence. We're sadly only too aware of the alleged achievements of the "traditional" approach pushed by conservatives over the past decade – stupidity, tone-deafness, and an abundance of tunnel-vision that has all but decimated the Church. Oh, and I almost forgot the Roman Missal, your crowning achievement. No doubt God hears our prayers better, now that we've adopted the proper translations – no matter the enormous confusion, chaos, and expense of this pointless folly. You latter-day Pharisees, with your blind trust in your self-serving doctrine, archaic symbolism, and an obsession with the sins of everyone else but your own, aren't very different from your namesakes yelling "Crucify Him!" 2000 years ago. Mercifully, your rule of folly in the Church will soon be over.

      July 26, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Christianity is on the decline, so the church won't matter much longer!

        July 27, 2014 at 5:49 am |
      • jwcalla

        The statistics are pretty easily available so let's not deceive ourselves into thinking it's not true. But from catholic-hierarchy-dot-org there were 20,301 priests in the order in 1966 and at the beginning of 2014 there were 12,107. That is quite the inverse function when mapped against the population growth.

        I'm sure it's easier to dismiss these facts as mere "bitter hopes and personal bile", but that doesn't improve the situation. Sure Vatican II ushered in a total collapse of the Church, but hey... let's look at the positives... we got rid of the archaic symbolism!

        July 27, 2014 at 10:27 am |
  17. Vic

    Uh, religion and complicated human doctrines, again—no offense intended here.

    I always wondered, why not just keep it simple?!

    The Lord Jesus Christ Himself "jostled" the Pharisees and Sadducees for their 'legalism' throughout His Ministry on earth—again, no offense intended here.

    p.s. Regarding this:
    [
    For example, Jesuit brother Guy Consolmagno, who recently won the Carl Sagan Medal for communicating science to the public, has co-written a forthcoming book titled “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?” a question that only a Jesuit could love. (Pope Francis, for the record, says yes.)
    ],

    ironically, I was just reading the following article the other day:

    http://io9.com/how-would-christianity-deal-with-extraterrestrials-1609896927/+laceydonohue

    July 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
    • No Wake Zone

      I keep it simple Vic. Before you are conscience, there is the nothing. When you die, there is the nothing. Simple.

      July 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
    • tallulah131

      There is no evidence that any god(s) exist, therefore it is not logical to believe that god(s) exist. It's a very simple notion.

      July 26, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
  18. MidwestKen

    Any group that encourages education and disciplined thinking has at least two things going for it.

    July 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
    • No Wake Zone

      If I were an extraterrestrial and they tried to baptize me I would be unhappy.

      July 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        One thing that would definitely make many people rethink their position is if extra-terrestrials showed up and, without previous study of humanity, introduced themselves to humanity with, "Have you been saved? Do you know Jesus Christ?"

        July 26, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          Or said "we are the Elohim, take us to Raël." Or if they announced they were here to "make way for a hyperspace bypass."

          July 26, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          Yeah, any of those also.

          July 26, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
      • readerpan

        I wonder what a jesuit would say if an ET tried to baptize them into its religion.

        July 26, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
      • thesamyaza

        what is the ET biological systems are volatile in hydrogen, THat shit in JC

        July 27, 2014 at 3:45 am |
  19. No Wake Zone

    Two boys, 7 and 10, and their sister, 15 were killed as they raised money for church when a stolen SUV plowed into a small crowd on a Philadelphia street corner. Where is your god now?

    July 26, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
    • rsabharw

      God does not control world events, and death to Him means nothing, because His sons and daughters live forever in the eternal realm. This life is just one out of many experiences ... if you only spend a short time here it doesn't matter in the end.

      July 26, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
      • No Wake Zone

        Him that knows it controls it.

        July 26, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • mistersensible

          Free will. What a great God who gives you the opportunity to think freely, and not control your thoughts. He creates we decide to kill.

          July 27, 2014 at 6:53 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          mister-non-sensible: If that is the case then your god isn't so powerful or better yet, it doesn't care. As for killing, read your book-your god orders it! Your god supports slavery and rape and oppression of women and LGBT; it supports child abuse...is this the type of being you deem as loving and good? If so, you're lacking empathy and an education!

          July 27, 2014 at 7:33 am |
        • mistersensible

          My God is the God of the new testament. Read Jesus and love your neighbor as yourself, love your enemy, don't call them names and demean them. Don't let being gay keep you bitter, I believe Jesus loves you, no matter what your orientation is.

          July 27, 2014 at 7:45 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          mister-non-sensible: First off I'm not gay, so your judgment once again is off base Second. What is your issue with someone being gay? You do comprehend that they have not made a choice on this matter...right? Or do you wish to be called a bigot?? Skip your persecution complex when you have come here judging people based on what they believe and are telling them they will return to your god. If you think a person being LGBT is wrong, then you have zero reason to cry foul when you're called out for it!

          July 27, 2014 at 8:10 am |
      • readerpan

        Exactly why, if there is your god, I despise him.

        July 26, 2014 at 11:48 pm |
        • sumevita

          Thank you for being honest. You're just another fundamatheist proselytizing about your non-God.

          July 27, 2014 at 12:04 am |
        • thesamyaza

          fundamatheist

          good you have the word right, see Kieth.

          the fact is fundamatheist are not skeptics they hold to their "Truth" and no matter of evidence can prove otherwise.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:37 am |
        • thesamyaza

          also readerpan i agree their god is Evil.

          July 27, 2014 at 3:38 am |
        • mygodreigns425

          Your reply shows that you despise a being you know nothing about. If you want to know God's character, you have to know the Bible.

          July 27, 2014 at 4:10 am |
        • thesamyaza

          its because we do know the bible that we know your god is evil.

          July 27, 2014 at 4:13 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          How does one despise something they don't believe in? Do you despise Zeus and Odin and unicorns?
          Use some logic the next time you spew such nonsense!

          July 27, 2014 at 5:46 am |
        • thesamyaza

          no i do not despise Zeus and Odin and unicorns?

          fist of i Like Zeus and Odin

          second Unicorns are rhinoceros i like rhinos

          I'm a polytheist i believe in all gods

          July 27, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        "if you only spend a short time here it doesn't matter in the end."

        Fairly grotesque reasoning. What happens now matters now. It wouldn't matter to you If you spent the rest of your life being cruelly tortured?

        July 27, 2014 at 2:53 am |
      • thesamyaza

        wow dude your god is cold and callous,

        put this in your pipe perhaps the reason why is the gods perceive time differently then us, much like a fly sees us move at a snails pace, and the snail sees us move like a fly. buy the times the gods see such actions it already gone and done. or maybe i smoke to much Kush.

        July 27, 2014 at 3:41 am |
      • mistersensible

        Your response is so far off the mark it barely deserves a response. You say the cliche things that don't apply to me based on my love for you and others. You are gay based on previous admissions, and I still love you in him. Love prevails, I pray you wll lose the bitterness that seems to prevail in you.

        July 27, 2014 at 8:22 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          While you pray for us, we will think for you! Stop judging people and stop pretending you know what will happen to them.

          July 27, 2014 at 9:43 am |
    • sumevita

      I was angry about children starving to death. So, I asked God why He created a world where children starve – and how He planned to make things better for them.

      And God said: "I created you, didn't I?"

      July 27, 2014 at 12:11 am |
      • RichardSRussell

        If you talk to God, you're praying.
        If God talks to you, you're schizophrenic.

        July 27, 2014 at 1:00 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        If you're hearing voices, you need mental health help not religion!

        July 27, 2014 at 5:48 am |
    • mygodreigns425

      God is right where He has always been. Why would Christians want to go to Heaven if Heaven already existed on earth? If you studied the Bible, you would find that humans were separated from God by sin and they will not be reunited until God ends Satan's rule over our planet. The lesson of this world is what happens when the devil is in conrol. If you understood that, you would be running toward God instead of away from Him.

      July 27, 2014 at 4:20 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Complete malarkey! If you don't comprehend the writing of the bible and the purpose between using heaven and hell then you don't comprehend much! Heave and hell are used as fear factoring methods by primitive men to scare you in to believing for fear of 'eternal' torture, nothing more.
        Most non-believers were once Christian and have opened their minds, done their research, read the bible and see nothing to support any of it and in turn no justification for accepting it. The quickest path to disbelief is an open-minded read of Gullibles Travels (aka the bible)...try it, you might finally understand how many fallacious statements are made within it and how vindictive your imaginary friend is according to the book.
        (the book was written over the course of 400 years by 40 men who never met one another and there is zero evidence that there was divine intervention...so the bible is nothing more than the word of man...regardless of what you have been brainwashed to believe)

        July 27, 2014 at 5:38 am |
  20. Reality

    Putting a quick end to such nonsense:

    Once again to save our Jesuit friends significant time in perusing their dead founder's history-

    The Apostles' Creed 2014 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    July 26, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
    • sumevita

      That the above was "quick" is debatable.
      That it's the "end" is laughable. But do persist with your missionary zeal. It's ironic that your type doesn't realize that you share the same fundamentalism with the uber-religious that you apparently so despise.

      July 27, 2014 at 12:08 am |
      • Keith

        That is my observation too sumevita, in fact some of the atheists are the worst fundamentalists.

        July 27, 2014 at 12:27 am |
        • Sungrazer

          It's my observation that when believers are challenged, they respond by calling atheists "fundamentalists".

          July 27, 2014 at 2:57 am |
        • Keith

          I have no dog in the fight, I am fine with or without a god, my beef is against religion. If you read these pages you will find exactly the kind of Atheists we are talking about. If you don't , your it.

          July 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          Fundamentalist: some one who believes in fundamentalism

          fundamentalism
          a movement in American Protestantism that arose in the early part of the 20th century in reaction to modernism and that stresses the infallibility of the Bible not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record, holding as essential to Christian faith belief in such doctrines as the creation of the world, the virgin birth, physical resurrection, atonement by the sacrificial death of Christ, and the Second Coming.

          sorry dude but your using the wrong word

          July 27, 2014 at 3:31 am |
        • Keith

          That is indeed the origin of the usage of the word Fundamentalist. However it is not the only usage in modern times. Anyone that adheres to a set of principles or beliefs that are indisputable can be a fundamentalist. I have had Atheists argue with me because my disbelief was not exactly like theirs, that is Fundamentalism.

          Sorry dude, language changes.

          July 27, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Keith,

          You are right to correct thesamyaza; the term can be applied wherever it is applicable.

          However, I find that the charge of "atheist fundamentalist" is often inaccurate. For example, on these blogs, "I/We don't know" is said with much more regularity by atheists than by theists. I think the explanation is in the changing times. Over the past decade, atheists have gained more of a voice and are no longer standing meekly aside. Believers and others are not used to being confronted with such boldness. The force in which arguments are delivered does not equate to fundamentalism.

          No doubt atheist fundamentalist exists but the numbers are much lower than religious fundamentalists (a number that I think is lower than what it would appear to be, given that this group is the most vocal).

          July 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • Keith

          The fact that there are fewer makes me no difference, the absurdity of those Atheist here on this blog is Irony at its most entertaining.

          I am not religious and have healed from my Fundamentalist raising and I find it entertaining those that are fundamentalist, whether they are believers in "god" of non-believers

          July 27, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "the absurdity of those Atheist here on this blog is Irony at its most entertaining."

          Care to provide examples?

          July 27, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • Keith

          Not really, I have nothing to prove

          July 28, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Or perhaps your claims are empty. Whatever the case, it seems there is no reason to take them seriously.

          July 28, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
        • Keith

          Right, and I want to spend time arguing with you too. I don't think so, why don't you just say what you want to say. Phony intellectuals trying to build arguments do not impress me.

          July 29, 2014 at 12:07 am |
        • Sungrazer

          I did say what I wanted to say. I said "I find that the charge of "atheist fundamentalist" is often inaccurate.". I asked for examples. I planned on commenting about why I agreed or disagreed. But for reasons of your own, you chose not to give examples. Fine. But then why should anyone take seriously your claim that these blogs are filled with atheist fundamentalists?

          July 29, 2014 at 12:44 am |
        • Keith

          Because they can read as well an you can.

          July 29, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • taylorsj

          Keith, Sungrazer, etc.:

          I think the charge "atheist fundamentalist" is spot-on as long as you distinguish that there are some intellectually stimulating atheists and other atheists whose levels of ignorance about history, philosophy, and religion would put a 2nd-grader to shame. (Same goes for Christians.... a huge number of Christians are embarrassingly ignorant about the same things.)

          Under the category of Atheist Fundamentalist, however, I might put the growing number of atheists who say drivel like "Religious has never produced anything good.... Religion is all about hate, despair, and death.... Children should not be allowed accept to religion, because it's child abuse."

          All of those comments are quite common, and they scream "Fundamentalism" not only for being ignorant of facts, but for being doctrinaire, intolerant, and bigoted. Atheists and Religious alike do an enormous amount of whitewashing, cherry-picking, and selective dumbing-down. Why not just admit it.

          July 29, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • Keith

          Thanks, taylorsj, that is a short synopsis that seems right to me.

          I am a person that escaped my Fundamentalist raising and long ago got over my anger. It seems to me that some of those Atheists that I have identified as Fundamentalists are very angry.

          It seems that Fundamentalism thrives in an atmosphere of ignorance. Many Christians deny their own history and the evolution of their religion and argue against it, like knowing the truth will take away their faith.

          July 29, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • taylorsj

          and man, that post was rife with typos. Sorry. *access.... not accept.

          July 29, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • Keith

          I wouldn't know, I am dyslexic.

          July 29, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
        • igaftr

          Here are the fundamentals of atheism.
          Do not believe in gods.

          That is it, so all atheists are fundamentalists.

          Perhaps you should find a word that actually means what you want it to, instead of using the word fundamentalist incorrectly when describing atheists.

          July 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • Keith

          Voltaire wrote about Fundamentalism and it had nothing to do with American Protestant churches, maybe you should look them up. Language evolves, if you think that is all there is to being an Atheist then you have no read many of these blogs.

          July 29, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          taylorsj,

          If you read what I wrote, I did not deny that atheists could be labeled fundamentalists, and I did admit that some act that way. What I said was that I found that the charge is often inaccurate. You give examples of statements an atheist fundamentalist would say; I have not once seen anyone say anything like that on these blogs. It is certainly possible it happened and I missed it, or perhaps you are hanging around stranger places where those kinds of things are said. I think I am a fairly objective person, but the statement that these blogs are filled fundamentalist atheists is wildly inaccurate. There is some misbehavior and some poor arguments, but these do not necessarily a fundamentalist make.

          July 29, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • believerfred

          Keith
          What truth as you say would take away my faith?

          July 29, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • Keith

          I do not know, it seems some folks are afraid of the truth. Mathew Fox was a very pragmatic Theologian and with all his knowledge of the History of the Church and the History of the Bible he was able to maintain his faith. So, I do not know what might shake your faith, but I believe that you can not claim a true and abiding faith unless you have faced your own "dark night of the soul"

          July 29, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          believerfred,

          I don't want to put words in Keith's mouth, but when he said:

          "Many Christians deny their own history and the evolution of their religion and argue against it, like knowing the truth will take away their faith."

          ..his use of the word "like" meant "as if". In other words, he believes that there are Christians who dare not delve into the history of Christianity for fear they might discover something that would shake their faith. Not necessarily that there is something that WILL, but it is the fear that there is something that could do it.

          But, again, probably best if he explains.

          July 29, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
        • Keith

          I think you have done it quite well Sungrazer.

          July 29, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
      • Reality

        Some of the references used to update the Apostles' Creed:

        1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

        2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
        – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication and a discussion of each–

        30-60 CE Passion Narrative
        40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
        50-60 1 Thessalonians
        50-60 Philippians
        50-60 Galatians
        50-60 1 Corinthians
        50-60 2 Corinthians
        50-60 Romans
        50-60 Philemon
        50-80 Colossians
        50-90 Signs Gospel
        50-95 Book of Hebrews
        50-120 Didache
        50-140 Gospel of Thomas
        50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
        50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
        65-80 Gospel of Mark
        70-100 Epistle of James
        70-120 Egerton Gospel
        70-160 Gospel of Peter
        70-160 Secret Mark
        70-200 Fayyum Fragment
        70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
        73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
        80-100 2 Thessalonians
        80-100 Ephesians
        80-100 Gospel of Matthew
        80-110 1 Peter
        80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
        80-130 Gospel of Luke
        80-130 Acts of the Apostles
        80-140 1 Clement
        80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
        80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
        80-250 Christian Sibyllines
        90-95 Apocalypse of John
        90-120 Gospel of John
        90-120 1 John
        90-120 2 John
        90-120 3 John
        90-120 Epistle of Jude
        93 Flavius Josephus
        100-150 1 Timothy
        100-150 2 Timothy
        100-150 T-itus
        100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
        100-150 Secret Book of James
        100-150 Preaching of Peter
        100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
        100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
        100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
        100-160 2 Peter

         4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
        5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
        6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
        7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
        8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
        9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
        (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
        by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
        10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
        Presented on March 18, 1994

        July 27, 2014 at 8:26 am |
        • Reality

          Continued from above:

          11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
          wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
          12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
          faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
          13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
          mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
          14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
          15. D-iseases in the Bible:
          http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

          16. Religion on- Line (6000 a-rt-ic-les on the hi-story of religion, churches, theologies,
          theologians, eth-ics, etc. religion-online.o–rg/
          17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT n-tgate-way.com/
          18 Writing the New Testament- e-xi-sting copies, o–r–al tradition etc.
          n-tgat-eway.com/
          19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
          http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory
          20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
          21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
          in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
          22. NT and beyond time line:
          pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
          23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
          harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
          24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
          25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
          27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
          28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
          29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

          July 27, 2014 at 8:34 am |
    • mygodreigns425

      If you actually studied the Bible, you would find that it is simple, clear and historically accurate. More importantly, the many prophetic accuracies would make it impossible for you not to believe in its truths, and therefore, in the truth of the Divine. Your current beliefs, on the other hand, prove only that man has the freedom to choose to believe whatever he or she wants, which is an extremely weak reason to believe something.

      July 27, 2014 at 4:06 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Calling it historically accurate is lying when there is nothing to it! Sad that you would be happy to lie and show that the education system failed you!
        Your own reasons for believing are due to the bible-an extremely weak reason in itself to believe...belief on faith alone tells us that you don't care about evidence...such a narrow-minded, closed-minded stance to take and such a waste of the ONLY life you get.
        Pull your self-righteous, holier than thou head of the bible and live while you still have a chance!

        July 27, 2014 at 5:45 am |
      • alonsoquixote

        mygodreigns425

        If you actually studied the Bible, you would find that it is simple, clear and historically accurate. More importantly, the many prophetic accuracies would make it impossible for you not to believe in its truths, and therefore, in the truth of the Divine. Your current beliefs, on the other hand, prove only that man has the freedom to choose to believe whatever he or she wants, which is an extremely weak reason to believe something.

        I'd say, instead that history and archaeology show that the Bible fits better into the category of historical fiction. Some places, events, and people may have existed, but other events are entirely the work of imaginative writers. Some events have been greatly embellished, details for some events have been taken from events that happened long before the event the writer is describing, but transported into the writer's description of an event he purports occurred much later. And the lives of some characters in the stories have also been greatly embellished with one character even being transformed into a god by a few of the later writers, though many readers intimately familiar with the original version, e.g., the followers of Judaism, have been dissatisfied with the sequel feeling too many liberties were taken in retelling the original stories. Many regarded the transformation of the god in the original version into a triune god as blasphemous. But the later authors didn't want to create a second god, so while giving their protagonist godlike powers they declared he was actually the god's son, but also the god as well. Even among the later readers who weren't as familiar with the original work, there was a lot of confusion regarding that part of the story with various fan groups interpreting the material in different ways and actually coming to blows and even killing one another over their disagreements on how to interpret the relationship between the elements of the now triune god.

        As one example of an historically inaccurate story in the Bible, there is the story of the exodus from Egypt, generally regarded by archaeologists and historians as a legend rather than a historical event due to the complete lack of evidence for it. The number of Israelites exiting Egypt in the Exodus story is wildly implausible, since according to Exodus 12:37-38, the Israelites numbered about 600,000 men on foot along with women and children, plus many non-Israelites and livestock. Numbers 1:46 gives a more precise total of 603,500 men twenty years or more of age who could serve in Israel's army, excluding the Levites whom Yahweh directed Moses should not be counted. The more than six hundred thousand men twenty years old or older who could serve in the army, plus, wives, children, the elderly and the "mixed multi_tude" of non-Israelites would have likely numbered some two million people. The population of Egypt in 1250 BCE was around 3 to 3.5 million. The departure of such a large percentage of the populace at one time would have been devastating to the Egyptian economy had it actually occurred, yet no evidence has ever been found that indicates Egypt ever suffered such a demographic and economic catastrophe or that the Sinai desert ever hosted, or could have hosted, such a multi_tude of people and their herds. Instead, the archaeological evidence points to the Israelites having Caanite origins rather than coming to the area from Egypt. The culture of the earliest Israelite settlements is Canaanite, their early cult-objects are those of the Canaanite god El, the pottery remains reflect the local Canaanite tradition, and the alphabet used is early Canaanite. But it's a good story and many are willing to suspend disbelief and ignore such details.

        Another example of historical inaccuracy is the implausible plot element added by the author of the Gospel of Luke to the birth narrative of his protagonist. Since it was important for the author of the Gospel of Luke to have Jesus born in Bethlehem to match with a prophecy in Micah 5:2, he introduces the absurd plot element of having Joseph and Mary being forced to travel to Bethlehem for a census because that was the ancestral home of Joseph. The Romans were a practical people and conducted their censuses much as we do today; people registered for the head tax at their current dwelling place or the chief town of the local taxation district. The Romans did not force a mass migration of illiterate peasants back to their ancestral birthplace whenever they wished to conduct a census.

        As for prophecies, the stories in the Bible underwent a long process of redaction over many centuries, where elements of stories were modified, added, and subtracted by a sequence of writers, so prophecies at the time they were written that supposedly show accurate predictions of future events are actually describing events that occurred prior to the time of the writing. Others are like those of Nostradamus, va_gue enough that people can reinterpret them after an event to claim they accurately predicted the event.

        The Gospel authors tailored parts of their stories to make those parts of the story seem like they were showing a fulfillment of prophecies in the older material from the sacred text of Judaism. So the stories should not be regarded as any more amazing than Sybill Trelawney making a correct prophecy concerning Voldemort and the one with the power to vanquish him during her interview with Albus Dumbledore and accurately predicting the escape of Peter Pettigrew and return of Lord Voldemort, etc. There's no more reason to be amazed at such biblical tales than to be amazed at Sybil's uncanny prophetic abilities. That's just the way the authors tell the stories for dramatic effect.

        The unknown author of the Gospel of Matthew used the Septuagint for elements of his stories where he wished to have the life story of his protagonist be fulfillment of earlier prophecy. In Isaiah 7:14 in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures, the Hebrew word "almah", which means a young woman of marriageable age, was translated into the Greek word "parthenos", which implies virginity, so the author gave his protagonist a virgin birth. Though that element of the story would likely have been needed anyway, since Pagan gods and heroes often had miraculous birth stories, some also being born of virgins, and the Gospel authors would not have wanted their godman to be any less remarkable than the heroes and gods of the religions with which they were competing. Asclepius raised the dead and Dionysus turned water into wine, so the authors gave their protagonist the same powers.

        Many prophecies are demonstrably false. E.g. Ezekiel 29:17-19:

        In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month on the first day, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon drove his army in a hard campaign against Tyre; every head was rubbed bare and every shoulder made raw. Yet he and his army got no reward from the campaign he led against Tyre. Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to give Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will carry off its wealth. He will loot and plunder the land as pay for his army.

        Nebuchadnezzar conquered the Kingdom of Judah carrying off its elite citizenry in captivity to Babylon, a captivity that led to radical changes in Judaism, but he never conquered Egypt.

        There's also the failed prophecy regarding Tyre being destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and never being rebuilt in Ezekiel 26. As of 2003, Tyre had 117,000 inhabitants. There's a further discussion of that failed prophecy at Ezekiel's Prophecy of Tyre: a failed prophecy etb-biblical-errancy.blogspot.com/2012/04/ezekiels-prophecy-of-tyre-failed.html

        I would recommend the book The Failure of Bible Prophecy: A Skeptic's Review of the Evidence by Chris Sandoval. Also see The Failure of Daniel's Prophecies (2007) at infidels.org/library/modern/chris_sandoval/daniel.html

        July 27, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
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