Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Isn't it just possible that you are missing the point and that Jesus is an elephant?" and other fun quotations

I strongly encourage you to check out this blog post over at GW Catholic Forum (well, check them all out while you're over there!). It mentions a segment from The Colbert Report where Stephen Colbert defends the faith against an author who has written a book about religions of the world. I really enjoyed the video, and since I had nothing better to do... I went and found some more. So here are a few videos for your viewing pleasure.

Stephen Prothero, author of God is Not One from June 14, 2010.

I am intrigued by his statement about Judaism - that they don't have this "idea" of sin. If you break the Mosaic Law, then it's just a "whoops" as opposed to a sin? He talks about it as an "exile from God" and a desire to return to God, but isn't that what sin is, at least in the Christian sense? I would like to be further enlightened on this concept.

And Christianity is "losing marketshare"? What?!

Best line (in response to his comment above): "Jesus always wins in the end. I mean, Jesus loves to run up the odds, you saw what he did last time he was here, he let them think he had him on the ropes. But three days later, boom!, he comes back, they clean up at the table... and that will be the case, forever after!"

Bart Ehrman, author of Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them) from April 9, 2009.

This guy just irks me a bit. In addition to Colbert pointing him in the direction of John in response to the divinity of Christ, I would also like to point out the covenants that God made, specifically with David:

'The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.' (2 Samuel 7:11-16)
That's me putting what we've been learning in Bible Study to good use!

But I really like Colbert's analogy of the four blind men and the elephant in a hole... it is just like when a cop is questioning witnesses to a crime - if all of their stories are exactly the same, doesn't that come across as suspicious, as if they rehearsed their responses together to make it appear as if they were telling the truth? Doesn't the fact that each witness has a slightly different perception of the events that happened, where each focused on what he found important versus what a different observer found significant, make the words not only more truthful and believable, but provide the complete story? Just a thought, Dr. Ehrman, just a thought...

Philip Zimbardo, author of The Lucifer Effect from February 11, 2008.

I would like to read this book. I feel like this exact experiment was in an episode of Veronica Mars. I think his probably came first, but I think I will probably still like the VM version better.

The end of this segment is great. "You send yourself to Hell, God does not send you there."

I think I would be slightly intrigued/scared to be in Colbert's Sunday School class!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Philip Zimbardo
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

While I am not endorsing all that Colbert says, I find his take on defending the faith very refreshing.


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