HOLY or HORRIBLE?
Conflict between the Bible and its
has continued for 3000 years. The latest phase includes vicious
up-to-date science, and involves leading intellectuals.
The Bible says: "Your [God's] word is
to my feet and a light to my path." (Ps. 119:105) Is this defensible or
are the critics
Leading atheists, many known for
militancy, convened in La Jolla, California, in November 2006 to
Should Science do away
What should science put in
Can people be good without God?
Richard Dawkins, author of The God
declared, "I am utterly fed up with the respect we have been
into bestowing upon religion."
Carolyn Porco of the Space Institute
believes science can replace God by giving people a "feeling of
to the cosmos." She said, "Being a scientist and staring immensity and
eternity in the face every day is about as meaningful and awe-inspiring
as it gets."
Neil de Grasse Tyson, director of the
Planetarium in New York noted that 85% of US National Academy of
members do not believe in God and he asked, "How come the number isn't
zero?" Also: "I don't want the religious person in the lab telling me
God is responsible for what it is they cannot discover. It's like
no one else will ever discover how something works."
Harry Kroto, chemist of Florida State
argued for a global outreach via media and Internet to promote science.
Joan Roughgarden, professor of
and biology in California, summed up the attitude at the conference:
"But scientists are
as the enlightened white knights while people of faith are portrayed as
idiots who can't tell the difference between a [communion] wafer and a
piece of meat." (New Scientist, November 18, 2006)
ASSAULT ON THE BIBLE
Attack on the biblical Scriptures has
3,000 years including by:
Assyria, Babylon, Greece,
Rome and Persia.
and many cults;
modern critics such as
and Thomas Paine (1737-1809) in Age of Reason (1795).
Strauss (1808-1874) in Life of Jesus (1835), and Julius
who accused the Bible of inspiring moral revulsion. Many were
by the founder of modern sociology, Auguste Comte (1798-1857), who
that four inter-locked evils – capitalism, Chris-tianity, urbanisation
and imperialism – create moral impoverishment.
Bible itself, from start to finish,
describes and predicts continuous conflict between Scripture and its
The last book, Revelation, pictures a world where everyone is deceived,
misguided and opposed to the Gospel, which nevertheless reaches "every
nation and tribe and tongue and people". (14:6-7; 12:9)
W. Foote & W. P. Ball – The Bible Handbook For Freethinkers
(1921); Joseph Lewis – An Atheist Manifesto (1954); Bertram
Russell – Why I am Not a Christian (1957); Kathleen C. Boone – The
Tells Them So (1989); Tad S. Clements – Science Vs. Religion
(1990); Lloyd Graham – Deceptions And Myths of the Bible
AVALANCHE OF BOOKS
have launched an all-out assault via books and media.
The God Delusion (2006)
Religion is toxic/delusional;
Its authoritarian guide to conduct and rejection of science leads to
catastrophic mistreatment of others;
Theologians promote "split-ting hairs", "tedious cliches" and
dismantles major arguments for God (chapter 4), says natural selection
explains life, examines the origins of religion and morality, attacks
the Bible, and calls religious upbringing "physical and mental abuse".
The End of Faith (2005), Letter to a Christian Nation
(2006). Harris says that religious fundamentalism "sets the world
ablaze with bad ideas", and unexamined religious belief is often used
to justify horrible crimes. Harris warns: "The only
angels we need involve are those of our better nature: reason, honesty,
and love. The only demons we must fear are those that lurk inside every
human mind: ignorance, hatred, greed, and faith, which are surely the
of over twenty books including Living
in Sin (1988); Resurrection
Myth or Reality? (1994); Rescuing
the Bible from Fundamentalism (1992); Liberating the Gospels (1996); Why Christianity Must Change or Die
(1998); The Sins of Scripture
(2005); Jesus For The Non Religious
a retired American bishop, treats the Bible as non-literal stories
intended to communicate an experience of God. He rejects creation, the
virgin birth, feeding of the 5000, Christ's resurrection, and biblical
God: The Failed Hypothesis (2007); The Comprehensible Cosmos (2006). Stenger, a
professor of physics, says the Bible as a moral guide is confused and
supports slavery and various atrocities; Deity is "the failed
hypothesis"; and the Universe is a random event that exploded into
energy, matter and space-time — a colossal accident.
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural
philosopher, author of Against All
God is Not Great (2007).
Atheist Manifesto (2007).
defines faith as "a commitment to belief contrary to evidence and
reason." Dawkins similarly says, "Faith is an evil precisely because it
requires no justification and brooks no argument." (p. 347) And Harris
is the one area of our lives where faith in dogma — that is, belief
without sufficient evidence — is considered a virtue... There are
scientific dogmas, of course, but wherever they are found, they are set
upon with hammer blows. In science, it is a cardinal sin to pretend to
know something that you do not know. Such pretence is the very essence
of religious faith."
atheist writers lump all religion together — Taliban, Islamic
terrorists, creationists, anti-education cults, etc — and present
extreme behavior such as suicide bombing and child abuse as typical.
Grayling blames all war on religion including Iraq, which he says is
Bush "conducting jihad for American Baptist values."
Appleyard (2007), however, observes: "Any view that religion is the
source of all evil and atheism the origin of none is plainly absurd."
GREAT WORKS and ETHICS
truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works
that I do, in fact, will do greater works than these." (John 14:12)
the 9th century two Greek evangelists translated the Bible into the
Slavic script and introduced literacy to Eastern Europe. The first book
in Russian was the Bible!
the 20th century atheistic Communism ruled Russia for 73 years. It
displaced, murdered or tortured millions of people (Tolstoy 1982) and
created economic and environmental catastrophe. Souring crime rates and
having failed, Dr Olga Lutsenko, a government official, was asked to
find ways to fight the souring crime rate and teach Russian youth right
from wrong. She did her research, then advocated the Bible and herself
converted from Communism to Christianity.
Lutsenko participated in founding Kindness International, which has
official approval of the Ukrainian and Russian governments to promote
biblical principles and Christian values through the public school
Bible has similarly helped all nations toward fairer laws, better
health, human rights, science, and literacy.
the Roman Empire, infanticide probably killed over 200,000 babies per
year. Christians, guided by the Bible, eventually got infanticide
banned. (Investigator 76 & 41)
700,000 people died in 300 years of spectacle in Rome's Colosseum. In
all amphitheatres Empire-wide many millions perished — again in the 4th
century Christians ended the violence.
Great Things for God (#116) I
showed how biblical ethics counteracted widow-burning (Sati) and human
sacrifice in India, saving millions of lives, and opposed the Caste
System which oppressed hundreds of millions but is now declining.
Scudder (1870-1960) began with a one-bed mission hospital and brought
scientific medicine to India's women and children. Her work led to the
Vellore Christian Medical College & Hospital — one of the great
hospitals and teaching centres of Asia.
slavery debate (#76 to #84) showed that Christian abolitionists, using
the Bible, helped end 19th century slavery.
Bible and Christians were also central in the rise of modern science
(Hooykaas 1972) which increased health and prosperity worldwide. The
formulators of scientific method included Albert the Great (1193-1280),
Roger Bacon (1214-1292), Isaac Newton (1642-1727) "the greatest
scientific mind the human race has produced", and many others. Even
today Christianity and science often go together — the leader of the
Human Genome Project, for example, was Christian.
Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans religions raised hundreds of
millions of dollars for victims, doing more than the government,
whereas scientific groups and atheists stood back.
of ministries promote healing and prosperity around the world. In
Australia prominent ones include:
The Christian Blind Mission International which heals the blind;
The Leprosy Mission gives vocational training to lepers;
Palms Australia sends workers to primitive lands to build and staff
hospitals and schools.
addition to organizations and churches, Bible-motivated individuals
everywhere do good locally and individually.
Investigator 117 reported a
proposal to put stickers on Bibles. The stickers call the Bible "a work
of fiction" and claim the contents include, "suicide, incest,
bestiality … violence, use of drugs or alcohol, homosexuality,
voyeur-ism, revenge, undermining of authority figures, lawlessness …
atrocities", and may lead to "delusions … hatred, bigotry … fanaticism,
murder, and genocide."
behaviors listed on the proposed skeptical sticker are, with one
exception, condemned in the Bible:
we apply commands against murder (Deuteronomy 5:17), the Bible is
ambiguous on suicide.
Incest & bestiality?
a man takes his sister…it is a disgrace…" (Leviticus 20:17)
shall not have sexual relations with any animal and defile yourself
with it, nor shall any woman give herself to an animal to have sexual
relations with it: it is perversion." (Leviticus 18:23)
them seek peace and pursue it." (I Peter 3:11)
it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peacefully with all."
Use of drugs or alcohol?
not get drunk with wine…" (Ephesians 5:18; See also #116)
not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes,
sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers — none of
these will inherit the kingdom of God." (I Corinthians 6:9-10)
is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any
excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these
things." (Philippians 4:8)
never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God…" (Romans
Undermining of authority figures?
every person be subject to the governing authorities." (Romans 13)
not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21)
I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control." (Galatians
yourself in all aspects a model of good works, and in your teaching
show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured; so
that any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of
us." (Titus 2:8)
let none of you suffer as a murderer…" (I Peter 4:15)
shows no partiality but in every nation anyone who fears him and does
what is right is acceptable to him." (Acts 10:34-35)
NOT A "WORK OF FICTION"
is the Bible a work of fiction. During my 18 years with Investigator
I've proved hundreds of points in the Bible correct. Often the Bible
seemed wrong because science itself was wrong, but newer science then
vindicated the Bible. Investigator
No. 100 has an index where readers can check this out.
In Sex and the Bible (#48) I
outlined biblical sexual morality and its medical basis. Harris,
however, in Letter to a Christian
Nation says: "Your principle concern appears to be that the
Creator of the universe will take offense at something people do while
naked. This prudery of yours contributes daily to the surplus of human
misery." And several of Spong's books attack biblical morals.
ethics, however, are objective — intended to promote health, life,
prosperity and peace. (Proverbs 4:20-23) Therefore they can be tested,
measured and confirmed. In the 20th century sexually transmitted
diseases afflicted billions of people and killed 200 million! Sexually
transmitted viruses are also implicated in some cancers and in
would expect that 100,000,000 people murdered under atheistic Communism
is sufficient, but no, atheists want even more death because
preventative morality is "misery"!
reviewers of the current atheistic authors are scathing. Barney Zwartz
of The Age calls Onfray's
book a: "…deliberately distorted, bile-filled jeremiad… He can't
find a good word for religion or religious people [who] all "prefer the
comforting fairy tales of children…""
critics of Dawkins include Terry Eagleton, H. Allen Orr (biologist),
Alister McGrath (Oxford professor & theologian), and Marilynne
Robinson. (All available via Google.)
Ward in Is Religion Dangerous?
(2006) shows that religions are not just doctrines but multi-faceted
institutions of society. They, "share in the general moral state of the
societies in which they exist". Some beliefs are harmful. But others
are positive and enrich society — Ward provides many examples.
Dismissing all religion outright as Dawkins and Hitchins do is "a mark
is a philosopher-theologian and former atheist. One reviewer aptly
called him "a one-man Richard Dawkins Rebuttal agency".
there is no evidence of God is merely…an interpretation… Everywhere we
look there is evidence of something, but it is by no means clear that
that something is nothing. Rather, it seems something of a startling
B. The Delusion Is All Yours, New
Scientist, 3 March, 2007, p. 47.
M. In Place of God, New Scientist,
November 18, 2006, pp 8-11.
R. K. (Editor) 1987 Encyclopedia of
Biblical and Christian Ethics, Thomas Nelson.
C. Father, son and wholly bogus, The Weekend Australian, May 19-20,
R. 1972 Religion And The Rise Of
Modern Science, Eerdmans.
Z. Bad Religion, Seed Magazine,
November 2006, pp 88-89.
N. 1982 Stalin's Secret War,