Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:28 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 56 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
My Thoughts 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

Diamond Contributor

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 4898
Location: Florida
Thanks: 177
Thanked: 344 times in 294 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post My Thoughts
I titled this the way I did because this is not my discussion and I don't want to presume to speak for the Discussion Leader, DWill. I expect he will have his own, much different from mine.

I tried to remain objective about this book. In the final analysis, I am not sure if I did or not. I found the entire book a contrivance of lightweight speculation. That might have been acceptable except the Wright did not even address the elephant in the tent. His entire premise was that monotheism evolved out of polytheism as a result of some sort of conscious process by auhors and editors. Why, and how is never explained. What Wright ignored was the very specific call of Abram out of Ur back in Genesis. Ur was polytheistic and Abram (later changed to Abraham) had relatives back in Ur who remained polytheists. This call explains very neatly the emergence of monotheism and the ongoing struggle the Jews had with polytheistic tendencies without the rampant speculation that Wright engages in often in such extreme ways as to discredit himself.

My other complaint is that almost every page of the book has glaring errors or misstatements. In this way he reminds me very much of Murdock. It is almost impossible to address his errors because they are so many but I will cite one which should be a proxy for all. On page 249 Wright states, "...the real Jesus - the "historical Jesus" - didn't emphasize universal love at all. At least, that's what a close and critical look at the scriptures stongly suggests."

This is a remakable statement.
First, how can the historical Jesus be found in a close examination of the scriptures? The how is to ignore the scriptures or at least reinterpret them in such a way that Jesus disappears.

Second, Wright claims that he is a Christian, and attended Sunday Schoold, etc. Yet he makes a statement like the one cited above which flies in the face of Matthew 28

Quote:
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.



Christians are commanded to go into the whole world teaching about the love of Jesus for them. This is such an important passage of scripture that it has its own name. It is called "The Great Commission". It is inconceivable that Wright would not be aware of it if he had even a basic understanding of Christinaity.


_________________
n=Infinity
Sum n = -1/12
n=1

where n are natural numbers.


Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:36 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7041
Location: Da U.P.
Thanks: 1072
Thanked: 2065 times in 1657 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
You are condemning Wright's interpretation using your interpretation.

He is motivated to interpret in a certain way, and you are motivated to interpret in a certain way. What fuels that motivation is the real issue. To suggest that one interpretation is "more true" than another requires you to support that claim. It is speculation, on both sides of the fence. Speculation based on what? Is it a virtue to attempt to harmonize the bible? Does harmonizing the bible make it true, or does it merely mean it's harmonized? Each religion can be harmonized, including Scientology. Internal consistency does not mean the works are grounded in reality. Indeed, you must reference reality to ensure your beliefs are grounded in reality. Meaning, facts and figures external to your belief system, an objective anchor, rather than free-floating subjectivity. If all we have to pull from with respect to facts and figures is lightweight, then many of our conclusions are necessarily speculation.

The most virtuous anchor is a blank slate. Zero preconceptions. Everything we know must be, at first glance, considered false until there is clear and convincing evidence that it's true. Once you understand this, you'll realize how truly difficult it is to acquire true knowledge. To think that knowledge is actually easily acquired is to fail in distinguishing faith from reason and evidence. To accept something before you have clear and convincing evidence is to have faith. That means each and every one of us has faith in a great many things. But those things should be inconsequential, as we only have limited time, and that time should be spent considering the evidence for things which are consequential.

I wonder what clear and convincing evidence you originally had as a young man to believe the bible as true. If it were clear and convincing, the Epistemology thread would have been one page long. Instead you fumble with trying to present items which you have faith in, rather than evidence for. You cannot revert to a blank slate, so you're caught in a mire where the anchor for your belief system is inside the system itself. As long as the system is harmonized, your entire worldview is coherent.



Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:02 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

Diamond Contributor

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 4898
Location: Florida
Thanks: 177
Thanked: 344 times in 294 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
When one sets about to provide a novel explanation of the development of monotheism one would assume that the proprietor of the novel idea would feel compelled to address the existing material regarding the accepted explanation and though Wright mentions Abraham several times as noted by the index, he never comes close to explaining away the claim in Genesis that Abraham was called by God. I could evision an easy dismissal of the claimed call but I will not waste the keystrokes on it. The fact the Wright just ignores the Genesis account is, in my opinion not only astounding but indeed renders the book worthless. His whole premise is the Evolution of a monotheistic god from polytheism and he contrives to weave an elaborate mess of speculation while ignoring the simple explanation. Abraham heard, or thought he heard God call him so he left Ur and the Jews spent a couple of thousand years trying to purge polytheistic tendencies from their culture. Of course that doesn't stroke the faithful or sell books because it only takes a paragraph not 400 pages.

I need a shave, anyone have a 'razor'?


And of course there is still the Great Commission to deal with.
Good grief.


_________________
n=Infinity
Sum n = -1/12
n=1

where n are natural numbers.


Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:04 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7041
Location: Da U.P.
Thanks: 1072
Thanked: 2065 times in 1657 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
Quote:
When one sets about to provide a novel explanation of the development of monotheism one would assume that the proprietor of the novel idea would feel compelled to address the existing material regarding the accepted explanation


There is no need. There is no need to reference a flat Earth if your only intent is to show that the world is round. The "accepted explanation" is not an explanation, but an interpretation. There is no need to address various interpretations for him to make his point.

Quote:
The fact the Wright just ignores the Genesis account is, in my opinion not only astounding but indeed renders the book worthless.


This is precisely what I mean. You must first assume Genesis is true to consider it worthy of mentioning. Unless the most fundamental cornerstone for his book is that the bible is first assumed true, he does not need to account for it. It is not his failure, it is the judgement you cast from your position of holding the bible as true. Unless you're able to consider his book from the perspective that the bible is not true, you will see errors, but those errors aren't deviations from the truth, they are deviations from what you think is the truth.

Quote:
I need a shave, anyone have a 'razor'?


Here is an uncomplicated explanation, moreso than what you believe; god created the entire universe eight seconds ago, complete with ongoing thoughts, light waves traveling through space, and fossils in the ground.

If you want to invoke parsimony to defend an explanation, the consequences must at least be reasonable.



Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:21 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

Diamond Contributor

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 4898
Location: Florida
Thanks: 177
Thanked: 344 times in 294 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
Interbane wrote:
Quote:
When one sets about to provide a novel explanation of the development of monotheism one would assume that the proprietor of the novel idea would feel compelled to address the existing material regarding the accepted explanation


There is no need. There is no need to reference a flat Earth if your only intent is to show that the world is round. The "accepted explanation" is not an explanation, but an interpretation. There is no need to address various interpretations for him to make his point.


It is one thing to aggresively pursue a point but another to be ridiculous. When you state that an author can ignore a specific claim about the origin of a religion as recorded in the seminal document of said religion about the patriarch of said religion you have left the realm of objectivity and surrerendered to the ridiculous. Read the book. Check the index. Wright references Abraham numerous times but never addresses the call of Abraham. He wants to discount the legitimacy of the voice of God. Fine, but how can he avoid the simple argument that Abraham thought God had called him and respondes as if he had been called. That seems like a pretty simple explanation to me. The story goes as follows:

Abraham is a resident of Ur. He is a practioner of the polytheistic religion of the region of UR.

Abraham eats some bad gruel or perhaps swallows a toothpick or a 'bit of underdone potato' and has a vision where God tells him to leave Ur and move to a new land.

Abraham is convinced that this call was real and leaves with his family.

He gets to the new land but after 10 years he hasn't had the promised child he was supposed to have so he starts making up stories about God to avoid admitting he was wrong about the call.

Over the years he tells more and more lies about having encounters with God so he descendents abandon polytheism for monotheism.

There you go, the outline for another whole book. Just fill in enough details for 400 pages and your bound to sell a bazillion books. Plus, it is a whole lot simpler explanation that TEog.
Quote:
The fact the Wright just ignores the Genesis account is, in my opinion not only astounding but indeed renders the book worthless.


interbane wrote:
This is precisely what I mean. You must first assume Genesis is true to consider it worthy of mentioning. Unless the most fundamental cornerstone for his book is that the bible is first assumed true, he does not need to account for it. It is not his failure, it is the judgement you cast from your position of holding the bible as true. Unless you're able to consider his book from the perspective that the bible is not true, you will see errors, but those errors aren't deviations from the truth, they are deviations from what you think is the truth.


Who says you have to assume Genesis is true? I didn't say you had to assume it was true. All I said was that you had to account for the story. You want to call Genesis a myth for purposes of this discussion fine, but that myth has been around for thousands of years. You can't just ignore it when you are writing a claim about the evolution of god. Well, I suppose you can ignore it. Wright did and got away with it. How'd he do that anyway? Why am I the only one calling him on it?

Quote:
I need a shave, anyone have a 'razor'?


interbane wrote:
Here is an uncomplicated explanation, moreso than what you believe; god created the entire universe eight seconds ago, complete with ongoing thoughts, light waves traveling through space, and fossils in the ground.

If you want to invoke parsimony to defend an explanation, the consequences must at least be reasonable.


See above.


_________________
n=Infinity
Sum n = -1/12
n=1

where n are natural numbers.


Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:39 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

BookTalk.org Moderator
Platinum Contributor

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4350
Location: NC
Thanks: 1845
Thanked: 1914 times in 1433 posts
Gender: Male

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
"The Great Commission" and the "Call of Abraham" may be important in a religious context, but they are simply not important in a scholarly examination of the Bible. Considering the post hoc editing process to make disparate texts of the Bible appear a more unified whole, one cannot place much weight on any one line of text. If it weren't for these, you would come up with other things to reject Wright's arguments. You are simply not going to be receptive to an interpretation of the Bible that differs from your own. In any event, you don't make any kind of case that these "omissions" are important.

Your own interpretation of the Bible relies on so many grand and unsubstantiated leaps of faith that the idea of you invoking Occam's razor is hilarious. You apply very exacting standards to other people's interpretations, but conveniently don't apply them to your own. I.e. God performs miracle here. This is why your criticisms of Wright are not going to be taken seriously. Can you really not see this?


_________________
-Geo
Question everything


The following user would like to thank geo for this post:
DWill
Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:42 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

Diamond Contributor

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 4898
Location: Florida
Thanks: 177
Thanked: 344 times in 294 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
geo wrote:
"The Great Commission" and the "Call of Abraham" may be important in a religious context, but they are simply not important in a scholarly examination of the Bible. Considering the post hoc editing process to make disparate texts of the Bible appear a more unified whole, one cannot place much weight on any one line of text. If it weren't for these, you would come up with other things to reject Wright's arguments. You are simply not going to be receptive to an interpretation of the Bible that differs from your own. In any event, you don't make any kind of case that these "omissions" are important.

Your own interpretation of the Bible relies on so many grand and unsubstantiated leaps of faith that the idea of you invoking Occam's razor is hilarious. You apply very exacting standards to other people's interpretations, but conveniently don't apply them to your own. I.e. God performs miracle here. This is why your criticisms of Wright are not going to be taken seriously. Can you really not see this?


Once again, you are attempting to divert attention from my point. It was not whether the Call of Abram or The Great Commission were real, it was that Wright ingored them. As far as Abram's call goes it provides a much more direct and simple potential explanation for the change to monotheism. The GC refutes a direct statment made by Wright. Pointing that out is not ad hoc criticism it is a duty. You're welcome.


_________________
n=Infinity
Sum n = -1/12
n=1

where n are natural numbers.


Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:52 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7041
Location: Da U.P.
Thanks: 1072
Thanked: 2065 times in 1657 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
Quote:
It was not whether the Call of Abram or The Great Commission were real, it was that Wright ingored them.


Think long and hard about what you're saying. If there is no reason to see these things as real, then who cares about them? Ignoring them is valid! There is no reason to pay attention to things which aren't real!!!

Quote:
As far as Abram's call goes it provides a much more direct and simple potential explanation for the change to monotheism.


You don't understand much of what I write in my posts, do you? The consequence of what you consider a "simpler" explanation is in fact a much more complicated explanation. It also has consequences that deviate from conventional wisdom. Just please freaking read the posts we write and think while doing so. You make the simplest mistakes in logic and reasoning, as if we hadn't addressed them at all.



Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:58 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

BookTalk.org Moderator
Platinum Contributor

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4350
Location: NC
Thanks: 1845
Thanked: 1914 times in 1433 posts
Gender: Male

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
Due to the vagaries of biblical texts I would say you can't focus too much on any one or two passages. Wright produces many, many passages that do support his theories. So I think it's more likely that he doesn't address those two things you mentioned because they are insignificant in a scholarly analysis. You haven't made a case to make me think otherwise.

Regarding Abraham hearing God's call or thinking he's hearing God's call. That sure sounds like a post hoc fabrication to me. Wright doesn't talk about Noah's ark either. Just a story that's irrelevant.


_________________
-Geo
Question everything


Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:33 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

Diamond Contributor

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 4898
Location: Florida
Thanks: 177
Thanked: 344 times in 294 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
geo wrote:
Due to the vagaries of biblical texts I would say you can't focus too much on any one or two passages. Wright produces many, many passages that do support his theories. So I think it's more likely that he doesn't address those two things you mentioned because they are insignificant in a scholarly analysis. You haven't made a case to make me think otherwise.

Regarding Abraham hearing God's call or thinking he's hearing God's call. That sure sounds like a post hoc fabrication to me. Wright doesn't talk about Noah's ark either. Just a story that's irrelevant.


I mentioned that there were so many errors on Wright's part that it would become tedious to try to address each one, but I would be happy to do so if you wish. The two I did mention, Abram and The Great Commission are so important that it is hard to imagine one with Wright's perported background, overlooking them.


_________________
n=Infinity
Sum n = -1/12
n=1

where n are natural numbers.


Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:50 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7041
Location: Da U.P.
Thanks: 1072
Thanked: 2065 times in 1657 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
Quote:
I mentioned that there were so many errors on Wright's part that it would become tedious to try to address each one, but I would be happy to do so if you wish. The two I did mention, Abram and The Great Commission are so important that it is hard to imagine one with Wright's perported background, overlooking them.


Meanwhile we've just shown you that those aren't errors. Rejecting truthful lines of reasoning is, by definition, dishonest. I'm repeatedly mentioning the issue of honesty not because you responded so vehemently to it, but because it is a legitimate accusation.



Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:41 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

Diamond Contributor

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 4898
Location: Florida
Thanks: 177
Thanked: 344 times in 294 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
Interbane wrote:
Quote:
I mentioned that there were so many errors on Wright's part that it would become tedious to try to address each one, but I would be happy to do so if you wish. The two I did mention, Abram and The Great Commission are so important that it is hard to imagine one with Wright's perported background, overlooking them.


Meanwhile we've just shown you that those aren't errors. Rejecting truthful lines of reasoning is, by definition, dishonest. I'm repeatedly mentioning the issue of honesty not because you responded so vehemently to it, but because it is a legitimate accusation.


Explain how my criticism of Wright and TEoG is dishonest.


_________________
n=Infinity
Sum n = -1/12
n=1

where n are natural numbers.


Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:19 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 7041
Location: Da U.P.
Thanks: 1072
Thanked: 2065 times in 1657 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
I didn't say your criticism of TEoG was dishonest. The lines of reasoning I was referring to were mine and geo's. The same lines of reasoning you ignored by repeating the same overturned criticisms. If you truly aren't following what is being said, then I apologize, your problem is not dishonesty. But for all that, I hope you see how frustrating it is having typed something then you act as if you completely skipped our posts.



Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:51 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6272
Location: Luray, Virginia
Thanks: 1812
Thanked: 1980 times in 1503 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
stahrwe wrote:
I titled this the way I did because this is not my discussion and I don't want to presume to speak for the Discussion Leader, DWill. I expect he will have his own, much different from mine.

Sorry for being absent from the discussion. I was out tramping around the woods for a couple of days, as it turned out during about the only rainy period in the last three months. I appreciate this approach you've taken to addressing your problems with The Evolution of God and Wright.
Quote:
I tried to remain objective about this book. In the final analysis, I am not sure if I did or not. I found the entire book a contrivance of lightweight speculation. That might have been acceptable except the Wright did not even address the elephant in the tent. His entire premise was that monotheism evolved out of polytheism as a result of some sort of conscious process by auhors and editors. Why, and how is never explained.

Just to remark on a difference, I thought he raises momentous questions with his speculations, so they don't appear lightweight to me at all. Concerning your fourth sentence, the degree to which he portrays the change to monotheism as a conscious process is something that we could discuss at more length, but I agree that it presents a reasonable objection to Wright's general thesis that religion changes in response to the facts on the ground.
Quote:
What Wright ignored was the very specific call of Abram out of Ur back in Genesis. Ur was polytheistic and Abram (later changed to Abraham) had relatives back in Ur who remained polytheists. This call explains very neatly the emergence of monotheism and the ongoing struggle the Jews had with polytheistic tendencies without the rampant speculation that Wright engages in often in such extreme ways as to discredit himself.

It's true that this answer was available to Wright if he chose to accept the Bible on its own terms, face-value. But he's a Bible revisionist, as I am (though admittedly not a very knowledgeable one), and that makes him see the Abraham story in a very different way from yours.
Quote:
My other complaint is that almost every page of the book has glaring errors or misstatements. In this way he reminds me very much of Murdock. It is almost impossible to address his errors because they are so many but I will cite one which should be a proxy for all. On page 249 Wright states, "...the real Jesus - the "historical Jesus" - didn't emphasize universal love at all. At least, that's what a close and critical look at the scriptures stongly suggests."

This is a remakable statement.
First, how can the historical Jesus be found in a close examination of the scriptures? The how is to ignore the scriptures or at least reinterpret them in such a way that Jesus disappears.

You should in this case tell us give us more from your list of particulars; otherwise you can't show that the error you tell us about is only one of many (if it is in fact an error).

I'm not sure I understand your objection to Wright trying to discern the historical Jesus from scripture. I thought in fact that it might win him a point with you that the Gospels convince him that Jesus really lived and had a career as a preacher, even if we can be sure that only a few, if any, of the words in the Gospels were said by him. Agreed, Wright's claiming that Jesus did not preach universal love is a "remarkable statement," given that "Jesus Seminar" folks would pick out just these sentiments as being the most authentic of those attributed to Jesus. Wright's argument depends on the dating of passages of scripture. The way to dispute him would be to contradict him on the dating.
Quote:
Second, Wright claims that he is a Christian, and attended Sunday Schoold, etc. Yet he makes a statement like the one cited above which flies in the face of Matthew 28

Quote:
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.



Christians are commanded to go into the whole world teaching about the love of Jesus for them. This is such an important passage of scripture that it has its own name. It is called "The Great Commission". It is inconceivable that Wright would not be aware of it if he had even a basic understanding of Christinaity.

Wright doesn't claim to be a Christian today.

I agree, it's inconceivable that Wright was unaware of this. But again, his argument, based on the dating of passages is that Jesus did not really say this. It is a later writing that reflects the evolution that had taken place toward universal love within the fledgling religion. You will be hostile to the very idea that there is a single "red-letter" word in the Gospels that wasn't actually said by Jesus, which only illustrates again that you and Wright begin miles apart.



Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:36 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

Diamond Contributor

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 4898
Location: Florida
Thanks: 177
Thanked: 344 times in 294 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: My Concluding Thoughts
DWill wrote:
stahrwe wrote:
I titled this the way I did because this is not my discussion and I don't want to presume to speak for the Discussion Leader, DWill. I expect he will have his own, much different from mine.

Sorry for being absent from the discussion. I was out tramping around the woods for a couple of days, as it turned out during about the only rainy period in the last three months. I appreciate this approach you've taken to addressing your problems with The Evolution of God and Wright.
Quote:
I tried to remain objective about this book. In the final analysis, I am not sure if I did or not. I found the entire book a contrivance of lightweight speculation. That might have been acceptable except the Wright did not even address the elephant in the tent. His entire premise was that monotheism evolved out of polytheism as a result of some sort of conscious process by auhors and editors. Why, and how is never explained.

Just to remark on a difference, I thought he raises momentous questions with his speculations, so they don't appear lightweight to me at all. Concerning your fourth sentence, the degree to which he portrays the change to monotheism as a conscious process is something that we could discuss at more length, but I agree that it presents a reasonable objection to Wright's general thesis that religion changes in response to the facts on the ground.
Quote:
What Wright ignored was the very specific call of Abram out of Ur back in Genesis. Ur was polytheistic and Abram (later changed to Abraham) had relatives back in Ur who remained polytheists. This call explains very neatly the emergence of monotheism and the ongoing struggle the Jews had with polytheistic tendencies without the rampant speculation that Wright engages in often in such extreme ways as to discredit himself.

It's true that this answer was available to Wright if he chose to accept the Bible on its own terms, face-value. But he's a Bible revisionist, as I am (though admittedly not a very knowledgeable one), and that makes him see the Abraham story in a very different way from yours.
Quote:
My other complaint is that almost every page of the book has glaring errors or misstatements. In this way he reminds me very much of Murdock. It is almost impossible to address his errors because they are so many but I will cite one which should be a proxy for all. On page 249 Wright states, "...the real Jesus - the "historical Jesus" - didn't emphasize universal love at all. At least, that's what a close and critical look at the scriptures stongly suggests."

This is a remakable statement.
First, how can the historical Jesus be found in a close examination of the scriptures? The how is to ignore the scriptures or at least reinterpret them in such a way that Jesus disappears.

You should in this case tell us give us more from your list of particulars; otherwise you can't show that the error you tell us about is only one of many (if it is in fact an error).

I'm not sure I understand your objection to Wright trying to discern the historical Jesus from scripture. I thought in fact that it might win him a point with you that the Gospels convince him that Jesus really lived and had a career as a preacher, even if we can be sure that only a few, if any, of the words in the Gospels were said by him. Agreed, Wright's claiming that Jesus did not preach universal love is a "remarkable statement," given that "Jesus Seminar" folks would pick out just these sentiments as being the most authentic of those attributed to Jesus. Wright's argument depends on the dating of passages of scripture. The way to dispute him would be to contradict him on the dating.
Quote:
Second, Wright claims that he is a Christian, and attended Sunday Schoold, etc. Yet he makes a statement like the one cited above which flies in the face of Matthew 28

Quote:
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.



Christians are commanded to go into the whole world teaching about the love of Jesus for them. This is such an important passage of scripture that it has its own name. It is called "The Great Commission". It is inconceivable that Wright would not be aware of it if he had even a basic understanding of Christinaity.

Wright doesn't claim to be a Christian today.

I agree, it's inconceivable that Wright was unaware of this. But again, his argument, based on the dating of passages is that Jesus did not really say this. It is a later writing that reflects the evolution that had taken place toward universal love within the fledgling religion. You will be hostile to the very idea that there is a single "red-letter" word in the Gospels that wasn't actually said by Jesus, which only illustrates again that you and Wright begin miles apart.


I am always amazed at the enthusiasm with which you yankees trapse off into the woods on hikes. Here in Florida we don't hike in the woods. There are not that many places where the woods aren't swamp and there are things there that will eat you.

My complaint isn't that Wright disbelieves the Abram story, it is that he ignores it. If he mentioned it and then burried if for some reason I would not object as strongly. But it seems ridiculous to me to just ignore it, especially in a book perporting to explain the origins of the monotheistic God.

My concerns regarding the book are summed up well by the author himself on page 102. The last paragraph refers to 'selective decoding of the Bible'. If you are going to selectively decode the Bible you can make it mean anything you want. It is the same problem I pointed out to Robert Tulip about considering the Bible as allegory. Once you start on that road there is no possibility of consensus. A poem means what it means to the reader and there are no wrong answers. A bible story means what it means to the reader and there are no right or wrong answers. And your selective decoding is as valid as my selective decoding.


_________________
n=Infinity
Sum n = -1/12
n=1

where n are natural numbers.


Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:52 pm
Profile Email
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 56 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank