Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Faith in Minerva et. al.

Commenter Bible Study Boy has helpfully clarified "true Christianity":

I realize that many professing Christians teach that one must live by certain rules in the flesh in order to be saved. However, all that is required for salvation is faith alone in Jesus Christ. I also realize this is an atheist website, or at least it appears to be, but there is a great bible study website that shows why many professing Christians don't really represent true Christianity. Many profess to know God, but they are full of evil and hate trying to get people to live according to their rules. This is contrary to the bible which teaches that faith alone in Jesus is sufficient for salvation, not our own works of righteousness in the flesh.
Commenter Bible Study Boy, could you pass the following along to Jesus for me? I would  appreciate it. Here goes: if Jesus cares enough about whether we "believe in him" to either toss us in eternal hellfire or give us eternal reservations in a five-star resort beyond the stars based on it, I ask him to consider leaving some clear, unambiguous evidence. I've always been fond of the idea of temporarily arranging the stars to spell out a message visible from earth -- "I exist. Believe in me or you're damned. Yours, Jesus" or something like that -- and then shuffling the stars back to their regular positions after a few minutes. That should be simple for an omniscient being, and it would turn doubters like me into believers lickety split.

Until then, I'll go with Thomas Jefferson's view of Jesus-as-divinity:
And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.
In short, Jupiter:Minerva::Jehovah:Jesus.

Beyond that, the latter months of 2007 seem to have been the season when I still gave a shit about the particular theological twaddle you passed along enough to address it: I mean this post on Sola Fide, this other post on Sola Fide and its theological antithesis, and this charming post on the weird tendency of believers to issue definite-sounding declarations about what their favorite god really meant in the teeth of the dizzying mishmash of words attributed to him/her/it.


Mike said...

Well put, Dale. it reminds me why I need to get here more often.

Bible Study Boy does bring to my mind a valid point,though, about the organizations that make their living from Christainity. The simplicity of the faith makes it tough to justify their fundraising efforts, so they need to add other conditions and functions to get the money to stay in business. Some of these functions - helping the poor, basic education for children, disaster clean-up assitance - are quite legitimate and noble, but they don't actually have anything to do with faith. The groups try to connect them so they don't look as much like the worshppers of the nuclear missile in Beneath the Planet of the Apes(which I still find cringingly funny).

Dale said...

Thanks, Mike. The good deeds don't need the supernatural back-story, let alone the incoherent supernatural back-story. And the bad deeds aren't ennobled by the back-story at all.

Sheldon said...

Come on Dale!

If you stare into the stary heavens for long enough, and in the right way you will find the message you are looking for. Keep trying! Maybe take a hit of acid.