YouTube Twosday: Ricky Gervais on Christianity

Anyone who checked out the iMonk’s post on atheism may have seen this already… but this is the “new” new atheism. Not rabid, but friendly. Not insulting, but funny. Not arrogant, but “humble”, not scientific, but cultural…

How do you counter these arguments of religion as a positive form of social control that isn’t necessary for “enlightened” people?

I’d suggest it’s not like the Pyromaniac Centuri0n would have us do it… he suggests, in a series of posts, that we move away from apologetics, and just preach the gospel – both the iMonk and Frank Turk (Centuri0n) suggest the likes of William Lane Craig have the approach wrong – and we should either be cultural or biblical – not philosophical.

Me, being a pragmatist, I think we need to have a balance of all three. You can’t use the Bible on people who reject the fundamental premise of a book authored by God. Especially if they insist on deduction rather than induction. So you need to take the philosophical apologetic when arguing for the existence of God. And you can’t do any of this without getting the cultural element right – and I’d say one of the big issues there is the damage done to our reputation by nominal or apathetic Christians. So don’t be one of those.

On death do us part

Two death post in one night. This isn’t some morbid fixation (though I am watching Bones as I write)…

I have appreciated elements of the Pyromaniacs writing. They call a spade a spade. And I appreciate that. I’ve never really engaged in commenting on their posts – even though there have been some I disagreed with.

Until this post – where one of the “Team Pyro” guys wrote a long post about the death penalty on his personal blog. I hope the comments around this site never reach the sycophantic levels of rabid agreement that go on over there…

Now, I’m not against the death penalty. I’ve argued for it on previous occasions. But I think we should be encouraging a government that is careful, considerate and merciful. I agree that the law needs to pursue justice – and that that looks like retribution, rather than rehabilitation. But this post doesn’t hit that balance.

It also falls into the trap, in my opinion, of equating America with God’s kingdom.

Ben, from, led the way into the fray and I followed to see what had happened in his wake. It’s not really pretty. But feel free to join the fun.

After this experience, and having read through thoughtful analysis of the “ministry” of the Pyromaniacs on Ben’s blog, I’m much less interested in what the Pyros have to say about anything.

Requiem for a theme

I’ve just finished reading through the condensed summary of this series by the Internet Monk on the death of the evangelical movement. It was printed/posted by the Christian Science Monitor (which has not much to do with science if you’ve never been there before). And then discussed by Justin Moffat and the Pyromaniacs.

“Theme” doesn’t really completely capture the nature of evangelicalism – it’s more a theological framework – but that didn’t rhyme with dream – which was essential for the title.

The original piece is interesting. The commentary too. Worth a read. Feel free to discuss here.

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