The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

Food For Thought (Bible Morsel #2)

According to  Matthew (Chapter 27:50-51) and Mark (Chapter 15:37-38) the veil/curtain of the temple was ripped in two after Jesus died.

According to Luke (Chapter 23:44-46) the veil/curtain of the temple was ripped in two before Jesus died.

Which order of events actually happened? Why does there appear to be a contradiction? Does it matter if there are different accounts?

Online Bible:

*I’ll be posting Food For Thought once a week. Remember, these are questions that persons of reason have. If you want to share the Christian message of salvation you must be aware of what the Bible says in its entirety. Just memorizing and quoting select verses is not enough. Many nonbelievers are well-versed in the Bible and it’s one of the reasons they are not believers. If you believe that you’re created in the image of God, then there’s no reason you can’t supplement your faith with reason and intellect. Engage the mind that was given to you.

Food For Thought (Bible Morsel #3)

Food For Thought (Bible Morsel #1)

August 27, 2010 Posted by | Food For Thought | , , , , | 4 Comments

Women Are The Devil’s Gateway: Misogyny in the Bible and Church

I mentioned on my Facebook Page that my next research project will be about Misogyny in the Bible and Church from a historical and contemporary perspective.

Here’s a sample of what I’m compiling in my research. This quote is from the writings of Tertullian (160 A.D. – 225 A.D.). Theologically, he is considered one of the great Christian fathers, positioning him as founder of Latin Christian doctrine and proponent of much in orthodox Western Church dogmas as a whole.

This is his own writing (referring to women):

“And do you not know that you are (each) an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the devil’s gateway: you are the unsealer of that (forbidden) tree: you are the first deserter of the divine law: you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert—that is, death—even the Son of God had to die.”

I encourage you to read these sources for yourself. Pastors, ministers, evangelists, and those who refer to themselves as apostles and prophets should be very familiar with Church history. Persons in those positions should be able to converse fluently about the first 500 years of Christianity, Christian Middle Ages (600 – 1500),  Age of Reformation (1500 – 1650), and the last 300 years of the Church.

Misogyny is just one of several black marks on Christianity that need to be readily addressed when trying to bring people to the faith. Being ignorant of the fact is not an excuse when confronted with opposing view points. Calling the “devil” a liar or clinging to “the Bible is inerrant” is viewed as an easy way out and intellectually dishonest.

Update: I’ve compiled over 75 Bible verses (Hebrew Bible / Old Testament  and New Testament) that support my assertion that the Bible is anti-women.

“Ante-Nicene Fathers” is an eight volume collection. “Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers” is a 28 volume collection.

Roberts, A., Donaldson, J., & Coxe, A. C. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. IV : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325 (14). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Church History, Women | , , , , , | 16 Comments

First Council of Nicea in a Nutshell

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

Image via Wikipedia

One of the most controversial and yet crucial topics of Christian theology is the deity of Jesus. It lies at the heart of the the Christian faith. Such faith rests on Jesus’ actually being God in human flesh, and not simply an extraordinary human, even the most unusual person who ever lived. Jesus understood himself as equal with the Father and as possessing the right to do things that only God has the right to do.

Controversy erupted in the early 300s over the teachings of a North African priest named Arius. Influenced by Greek rationalism, Arius argued for an absolute monotheism that denied the deity of Jesus and claimed that He was a created being. Similar to modern Jehovah’s Witnesses, Arius contended that “there was a time when he was not”. Jesus was, therefore, of a different essence than the Father. Arius’s commitment to Greek thought demanded that God, who is spirit and absolutely indivisible, could never truly identify with humanity, which is basically material. The two were forever irreconcilable. Thus only a creature, created within time, could possibly bridge that gap. That creature was Jesus Christ.

The Roman Emperor Constantine, a professed Christian who had ended the persecution of the church in A.D. 313, called the Council of Nicea in 325 to deal with the uproar. Three positions were represented at Nicea:

  1. Jesus was of a different essence from the Father (Arius);
  2. Jesus was of the same essence as the Father (Athanasius);
  3. Jesus was of a like essence to the Father (a compromise position).

The debate was heated and often bitter and the creed that Nicea produced condemned Arius as a heretic. Arguing that Jesus was of the same essence as the Father, the Nicene Creed declared Jesus to be “true God from true God”. And denying one of the central tenets of Arianism, the council proclaimed Jesus as “begotten, not created”.

Eckman, J. P. (2002). Exploring church history (29–30). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Church History | , , , | Leave a comment

Onward, Christian Soldier – Part 3

Jesus appears to the disciples (watercolour)

Image via Wikipedia

My last post in this series concluded by emphasizing the early disciples of Jesus were referred to as “Followers of the Way”. The word follow in this context means to: conform to, adhere to, comply with, obey, be guided by, be modeled after or on, observe, heed, mind, go along with, reflect, mirror, echo, imitate, cleave to. The lifestyle of Jesus’ disciples was recognizable to those around them. They were derogatorily labeled as followers of Jesus of Nazareth, for they imitated Him in all manner. This was offensive to many Jews. With such a rigid and narrow way of life to abide by, it’s not surprising that most Christians are believers in Christ not followers of Him.

Followers of Jesus were referred to as Christians by Gentiles:

“When the Christian movement reached Antioch in Syria, the gospel was preached to Gentiles as well as Jews. Such evangelism marked the sect as more than a new type of Judaism; it was a new religion. The Gentiles in Antioch invented a name for the new group. Since members of the group constantly talked about Christ, they were called Christians, meaning the “household” or “partisans” of Christ.”

The historical background of the term “Christian” and related labels implies that from a relatively early period people recognized something distinctly non-Jewish about the movement. It is unlikely that Gentiles would have known the Jewish significance of the word Christós, “messiah”. It was not until the early 2nd century that Christians began with some regularity to employ the term as a self-designation.

This wraps up my brief overview of the term “Christian” from a historical perspective. Next in this series I’ll confront the indoctrination process of new Christians. Until then, stay rational.

Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (432). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House.

Onward, Christian Soldier – Part 2

Onward, Christian Soldier – Part 4

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Christian Education | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment