Patterico's Pontifications

12/10/2010

Refudiation: Richard Wolffe Mocks Palin For Reading “Mere” Children’s Author C.S. Lewis

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:44 am



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

This is getting to be a familiar pattern, so much so that maybe we need a tag for this.  It goes like this.  First Sarah Palin says something perfectly reasonable, showing what I consider to be at least average intelligence and knowledge.  Then a liberal, being less knowledgeable than her on the subject at hand, mistakes his or her own ignorance as evidence of Palin’s stupidity and in the process manages to look stupid themselves.  I mean we have the “Party like its 1773” example, and Gawker’s previous snark fail.  And now we have Richard Wolffe.

You can watch on the link but basically on Chris Matthews’ show they first played a clip with Barbara Walters where she asked Palin what she read.  Palin says that she reads C.S. Lewis when she wants “divine inspiration.”  (And notice, she doesn’t specify which book or series of books she is talking about.)  Which leads Wolffe to snark, “Look, divine inspiration from a series of kids’s books?”  Going on:

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with Chris Matthews, Wolffe expressed incredulity, noting that Lewis wrote “a series of kids’ books.”

Matthews interrupted Wolffe: “I wouldn’t put down C.S. Lewis.”

“I’m not putting him down,” Wollfe responded. “But you know divine inspiration? There are things she could’ve said to divine inspiration. Choosing C.S. Lewis is an interesting one.”

Now Mr. Wolffe…  can I call you Dick?  Okay, Dick, you see C.S. Lewis was actually pretty famously Christian.  First the Chronicles of Narnia are actually famous for its hit-you-over-the-head obvious biblical allegories.  The death of Aslan in Wardrobe, for instance, was meant to invoke the death of Christ, for instance (although reportedly Lewis denied this—you can take that as seriously as it deserves to be taken).  But C.S. Lewis was also famous for something else: writing adult, philosophical books on Christianity.  You know, like Mere Christianity.  Here’s wikipedia on that one:

Mere Christianity is a theological book by C. S. Lewis, adapted from a series of BBC radio talks made between 1941 and 1944, while Lewis was at Oxford during World War II. Considered a classic of Christian apologetics, the transcripts of the broadcasts originally appeared in print as three separate pamphlets: The Case for Christianity (1942), Christian Behaviour (1942), and Beyond Personality (1944). Lewis was invited to give the talks by Rev. James Welch, the BBC Director of Religious Broadcasting, who had read his 1940 book, The Problem of Pain.

Now I confess I have never read the first word of that book, but I know from reputation that it is a grown up, serious and many argue, classic defense of Christianity.  The priest who performed my wedding ceremony, for instance, had high praise for the book.

In other words, dismissing Lewis as just a children’s author is like saying Jamie Foxx is just a comedian.  It’s like saying Machiavelli only wrote handbooks for dictators.  It’s like saying that Leslie Neilsen was just a comic actor.

“Well, when I see five weirdos, dressed in togas, stabbing a man in the middle of the park in full view of a hundred people, I shoot the bastards, that's my policy!”

Indeed, my gut feeling is that this almost qualifies as common knowledge, that C.S. Lewis was well known for writing books like Mere Christianity.

In short, Richard, in trying to snark on Palin, you proved to be an ignorant Dick about all of this.

Which says nothing about Palin’s qualifications to be president and so on.  But can we stop trying to leap on her all the time and portray her as something less than a person of at least ordinary intelligence?

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

287 Responses to “Refudiation: Richard Wolffe Mocks Palin For Reading “Mere” Children’s Author C.S. Lewis”

  1. Lewis wrote a LOT of religious books, in varying fictional settings, including science fiction. The Great Divorce, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength are among them.

    Anyone who’d criticize someone for reading Lewis is an uneducated ninny.

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  2. Some

    Well, goes to show even i am a little ignorant of Lewis’ body of work.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  3. Read this and weep.
    Born in Birmingham, England, Wolffe graduated from Oxford University with first-class honors in English and French.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  4. Leslie Nielsen. Even though he’s Canadian, we should acknowledge his Danish ancestry.

    carlitos (261dcd)

  5. I’ve only read his philosophical treatises on faith — such as his excellent book on pain and theodicy, The Problem of Pain.

    Mind you, The Chronicles are excellent in terms of reinforcing “mere” Christianity.

    Richard Romano (5cff42)

  6. As Dutch would say:
    “Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.”

    rudytbone (8eae7b)

  7. In other words, dismissing Lewis as just a children’s author is like saying Jamie Foxx is just a comedian.

    Well, I did not realize Jammie Foxx wasn’t just a comedian until I followed your link.

    But I would say it is more like saying Ronald Reagan was just an actor. (Though the snarky will eagerly rise to the occasion with, “But wasn’t he?”)

    A friend, who was a grad student in Philosophy at the time, stated he thought one of the “Space Trilogy” books was one of the most disturbing he had ever read with its depiction of evil. I can’t remember which (haven’t read them myself), I think it was That Hideous Strength.

    I would describe Lewis as someone a “thoughtful non-intellectual” would read, with that not being meant as an insult. A PhD in philosophy of religion would not look to Lewis as their primary reference, probably, but may write on his works, which is what anyone who is not a PhD in philospohy of religion would want. I think if someone read the equivalent in econ, history, etc. along with having their expert consultants, they would do just fine, IMHO.

    FWIW, a current author who admires Lewis and writes in a similar vein is a fellow named Peter Kreeft, who is a PhD in Philosophy.

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  8. The Christianity books and the science fiction and the children’s books – any of them would be enough to establish the reputation of a normal writer. But he was also a scholar of the first rank. See, for a great example of humane letters, vast learning, and one of the great plain styles in English, his “English Literature of the Sixteenth Century (excluding drama).”

    Simon Kenton (a0b742)

  9. Next they’ll be saying that J.R.R. Tolkein was nothing but a storyteller.

    Gesundheit (aab7c6)

  10. I happen to have a number of Lewis’ books, who as a philologist wrote on the classics before becoming a Christian. I’ve never read a word from the Narnia series.

    Frankly, the simplicity and accessibility of Lewis’ writing betrays a fine, genuine intellect rather than the pseudo-sophistication evidenced by much of liberal academia.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  11. Read this and weep.
    Born in Birmingham, England, Wolffe graduated from Oxford University with first-class honors in English and French.

    Comment by Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. — 12/10/2010 @ 7:03 am

    Un.
    Be.
    Lievable. You’d think that even if he wouldn’t “stoop” to reading a Christian author who also wrote children’s books, he’d at least know a few facts about former famous faculty.

    CS Lewis was a classic Christian writer, a great one. Truly don’t know why far-lefties race each other to make fools of themselves just because Sarah Palin said something. That 1773 dustup mentioned above was truly the classic, though. My fave post on that.

    no one you know (325a59)

  12. Besides “Lion”, I’ve read “The Screwtape Letters” and “Mere Christianity”. And I’m not even a Christian.

    aunursa (69b3db)

  13. Comment by Some chump — 12/10/2010 @ 6:53 am

    The space trilogy is my favorite of his fiction. The science is like 40s so, very not up to snuff, but the Christian themes are prophetic and very well handled.

    But all his books are good IMO.

    no one you know (325a59)

  14. Good points, all, regarding the scholarly works of C.S. Lewis.

    Still, I’m guessing Palin was referring to Chronicles of Narnia…..

    Kman (d30fc3)

  15. Wolffe is a pickle-biter, not worth any attention.

    BTW, my favorite author is Dashiell Hammett. He had Hemingway’s writing style without Hemingway’s detatched mockery.

    nk (db4a41)

  16. Kmart is just trying to prove AW’s point.

    JD (b98cae)

  17. Kman – Your track record is intact. You guess with most of what you write here.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  18. a fine, genuine intellect rather than the pseudo-sophistication evidenced by much of liberal academia.
    Comment by gary gulrud

    That’s what I was trying to say with the term “thoughtful non-intellectual”. You said it much better.

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  19. carlitos

    i meant no ethnic slight, and it has been fixed. thanks.

    JD

    > Kmart is just trying to prove AW’s point.

    i dispute that. Kman wasn’t trying. He succeeded.

    Kman

    Even if she was, it is perfectly respectable for an adult to read those books and garner divine inspiration, you ninny.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  20. Frankly, the simplicity and accessibility of Lewis’ writing betrays a fine, genuine intellect rather than the pseudo-sophistication evidenced by much of liberal academia.

    Comment by gary gulrud — 12/10/2010 @ 7:28 am

    Well said. And, MD in Philly, Peter Kreeft has said IIRC that’s one of the reasons he admires him so much. (He even wrote a tribute book, The Snakebite Letters, which to be honest though good was nowhere near Kreeft’s best book.)

    Being able to express sometimes-complex philosophical and theological concepts in clear, direct language was a gift Lewis had.

    But it doesn’t sound as intellectual as always using five-syllable words does (even though it actually takes more), and I wonder if that’s the reason people like Wolffe haven’t taken the trouble to actually read his adult books before dismissing or ignoring them.

    no one you know (325a59)

  21. Still, I’m guessing Palin was referring to Chronicles of Narnia…..

    Comment by Kman — 12/10/2010 @ 7:37 am

    Your guess, I’m afraid, makes you look rather stubbornly ignorant. Especially since it’s based on exactly no evidence. Want to try again?

    no one you know (325a59)

  22. Even if she was, it is perfectly respectable for an adult to read those books and garner divine inspiration, you ninny.

    Most adults gravitate toward the Bible or even things like The Road Less Traveled, and a little less toward the Veggie Tales end of things.

    But I understand. She’s good-looking and she shoots stuff.

    Kman (d30fc3)

  23. Your guess, I’m afraid, makes you look rather stubbornly ignorant. Especially since it’s based on exactly no evidence

    Why, yes. That’s why it’s called a “guess”. Wow, nothing gets by you!

    Kman (d30fc3)

  24. Kman-

    I’m sorry (not really, I guess) but that chuckling is laughing at you, not with you. You have just saved me the trouble of ever bothering to take one of your posts seriously. So, if you ever think I, or anyone else, is ignoring you, you are probably right.

    Whether it is profound or sad, or both, reading The Chronicles of Narnia series would probably be much better for inspiration than, say, the sermons of Rev. Wright or speeches by Bill Ayers and the Founding Fathers of the Weathermen Underground.

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  25. Still, I’m guessing Palin was referring to Chronicles of Narnia

    That’s akin to saying, “Sure, the Boston Tea Party was in 1773. But I just know she was referring the the signing of The Declaration of Independence.”

    You’ve beclowned yourself yet again.

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  26. If he had actually bothered to read her book, he would know this, If one read Mansfield’s latest, one would understand that one of her mentors, Theron Horne, pushed for an evangelism that was
    involved with the world, but not of it.

    narciso (2c147f)

  27. Wow, nothing gets by you!

    Comment by Kman — 12/10/2010 @ 7:52 am

    Why, thank you. But thanks even more for confirming with this comment the point others and I were making above: that your “guess” isn’t a genuine guess at all, but an incorrect assumption for purposes of evidence-less criticism of Palin’s reading habits.

    no one you know (325a59)

  28. Comment by Some chump — 12/10/2010

    That is a wonderful analogy.

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  29. Kman

    Btw, you have a record of making unwarranted assumptions about the intelligence and knowledge of women.

    > a little less toward the Veggie Tales end of things.

    Thus trashing a perfectly respectable author and series of books, you snot. i mean, look, I know, you have an inferiority complex. So you make up for it by being snotty, often in completely unwarranted fashion.

    Case in point just the other day you claimed that a forecast was not a prediction and when i corrected you, you snottily called me ignorant. And then when I pointed out that Webster’s dictionary described a forecast as a breed of prediction, you… ran away like a scared girl.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  30. Kmart appears to wish to double down on a bet he already lost.

    JD (688ec2)

  31. i mean, look, I know, you have an inferiority complex. So you make up for it by being snotty, often in completely unwarranted fashion.

    Oh, that left a mark. (Not)

    Case in point just the other day you claimed that a forecast was not a prediction and when i corrected you, you snottily called me ignorant. And then when I pointed out that Webster’s dictionary described a forecast as a breed of prediction, you… ran away like a scared girl.

    In your mind, perhaps. The truth is I didn’t read your comment. And anyway, to LAYMEN like you and me, “forecast” is interchangeable with “prediction”, but they are not (as I originally said and as Webster’s apparently confirmed) the same thing.

    Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand, Sarah Palin came on to the scene with a clean slate. There’s a REASON why she is burdened with the perception that she is intellectually unengaged, and she brought it upon herself — it wasn’t made up for her by liberals. (If liberals were going to make up stuff about her, I can actually think of worse characteristics)

    But you guys go on. Drink from the Palin fountain. Obviously she’s stunningly brilliant, a well-read woman of high intellectual capacity, and I’m just not seeing it.

    Kman (d30fc3)

  32. Now AW, that’s a really unfair cheap shot – to actual scared little girls.

    Most adults gravitate toward the Bible or even things like The Road Less Traveled

    WTF are you blabbing about now? The volume of sh-t you continually pull out of your backside can only be explained by your teeth’s sudden desperation to jump out of your gums, due to the lack of space in your upper GI.

    Dmac (498ece)

  33. The volume of sh-t you continually pull out of your backside can only be explained by your teeth’s sudden desperation to jump out of your gums, due to the lack of space in your upper GI.

    You’re right. I’m wrong. Palin is a Rhodes Scholar, or should have been.

    And her writing — like use of the word “refudiate” — why that’s downright Shakespearean. I know, because she said so.

    I hope I can attend one of her rallies. Maybe she’ll look at me.

    Kman (d30fc3)

  34. Kman

    > And anyway, to LAYMEN like you and me, “forecast” is interchangeable with “prediction”, but they are not (as I originally said and as Webster’s apparently confirmed) the same thing.

    Lol, you actually believe that webster’s supports your position?

    Wow, now there is a deluded mind at work.

    Again, Webster’s definition of forecast:

    “to calculate or predict (some future event or condition) usually as a result of study and analysis of available pertinent data; especially : to predict (weather conditions) on the basis of correlated meteorological observations”

    A forecast is a prediction, bub, at least in that context.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  35. But you guys go on. Drink from the Palin fountain

    Once again displaying your continued ignorance of the topic at hand. Most of us don’t care for Palin at all, but we certainly can tell when a man who has severe issues regarding his own masculinity has serious problems with anything relating to Palin. Look, it’s a woman with a gun! Eeeeek! Someone protect me from her menacing snowmobile!

    Why are you so angry? Did you run out of mascara today?

    Dmac (498ece)

  36. Having fun beating up on all those strawmen, Kman?

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  37. Maybe she’ll look at me.

    If you actually looked your way you’d piss your pants, that much is certain.

    Dmac (498ece)

  38. You’re right. I’m wrong. Palin is a Rhodes Scholar, or should have been.

    About as much of a Rhodes Scholar as you’re a lawyer.

    Dmac (498ece)

  39. Comment by Dmac — 12/10/2010 @ 8:16 am

    Heh. I think it was Ann Coulter who said, “If you threw a glass of cold water on a liberal who was in the middle of a sound sleep, he’d jerk awake denouncing the religious right Sarah Palin.”

    FTFH (since far-left liberals — let’s face it — see the latter as the personification of the former)

    no one you know (325a59)

  40. Leftists don’t know how to respond to intelligent, attractive, and accomplished women.

    Since there aren’t any on their side, Leftists assume that GOP women are as fat, vapid, mean-spirited, and lazy as the blabber mouth sluts they can’t escape.

    ropelight (17f5e9)

  41. Most of us don’t care for Palin at all, but we certainly can tell when a man who has severe issues regarding his own masculinity has serious problems with anything relating to Palin. Look, it’s a woman with a gun! Eeeeek! Someone protect me from her menacing snowmobile!

    Is that me saying “eeek” in your fantasy world?

    (Sorry, but since I don’t live in your head, I’m having a hard time identifying the elements in your fantasy world).

    Kman (d30fc3)

  42. The truth is I didn’t read your comment
    Comment by Kman

    How ironic is that!?!?

    This was discussed on another thread on how to respond (other than banning which boss man doesn’t want to do) to commentors who regularly detract from the discussion, and someone brought up the idea of ignoring.

    Im make a motion that we universally ignore Kman from this point forward, with this thread alone as adequate evidence.

    Do I have a second??

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  43. Kman

    > But I understand. She’s good-looking and she shoots stuff.

    and that’s what drives you liberals crazy about her, isn’t it? because deep down inside you want to f–k her and your hatred for her is really hatred at yourself for feeling that way about her.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  44. If I were to try to parody kmart, it would pale in comparison to the bed wetting asshat he is in real life.

    JD (688ec2)

  45. I found this deliciously ironic:

    “…There’s a REASON why she is burdened with the perception that she is intellectually unengaged, and she brought it upon herself — it wasn’t made up for her by liberals…”

    Indeed, there is a REASON that many trolls are dumped upon the way they are here. They indeed bring it upon themselves.

    But then, they are just posting to fight.

    I have never understood the craziness of Palin-haters. You don’t like her, ignore her.

    Unless there is another agenda at work.

    Eric Blair (23f44e)

  46. Comment by MD in Philly — 12/10/2010 @ 8:29 am

    I did bring up ignoring (I think along w/ others), albeit about a different poster. You have a “seconded” on this one as well.

    no one you know (325a59)

  47. And JD? “Bed wetting asshat” is a great descriptor. But then, you and Dmac can turn a phrase when those kinds of people post.

    Eric Blair (23f44e)

  48. > But I understand. She’s good-looking and she shoots stuff.

    > and that’s what drives you liberals crazy about her, isn’t it?

    We’re crazy about Palin, but not in the way that you mean. We’re crazy about her because she’s our ticket into a successful 2012.

    Kman (d30fc3)

  49. I guess this story would have more bite if anybody ever heard of this Wolffe guy before.

    gp (72be5d)

  50. Lewis also wrote quite a bit of fiction for adults.

    Jim S. (49f0e9)

  51. Moved and seconded (twice, at least, so far) as previously suggested by noyk ( in general principle) to treat posts from Kman formally, completely, and utterly,(we really mean it) as non-existent.

    Prior to any vote, I humbly request the matter be taken under advisement by his excellency King Pat of the Blog, and his Royal Advisors, Stashiu3, DRJ, Karl and others (AW has already spoken, see #44).

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  52. I can’t believe he hasn’t read the Screwtape Letters. I love that book.

    Xmas (a79637)

  53. because deep down inside you want to f–k her and your hatred for her is really hatred at yourself for feeling that way about her.

    You’re correct about the first part, but the hatred they feel about themselves is due to the fact that she would point and laugh at them at the mere suggestion. Palin reminds them of the cute girls who laughed at them in high school, and they’ve never gotten over it. They may attend the best schools and get advanced degrees, yet they know they’re still wussy boys in their hearts. Even worse, she’s more of a man than they’ll ever hope to be, and that’s the part that really singes them from their insides.

    Dmac (498ece)

  54. Palin’s got more important things to talk about.

    That’s the real reason the left goes crazy. They see the right actually has a leader of some kind that not only wins arguments (over and over and over) but also takes the right and focuses them on very important issues.

    Kman’s not worth our time, and we should do as MD suggests. While Wolffe joins the list of journalists trying to get attention by bashing Palin for her books or her kids or her car or her jacket, Palin is making arguments for saving our country from the failed policies of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  55. the hatred they feel about themselves is due to the fact that she would point and laugh at them at the mere suggestion. Palin reminds them of the cute girls who laughed at them in high school, and they’ve never gotten over it. They may attend the best schools and get advanced degrees, yet they know they’re still wussy boys in their hearts. Even worse, she’s more of a man than they’ll ever hope to be, and that’s the part that really singes them from their insides.

    Wow, it’s like you’ve been reading my diary or something. I mean, it so accurately describes me. Not only me, but every single liberal I’ve ever known or met, including the women! Dude, you’re a psychic AND a psychiatrist! Amazing! It’s not at all wishful thinking on your part!

    Hey, let’s go on the road… we can make some $$$ off of you.

    Kman (d30fc3)

  56. Go on the road? The only place you would fit in would be the carnie sideshow, right between the bearded woman and the midget strongman. You are a parody of your own pathetic stalkerish self, kmart.

    JD (688ec2)

  57. Kman, now thoroughly discredited on his original assertion, is desperately seeking to change the subject.

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  58. Comment by MD in Philly — 12/10/2010 @ 8:46 am

    Just like Rumplestiltskin, MD. Whaddyaknow, it worked. Heh.

    And BTW, MD, am still so amazed that Wolffe isn’t familiar with Lewis’ adult work, given his stint at Oxford, that I’m really thinking he purposely ignored Lewis’ other work to slam Palin for other reasons. He can’t be that ignorant. Can he?

    no one you know (325a59)

  59. JD and Some Chump, Dustin is in (#55); what say you (we won’t begrudge a parting last shot- too much)?

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  60. Although the aforementioned “The Great Divorce”, even “The Screwtape Letters” are among my favorites “God in the dock” a collection of essays and letters by Lewis is worthy of mention as inspiration.

    This was as deep and quiet a river as Wolffe could have failed to credit an Oxford Don and for whom our era has no counterpart.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  61. noyk (at 59)
    That is my typical question, are they being willfully intellectually dishonest for the sake of the cause, or are their synapses truly firing what they communicate?

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  62. MD – I will reluctantly agree, due to my respect for the rest of you. My position on mocking, pointing and laughing at that kind of asshattery remain intact, though.

    JD (688ec2)

  63. Hey, let’s go on the road… we can make some $$$ off of you.

    We could make quite a bit of money off a display of you titled “A Really Really Big Girl.” That would play quite well in the areas away from urban centers – the citizens there would recognize the species immediately.

    Dmac (498ece)

  64. I think The Abolition of Man, which I read as a class assignment at that bastion of Christian virtue, the University of Wisconsin, was and will remain as a prophetic warning until The End.

    And his essay The Weight of Glory naturally leads to contemplation of eternal realities as much as anything ever written.

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  65. “We’re crazy about her because she’s our ticket into a successful 2012.”

    Whistlin’ past the graveyard. Better hope Hill finds the sheets changed after Beelzebub has so crapped the bed.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  66. We could make quite a bit of money off a display of you titled “A Really Really Big Girl.” That would play quite well in the areas away from urban centers – the citizens there would recognize the species immediately.

    Are you saying men don’t recognize women in cities? Or are you saying that people in the country are more inclined to recognize fat girls?

    Either way, it seems like an awful long way to go to make an obscure joke/criticism.

    Kman (d30fc3)

  67. “And BTW, MD, am still so amazed that Wolffe isn’t familiar with Lewis’ adult work”

    noyk – That is why they are self-annointed elite rather than actual elite. The left has no standards, otherwise they would not have elected Obama.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  68. Watch it amp up the idiocy.

    JD (688ec2)

  69. noyk – The leftist elite are so stupid they think Michael Moore actually makes documentaries.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  70. Coming over here to comment does not seem to be a wise way for Kman to get the sand out of his mangina.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  71. Comment by JD — 12/10/2010 at #63

    Thank you for your kind words and cooperation. As you know, you will still have plenty of practice with others. This response is for those who do not warrant any attention whatsoever.

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  72. noyk – The leftist elite are so stupid they think Michael Moore actually makes documentaries.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 12/10/2010 @ 9:19 am

    :)
    Am proud to say have nevah seen any of Mr. Moore’s oeuvre, except a short clip on YouTube of his harrassment of a clearly nettled but polite Charlton Heston. So though I enjoyed watching “him” get slapped around in An American Carol, am not certain how thoroughly he deserved it. /s

    no one you know (325a59)

  73. “And BTW, MD, am still so amazed that Wolffe isn’t familiar with Lewis’ adult work”

    Like Coulter said, “All liberals are atheists”. Nothing a Christian might think matters.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  74. I think it’s time to pull out the following quote from C.S. Lewis himself, when he was criticized for doing such “un-scholarly” things as — gasp! — writing children’s books:

    “Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

    Robin Munn (d7ea85)

  75. ________________________________________

    played a clip with Barbara Walters where she asked Palin what she read.

    I saw that interview and unlike the one with Katie Couric, where there a “gotcha” moment (although Palin’s husband fumbled a question about using 3 words to describe his wife), Palin was quite straightforward and didn’t wobble on anything. Based on previously broadcast snippets of the program, I thought Walters possibly had displayed some coolness (or even subtle hostility) towards Palin, but I didn’t notice that after watching the entire interview.

    The problem: Palin didn’t come off well to me. I like her ideology and I’d have far more confidence in her decisionmaking skills than what’s coming from the current occupant of the White House. But all that aside, Palin’s persona (admittedly, a purely superficial aspect of a human) just doesn’t give me a sense of big-time seriousness or depth. Plus, she turned to the explanation of media bias on too many occasions to explain away any negative reaction towards her.

    I’m perfectly aware of that bias, I resent it, and I tune it out. I also dislike liberalism and all it represents. But, again, the external characteristics of Palin (ie, her happy-newscaster demeanor) are her Achilles’ Heel.

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  76. It was probably The Screwtape Letters.

    Leviticus (7ab25c)

  77. these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence.

    Robin, that’s such a good point.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  78. Also, seeing a commenter called “Xmas” reminded me of one of my favorite essays by C.S. Lewis, in which he contrasts the Christian holiday called “Christmas” with a non-religious holiday called “Exmas” that happens to be celebrated at the same time of year:

    http://oxfordinklings.blogspot.com/2006/12/exmas.html

    Equal parts cynicism and good humo(u)r: that was C.S. Lewis, all the way through. That essay’s a fun read no matter what your religious beliefs are.

    Robin Munn (d7ea85)

  79. Comment by Robin Munn — 12/10/2010 @ 9:32 am

    What a perfectly apt quote for this discussion. Read that a long time ago; forget where. From which book does that come?

    no one you know (325a59)

  80. I usually don’t shower Chris Matthews with praise, but “even he” got this one correct.

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  81. Dustin – credit C.S. Lewis for that good point, not me.

    Robin Munn (d7ea85)

  82. Interestingly, I just finished reading Mere Christianity and found it to be a wonderful, non-scholarly (in the good sense) explanation (apologia) of why one would intelligently be a Christian. Lewis starts off from the observation that all human beings have an innate sense of right and wrong, questioning where that intuition comes from, and then rationally builds the case for G-d and then why Jesus is to be believed. It’s a great and disarmingly personal and relatable read. He covers the Virtues (Cardinal and Theological) and then discusses how a Christian approaches life. What I found emotionally impactful was his discussion of human moral brokenness (He challenges the reader to try to be a truly good person not just for 1 week, but for 4-6 weeks.) and why we need Grace as revealed in the Scriptures. This was a deeply thought out human being who began as a truth-seeking, honest-questioning atheist and became convinced of the truth of the Christian perspective. I recommend it to anyone who just heard about it and admires it from second hand reports.

    mbabbitt (d2d105)

  83. we stop trying to leap on her all the time and portray her as something less than a person of at least ordinary intelligence?

    Yes, at least we can agree Palin is a person of ‘ordinary intelligence.’ Most Americans would expect a leader to possess an intelligence level higher than ‘ordinary.’

    Kirk (481b5b)

  84. Kirk – Were that true, how do you explain Teh One?

    JD (688ec2)

  85. no one you know –

    It’s from an essay called “On Three Ways of Writing for Children”, and according to http://cslewis.drzeus.net/books/nonfiction.html, can be found in the book On Stories: and Other Essays on Literature.

    Also, it just so happens that I’m currently re-reading the Narnia series in preparation for watching the Dawn Treader movie. Here’s how C.S. Lewis dedicated The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:

    To Lucy Barfield

    My Dear Lucy,
    I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales,and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be
    Your affectionate Godfather,
    C.S. Lewis

    Robin Munn (d7ea85)

  86. it is like people like Kirk are completely unaware that they are proving the point being made when they trot out their asshattery.

    JD (688ec2)

  87. But you guys go on. Drink from the Palin fountain. Obviously she’s stunningly brilliant, a well-read woman of high intellectual capacity, and I’m just not seeing it.

    Comment by Kman — 12/10/2010 @ 8:09 am

    The point of the post is that libs like you who keep attacking her are frequently proving that they’re stupid. Not that she’s brilliant. Somehow you missed the whole point, which fits perfectly with the point of the thread.

    Gerald A (9ef895)

  88. “Most Americans would expect a leader to possess an intelligence level higher than ‘ordinary.’”

    Reminds me of the Bush/Kerry dueling Yale SATS. Yale is selective alright but not re: intelligence.

    I think we should all take ‘most Americans’ as a veiled insult to our own intelligence.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  89. Comment by Gerald A

    Sir, I request you to read posts #42 and 52 (and any other posts you wish on the topic. We are experimenting with a “complete ignoring of the ignorable” approach to ****, in other words, we are ignoring ****. You are forgiven of your unknowing lack of cooperation. In the event you are aware of the suggestion and are not cooperating on principle … (“raspberries” noise).

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  90. ” a well-read woman of high intellectual capacity, and I’m just not seeing it.

    Comment by Kman — 12/10/2010 @ 8:09 am”

    Well I may not be much, but I’m just not feeling your intellectual capacity.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  91. Either way, it seems like an awful long way to go to make an obscure joke/criticism.

    The fact that you call it an obscure joke indicates your level of knowledge of the part of the country that exists outside of the 10 – mile radius from your domicile.

    I think we should all chip in a few cents each in order to get kmart a copy of Adam Carolla’s new book, In 50 Years We’ll All Be Chicks. He’s got quite a head start in that downward evolutionary spiral.

    Dmac (498ece)

  92. I have never been so diappointed reading a comments section.Please do the world a favor and ignore this kman fellow and maybe he will go away.

    dunce (b89258)

  93. In related news, for the laugh of the day, Teddy Bear Dan Riehl now says:

    “When it comes to politics, I’m a pragmatist, not some true believer.”

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  94. 93.I have never been so diappointed reading a comments section.Please do the world a favor and ignore this kman fellow and maybe he will go away. – Comment by dunce
    For those who have not had the benefit of following this thread as it has developed, this is exactly what we are experimenting with.

    42.The truth is I didn’t read your comment – Comment by Kman
    How ironic is that!?!?
    This was discussed on another thread on how to respond (other than banning which boss man doesn’t want to do) to commentors who regularly detract from the discussion, and someone brought up the idea of ignoring.
    I make a motion that we universally ignore Kman from this point forward, with this thread alone as adequate evidence. Do I have a second?? – Comment by MD in Philly

    md – sure, second. – Comment by Aaron Worthing
    You have a “seconded” on this one as well. – Comment by no one you know

    52.Moved and seconded (twice, at least, so far) as previously suggested by noyk ( in general principle) to treat posts from Kman formally, completely, and utterly,(we really mean it) as non-existent.Prior to any vote, I humbly request the matter be taken under advisement by his excellency King Pat of the Blog, and his Royal Advisors, Stashiu3, DRJ, Karl and others (AW has already spoken, see #44). –
    Comment by MD in Philly

    Kman’s not worth our time, and we should do as MD suggests. – Comment by Dustin
    MD – I will reluctantly agree, due to my respect for the rest of you. My position on mocking, pointing and laughing at that kind of asshattery remain intact, though. – Comment by JD — 12/10/2010
    JD – Thank you for your kind words and cooperation. As you know, you will still have plenty of practice with others. This response is for those who do not warrant any attention whatsoever. – Comment by MD in Philly

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  95. <blockquote>Do not feed or tease the trolls.

    No matter how many articles like this get written, there will always be people who surf around the Internet and inject pointless vindictiveness into any available textarea. Don’t let the terrorists win. Do NOT acknowledge these people with refutations, disagreements or even a mention of their screen name.

    There are other great tips, some I should pay more attention to.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  96. I’ll try, MD – but it’s way more fun at times batting a troll around like a tether ball. Kind of like Whack a Troll.

    Dmac (498ece)

  97. Wow.

    So that’s how many comments talking about ignoring me?

    To be honest, even I am a little disturbed by the Kman obsession exhibited here. Don’t you people have anything better to do? It’s just the comments section of a blog, not some “hold at all costs” Maginot Line.

    Kman (d30fc3)

  98. Did somebody fart?

    JD (0d2ffc)

  99. Comment by Robin Munn — 12/10/2010 @ 9:44 am

    Thanks, Robin. Always nice to have an excuse to re-read some CS Lewis again.

    Have you ever read his Letters to Children? Loved how he treated them with respect, with a sense of humor and never talked down to them. He really did have a gift for communicating with whoever his audience of the moment was.

    no one you know (325a59)

  100. no one you know –

    Have you ever read his Letters to Children?

    (Glances over at bookshelf, where a complete collection of C.S. Lewis’ essays used to sit before it got packed away in preparation for moving)

    Yep, sure have. :-)

    Robin Munn (d7ea85)

  101. Dmac, I know, I know, but as I told JD (who is doing his best to go along), “there will always be trolls among you”, so you’ll have many other opportunities.

    I should have included this post in the summary on the topic:
    I’m sorry (not really, I guess) but that chuckling is laughing at you, not with you. You have just saved me the trouble of ever bothering to take one of your posts seriously. So, if you ever think I, or anyone else, is ignoring you, you are probably right.

    As documented above, there was an enthusistic response to the idea that this peron’s comments are not even worthy of “whack a mole”.
    But the judgement of King P and any official vote are remaining to be heard from/done.

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  102. The truth is I didn’t read your comment. And anyway, to LAYMEN like you and me, “forecast” is interchangeable with “prediction”, but they are not (as I originally said and as Webster’s apparently confirmed) the same thing.

    Right. And a Shetland pony’s not really a horse, just a breed of one.

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  103. Wow.

    Speaking as a non-Christian: CS Lewis seems like a perfectly reasonable place for a Christian to look for divine inspiration; he was, after all, one of the great Anglican writers on religious subjects in the mid-twentieth century.

    I wouldn’t look there. But it makes perfect sense for an educated modern Christian to look there.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  104. Another Chris at 11:49.

    See above, we have resolved to ignore that commenter.

    i mean its a voluntary thing but we have decided that he contributes so little to the conversation, that we will just ignore him.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  105. Like most Palin snark, they’ve only succeeded in making themselves look like an ignorant ass.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  106. If “they” keep at it, there will be enough material for a special:

    Self-inflicted Snark Wounds
    Innocent feet sacrificed to vicious mouths
    Is it safe to be a liberal pundit?

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  107. MSNBC is just upset because THEIR source of divine inspiration has only managed to publish ONE children’s book (A Letter to my Daughters) so far.

    malclave (1db6c5)

  108. Lewis left a large amount of writings which sit well on the bookshelf of any Christian believer. One that hasn’t been mentioned here is The Pilgrim’s Regress; and more philosophical and less overtly religious in tone is The Four Loves. So it’s easy to imagine Palin reading any one of those works, from Screwtape Letters on up. And there’s also the famous book devoted to his late marriage and the ordeal of his wife’s (unsuccessful) battle with cancer, Surprised by Joy. However, given the opening of the Narnia movie, it’s not unreasonable to think of her reading the book, perhaps in preparation for going to see the film with her family. We have one commenter on this thread reading it now.

    And guess what? It’s no mark against her intelligence if she was reading it.

    It was, btw, Lewis who came up with the famous argument in Christian apologetics that one when thinking of Jesus, one must choose between the alternatives of believing him a liar, a lunatic, or the Son of God.

    My personal favorite among the Inklings has always been Charles Williams. If you’ve never read The Greater Trumps, Descent Into Hell, and (above all) All Hallows’ Eve, you’ve missed what are probably the greatest works of spiritual writing in English since Pilgrims’ Progress–and very good novels even when compared to non-religious fiction. All Hallows’ Eve is the best one–starts off with a woman coming to realize she’s has just died, and goes from there, all on the Eve of All Saints.
    And The Greater Trumps is set at Christmas, so it’s rather seasonal just now (albeit not quite like any Christmas story you may have read).
    FWIW, a current author who admires Lewis and writes in a similar vein is a fellow named Peter Kreeft, who is a PhD in Philosophy.
    Any of his work available online?

    kishnevi (2d88a8)

  109. Kreeft’s featured online writings.

    Seems really interesting, too.

    But The Greater Trumps sounds really interesting to me. The all black cover is ominous.

    Anyway, Kishnevi’s right that these are interesting books for normal people, and anyone mocking CS Lewis readers is really reaching or a complete gasbag.

    Love her or hate her, Palin is actually talking about more interesting things these days, and her detractors have things they can disagree with her on (such as her WSJ op ed today on reducing the deficit) without being ugly.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  110. Didn’t Obama write a childrens’ book? And Hillary?

    Does that mean that smart people can’t take them seriously?

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/political-bookworm/2010/11/of_thee_i_sing_obamas_children.html

    Machinist (74634b)

  111. It seems there really are no rules when it comes down to it;

    http://www.ktuu.com/news/ktuu-decision-on-senate-election-la-121010,0,6785961.story

    narciso (6075d0)

  112. narciso, that’s amazing.

    The judge completely ignores the ‘no exceptions’ language and actually says the legislature must have implied flexibility.

    Amazing.

    All he’s done if give the rich the ability to bend the rules for a few thousand extra votes, while a normal person trying to run for office has no hope of getting this special treatment.

    The only way to fix a bad law is to change the law the proper way, and enforce it equally, against the powerful and the weak.

    I’m really tired of Alaska.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  113. CS Lewis was full of false and indemonstrable assumptions.

    Bill (9df40f)

  114. Sarah Palin had an Op-ed in the WSJ? My, it must be desperate for contributors!! (sarc.)

    My first acquaintence with Kreeft was his book, Making Sense out of Suffering, which I personally found more satisfying than other books on the subject, including Lewis’ The Problem of Pain.

    Speaking Of Lewis,there is a movie about Lewis and his marriage (which I thought good at the time I saw it) called Shadowlands with Anthony Hopkins as Lewis- I think later 80’s, maybe early 90’s.

    Just got back from seeing Voyage of the Dawn Treader with my daughter and some of her friends. We enjoyed it. There are some parts that are more frightening than the first two, in case you need to consider about whether it is suitable for a younger child.

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  115. Dustin, thanks for the links. They sound like the sort of books Bacon said needed to be digested.

    Don’t be fooled by the black cover. I have a box set of all seven of Williams’s novels. The original American publisher was Eerdman’s–at that time at least the most important publisher of Christian literature–and the books were given white illustrated covers. The cover for The Greater Trumps was based on the Waite Tarot, with the figure of the Fool being the most prominent (in line with the symbolism of the novel). Amazon doesn’t show the cover, unfortunately.

    If Williams interests you, there’s lots to read beyond the novels, including a seminal work on Dante (The Figure of Beatrice, a short history of Christianity titled The Descent of the Dove, and a group of poems on Arthurian themes (Taliessin through Logres/Region of the Summer Stars)published after his death, for which Lewis wrote an introduction. But be warned–his writing style could be rather mannered and labored (most of all in the poetry, least of all in the novels), rather the opposite of Lewis, and he was far more interested in the Christian mystical tradition than Lewis.

    kishnevi (07cf78)

  116. It’s interesting that some feel the need to qualify their enjoyment of the Narnia books. Having read almost all of Lewis’ works over the past 30 years, I find the Narnia series a great comfort during trying times: an eloquent and powerful story of complex simplicity, and one that never fails to bring me back to the basics of unfailing love and mercy.

    I think Lewis, with his immense intellectual capacity, never forgot and fully understood the admonishment,

    And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant. Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all.

    Richard Wolffe doesn’t grasp the enormity and power of childlike humility.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  117. David, shouldn’t you be worrying about an amourus cellmate?

    The Departed (d027b8)

  118. Sigh. I’m not even a Christian, and I’m familiar with his wonderful apologetics and have read a couple. Not checking if he wrote anything besides the Narnia series is just inexecusably sloppy.

    Aaron (b4ec19)

  119. Let me get this straight. The latest criticism of Sarah Palin is she reads C.S. Lewis?

    Really?

    Isn’t that a bit like criticizing Castro because he read Marx?

    What is it about his woman that gets everybody going? I know I’ve asked before, but I just don’t get it.

    Although I do have some uneducated ideas.

    Ag80 (e828a4)

  120. Ag80, its not that everyone thinks they are smarter than Palin, its that in their rush to prove it, they step on their own genitalia.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  121. Richard Wolffe doesn’t grasp the enormity and power of childlike humility.

    That’s undoubtedly true, but in this instance what’s more pertinent is Wolffe’s gobsmacking cultural ignorance. I wonder if that is more of a reflection on the lack of standards at MSNBC or Oxford.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  122. What is it about his woman that gets everybody going?

    What I find so ironic is the more our betters denigrate and mock her, the more people rally to defend her. Love those unintended consequences. She isn’t my choice for 2012, but the more the left continues to exert all their energies unabashedly attack her, the more I find myself becoming a bit more open minded toward her. It must be the smell of fear.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  123. SPQR:

    I think it may be intentional.

    Ag80 (e828a4)

  124. Apropos to the post, i saw Voyage of the Dawn Treader tonight (the new narnia). it was good, about the same level of quality as the first two, which is pretty good considering all the trouble it went through getting to the theaters.

    And yes, there was an inspirational moment. Aslan pretty much all but says he is Jesus and that the kids should “know Jesus.” Think of that what you will.

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  125. Let’s face Wolfe is quite dense, ending up as Olbermann’s sometimes side kick on Countdown, his
    hagiographic accounts of the Obama campaign, have turned out to be exaggerated to be charitable, in Renegade. And it reached parody with his latest, specially the salad anecdote. Same for Halperin, who is just dimly realizing how far he was taken
    by certain sources in GC,

    narciso (6075d0)

  126. Another example that passed me by initially, from today’s baton handoff. Clinton says FDR delivered a speech in ‘1926 to his alma mater at Choate, before he became vp, well he went to Groton ’00, this was 6 years after he ran for VP, nine years before JFK graduated from there.

    narciso (6075d0)

  127. He may have been an Anglican himself, but it’s odd to refer to him as an “Anglican writer”. His topics were never confined to Anglicanism, but ranged rather broadly (and expressly in Mere Christianity) to all Christianity.

    One of his very best essays, and applicable to all persons, not just Christians, is The Inner Ring, which can be found in The Weight of Glory and other addresses. I never see it mentioned, but it has concepts and precepts I think about every day. Wonderfully clear and insightful.

    Linus (b51072)

  128. Ag80, its not that everyone thinks they are smarter than Palin, its that in their rush to prove it, they step on their own genitalia.

    You’re either giving her critcs way too much credit, or else you think they have incredibly short legs.

    Some chump (e84e27)

  129. Granted, Lewis’s writings about Xtianity were apologetics, intended for general audiences. If you want his deeper, professional English (non-Xtian) writings, you should read The Discarded Image, A Preface to Paradise Lost and The Allegory of Love, all still very useful.

    But the clarity of his writings, both fiction and non-fiction, conveys far more than your average theological tome. Indeed, the late Cathy Seipp, who was Jewish, counted The Screwtape Letters and the Narnia stories among her favorite books:

    Lewis was a master stylist, and his children’s series are marked by the same dryly witty prose, comic characters, and shrewd insight into the human condition that distinguish The Screwtape Letters and his other books for adults.

    For Wolffe to mock Palin for reading Lewis is to mock anyone not as intellectual as he, which is almost everyone, believer or non-believer. And that mockery, that condescension will lead to the loss of the causes that he supports. And he’ll blame everyone but himself.

    Nate Whilk (c4437c)

  130. Aaron wrote:

    The death of Aslan in Wardrobe, for instance, was meant to invoke the death of Christ, for instance (although reportedly Lewis denied this—you can take that as seriously as it deserves to be taken).

    I think in saying “reportedly Lewis denied this” you misinterpreted the article at your link, which says the exact opposite:

    Walter Hooper, Lewis’s former secretary and a trustee of his estate, said that the author would have been angered by Neeson’s comments.

    He said: “It is nothing whatever to do with Islam. Lewis would have simply denied that. He wrote that ‘the whole Narnian story is about Christ’. Lewis could not have been clearer.”

    Nate Whilk (c4437c)

  131. Portraying her as even ordinary intelligence as you suggest is contrary to what even John McCain’s people said.. AFTER the election..
    She is a clown and a buffoon but give her credit she knows how to make money..

    By the way AARON do you plan to do an article on TEA party deficit hypocrisy? I mean where is their outrage over the deficits this bad tax bill will create?

    vietnameravet (35c6c1)

  132. Vev graces us with its monthly idiocy. Wipe the spittle from your monitor before the orderlies take away your computer privileges.

    JD (822109)

  133. These folks are like alt Murdock from the A-team, except he pretended to be crazy

    narciso (6075d0)

  134. “do you plan to do an article on TEA party deficit hypocrisy? ”

    So you know the acronym is ‘taxed enough already’, but if they cut taxes, they are hypocrites? I know, the government owns all the money, so it ‘costs’ them money not to tax all of it away. And I know democrats pretend raising the tax level would increase revenue. And I know democrats pretend the deficit isn’t a result of massive spending, but rather the same tax level that led to a tenth of the deficit back in a better era.

    Maybe you shouldn’t worry about how dumb other people are.

    Maybe you shouldn’t pretend your ‘proof’ she has below ‘ordinary’ intelligence makes any sense.

    [nick fixed. Another casualty of sockpuppet friday.]

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  135. VEV’s commentary is still as incoherent as ever.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  136. Appropriate that Palin reads CS Lewis. His Christian apologetics are filled with false and unsubstantiated assumptions.

    JT (02ebc4)

  137. “His Christian apologetics are filled with false and unsubstantiated assumptions.”

    JT – Why not dazzle everybody with some examples and prove your intelligence?

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  138. “false and unsubstantiated assumptions.”

    I love that you say they are both false and unsubstantiated. As opposed to false and well proven. We’re talking about fiction lit, right?

    It’s that little touch of crazy that really gives a lefty that special charm.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  139. Charm like that used to rate a lobotomy.

    AD-RtR/OS! (0bf884)

  140. “Charm like that used to rate a lobotomy.”

    AD – He’s just spreading his PDS around, no thought involved.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  141. I loved the C.S. Lewis that I read: The Chronicles of Narnia as a kid, and The Screwtape Letters as a young adult. I’ve always thought of him as an intelligent “thinker” — someone who doesn’t accept one side over the other just because it’s supposed to be his side. And they call me a lefty. :-)

    Mrs. Patterico (c218bd)

  142. C.S. Lewis the fiction stories were just awesome, allegories or no. I had a very decent Pentecostal pastor try to convert me to Christianity by, among other things, giving me his first copy of Mere Christianity after I corresponded with him following attending his sermons, converting, and then de-converting.

    I didn’t find the arguments in that book compelling. To me, they consisted of false choices. Sure, if you bought Lewis’s insistence that Jesus had to be either crazy/evil/a liar … or what he claimed, the Son of God … then Lewis’s position had a certain appeal.

    But that is definitely a false dichotomy (although I wouldn’t rule out the first option in Lewis’s false choice either).

    Christoph (8ec277)

  143. K-fed talks smack (he thinks) and never comes up with one scintilla of proof/evidence/philosophical insight to substantiate or support his “guess”. In other words: he simply mimics Wolffe. Pathetic.

    Icy Texan (66e366)

  144. “JT – Why not dazzle everybody with some examples and prove your intelligence?”

    Yeah, make our day, cretin.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  145. First, Wolffe was partly right. Lewis wrote a collection of seven novels that was the world’s bestselling children’s series until Harry Potter arrived.

    Second, Lewis’ ‘Moral Argument’ is basically that all people have a notion of right and wrong, and the only explanation for this sense of morality must come from God. He probably never even heard or pondered on the concept of altruism, seen all the time in animals. Ranging from male lions caring for foreign young, apes loaning each other tools, etc…

    Lewis’ Liar, Lunatic, Lord Dilemma/Trilemma argument is where Jesus claimed he was God, the only other options are that he was either a liar or a lunatic, or both, which Lewis argues isn’t reasonable. What Lewis’ didn’t realize was that the Biblical claims of Jesus are ambigious (Jesus is never reported having said “I am the Messiah, God incarnate” for example). Even if he did, he could simply be mistaken, not a lunatic, for lunatics can be very reasonable in everyday life and still have delusions. It’s certainly plausible that Christianity flourished from false beliefs and that Jesus never returned from the dead. Furthermore, the New Testament itself indicates many people, including his own family who thought he was crazy.

    JT (72b7a3)

  146. Please embarrass yourself further;

    http://bible.cc/john/14-6.htm

    narciso (6075d0)

  147. JT, in your quest to make yourself look smarter than Palin all you’ve done is make yourself look smaller.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  148. Like aphrael and Aaron (#120), I’m a non-Christian who admires Lewis’s writing, including his apologetics, and I’ve derived many useful ideas from him.

    #132, what Lewis denied was that the Narnia stories are an allegory. This denial rests heavily on a correct understanding of the word “allegory”. Lewis’s point is that these stories don’t stand for other stories; they stand on their own. The series supposes another world in which the initial conditions are slightly different from our own, and speculates as to how the same events that happened in our world might have played out in that one. Aslan doesn’t “represent” Jesus, he is Jesus; just as in our world Jesus was a human, in Narnia he was a talking lion. The events of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe don’t “represent” the crucifixion, they’re a parallel story, the way the same forces might have played out in different circumstances.

    #141, to be fair, #138 didn’t say the same assumptions were both false and unsubstantiated. Rather, some assumptions may be outright false, while others may merely be unsubstantiated. And since I’m not a Christian, I have to agree that some, at least, of Lewis’s assumptions are indeed false or unsubstantiated; but his apologetics are hardly “filled” with them.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  149. #149, that assumes the Biblical record of his statements is accurate in all details. I make no such assumption. In fact I assume it is heavily distorted. But it’s reasonable for a Xian to believe otherwise, and Lewis was one after all.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  150. Thanks for the correction, Milhouse. You’re right.

    Though I still think it was funny how crazy some people get about Lewis’s work.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  151. The argument was whether he said it, now whether it is true, was Lewis’s point. The more interesting detail are the implications of the truth, left unspoken, which nearly 20 centuries later have not
    been realized

    narciso (6075d0)

  152. I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. That means I am God the Messiah. Thanks, glad we’ve cleared that up.

    JT (72b7a3)

  153. Yep, JT, insulting her Christian beliefs is a sure fire way to show how much more sophisticated you are than Palin.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  154. JT – So rather than Lewis basing his work on “false and unsubstantiated assumptions”, it seems a more accurate statement would be for you to say merely that you disagree with his assumptions. Assumptions after all are not fact. You should use another word if you are debating “facts.”

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  155. Politicians claim ‘faith’ as a guiding principle. It is what expected by the majority religious public. You will notice the politicians who push the ‘faith agenda’ are often the most egregious violators of ‘Christ-like’ behaviour and their supporters develop the most amazing sence of denial in their apologetics and support of such leaders. The bottom line is that faith and morality are completely separate. Faith is a crutch that humans have used for millennia as a way to explain the unexplainable and used as a way of dealing with strife and tragedy. A crutch is a temporary aid until one walks on their own. If you stay with a crutch when you do not need it, you can become lame by use of the crutch itself. Most have this affliction and gain support and affirmation by strength in numbers. Independent and critical thinking is unpopular… despite the ‘nakedness of the emperor.’

    JT (72b7a3)

  156. All of which are irrelevant to the original point that you tried, and failed utterly, to make. Which is that Palin’s choice of a favorite piece of literature made her not as smart as you.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  157. . You will notice the politicians who push the ‘faith agenda’ are often the most egregious violators of ‘Christ-like’ behaviour and their supporters develop the most amazing sence of denial in their apologetics and support of such leaders.

    You’re talking about Obama, right?

    President 20 years membership with and tens of thousands of bucks for Reverend ‘CIA Invented AIDS!!!!’ and ‘God Damn America!’, but dropping that act the nanosecond it hurts his politics.

    No, JT, you’re not talking about that.

    The rest of your comment shows you actually have a problem with people of faith, who you think are weak and lame and don’t think for themselves.

    You actually prefer the Obama style Christian.

    I think that’s pathetic.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  158. #154, just because the author of John claims that he said it, doesn’t mean he did say it. The Gospels may be our only record of what Jesus said, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept them as a completely accurate record. We needn’t reject them completely in order to treat their reports sceptically.

    #158, Faith is not just “expected by the majority religious public”; it’s a foundation of our republic. All of our founders were religious (whether or not they subscribed to the Nicene Creed), and placed enormous importance on faith, as Palin documents in her recent book. Like it or not, atheists are on the fringes of American society, and likely always will be. I don’t know exactly what you mean by “the faith agenda”, or which politicians you think “push” it; do you mean Carter or Clinton? MLK Jr? FDR?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  159. You all know who “JT” actually is, right?

    Eric Blair (4412f5)

  160. Obama walks the ‘faith walk’ like every president has to. It is a job requirement.

    Faith should play against the GOP in the next election because their best candidate, Romney will not be supported widely by evangelicals due to his affiliation with the ‘cult of Joseph Smith.’

    JT (72b7a3)

  161. Let’s not get into this Christian America BS.

    JT (72b7a3)

  162. So, JT concludes that Palin’s religious faith is a weakness, not a strength? Does he feel the same way about Biden’s faith?

    Icy Texan (66e366)

  163. Evidently, Icy Texan, Republicans are stupid believers and Democrats are smart liars about their faith.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  164. “You all know who “JT” actually is, right?”

    Absolutely.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  165. Politicians from Jefferson to Obama have claimed ‘the faith’ because it is a requirement, but what they really believe is personal, not-so-much with Jefferson. We now know that he believed Christianity was BS.

    JT (72b7a3)

  166. “The bottom line is that faith and morality are completely separate.”

    JT – Only a non-believer of any faith would make such an idiotic statement.

    President Obama called Rev. Wright both his spiritual mentor and his moral compass.

    How’s my azz taste?

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  167. “Does he feel the same way about Biden’s faith?”

    Rosary Joe Biden is not a Cafeteria Catholic, he’s a Campaign Trail Catholic.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  168. Grab ahold of something and hold on tight. Here comes the ‘Jefferson was a deist’ rant. Apparently this will be encompassed within a generalized ‘none of them really believes in the faith that they profess’ spleen.

    Icy Texan (66e366)

  169. So Obama’s ‘faith walk’ is OK because he’s lying, and honest Christians are inferior to dishonest ones.

    After all, American politics usually results in one Christian running against another. That’s reality.

    JT’s hatred is incredible. You really have to wonder about what went wrong in his head that he thinks justifies so much anger at people about something like religion, which he even admits relates to the unknown.

    But the real joke is that his sophistry has led him to prefer a liar to an honest person. Fake Christians who lie about their views to con rubes for votes, over people who really think abortion is murder and follow that through to the difficult implications.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  170. Indeed, Dustin, hatred, bigotry and bile is all we see from him.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  171. JT – What religion blesses the incest of Prof. David Epstein?

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  172. daleyrocks, what does your gay anal fantasies have to do with the discussion?

    Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Baker, Marcus Lamb, Eddie Long…. if I had a nickle for every televangelist who cheated on his wife, or every priest who abused a kid…

    Like I said, those that push it the most….

    JT (a5a81f)

  173. Actually, some interpret christianity in a healthy and productive way. Some see the Bible for what it is, not a historical or factual document, but and inspiring legend with values to be emulated.

    Not in the case of Palin.

    Evangelicals often see the Bible as literal and expect that from their leaders. Like Palin who credited her electoral success to Kenyan pastor Muthee and whose Wasilla church pastor Ed Kalnins has warned specifically of the end times citing world events.

    Speaking before the Pentecostal church, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out ‘the will of the Lord.’

    If you can not see the danger of a leadership entrenched in fables and prophecies, you need a reality check, and maybe some deprogramming

    JT (a5a81f)

  174. Hi Professor Yelverton! You just can’t help it, can you?

    Eric Blair (264366)

  175. Good grief. I had thought that this “JT” might be a new person commenting in good faith. It’s now obvious that he’s not.

    And no, Jefferson was not a deist. The only deist among the founders of the USA was Thomas Paine, and that is why he was shunned by everyone, and why when he ended up in a French cell they let him rot there. Jefferson’s religious beliefs were substantially the same as those of Washington, Adams, Franklin, etc.: they were all essentially Unitarian. They believed in a personal God Who is keenly aware of what happens on Earth, directly influences events here, answers prayer, rewards good, and punishes evil. They did not believe Jesus was an incarnation of that God. Most Americans of the time, though, including most of the founders, did believe in the Trinity, and were Christians.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  176. Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Baker, Marcus Lamb, Eddie Long….only demonstrate that Man is fallible, is not perfect,
    and can only hope to attain salvation after a life-time of mostly-on-balance, honorable conduct.

    The denigration of People of Faith by the Secular Left just demonstrates that they feel inferior due to the lack of moral guidance in their lives.

    AD-RtR/OS! (6dbf61)

  177. __________________________________________

    Wasilla church pastor Ed Kalnins has warned specifically of the end times citing world events.

    Then, of course, there was the current president’s former pastor (and also, prior to controversy forcing Obama’s hand, close adviser) who from the pulpit kept raving and ranting about “goddamn America!”

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  178. If you can not see the danger of a leadership entrenched in fables and prophecies, you need a reality check, and maybe some deprogramming
    Comment by JT — 12/12/2010 @ 10:59 am

    — Is this a slam against The Communist Manifesto?

    Icy Texan (66e366)

  179. Most Americans are religious:

    The study detailed Americans’ deep and broad religiosity, finding that 92 percent believe in God or a universal spirit — including one in five of those who call themselves atheists. More than half of Americans polled pray at least once a day.

    Maybe it’s the 8% who need deprogramming.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  180. Maybe it’s the 8% who need deprogramming.

    Could we send them to some remote island?

    AD-RtR/OS! (6dbf61)

  181. So far the largest danger I see is the bigotry of people like yelverton/JT.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  182. The best neutralizer is to mock.
    Their ego’s are so fragile that the can’t cope with the humiliation.

    AD-RtR/OS! (6dbf61)

  183. “Like I said, those that push it the most….”

    Wiilie, do you have any mirrors in your trailer?

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  184. Could we send them to some remote island?

    Exactly my point. Religion is, at least, inherently divisive. At most, dangerous to humanity.

    Numerous studies have shown religiousity increases as education and intelligence decreases. What does that tell you?

    JT (a5a81f)

  185. We were talking about sending you JT; after all, you are part of that 8% of eternity’s losers.

    AD-RtR/OS! (6dbf61)

  186. I had this crazy idea that education and intelligence, generally speaking, tend to curve upward. IOW, most people tend to become more educated, wiser, and more intelligent as they progress through their lives.

    But then, of course, there comes college, and the leftist indoctrination propoganda.

    Icy Texan (66e366)

  187. Our current POTUS believes that his education and intelligence are carrying the day for him.

    How’s that working out in real life, Professor JelverTon?

    Icy Texan (66e366)

  188. JT – Isn’t Helmuth Nyborg, the guy who performed the study you linked, also the guy who performed studies proving that white people are smarter than black people and that men are smarter than women? I think his university accused him of gross negligence in the latter study. He’s a winner. Stick with him.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  189. Willie the bigoted Xianaphobe midget never fails to show his ass.

    JD (eb5afc)

  190. Daley – this is the same person that links to a study on his website that claims that conservatives has inferior brains to liberals, an idea that Christoph like to spit out as well. Point and laugh. Mock and scorn.

    JD (eb5afc)

  191. Trolls are to be expected, that offquoted line about
    the troops, was surprise, surprise, ‘dowdified’ but
    what explains Tim Rutten, who is paid to what he’s talking about, in the review of ABH.

    narciso (6075d0)

  192. Numerous studies have shown religiousity increases as education and intelligence decreases. What does that tell you?

    Comment by JT

    It tells me that you are not up to date on which studies have been debunked, and parrot old talking points because you’re unable to think clearly.

    At any rate, you can’t say religiosity, in and of itself, is worse than atheism. After all, atheists killed more people in the last 100 years than all religious war in the past 1000.

    At best, atheists can say it’s something other than religiosity. Or they can act like you and just make up their own facts to justify their rage. I think atheists who condemn people for their faith to the degree you do are the root problem in the world.

    You guys produce very little, and destroy very much.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  193. Atheists are every bit as religious as the religious in their beliefs.

    JD (eb5afc)

  194. “Nyborg’s paper allows for an evaluation, by way of household income, of how members of various denominations fare relative to their average IQ levels……”

    “Atheists and agnostics, by contrast, come in at the bottom. The low rates of multiple person households is part of the explanation, but the high number of lone wolves among their ranks illustrates their social marginality in another way relative to the cognitive endowments they enjoy. This does little to dispel stereotype I hold of atheists as cynical, single white guys who live in apartments downtown, work at used record stores, love George Carlin, and watch Adult Swim.

    Nyborg’s paper might give smug atheists justification for superciliousness, but unless the argument is that atheism increases intelligence, there isn’t much to brag about, save being more worthy in the eyes of Socrates. They don’t achieve as much as believers do given the hand they’re dealt.”

    http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2008/12/religious-denominations-ranked-by.html

    It is really not worth the time to refute the typical garbage he links.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  195. Let’s be clear here,Willie plagiarist Yelverton’s beef is not with religion in general, it is with American Xians. H prolly has a beef with gawd for making him a balding midget bereft of rational thought and social skills.

    JD (eb5afc)

  196. JD – The argument he links to above is essentially scientific racism, which was Christoph’s point, that conservatives were anti-science although he refused to admit it as the natural conclusion to his line of reasoning. Scientific racism makes sense for a bigot such as Yelverton with his panoply of perverted and twisted prejudices.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  197. from a Charlie Rose interview with Palin in 2007:
    “I love C. S. Lewis–you know very, very deep, and, very intriguing reading anything of C. S. Lewis.”

    She is clearly aware of the Lewis corpus. Maybe Wolffe knows about best selling 20th century literature only if there’s a movie version.

    Lewis clearly said that Aslan’s suffering and death were a reflection of Christ’s suffering and death. In writing about how Narnia came to be:
    “Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? . . . But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could.” From the essay “Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What’s to Be Said,” in Of Other Worlds.

    T D (7d9cc1)

  198. “139.“His Christian apologetics are filled with false and unsubstantiated assumptions.”

    148. What Lewis’ didn’t realize was that the Biblical claims of Jesus are ambigious (Jesus is never reported having said “I am the Messiah, God incarnate” for example).”

    Dude.

    Jn 8:39ff “before Abraham was born I AM. And the Pharisees pick up stones to kill him.”

    Why? Ex 3:14 “say I AM has sent me to you.”

    The Hebrew ‘I am’ sounds like ‘Yaweh’, the personal name of God. He had thereby ‘Taken the name of the LORD in vain’ and was by law to be stoned.

    Your atheist musings(Milhouse as well) betray total ignorance of the subject, theology, the doctrines and history of the church,…

    The earliest fragment of any New Testament writing is that of John’s Gospel, mid-2nd century(Chester Beatty collection). Do you halfwits really think the theology, the involved prophetic support could have been worked out without a printing press, an internet?

    I’d almost prefer to believe one among you is well read.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  199. Speaking before the Pentecostal church, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out ‘the will of the Lord.’

    This is a leftist myth that has been refuted repeatedly. She said that she hoped we were acting in the will of the Lord.

    The animosity to Christian belief is a phenomenon of the 60s when rebelling against The Father was the motivation. The Father could be the government, the actual parent, the university administration or society itself. Few of the rebels had enough self awareness to realize this. Some of them now realize it as they deal with their own children, especially those raised in “Progressive” theory.

    Mike K (568408)

  200. Mike K – their canards and myths keep them warm at night. They mix well with their seething hatred.

    JD (eb5afc)

  201. JD – I thought wetting their beds kept them warm at night, at least temporarily.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  202. After all, atheists killed more people in the last 100 years than all religious war in the past 1000.

    Kind of like these guys?

    Nazi war criminal Joseph Goebbels was born into a strict Catholic, working-class family and was educated at a Roman Catholic school.

    JT (a5a81f)

  203. Comment by JD — 12/12/2010 @ 2:40 pm

    No, JD!
    They reside in an intellectual desert.
    What keeps them warm at night are continuing payments to ConEd so their electric blankets function.

    AD-RtR/OS! (6dbf61)

  204. Just because one was raised a Catholic doesn’t mean that one lives a Catholic life – and obviously JG failed at leading a Catholic life.

    AD-RtR/OS! (6dbf61)

  205. obviously JG failed at leading a Catholic life.

    Well then, so did Pope Pius XII, puppet of Hitler

    JT (a5a81f)

  206. JT – Did you get buggered in a religious boarding school or did nuns smack you with rulers growing up?

    The power of Christ compels you to answer.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  207. Milhouse, at 152: I wouldn’t say I admire Lewis’ writing; I’ve never read any of his apologia, and while I liked Narnia as a child, when I’ve tried to reread it as an adult I’ve found it almost unimaginably dull.

    My point above was that I had been under the impression that Lewis’ status as one of the foremost apologists for Christianity in the middle of the twentieth century was widely understood among educated people, including non-Christians … so I find the idea that Wolffe is apparently unfamiliar with it to be astonishing, and the idea that Palin would use Lewis for divine inspiration to be unsurprising.

    aphrael (9802d6)

  208. Also, In the years 1942-1943 in Croatia existed numerous extermination camps, run by Catholic Ustasha under the dictator Ante Paveliç, a practicing Catholic and regular visitor to the pope. There were even concentration camps exclusively for children. In these camps – the most notorious was Jasenovac, headed by a Franciscan friar – orthodox-Christian Serbians and many Jews were murdered. Unlike the Nazis, the Catholic Ustasha burned their victims alive, the Nazis were decent enough to have their victims gassed first. But most of the victims were simply stabbed or shot. The number of them estimated about a half million in a small country. Many of the killers were Franciscan friars. The atrocities were appalling enough to induce bystanders – the Nazi SS – to complain about them to Hitler (who did not listen). The pope knew about these events and did
    nothing to prevent them.

    Learn.

    JT (a5a81f)

  209. Because everyone knows the Pope had several mechanized tank armies just waiting to intervene in WWII.

    JT/Yelverton, you really are a bile-filled, ugly person.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  210. “Learn.”

    So your criticism of your better, Lewis, having fallen to earth you are attempting to show erstwhile Christians manifest some measure of the atheist’s nihilism.

    Oh, the humanity.

    Er, wasn’t that the gist of Christianity?

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  211. SPQR hates facts, history. It’s ‘hateful’ to point out history that he doesn’t care to know about. Remember what I said about the amazing ability to deny facts and to attack the messenger?

    JT (a5a81f)

  212. “Remember what I said”

    No need. Your’s is a second-rate mind, matched easily by one’s hairdresser or bartender.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  213. Narciso quotes a cathloic newsletter in defense.

    Apologetic.

    I suggest google:

    V.Dedijer, The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican, Buffalo NY, 1992.

    or simply:

    Ustaše

    JT (a5a81f)

  214. So, the Ustasha are an arm of the Roman Catholic Church, or an arm of the Nazi Party in Berlin?
    Which is it, enquiring minds want to know?
    And, what is more important politically:
    The cultural upbringing of the participants, or the actions of the participants?
    And, what of the Bosnian Muslims…
    “…Bosnian Muslim war crimes did not begin with the 1992-1995 Bosnian civil war. Bosnian Muslims leaders had requested that Adolf Hitler make them a part of the Nazi New order in Europe. Pursuant to this, the Bosnian Muslims formed two Nazi SS Divisions…”
    http://www.serbianna.com/columns/savich/077.shtml
    Were they adherents of the “Religion of Peace”, or were they Nazis?
    Just why are you such a Richard Cranium?

    AD-RtR/OS! (6dbf61)

  215. Comment by gary gulrud — 12/12/2010 @ 4:20 pm

    JT could never function as a bartender…
    way above his skill-sets.

    AD-RtR/OS! (6dbf61)

  216. JT, I’ve forgotten more about history than you’ve ever learned. You are nothing but bile on legs.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  217. SPQR, that presupposes that it can do other than slither on its belly.

    AD-RtR/OS! (6dbf61)

  218. AD-RtR/OS! — thank you for reminding us other religions murder as well, as if we were unaware.

    JT (a5a81f)

  219. Ustase, means to rise up, it’s known as the, Croatian Revolutionary Movement, Pavelic did create
    the movement after Radic was assasinated in 1925, by Serb partisans, Jasenovac is the name you didn’t know, but it was a multiethnic affair, involving Catholic Croats. Orthodox Serbs, and Bosnia Moslems,

    narciso (6075d0)

  220. JT, meanwhile, the death toll of left-wing atheists? 61 million here, 40 million there and a sprinkling of millions elsewhere.

    Bile filled trolls trying to support their bigotry with misrepresentations impress no one, Yelverton.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  221. But, the ideology of Nazism, just as in Marxist-Leninism, is not in the Church, but in the State.
    They are authoritarian tyrannies, who – in the 20th-Century – caused the deaths of far more people than in all of the religious wars throughout history,
    both unrecorded and recorded.
    That you waltz around that fact says almost everything about your unseriousness.
    If you were just the slightest bit humorous, you could aspire to be a Maroon!

    AD-RtR/OS! (6dbf61)

  222. William Yelverton is a demonic hate-filled midget plagiarist what is scared of brown people that can spell. And, William, you are a dishonest coward. Aggressively so.

    JD (eb5afc)

  223. JD, and by his warped logic, he should be guilty of the more than one hundred million people killed by left-wing atheists.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  224. SPQR – I think William Yelverton should tell us about his personal relationship with Beelzebub.

    JD (eb5afc)

  225. yelverton, it’s pathetic that you lose so many debates so embarrassingly that you just change your nick and start over.

    This example is no different. You were quite rude to SPQR to insist his response to your point equals some kind of rejection of history.

    History is that millions of Christians fought to stop Nazis. They also fought to end slavery in this country, among many other noble causes.

    You could note that many of the bad guys were Christian as well, over time, but the way you did so was incredibly irrational.

    It’s not hard to note, again, the horrible death toll of Christian hating atheists of the Mao or Yelverton style. Hundreds of millions dead. Stalin and Mao’s attitude towards those religions they disagree with is similar to yours, but it would be really unfair to say all atheists are like Mao.

    The reason we aren’t doing that is because we aren’t as crazy as you are, pointing to some half baked WWII conspiracy theory and saying ‘learn’, as though you have somehow refuted Christianity.

    If you were not so enraged and irrational, I’d guess you screeched this to avoid the embarrassing point you made above about trusting Obama with office because you believe he is a liar about his faith.

    If Christianity is this horrible to you, that’s all on you. It’s not an offensive set of beliefs.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  226. Our Christmas tree looks beautiful this year. The only thing that looks better is the babe who is decorating it. The fireplace is stoked, it is almost a blizzard outside.

    Happy holidays to everyone!

    PS
    Here are some interesting facts.

    JT (a5a81f)

  227. What a sexist douchenozzle you are, Yelverton.

    JD (eb5afc)

  228. Your facts are as silly as your delusions, Yelverton.

    JD (eb5afc)

  229. Comment 202 (gary gulrud)
    Your argument falls rather flat because of two things:
    1)The argument that the Gospels are verbally accurate transcripts of Jesus’s words ultimately rests on acceptance of Jesus as Messiah/Son of God. If you don’t accept the latter as true, then there is no latter to accept the former as true. And even if you accept Jesus as Messiah/Son of God as true, there is plenty of evidence to support the theory that the Gospels are not accurate records of Jesus’s s words and deeds, but hagiographies written at least one generation after Jesus’s death. Which means that all of the apparent claims by Jesus to messianic/divine status may well have been foisted on him by the actual writers of the Gospels (who were not Matthew, Mark, Luke and John): and the response to Lewis’s famous trilemma is “none of the above”.

    2)It also ignores the well known pattern of people in high mystical states making statements in which they claim to be God. For a well known case, look up the Sufi saint al-Hallaj, who was executed for blasphemy because he uttered the phrase “I am the Truth” (ana l-Haqq).

    Do you halfwits really think the theology, the involved prophetic support could have been worked out without a printing press, an internet?

    You must managed to insult probably every Christian who lived before Gutenberg:
    It most certainly was, and in even greater detail during later centuries that never saw a printing press, much less the Internet. You can start here and work forward through Chrysostom, Augustine, Aquinas, etc. if you wish.

    kishnevi (2a51a4)

  230. Still obvious that one’s greatest danger is to be a citizen of an atheist government.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  231. No surprise that Yelverton gets caught spewing racist communist propaganda, gets pantsed and then changes the subject.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  232. “You can start here and work forward through Chrysostom, Augustine, Aquinas, etc. if you wish.”

    Silly child, add Josephus, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Irenaenus, the Clements, Eusebius, Hegesippus,…

    Aquinas is an anachronism. By Augustine Christianity was defined en toto and all of your objections considered.

    Your second point is laughable.

    The first fair, but cavalierly treated as an all or nothing affair. Belief on any matter is embedded in a network of contingent beliefs.

    At the time referred to by Milhouse, the post-enlightenment era, nothing had been adduced in support of the Judeo-Christian scriptures from science, especially archaeology. By the 1840s that had changed with Rawlinson. Today the string of certainties from science in support stands unbroken.

    Any fact you can find in support of doubt is itself scientifically uncertain.

    Today some 8000 manuscripts from Aquinas’ time down to Polycarps are known comprising 4 family versions, in koine, syriac, coptic and others, that through textual criticism give us a very solid facsimile of the original.

    No doubt in contrast to your lights, I’d date Matthew to 50AD, Mark 65AD, Luke 70 AD and John 95AD and if you think that is sufficient time to iron out the details and intrigues of a body you cannot master over your remaining years, you are exactly who I believe you to be.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  233. Silly child, add Josephus, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Irenaenus, the Clements, Eusebius, Hegesippus,…

    Josephus was Jewish, not Christian, and if you checked the link you would have found the others.

    By Augustine Christianity was defined en toto and all of your objections considered.

    Actually, Christian theology is still developing, and will develop to the very end. In your terms, think of it as the Spirit guiding the Church as it faces new situations. The New Testament–and yes, the original versions of the Gospels were probably written about the dates you give–contains only the first foundations.

    Your second point is laughable.

    Study and prayer and continues experience would teach you otherwise.

    At the time referred to by Milhouse, the post-enlightenment era, nothing had been adduced in support of the Judeo-Christian scriptures from science, especially archaeology. By the 1840s that had changed with Rawlinson. Today the string of certainties from science in support stands unbroken.

    Any fact you can find in support of doubt is itself scientifically uncertain.

    Today some 8000 manuscripts from Aquinas’ time down to Polycarps are known comprising 4 family versions, in koine, syriac, coptic and others, that through textual criticism give us a very solid facsimile of the original

    I was referring to the question of how much of Jesus’s actual words were contained in the Gospels, and how much was, in effect, retrofitted on him by the authors of the Gospels. There can not be archeological evidence of what Jesus said or did. We are never going to find the remains of all the loaves and fishes he fed to the multitudes, even if that miracle story did take place. Nor do the agreement of the manuscripts mean anything. They only mean the original authors were faithfully copied; they do not meant that Jesus’s words were faithfully recorded. The most suspect one is John, both because it was written later and because it embodies material that in general differs from the Synoptic tradition of the other three.

    To put the matter in your terms: there are plenty of things a modern biographer would include which the Gospels don’t tell us because, apparently, they thought them unimportant. A glaring example is, what did Jesus do between the time Luke shows him talking with the scholars in the Temple and the time he decided to get baptised by John the Baptist? Speaking of whom, beyond the story of the Visitation in Luke, why does no one–including apparently both Jesus and John themselves–think it worth mentioning that they are relatives? Why, when they do eventually meet at the Baptism, do they act as if they are total strangers and not cousins? A modern biographer would probably explore that topic in great detail–to the authors of the Gospels, it’s not even worth thinking about.

    So what we have are four highly selective accounts of what Jesus did and said, and (once you study the actual evidence) a good amount of reason to think that at least some of what Jesus is depicted as saying in the Gospels was not in fact said by Jesus. How much is of course disputed–you can go from the Jesus Seminar stance of “almost nothing at all” to much more moderate views that think of Jesus as saying substantially the same things as the Gospels record, albeit not with the same precise words.

    Which means that he may well have never claimed to be Messiah/Son of God. Those remarks could have been placed in his mouth by later Christians (later meaning a generation or so after Jesus)–and if you don’t already believe Jesus to be Messiah/Son of God, there is no reason to believe the Gospels are an accurate record of his words and deeds.

    kishnevi (c89e0a)

  234. Kish do you really want to go there, at a certain point, you have to take things on faith, after all
    the same http://books.google.com/books?id=-b3HEwXDb5oC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Exodus&source=bll&ots=LwLYQNRSC8&sig=sad9KvSEQJUHJ8ledGbcan be applied;

    narciso (6075d0)

  235. I will go this far with you:

    “if you don’t already believe Jesus to be Messiah/Son of God, there is no reason”

    to learn whereof you speak.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  236. Ya know, Yelverton, whether you sockpuppet your ‘hot girlfriend’ or merely tell us how hot she is…

    ah, nevermind. What do I care if you look like a hopeless nutcase?

    My Christmas tree looks amazing this year, too, as does the family that helped me decorate it, but I don’t see why you’re interject that when you’re spewing hate speech. Hopefully you’re not the lonely little soul you come across as, but rather just pretending to be.

    I’m sure you’re headed to the gym in 26 minutes, etc.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  237. “Those remarks could have been placed in his mouth by later Christians (later meaning a generation or so after Jesus)–and if you don’t already believe Jesus to be Messiah/Son of God, there is no reason to believe the Gospels are an accurate record of his words and deeds.”

    kishnevi – Up in #235 you criticized gary for insulting all Christians who lived before Gutenbeerg. I curious what you believe you are doing now.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  238. I’m curious

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  239. “…The fireplace is stoked…”

    And this, friends, is the fellow who is a big believer in carbon dioxide causing global warming…contributing to that awful gas.

    In more ways than one.

    Wear a sweater, instead. Jimmy Carter used to tell us that, right?

    The brags are pretty funny, aren’t they? I like the “babe” comment. I presume he means a possibly mythical girlfriend, not the subject of a movie some time ago. Most women I know don’t care to be called “babe” by bragging poseurs. Especially of the Progressive Left.

    Again, Professor Yelverton, why all the different names? Surely you realize it makes you look mental? I mean, since you are so smart and liberal and everything.

    Never mind. Keep posting things that make you look unbalanced. It’s actually funny.

    Eric Blair (6037ec)

  240. Unlike the Nazis, the Catholic Ustasha burned their victims alive, the Nazis were decent enough to have their victims gassed first.

    — Be sure not to miss Professor JelverTon’s new lecture: “A Kinder, Gentler form of Genocide” -OR- “Holocaust Lite”.

    Icy Texan (8de0af)

  241. “Comment by narciso — 12/12/2010 @ 9:48 pm”

    Thanks for the link, worthy of purchase.

    As Meyers notes the scripture narratives:
    firstly, contain history that is beyond verification; secondly, while obviously deriving from sources, the Exodus’s parts have been woven together with an atomic purpose.

    The effort, when reading such works, to either prove or disprove elements of the fabric-and supposing that this is everyman’s object-is obtuse.

    If one acheives nothing else, understand what is being said.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  242. We’ve been told by the ‘Gods of the Copybook Headings, Marx, Freud, and Darwin, that economic
    activity is essentially, amoral, that humans are
    base at heart, that life is a random act, little
    surprise that people ‘internalize those thoughts
    and act accordingly.

    narciso (6075d0)

  243. ” that humans are base at heart”

    And social coercion is corrective. Sheeple looking for a shepherd in all the wrong places.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  244. the Nazis were decent enough to have their victims gassed first.

    -Professor William Yelverton, Middle Tennessee State University.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  245. 252. Who’d a thunk? Tragicomic.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  246. kishnevi – Up in #235 you criticized gary for insulting all Christians who lived before Gutenbeerg. I curious what you believe you are doing now.

    I don’t think I’m insulting anyone by saying that a non Christian has no reason to accept the Gospels as historically accurate/verbatim transcripts of Jesus’s words and deeds.

    A Christian believer, on the other hand, believes in the Holy Spirit, and therefore believes in an entity that can ensure that, despite all the flaws and fallibility of their human authors, the texts of the Gospels as we have them is the text that God arranged for us as a reliable source. The means He used is a secondary matter.

    In other words, Christians believe in the veracity of the Gospels because they believe in Jesus as Messiah/Son of God–Jesus the Word of God validates the Bible the word of God.

    Which means that to use the Gospels to prove Christian tenets regarding Jesus to a non believer is actually an elaborate form of begging the question.

    But if I sounded insulting to Christians and Christianity, I apologize–Narciso’s reference to Exodus was a valid point in response. (And to clarify my own views as a Jew regarding that point, it’s similar to what I said Christians believe about the Holy Spirit and the text of the Gospels: God made sure that the text we have now (the Masoretic text) is the text He wants us to have. The means he used to do so are secondary to that point.)

    I do find Gary’s belief that everything important in Christian theology was already stated in the Gospels and fully worked out by the time Augustine died to be–well, strange. His original comment seemed to mean that nothing of interest occurred in Christian thinking after the the New Testament was written–and that somehow it required the resources of the Internet and modern printing to allow the theology of the Gospels to be systematized. His later clarification does not, in my view, do justice to the thinking and writing that Christians of all stripes–Eastern Orthodox, Western Catholic, Protestant, Monophysite, and more–have engaged in since Augustine. Calvin and Luther, for instance, may have based themselves on Augustine and other early Christian writers (not to mention the Bible itself), but they each developed a theology that went far beyond what Augustine taught. Which is why the Augustinians are a religious order in the Catholic Church but the Lutherans are a family of denominations and the Calvinists another (Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed, etc. etc.).

    kishnevi (437df2)

  247. 252. Who’d a thunk? Tragicomic.

    I’d call it grotesque.

    And lest anyone be confused–y’all probably remember the point I was arguing a couple of months and my consequent loss of temper. I want to make it clear that Yell-verton’s apparent claim here, that the Holocaust proves Christianity is EVULL, goes way beyond anything I was trying to say back then–and just stating what Yell-verton’s claim consists of should make its idiocy apparent.

    And rather than risk restarting my argument, I’ll leave it at that.

    kishnevi (437df2)

  248. It is more accurate to say that extreme nationalism
    of the Orthodox variety Serbs, Ukrainians, (Bandera
    Lebed) and Catholic Croatian Ustache and Romanians,
    Iron Guard, lead themselves to said consequences,
    although Moslems from the Handschar Battalion, seem
    to lead in the same direction

    narciso (6075d0)

  249. “the Nazis were decent enough to have their victims gassed first.”

    The bodies were gassed first for ease of handling and so they could be stripped of gold fillings, skin, and hair and then burned.

    The death camps were just set up to efficiently kill, render, and depose of humans. The work camps were set up to make use of slave labor. The best workers would be fit and would have a very strong desire to live another day so they would submit without resistance and work themselves to collapse each day. They would burn out quickly but there were always more coming and they did a lot of work before they had to be disposed of. To separate these highly motivated workers from the rest the camp conditions were deliberately made sadistically terrible and humiliating. Should someones will to live flag they could easily find quick death by touching the wire, looking a guard in the eye, or failing to jump when given an order. When new groups came in they were sorted to save the best and the rest were killed. Some camp commanders tried to be scientific in their selection process and some like Treblinka just used more direct methods. A goon squad beat the new arrivals with clubs, rifle butts and boots. Those still standing were processed for work having shown the will to live and good condition. The rest were killed.

    This is his idea of decency??

    Machinist (74634b)

  250. William Yelverton Of MTSU thinks that the Nazis gassing their victims first was humane.

    JD (822109)

  251. Have they changed the meaning of those words or does he have his own?

    Machinist (74634b)

  252. machinist and JD–
    to be fair to Yell-verton, I think he used the word “decency” with the intention of being ironic: he wasn’t attributing decency to the SS, but describing the indecency of the Ustashe as worse than the Germans–that even the SS thought the Ustashe were being unnecessarily inhumane. And if the SS thinks you’re unnecessarily inhumane–well, you probably are.

    Please remember that his basic claim on this thread was that the Holocaust proves that Christianity is EVULL. Attributing even a minimal decency to the SS contradicts that, so I don’t think he meant it.

    kishnevi (437df2)

  253. On second thought, do we really want to be fair to Yell-verton?

    kishnevi (d04361)

  254. That’s true, it’s like with the likes of Bousquet, Vichy prefect in Lyon, counterpart to Barbie, and longtime friend of Mitterand, who had also been a former Cagoule member, he turned in people, even the Nazi’s didn’t ask for.

    narciso (6075d0)

  255. I guess I don’t really feel the death camps had any place in any standard of decency. They were like a black hole where you can see the outer profile of it’s event horizon but there is no real inner limit. You can not use them as a standard to say something is worse because there is no lower limit or step to compare against. Like a black hole there is no bottom or size to the thing itself so you can not use it as a level to say something is lower.

    He may well disagree.

    Machinist (74634b)

  256. “But if I sounded insulting to Christians and Christianity, I apologize”

    kishnevi – Thanks. The tone of a non-Christian telling Christians what they MUST believe sounded quite strange and involves numerous assumptions nature of peoples’ faith.

    I generally stay out of threads discussing religion and faith unless it involves the spread of Islam or someone is making untrue or bigoted claims because I think faith is an individual matter.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  257. nk hasn’t contributed a quote he and I both invoke upon occasion, so I will:

    “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest…” Paul Simon, The Boxer

    The concept is not new, in fact Saul of Tarsus wrote, “Having itchy ears, they will find teachers to their own liking, saying what they want to hear.”

    So, the person who wishes to discredit the Christian faith will point out true examples of people who claimed to be Christian but did not give a good account of themselves, and distorted examples that are claimed by others to be indicative of Christians. Others will be affected by the lives of people such as Corrie ten Boom and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Wilberforce and Newton (John or Isaac). You can think it doesn’t make a difference, or that one perspective is “more correct” than the other. But ultimately we make the decisions we act on.

    As far as Christian theology being complete by the end of the composition of the New Testament, I would first appeal to Paul’s statement that he determined to preach only that which he had received by human interaction with the other disciples and by divine revelation, and he charged his “mentee” Timothy to do likewise, not to try to advance something new, but be faithful to the Truth as it was delivered. The Apostle John similarly wrote that anyone who added to God’s revelation (not just the individual NT book, but the whole) was “accursed”.

    In one way the Bible is always “the last word” in Christian theology, as one cannot have theology that conflicts with the New Testament and call it Christian. But we also know that the New Testament is not encyclopedic in scope on every detail of human existence and life, so it is reasonable that people seek to understand how the principles in Scripture “fit together” and how they are to be applied in circumstances not explicitly encountered there. And as stated above, orthodox, historical Christianity believes that God’s Presence through/by the Holy Spirit assists in understanding.

    It would be interesting to see what people have to say about “false” assumptions, etc. in Lewis’ apologetics, but I’m not sure if we can do it in a worthwhile manner here. It is the nature of philosophy of any kind that arguments are put forth by one who thinks they are faultless only to be soundly rebuked, or at least criticized, by another, and for those rebukes and criticisms to in turn be subject to scrutiny.

    kishnevi, I am not sure what you are driving at to say that the Gospels leave out things that a modern biographer would surely include. A modern biographer has the technical tools and financial resources to devote huge amounts of time to writing a book that will then be published and sold through distributors throughout the world. The “biographers of Jesus” were people such as you and me who do not have the luxury of being supported and supporting our families by writing, and whose efforts were limited to what could be reasonably thought to be reproduced by copying with the human hand. What you do have are 4 perspectives to the reporter’s question, “Tell me what you think is most important to remember about Jesus”. Realize, too, that the four people being asked are thinking about what else has already been written and who their immediate audience is likely to be.

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  258. MD in Philly – Doctrine evolves.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  259. “255.252. Who’d a thunk? Tragicomic.

    I’d call it grotesque”

    Not the quote, the googled guitar ‘prof’.

    I know it’s a bit short on context and elliptic, but with some effort you’ll read for meaning.

    Eventually.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  260. What you do have are 4 perspectives to the reporter’s question, “Tell me what you think is most important to remember about Jesus

    Exactly. For instance, none of them thought it worthy of recording what Jesus did between the time he became an adult and his baptism by John the Baptist. IIRC, none of them actually say how old he was when he began his public ministry. We have no idea of when or how Joseph died–we just assume he died before Jesus began his ministry because the Gospels don’t mention him but do mention Mary. These aren’t things that would have required much research, but they are things that a modern biography would write about in at least a cursory manner, because they are topics that obviously should be mentioned in a biography. The Gospel writers did not because they felt that those topics had no bearing on the message they wanted to convey in writing about Jesus.

    Although one wishes that they had mentioned what Jesus was doing in those years, if only to get rid of all those New Age accounts that claim Jesus went to India to learn yoga, etc.

    kishnevi (d04361)

  261. “266.MD in Philly – Doctrine evolves”

    In biology evolution is often not progressive, just genetic drift.

    With apologies to my Catholic brethren, Aquinas was a lacunae, an Aristotelian drift off center that was expunged gradually via the Reformation and with the Anabaptists returned to the sacramental understanding confessed in Constatine’s, Augustine’s day.

    It’s kishi that’s under development.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  262. daley,

    I believe the main legitimate reasons for doctrine to evolve is when a previously propogated error is corrected, or a new development in human experience needs to be understood in a Christian framework. I treat with great skepticism any “new” doctrinal understanding that is not essentially in one of these categories.

    The events known as the Reformation were not based on the development of new doctrine, but rather on reemphasis on the old. Any change that claimed to be based on Scripture alone meant that nothing written in the last 1500 years (or so) had any merit except to the degree it was a faithful discussion of the meaning of the original message.

    MD in Philly (cac12c)

  263. Because they aren’t biographies, in the traditional sense, there are biographical elements, as to his genealogy, the time and circumstances of his birth, how it lines up with previous prophets like Isiah and Micah, but the didactic portion is the important part. Honestly, sometimes I don’t get how you missed that.

    narciso (6075d0)

  264. “I believe the main legitimate reasons for doctrine to evolve is when a previously propogated error is corrected, or a new development in human experience needs to be understood in a Christian framework. I treat with great skepticism any “new” doctrinal understanding that is not essentially in one of these categories.”

    MD in Philly – I agree.

    daleyrocks (c07dfa)

  265. Because they aren’t biographies, in the traditional sense, there are biographical elements

    Narciso–I do understand that. That’s why I call them hagiographies. And that’s why I treat with skepticism any claim that the Gospels present exact transcripts of what Jesus said and did. They don’t present us with Jesus, the person who lived and preached and was crucified; they present us with what the primitive Church (the Christians of the first century CE) believed about Jesus. That’s actually a different thing. The aim was not literal accuracy but rather spiritual validity.

    It’s kishi that’s under development
    You’d be better off saying that each and every one of us is under development.

    kishnevi (6c49d9)

  266. My belief about the bible is pretty similar to what Kishnevi is saying, that it’s inspired, but based on the first century understanding of Jesus’s life rather than a literal transcript.

    It doesn’t interfere with my Christianity, though I understand a lot of Christians disagree with me about the Bible.

    It is quite amazing how well preserved the Bible is. There are differences here and there, but the Dead Sea Scrolls aren’t as different as you’d think, based on how many other works are distorted in a much shorter period of time.

    CS Lewis’s work in the area of justifying his religion have been great reads for me, and very much appreciated, and I can’t help but again remark what a jerk Wolffe is being to sneer at them.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  267. Do you believe that Moses, existed, can you prove that the events in Exodus happened the way they were
    related, in the end, it is about belief, you either
    do or you don’t, and consequences flow from that

    narciso (6075d0)

  268. The Hebrew ‘I am’ sounds like ‘Yaweh’, the personal name of God.

    No, it doesn’t. It’s not even close. Why don’t you stick to subjects you know something about?

    Milhouse (79943d)

  269. Do you believe that Moses, existed, can you prove that the events in Exodus happened the way they were
    related, in the end, it is about belief, you either
    do or you don’t, and consequences flow from that

    Comment by narciso —

    I do believe that, but I don’t take Genesis literally. In fact, I don’t take a few other aspects literally.

    It’s about faith and belief, rather than what you can prove, but I think the fundamental lessons of the bible were taught the way Jesus taught: by parable in many cases.

    Milhouse, isn’t “ehyeh” Hebrew for “I am”?

    I have no idea about Kishnevi’s theory about the term, however.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  270. My point was addressed more to kish, then anyone else, but the point obtains, is there really a quarrel with his message, not really, has it not been internalized after nearly 2,000 years, it would appear to be, Now CS Lewis, tried to reintroduce these concepts to a society which had
    it’s foundations, rocked by the Depression and the war,

    narciso (6075d0)

  271. Now CS Lewis, tried to reintroduce these concepts to a society which had
    it’s foundations, rocked by the Depression and the war,

    Great point. And he did a very good job of it, and I think it’s important to point out the importance of this work to the 20th century (and even today).

    We could use a lot more of this. I’ve tried to read Christian literature and I’m afraid it usually is lacking in depth or even simple writing skill (Tim Lahaye, for example).

    I think the message is built in to our minds. Sounds a little silly, but all I’m saying is that the core idea of forgiveness or sin is already there, and that’s why people understand its truth when they see it in books.

    An atheist could say that this is a genetic thing, and the cause of the holy message, and a deist could say the opposite, but regardless, I think the arguments have to move on to other, less important aspects.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  272. Narciso–I believe Moses existed and the Torah was revealed at Sinai; but I know of absolutely no evidence that would persuade a non believer of that, beyond the fact that Jewish/Israelite tradition has always thought of such an event as being real history, which shows the belief goes very far back–and the related problem an non believer must solve: if the Torah was not revealed to the nation of Israel en masse, how did the belief in such an event become accepted so early on.
    Beyond that, I tend to follow the traditional Kabbalistic teachings on most matters, which leads to a panentheistic view on many topics. To give further details would be to go too far afield, but (to keep up the Christian connection) I’ll state it as a paraphrase of something St. Paul wrote (in Galatians, IIRC): We exist, but it is not we who exist but God who exists in us.

    And yes, Narciso, beliefs have consequences: we are totally in agreement there.

    Dustin: the Hebrew word “ehyeh” means, more precisely, not “I am” but “I will be”. At the Burning Bush, Moses was told “I will be what I will be.” Strictly speaking, Hebrew does not have direct equivalents of the present tense of the verb “to be”: am, are, is, are simply understood–thus, you would have not “Patterico is a blogger” but “Patterico blogger”. (The indefinite article is also usually not used.) This also means that, if Jesus did say “before Abraham was, I am” he must have used another term which the Greek evangelists transposed into “I am”. (I would speculate that “ehyeh” would be the term used, because it is a well known title for God, but it’s possible Jesus used another term. And of course he would have been using the Aramaic equivalents, not the Hebrew terms.)

    kishnevi (1b86f1)

  273. I’m not gonna lie… I find these attempts to deduce meaning from translations and special clues from one language to the next to be very wrong headed. If it was an important issue, it would have been raised more loudly, the way the bible raises issues like murder, adultery, forgiveness, and charity.

    Whether Jesus is God is pretty important, too, I admit. My take is that he’s the son of God, as carefully explained in Matthew and the other gospels, rather than the same identity, as the Roman Catholics said.

    But my main point is that this kind of analysis is divisive. In fact, it was designed to be divisive. The Bible is actually very easy and simple to read and understand. A surprising amount of it is stuff we understood before we even read it.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  274. that’s not to say that if you find the little details interesting, you shouldn’t talk about them. Knock yourself out, but it’s best not to get bent out of shape over it.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  275. This is way off-topic but the last few comments reminded me of this heartwarming Bar Mitzvah Christmas story.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  276. Great link, DRJ.

    And the fact a Jewish rite of passage provides Christmas to children? “I don’t think it matters,” Haber said. “A good deed is a good deed any day, any time, anywhere.”

    As you said, heartwarming. And one nice detail is that a bunch of Texans were part of it.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  277. In Spanish you would add the, El blogger Patterico, but that really doesn’t change the message, which is the point of the exercise. Now Wolfe has proved
    himself remarkably clueless on too many occasions to count, so much so even SNL has taken note at one instance.

    narciso (6075d0)

  278. My daughter asked me about werewolves.

    I told her the first mention of them was the Neuri, in the Histories of Herodotus (the father of history, the first ever written history.

    She asked me, “What is the difference between history and mythology?”

    I held my my thumb and forefinger tightly together. She got it. “Nothing”.

    nk (db4a41)

  279. “You’d be better off saying that each and every one of us is under development”

    That’s the point, indeed. Jn 21:25.

    gary gulrud (790d43)


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