Saturday, February 9, 2008

Why Don't Skeptics Read More Theology?

Short explanation: because it is vacuous twaddle.

Longer illustration: theologian N.T. Wright, who is at least famous and influential enough to land an interview in TIME magazine, has written a new book, Surprised by Hope, in which he makes confident declarations about the nature of heaven. To wit:

TIME: Is there anything more in the Bible about the period between death and the resurrection of the dead?

Wright: We know that we will be with God and with Christ, resting and being refreshed. Paul writes that it will be conscious, but compared with being bodily alive, it will be like being asleep.
We know, he says, a number of things -- six impossible things before breakfast, so to speak. Don't let their patent incoherence detract from the realization that we know about them. We know what it's like to be conscious and yet asleep, and we know the period between death and resurrection will be a lot like that. We know because the Bible says something along those lines if you squint hard enough; and maybe because the smell of breakfast is calling and two more impossible things need to be found.

The interview goes on from there as if especially created to confirm H.L. Mencken's remark that "theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing."

Cf. "The Courtier's Reply"

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