Tag Archives: history

The History Channel and the Bible

I’ve had a couple queries about the upcoming History Channel special on the Bible.

I tend to be skeptical of anything on TV related to the Bible.  The TV preachers are mostly false teachers, and the allegedly mainstream channels usually pull out all sorts of theological Liberals (read: non-Christians) and present them as mainstream experts.

Based on names supposedly associated with the production (Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Della Reese, and more) I’m even more skeptical.  But this interview with the makers made it sound like they were trying to be true to the text.

Having said that, it might be good to watch.  Remember, just because we disagree with something on TV doesn’t mean we can’t use it as a segue to truths about the Bible.  If the shows are realistic depictions of the text, then that’s great.  Get people to talk about it.  If there are errors, you’ll have a chance to point them out.  Even if you don’t watch it you can ask people what they thought about it and take the conversation from there.

In short, use this as an opportunity to share the truth: The original writings of the Bible turned out just as God and the human writers wanted them to, and they have been passed down to us in a highly accurate fashion.  Therefore, we should all study it carefully and seek to meet God on his terms, not ours. 

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Updates — Here are a couple reviews that go into more detail.  Sounds like they took a lot of poetic license with the text.

The Word Made . . . for Television?

The Bible … on the History Channel? A review of the TV series The Bible

Unlikely common ground

One of the few things that nearly everyone agrees upon — conservatives and liberals alike — is that the sex-slave trade is immoral and should be stopped.  There are a few liberal extremists that try to argue that prostitution is somehow empowering for women, but even most of them agree that kidnapping people or tricking them into slavery is wrong.

So what should be done?  Here are some ideas:

Reduce the supply

1. Institute the death penalty for slave traders.  Hey, it was good enough for the Israelite theocracy!

Exodus 21:16 “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.”

Seriously, there needs to be some serious consequences for something so evil.  Put a few of them to death and that would save countless people from becoming slaves.  Or at least make it life without parole.

2. Increase education for at-risk groups, so they know the scams the traders use (i.e., offering jobs as nannies in other countries, then taking their passports).

3. Expose and de-fund Planned Parenthood, because they systematically hide statutory rape and sex trafficking.

Reduce the demand

1. Publicize the names and pictures of the customers and punish them.

2. Reduce access to pornography, which certainly fuels the demand for these girls.

Getting Galileo wrong. Twice.

Galileo and Viviani
Image via Wikipedia

Darwinists reflexively use the story of Galileo to advance the religious vs. science false dichotomy.  That fails on two levels.

1. The Galileo story that people usually refer to has many mythical elements.  And how many people can cite an example besides Galileo?

And as far as religious (or non-religious) beliefs getting in the way of science, who knows if Einstein’s presupposition of a static universe caused his error with the cosmological constant?  After all, an expanding universe certainly gives more support to a theist model than a static one.  That hypothesis cuts both ways.  This happens often in science, such as the myth of “junk DNA” that went on for years because Darwinists assumed it without evidence.

2. Which is the more pertinent element of the Galileo story?

A. Some religious people were wrong while other religious people were right.

B. Those in power were wrong and abused their authority and those not in power were right.

People who use the Galileo example typically assume A, but I think it is B.

The August 2011 issue of Salvo (great magazine and web site, btw) had an article about a professor forced to write an apology to a student he had harassed in class over her unwillingness to believe in Darwinian evolution.  He wrote a non-pology instead, “apologizing” for “appearing to denigrate” her beliefs and insisting that he hadn’t meant to offend her.

Worse yet, he had the gall to refer to Galileo.  The girl’s lawyer replied to him noting the irony of the Galileo example.  After all, who was the authority figure in this case and who was the victim?  The professor was authority figure (the “Pope” of this situation) and he used his power to deliberately humiliate the woman taking risks in opposing the majority view.  The professor cast himself as the hero, but the woman was the one challenging the orthodox position and standing up for free thinking.

P.S. The religion vs. science canard always reminds me of this gag from The Simpsons,  where Lisa Simpson finds a phony fossil of what appears to be an angel.  The judge presiding over a trial about the fossil said this:

As for science versus religion, I’m issuing a restraining order: Religion must stay 500 yards from science at all times.

Questions to ask the Occupy Wall Street crowd

Wow, these people are the gift that keeps on giving!  The contrasts to the Tea Party couldn’t be more glaring.  We could run these 24×7 for the next year.

And here’s another set of . . . uh . . . well-informed critics who are not sure if Al Qaeda is Worse than Evangelical Christians.

Then there are these jewels about Communism.

In a better world the mainstream media would ask these fairly obvious questions.

1. What percentage of total income tax receipts should the top 1% of earners pay?  Now, they might say something silly like 100%, because their overriding motive seems to be coveting.  But it would be interesting to see if they would say a figure higher than 38% (the actual amount).

2. Did you know that Barack Obama got 20% of his record 2008 contributions from Wall Street?  Did you know that he is the largest recipient of Wall Street donations ever?  Did you vote for him?  Will you vote for him again?

3. Do you approve of violent means to make the top 1% pay their “fair share” and/or to overturn capitalism?

Dear OWS folks: Please, please, please don’t go away.  The more attention we get on you the better.  Nothing could advance conservatism faster than people learning more about you.

What brief conversation made these people consider the Gospel and do a 180 on abortion?

Please watch this, then share it, then considering using this approach yourself.

In 33 minutes it covers a lot of important ground in a powerful way. It shows how people are often ignorant of history (Adolph Hitler and the Holocaust) and how carefully framing what abortion really does can quickly change hearts and minds. There is also an excellent example of how to share the Gospel with people in a simple, compelling and accurate way.

WARNING: Viewer discretion advised — not for little ones.

Kudos to Ray Comfort and all those who put this together. It is very well done.

Solyndra

Here is a great timeline on the Solyndra scandal, courtesy of Verum Serum.  It is already a little dated, though, as it doesn’t include how the Solyndra executives promised to testify yet are now refusing.

This is pure crony capitalism and political payoffs.  It also highlights the foolishness of much of the Green movement.  Hopefully this gets to where the mainstream media can’t ignore it (though MSNBC is trying by not mentioning it in prime time).

Note how the Bush administration rejected them but the Obama administration wasted half a billion dollars on them.  Coincidentally, of course, a major Obama fundraiser and donor was involved on the Solyndra side.

Also see the timeline of how Obama is using GM (“Government Motors”) to manipulate the electorate.

Hey, that’s not what the scientific “elite” told me!

 

One of the common refrains from the (allegedly) pro-science crowd is that science trumps religion and the Enlightenment period did away with all that religious nonsense.  See They were so ignorant back in the Middle Ages that they just talked a lot about God and didn’t do any experiments … right?

… the actual record of scientific methodological practice in the Middle Ages shows this to be false. Ptolemy (c.90–168) was extensively involved in astronomical observation and optical experimentation.The Alexandrian Christian platonist philosopher John Philoponus (c.490–570) performed imprecise experiments to ascertain the truth of the Aristotelian contention that the speed of descent was proportional to the weight of a dropped body, discovering—contrary to Aristotle—that there was very little difference.

. . .

The bottom line is that scientific experimentation was widely recognized as useful from late antiquity throughout the Middle Ages, and experiments were performed when it was recognized that doing so could help to confirm or disconfirm a scientific claim; the experimental method, therefore, was not a distinctive of modern science.  Bruce Gordon, Introduction to The Nature of Nature , (pp. 20-21)

 

Pollyanna

Yes, Pollyanna.  The movie.  I watched it.  (Short version of why: An agnostic employee said he’d start reading the Bible if I watched it.  Let’s just say that the list of things I’d do to get someone to read the Bible is pretty long.)

It had some interesting religious themes.  I’m not sure if it was what the producers intended or not, but they did a good job of showing the importance of balancing grace and truth.  Karl Malden, the town preacher, originally gave exclusively hellfire-and-brimstone sermons, with only a passing reference to being born again.  They weren’t necessarily untrue, just out of balance.  There is nothing wrong with preaching the bad news — in fact, it is necessary.  But you need to get to the Good News.  In the same way, you can’t just teach about God’s love without people failing to realize that they need his grace.

It also showed the importance of reading the whole Bible.  Just picking your favorite verses is a bad idea.

More importantly, it mocked those who don’t really believe that the Bible has the power to transform lives.  The pastor and Pollyanna’s Aunt, the town leader, agreed on the harsh sermons because that was the best way to scare people in behaving for at least a couple days before the sermon wore off.  That isn’t the theme of the Bible at all.  It shows a distinct lack of faith in the power of God to transform people through his word.

The term “Pollyanna” is typically used to describe someone with an irrational optimism, but I thought the behavior of the character (an orphan of missionaries) was biblically grounded.  She seemed to live out the meaning of turning the other cheek and of Philippians 4:12-13:

Philippians 4:12-13 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

From the “You’ll wish this was an April Fool’s day joke” file

More bizarre scenarios driven by the administration’s Random Foreign Policy Generator (RFPG): Voting Present on Steroids: The Obama Administration Prepares to take Both Sides in the Libyan Civil War | RedState.

In other words, we’ve apparently (finally) learned enough about this group of rebels/al Qaedaterrorists/rapistsandindiscriminantkillers/who-knows-what-else that we’ve been fighting alongside (primarily from 15,000 feet and up, of course) that the Obama administration is now ready to fight them, as well – an action which would, amazingly and dumbfoundingly, make the U.S. a participant in both sides of an Arab civil war being fought in the desert of North Africa.  Just amazing.

The realization of who it is they rushed into war to support must be hitting Samantha Power, President Obama, and their band of merry humanitarian interventionists pretty hard.  This is worse than waking up and finding the person you brought home last night required beer goggles about eighteen bottles thick to seem attractive. Rather, it’s akin to bringing home the already-not-so-hot girl who was hanging out alone in a dark corner of the bar, only to find out shortly after leaving with her that she’s actually a hairy-backed man man named Steve (or, in this case, something more like Abdul Hakim al Hasadi).

. . .

We bombed Qaddafi’s forces because they were killing civilians. So Qaddafi’s forces began dressing like civilians. So the rebels began killing civilians. So NATO is warning the rebels not to kill civilians, otherwise NATO will bomb the rebels. But the rebels are dressed like civilians.So NATO may end up killing civilians.

In other news, the administration continues to debate arming the rebels who are dressed like civilians. But Qaddafi’s forces are also dressed like civilians. So we may be arming Qaddafi’s forces who are killing civilians while we also bomb the rebels who are killing civilians and bombing civilians who really are civilians but look like Qaddafi’s forces who are killing civilians.

Who’s on first?

. . .

Meanwhile, as the Obama administration is warning those on whose side we’ve been fighting in this Libyan civil war that we may start bombing them, too, just for good measure – and as his administration is warning Congress it will ignore any bills they pass to restrict U.S. involvement in Libya, and as the Secretary of Defenseclaims we’re about to withdraw our fighters from combat and “hope” our allies will pick up the slack – calls are increasing for a full ground invasion of this North African desert country.

You only wish it was a 4/1 joke or an Onion piece.