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TEoG Spillover Thread 
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Post TEoG Spillover Thread
Just a suggestion, or maybe a request, that we use this thread for debates occasioned by, but not really about, TEoG. We have at this point a good bit of content that is more about whether the Bible can be a object of critical discussion than about Wright's specific ideas.


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Last edited by DWill on Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
Good idea, DWill.

stahrwe wrote:

In fact I did read the book and you will note that I had previously addressed this very issue in an earlier post. I have cited numerous instances where Wright is clearly wrong and intentionally ignores significant events described by the Bible. The fact that Wright considers only parts of the Bible to be legitmate does not excuse him from dealing with those parts which he doesn't, especially if he is going to make such controversial statements regarding the teachings of Jesus.

As for your defense of TEog, where is your quest for empiricism? Where is your, 'Question Everything?' Does Wright get a pass because he is contorting Christianity?


I seriously doubt you did anything but skim through this book. And in any event you are incapable of reading Wright's book objectively. Though you consider yourself something of a Bible expert, you have proven yourself beyond a shadow of doubt to be completely unreliable owing to your unexamined biases and prejudices. Your fixed ideological position that the Bible is literally true has warped your ability to think to an astonishing degree. How do I know this? By the simple fact that you believe the earth to be 6,000 years old, a laughable notion that has long been refuted by empirical evidence. The fact that you can can ignore real world evidence and maintain fringe beliefs based solely on a religious book proves that you are delusional.

I should add to my previous post that Wright isn't arguing that the Mark gospel is a credible source, but that Bible scholars consider it more reliable than the other gospels by virtue of it having been written first. An important consideration when looking at any of the gospels is that they were written many decades after Jesus' death and, as such, neither of them can be considered very reliable. We can assume that the Jesus stories are largely apocryphal, based loosely on real events, but hopelessly distorted through the prism of human bias and the vagaries of human history. All Wright is doing, by the way, is comparing Mark's gospel to the later gospels and drawing some interesting conclusions, namely that Jesus almost never speaks of love in universal terms. And, in fact, Jesus an apocalyptic prophet much like other apocalyptic prophets of his time, is arguably very tribal in his thinking. Wright provides many examples of this—from Mark. That the universal love message is embellished in later gospels is exactly Wright's point. Which is why you providing Biblical passages of Jesus' universal love message from the later gospels makes it very clear that you either didn't read this particular chapter or you are simply incapable of taking in the information because you are too defensive of what you consider to be a sacred text.

By the way, no one can ever be completely objective, including Wright, but neither is he drawing any firm conclusions. He merely makes a very convincing case that the human concept of "God" has evolved over time. I am not defending Wright's book, but merely defending our right to have a rational discussion on BT free from the noise of your ongoing rationalizations.


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Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:20 am
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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
geo wrote:
Good idea, DWill.

stahrwe wrote:

In fact I did read the book and you will note that I had previously addressed this very issue in an earlier post. I have cited numerous instances where Wright is clearly wrong and intentionally ignores significant events described by the Bible. The fact that Wright considers only parts of the Bible to be legitmate does not excuse him from dealing with those parts which he doesn't, especially if he is going to make such controversial statements regarding the teachings of Jesus.

As for your defense of TEog, where is your quest for empiricism? Where is your, 'Question Everything?' Does Wright get a pass because he is contorting Christianity?


I seriously doubt you did anything but skim through this book. And in any event you are incapable of reading Wright's book objectively. Though you consider yourself something of a Bible expert, you have proven yourself beyond a shadow of doubt to be completely unreliable owing to your unexamined biases and prejudices. Your fixed ideological position that the Bible is literally true has warped your ability to think to an astonishing degree. How do I know this? By the simple fact that you believe the earth to be 6,000 years old, a laughable notion that has long been refuted by empirical evidence. The fact that you can can ignore real world evidence and maintain fringe beliefs based solely on a religious book proves that you are delusional.

I should add to my previous post that Wright isn't arguing that the Mark gospel is a credible source, but that Bible scholars consider it more reliable than the other gospels by virtue of it having been written first. An important consideration when looking at any of the gospels is that they were written many decades after Jesus' death and, as such, neither of them can be considered very reliable. We can assume that the Jesus stories are largely apocryphal, based loosely on real events, but hopelessly distorted through the prism of human bias and the vagaries of human history. All Wright is doing, by the way, is comparing Mark's gospel to the later gospels and drawing some interesting conclusions, namely that Jesus almost never speaks of love in universal terms. And, in fact, Jesus an apocalyptic prophet much like other apocalyptic prophets of his time, is arguably very tribal in his thinking. Wright provides many examples of this—from Mark. That the universal love message is embellished in later gospels is exactly Wright's point. Which is why you providing Biblical passages of Jesus' universal love message from the later gospels makes it very clear that you either didn't read this particular chapter or you are simply incapable of taking in the information because you are too defensive of what you consider to be a sacred text.

By the way, no one can ever be completely objective, including Wright, but neither is he drawing any firm conclusions. He merely makes a very convincing case that the human concept of "God" has evolved over time. I am not defending Wright's book, but merely defending our right to have a rational discussion on BT free from the noise of your ongoing rationalizations.


The Bible scholars you are referring to are from the liberal school. They are not representative of mainstream.

As for your criticism, again with the ad hominem attacks. I assure you that I can and will be objective when the material is open and fair. In Wright's case he slants the playing field. One can imagine his book writing process as starting with his conclusion and then working backwards avoiding anything which is unsupportive; oh, wait a minute, that isn't true, he also employs a clever tactic where he mentions a controversial theory on one page, mentions that said theory is not widely supported, then several pages later refers back to said theory as if it is an established fact. Or will say, obviously we can know nothing about such and such, but that shouldn't prevent us from 'inventing whatever we want and assuming it is correct." Not Wright's exact wording but close enough.

Why can't you be honest about this book? Admiiting its flaws is not tantamount agreeing with me.

and BTW, if I am wrong in what I have said about the TEoG please cite the specifics.


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Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:30 am
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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
I have no doubt that Wright slants the playing field. The point is that he still makes a damned convincing case. It is of little or no consequence that some Bible scholars disagree that the Mark gospel is slightly more reliable.

I am not usually so blunt, but I feel I have to be with you. We have Wright on one hand and you on the other, a grown man who believes the earth is 6,000 years old. I'm sorry, that's not an ad hominem attack, only a pretty good indication that something has gone wrong with your thinking. And it's very relevant to this discussion where you obviously cannot see past your biases.


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Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:43 am
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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
Well over 150 years ago, what was to become the tradition of higher biblical criticism was founded. It is basically this tradition that Wright follows. Anyone who finds that tradition to be invalid should not attempt to participate in a discussion premised on the validity of it. It is useless spinning of wheels. What stahrwe has always wanted to do is to conduct a forum premised on the lower criticism. I use the terms higher and lower without implying hierarchy; those are the terms in the field.

From religioustolerance.org: "Biblical Criticism, in particular higher criticism, deals with why and how the books of the Bible were written; lower criticism deals with the actual teachings of its authors. The word "criticism" must be one of the all-time least appropriate religious terms. Theologians do not engage in actual criticism - at least as the word is commonly understood. They analyze the Bible in order to understand it better."


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Last edited by DWill on Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:13 pm
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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
DWill wrote:
Have you ever read any literary criticism? Wright uses a very similar approach in his treatment of the Bible.

stahwre wrote:
Literary criticism is precisely what Wright does not do. If he did, I would have less of a beef with him. In literary criticism one starts with the text in question and explores it in detail. Wright just ignores large, significant and incovenient (to his premise) sections. This leaves him free to invent his own story. That would be ok, but he should go the whole way and leave the Bible out of his book completely.

Yes, exploring the text in detail leads the critic to the most appropriate resources for exploration. At most times the critic is digging underneath the text to the extent possible. When the material has an prominent historical base, the critic is probably derelict if he or she doesn't look at that.


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Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:28 pm
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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
geo wrote:
I have no doubt that Wright slants the playing field. The point is that he still makes a damned convincing case. It is of little or no consequence that some Bible scholars disagree that the Mark gospel is slightly more reliable.

I am not usually so blunt, but I feel I have to be with you. We have Wright on one hand and you on the other, a grown man who believes the earth is 6,000 years old. I'm sorry, that's not an ad hominem attack, only a pretty good indication that something has gone wrong with your thinking. And it's very relevant to this discussion where you obviously cannot see past your biases.


Good catch adding that the Mark Gospel is slightly more reliable. You almost said it was reliable.

As for Wright, my personal biases, whatever they are, are not interfering with my ability to judge this book. It is so full of wild speculation and subjectivity that it is of questionable value. You might not like my criticisms, which have been specific, but if I am wrong, show me where?


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Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:01 pm
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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
DWill wrote:
Well over 150 years ago, what was to become the tradition of higher biblical criticism was founded. It is basically this tradition that Wright follows. Anyone who finds that tradition to be invalid should not attempt to participate in a discussion premised on the validity of it. It is useless spinning of wheels. What stahrwe has always wanted to do is to conduct a forum premised on the lower criticism. I use the terms higher and lower without implying hierarchy; those are the terms in the field.

From religioustolerance.org: "Biblical Criticism, in particular higher criticism, deals with why and how the books of the Bible were written; lower criticism deals with the actual teachings of its authors. The word "criticism" must be one of the all-time least appropriate religious terms. Theologians do not engage in actual criticism - at least as the word is commonly understood. They analyze the Bible in order to understand it better."


I hate to keep correcting you but omitting inconvenient portions of the Bible does not qualify as higher criticism. It is nothing more or less than it is, and Wright should not be allowed to get away with it.

Wright also makes erroneous claims about Bible stories he does include. For example, in the passage he includes: "18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. "

Wright refers to this a superstition. Can you explain what he means by that?


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Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:10 pm
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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
stahrwe wrote:
DWill wrote:
Well over 150 years ago, what was to become the tradition of higher biblical criticism was founded. It is basically this tradition that Wright follows. Anyone who finds that tradition to be invalid should not attempt to participate in a discussion premised on the validity of it. It is useless spinning of wheels. What stahrwe has always wanted to do is to conduct a forum premised on the lower criticism. I use the terms higher and lower without implying hierarchy; those are the terms in the field.

From religioustolerance.org: "Biblical Criticism, in particular higher criticism, deals with why and how the books of the Bible were written; lower criticism deals with the actual teachings of its authors. The word "criticism" must be one of the all-time least appropriate religious terms. Theologians do not engage in actual criticism - at least as the word is commonly understood. They analyze the Bible in order to understand it better."


I hate to keep correcting you but omitting inconvenient portions of the Bible does not qualify as higher criticism. It is nothing more or less than it is, and Wright should not be allowed to get away with it.

Wright also makes erroneous claims about Bible stories he does include. For example, in the passage he includes: "18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. "

Wright refers to this a superstition. Can you explain what he means by that?

You do understand what higher criticism refers to, though, I assume. That someone might omit something from discussion has no bearing on whether the approach is higher criticism or not. I do not understand at all your apparent insistence that Wright exhaustively cover the Bible. Why should he do this? His subject is not the Bible; it's only one of his subjects. He includes what seems to him in line with his thesis, and that is all he should include. You continue to completely misconstrue Wright's objective in this book. He didn't write the book you wanted him to write, is what all your complaints add up to.

Please give me a page reference for the claim you're questioning.


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Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:40 pm
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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
stahwre wrote:
DWill wrote:

I simply disagree entirely that The Evolution of God is any kind of slam against the Bible. You see it a such because Wright is a materialist and would examine any book whatseover in the same way, as one written by humans and displaying the same characteristics as any other written product. Does Wright use language of disrespect to describe the Bible? Show me this. The visceral disdain you speak of really occurs in other sources, I concede that, but Wright is not that type. I don't see KISS operating in his book, either. It seems a rather elaborate, even over-elaborate, argument that he gets into, as you say I indicated earlier.

The number is not large only because I have refrained from nit picking. As I have mentioned nearly every page which refers to the Bible teams with misstatements and gross errors.

Is this list like Joseph McCarthy's famous list? Or, if there is a list, does it consist of so-called doctrinal errors, which need not be considered at all, and simple differences in interpretation?
Quote:
In fact, the errors do negate Wright's thesis. Take the Son of Man example. Wright clearly parses this to fit his theory and therefore leaves what Jesus said on the table. Wright did not deal with it outright so what are you to conclude? Wright thought it was important enough to bring up and as long as Jesus did not say it Wright uses that as license to move forward with his story. But, in fact, I think the quote in the Bible and the Pharisees reaction stops Wright's theory in its tracks.

Explanation needed. You mention Wright's theory without even indicating what it is, I mean in the book itself, overall.
Quote:
The situation is just as bad, or worse with the call of Abram. The Bible clearly provides a narrative of the transition from polytheism to monotheism and Wright doesn't even mention it.

It provides a narrative--so what? Wright can't consider something with so little historical substance. There are better explanations to be made using the Bible itself, archaeology, and other written sources.
Quote:
As for Wright's attitude toward Christianity and the Bible, I think it is obvious from the first sentence. What does he choose as an example of polytheism? Primitive humans farting. I suppose it was meant to be funny but it also set a tone. Throughout the rest of the text little snide comments and sarcastic comments pop up. I didn't mark them but they are there.

He does treat the Bible with the same attitude with which he treats Babylonian, Egyptian, or Canaanite texts, as he properly should. The asides or snide comments (as you see them) are spread around impartially.
Quote:
Wright wrote the book he wanted to. It is directed at his target audience with enough footnotes to impress, but his premise consists of conspiracy theories, marginalizing the Bible and often admittedly wild speculation.

How would you describe his target audience? Do you also object to his "marginalizing" the Koran, or is that all right? He puts out no conspiracy theories regarding the Gospels. He never makes a claim that any writers colluded.


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Last edited by DWill on Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
stahrwe wrote:
DWill wrote:
Well over 150 years ago, what was to become the tradition of higher biblical criticism was founded. It is basically this tradition that Wright follows. Anyone who finds that tradition to be invalid should not attempt to participate in a discussion premised on the validity of it. It is useless spinning of wheels. What stahrwe has always wanted to do is to conduct a forum premised on the lower criticism. I use the terms higher and lower without implying hierarchy; those are the terms in the field.

From religioustolerance.org: "Biblical Criticism, in particular higher criticism, deals with why and how the books of the Bible were written; lower criticism deals with the actual teachings of its authors. The word "criticism" must be one of the all-time least appropriate religious terms. Theologians do not engage in actual criticism - at least as the word is commonly understood. They analyze the Bible in order to understand it better."


I hate to keep correcting you but omitting inconvenient portions of the Bible does not qualify as higher criticism. It is nothing more or less than it is, and Wright should not be allowed to get away with it.

Wright also makes erroneous claims about Bible stories he does include. For example, in the passage he includes: "18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. "

Wright refers to this a superstition. Can you explain what he means by that?


stahrwe the bolded part (my doing) sounds a lot like what christians do I think they call it cherry picking so I would not be so quick to judge Wright.



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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
DWill wrote:
stahwre wrote:
DWill wrote:

I simply disagree entirely that The Evolution of God is any kind of slam against the Bible. You see it a such because Wright is a materialist and would examine any book whatseover in the same way, as one written by humans and displaying the same characteristics as any other written product. Does Wright use language of disrespect to describe the Bible? Show me this. The visceral disdain you speak of really occurs in other sources, I concede that, but Wright is not that type. I don't see KISS operating in his book, either. It seems a rather elaborate, even over-elaborate, argument that he gets into, as you say I indicated earlier.

The number is not large only because I have refrained from nit picking. As I have mentioned nearly every page which refers to the Bible teams with misstatements and gross errors.

Is this list like Joseph McCarthy's famous list? Or, if there is a list, does it consist of so-called doctrinal errors, which need not be considered at all, and simple differences in interpretation?
Quote:
In fact, the errors do negate Wright's thesis. Take the Son of Man example. Wright clearly parses this to fit his theory and therefore leaves what Jesus said on the table. Wright did not deal with it outright so what are you to conclude? Wright thought it was important enough to bring up and as long as Jesus did not say it Wright uses that as license to move forward with his story. But, in fact, I think the quote in the Bible and the Pharisees reaction stops Wright's theory in its tracks.

Explanation needed. You mention Wright's theory without even indicating what it is, I mean in the book itself, overall.
Quote:
The situation is just as bad, or worse with the call of Abram. The Bible clearly provides a narrative of the transition from polytheism to monotheism and Wright doesn't even mention it.

It provides a narrative--so what? Wright can't consider something with so little historical substance. There are better explanations to be made using the Bible itself, archaeology, and other written sources.
Quote:
As for Wright's attitude toward Christianity and the Bible, I think it is obvious from the first sentence. What does he choose as an example of polytheism? Primitive humans farting. I suppose it was meant to be funny but it also set a tone. Throughout the rest of the text little snide comments and sarcastic comments pop up. I didn't mark them but they are there.

He does treat the Bible with the same attitude with which he treats Babylonian, Egyptian, or Canaanite texts, as he properly should. The asides or snide comments (as you see them) are spread around impartially.
Quote:
Wright wrote the book he wanted to. It is directed at his target audience with enough footnotes to impress, but his premise consists of conspiracy theories, marginalizing the Bible and often admittedly wild speculation.

How would you describe his target audience? Do you also object to his "marginalizing" the Koran, or is that all right? He puts out no conspiracy theories regarding the Gospels. He never makes a claim that any writers colluded.



I have given you specific page numbers where Wright makes major mistakes, misinterprets scripture and commits other missteps that in any other field would relegate his work to obscurity of the humor section. For some reason you have chosen not copy those posts here. I think this thread is a cop out. Its purpose is to move the criticisms from the main chapter discussions where they may be read to a side rail which no one will pay attention to. I object to that.

You told me that Wright does not claim to be a Bible scholar. There is a term applicable to use to respond but it is a crude term which I will not use. That is a cop-out on his part to allow him to dodge when he knows he is going to be caught. It is also disingenuous. Look at page 308 where Wright writes, "...Paul was himself confused about how Jesus envisioned His return."

What an amazingly ridiculous statement. Paul, the author of a majority of the New Testament was confused but 'not a Bible Scholar' Wright understands correctly? Did Wright write this sentence with a straght face? He had to be laughing at the people who would read that and nod at Wright's sage wisdom. Why are you promoting this book? Surely you have more objectivity than to buy that garbage!


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Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:39 am
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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
stahwre wrote:

Quote:
Surely you have more objectivity than to buy that garbage!


He could ask you the same question about your Bible could he not? But that said, I honestly do not see the hype with this book it just comes off to me as splitting hairs.



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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
Quote:
The fact that Wright considers only parts of the Bible to be legitmate does not excuse him from dealing with those parts which he doesn't


Why deal with illegitimate text? Your claim here is irrational, only supported by your belief that the bible is sacred. Why deal with chapters on the eating habits of Thetans, when the only parts relevant are where L. Ron Hubbard gets his science wrong? That's higher criticism. You're mistaking it for lower criticism where it's not okay to omit parts of the text.

Quote:
You told me that Wright does not claim to be a Bible scholar. There is a term applicable to use to respond but it is a crude term which I will not use. That is a cop-out on his part to allow him to dodge when he knows he is going to be caught. It is also disingenuous. Look at page 308 where Wright writes, "...Paul was himself confused about how Jesus envisioned His return."

What an amazingly ridiculous statement. Paul, the author of a majority of the New Testament was confused but 'not a Bible Scholar' Wright understands correctly? Did Wright write this sentence with a straght face? He had to be laughing at the people who would read that and nod at Wright's sage wisdom. Why are you promoting this book? Surely you have more objectivity than to buy that garbage!


This makes no sense. Could you rephrase what you mean? Do you mean the person reading the book is not allowed to have a greater understanding than the character within the book? :|



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Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:46 am
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Post Re: TEoG Spillover Thread
Interbane wrote:
Quote:
The fact that Wright considers only parts of the Bible to be legitmate does not excuse him from dealing with those parts which he doesn't


Why deal with illegitimate text? Your claim here is irrational, only supported by your belief that the bible is sacred. Why deal with chapters on the eating habits of Thetans, when the only parts relevant are where L. Ron Hubbard gets his science wrong? That's higher criticism. You're mistaking it for lower criticism where it's not okay to omit parts of the text.

Quote:
You told me that Wright does not claim to be a Bible scholar. There is a term applicable to use to respond but it is a crude term which I will not use. That is a cop-out on his part to allow him to dodge when he knows he is going to be caught. It is also disingenuous. Look at page 308 where Wright writes, "...Paul was himself confused about how Jesus envisioned His return."

What an amazingly ridiculous statement. Paul, the author of a majority of the New Testament was confused but 'not a Bible Scholar' Wright understands correctly? Did Wright write this sentence with a straght face? He had to be laughing at the people who would read that and nod at Wright's sage wisdom. Why are you promoting this book? Surely you have more objectivity than to buy that garbage!


This makes no sense. Could you rephrase what you mean? Do you mean the person reading the book is not allowed to have a greater understanding than the character within the book? :|


No, the person reading the book is not allowed to have a greater understanding than the 'author' of the passage he is reading.


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“You cannot evade the issue of God, whether you talk about pigs or the binomial theory, you are still talking about Him. Now if Christianity be. . . a fragment of metaphysical nonsense invented by a few people, then, of course, defending it will simply mean talking that metaphysical nonsense over and over. But if Christianity should happen to be true – then defending it may mean talking about anything or everything. Things can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is false, but nothing can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is true.”
- G.K. Chesterton


Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:02 pm
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