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January 27, 2010

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Christopher Hitchens may be blind, but he's not an idiot.

:)

I found it interesting how Maryiln Sewell was constantly trying to convey to Hitchens that she was impressed by him – or that they were, in essence, cut from the same cloth. Almost like she was saying, “I’m not an anti-intellectual like all the ‘other’ so-called Christians. I’m smart. I’m nuanced. I have to explain my Christianity because you won’t get it from simple Bible reading”.

I don’t think Hitchens was impressed.

I know that James White once said that he did a radio show with a woman who could spell out the gospel story from Scripture, even though she didn't believe it. Funny how the liberals can't seem to do the same.

Yeah the irony is tremendous. It is like observing a nerdy kid try and suck up to the cool kid as much as possible just hoping for a little acceptance and inclusion, only to get further mocked.

Its just another clear example of liberal Christians so desperately wanting to be loved by the world, only to be scoffed at.

It is like observing a nerdy kid try and suck up to the cool kid as much as possible just hoping for a little acceptance and inclusion, only to get further mocked.

That's exactly what it's like. Brilliant way of putting it Ryan. :)

Well, I've listened to the whole interview now, and it's like Hitchens is shooting fish in a barrel.

It's a disservice to Christianity to even refer to Sewell and her ilk as "Christians."

There are a number of essential tenets that, once modified or jettisoned to make the flesh more comfy, result in the term "Christian" becoming a genuine misnomer.

The discussion between Hitchens and Sewell is genuinely between two secularists...one an athiest and one a New Age poser...perhaps a "Sewellist." :)

(Religious/spiritual ideologies have become so individualized, they are really only worthy of carrying a title morphed from the last name of each individual who passes through the New Age buffet line.)

(a) Who cares about Hitchens defintion of a Christian because

(b) He doesn't like Christianity and it's 'ilk'.

I cannot believe the audacity of Christians to latch onto this guy's definition of what a Christian is...like he actually knows.

Here's a proverb - simple is as simple does.

Societyvs,

I understand your point.

I don't think, however, Christians are latching on to Hitchen's definition. I think the point in the post is that Hitchens acknowledges some central tenets of the faith insofar as one might define Christian belief from either side of the fence. For example, I do not adhere to the tenets of Mormonism, but if a person claiming to be a Mormon says he rejects half of the writings of Joseph Smith, I can attest to him being a charlatan in the Mormon community. Having said that, I don't think Mormons would necessarily "latch on" to my definition...but they may well acknowledge the accuracy of my pointing out the discrepancy.

"I don't think, however, Christians are latching on to Hitchen's definition. I think the point in the post is that Hitchens acknowledges some central tenets of the faith insofar as one might define Christian belief from either side of the fence" (David)

Here is why I feel the need to inteject in this conversation and Hitchen's definition...who is he that anyone should acknowledge his grasp of the core tenets of Christianity? This man is admittedly not a church historian nor a theologian on behalf of any single church - true?

I also feel the need to point out that Christianity is more diverse than that simple quip from Hitchens...way more diverse.

This is the kind of stuff that needs to be noted - the dissection (with proof) about Hitchen's claim to this liberal Christian...in which he said:

"I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian" (Hitchens)

(a) He uses Christ and Messiah about Jesus - like it were 2 titles - however it is exactly the same title (one in Greek and one from Jewish roots). Very scholarly I must say.

(b) The resurrection is central tenet to this faith - no one is denying that - not even Marilyn Sewell. Even if Marilyn does not accept the physical resurrection (since she has no proof for it)she does accept the concepts behind it.

As for a history lesson on how core this belief really is, did you know that in Judaism of the 1st century AD (during Jesus' life) - the Pharisee's and Saducee's disagree on this term (what was and wasn't true about it). Saducee's, who ran the temple until AD70, did not accept the resurrection...however they were still an acceptable part of Judaism. Why? The resurrection is not a huge part of the Tanakh.

(c) The 'sacrifice for sins' part is still up in the air amongst Christian communities about what it means (atonement theories) and how it is applied (communion). There are at least 7 ways to look at atonement (including it's not real) to a few ways to view communion (from literal to symbolic).

Now to make the audacious statement one has to believe that idea of 'sacrifice for sins' is a stretch - even biblically.

It should be clearly noted that Matt, Mark, and Luke (and a lot of Paul's writings), and James do not even broach the depth of this subject in any way that we use it today (those 7 theories of atonement). In fact, Hebrews seems to be the only book with some theory on the subject...not one single gospel lays out the theology.

What we find we have today is conglomeration of ideas on the subject picked from this piece of scripture fitting with that piece based on pretty much what emphasis the interpreter wants to have (thus 7 theories...and more to come). It's really not as simple as Hitchens make us believe.

(d) then he turn and call the women 'you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian'. Really? And what study has this man done in this arena to make this call?

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