The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

Dialogue Of Reason: Science And Faith In The Black Community


Faith has traditionally played a significant role among African Americans, while science has been marginalized. It is time to confront the issues that have kept too many Blacks out of the halls of science and confined to the pews. A dialogue with Richard Dawkins, Anthony Pinn, Sikivu Hutchinson, Todd Stiefel and moderated by Mark Hatcher concerning the role of faith and science in the Black Community.

Professor Anthony Pinn, Religious Studies at Rice University: “This is an ideal time and this event is an important opportunity to stress the importance for African Americans to critically engage the world and, through reasonable means, assess the issues impinging upon quality of life for African Americans across the country.”

Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, noted author and activist: ”The Black Church’s policing of the bodies and destinies of black women and the lives of black gays and lesbians represents a bankrupt ‘morality’ which is just as pernicious as that of the Religious Right…if being black and being Christian are synonymous, then being black, female and religious (whatever the denomination) is practically compulsory. Insofar as atheism and humanism provide an implicit rejection of both black patriarchy and ‘authentic’ blackness, those who would dare to come out of the closet as atheists are potential race traitors.”

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October 21, 2010 Posted by | Science (Video) | , , , | Leave a comment

How Many Is Too Many English Translations Of The Bible?


New American Standard Bible

Daniel Burke (The Huffington Post)

Scholars estimate that at least 200 English translations have been published since 1900 — many of them revisions of earlier texts. Sorting out the differences between the New American Bible and New American Standard Bible, for example, can be daunting for even experienced
readers.

The market can be so confusing and crowded that half of customers who visit Christian stores to buy a Bible leave without one, according to a study presented to Christian retailers in 2006.

“Heck, I’m overwhelmed and I’m supposed to know what the hee-haw I’m doing,” said Tickle, author of “The Great Emergence,” a well-regarded book on the future of Christianity. “Bibliolatry is not a word I use very often, but we are probably veering very close to it.”

There’s even a cottage industry of experts to help people choose a Bible. Paul Wegner, a professor at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona who conducts church conferences about the Bible, says Christians constantly ask why there are so many different Bibles, and which is the “right”
one.

“People almost throw up their hands, there are so many Bibles out there,” he said. “Maybe they’ve created a market for me.”

To counter consumer confusion, publishers began marketing Bibles based on “felt needs,” or secular interests, said Andy Butcher, an editor at the journal Christian Retailing.

Christian publisher Zondervan’s 2010 catalog of Bibles (“The Book of Good Books”) runs 223 pages and includes Bibles tailored toward black children, students, spiritual seekers, women with cancer, busy dads, new moms, recovering addicts, surfers, grandmothers and camouflage
enthusiasts.

“The next thing will be a Bible for men in midlife crises,” Jeffrey said, “with ads for Harley Davidson motorcycles inside.”

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October 20, 2010 Posted by | Christian Education, Commentary | , , , | Leave a comment

Crystal Cathedral Bankruptcy: Megachurch Files For Chapter 11


The Hour of Power

Amy Taxin (The Huffington Post)

Crystal Cathedral, the megachurch birthplace of the televangelist show “Hour of Power,” filed for bankruptcy Monday in Southern California after struggling to emerge from debt that exceeds $43 million. In addition to a $36 million mortgage, the Orange County-based church owes $7.5 million to several hundred vendors for services ranging from advertising to the use of live animals in Easter and Christmas services.

The church had been negotiating a repayment plan with vendors, but several filed lawsuits seeking quicker payment, which prompted a coalition formed by creditors to fall apart, church officials said.

“Tough times never last, every storm comes to an end. Right now, people need to hear that message more than ever,” Sheila Schuller Coleman, the Cathedral’s senior pastor and daughter of the founder, told reporters outside the worship hall.

“Everybody is hurting today. We are no exception,” she said.

The church, founded in the mid-1950s by the Rev. Robert H. Schuller Sr., has already ordered major layoffs, cut the number of stations airing the “Hour of Power” and sold property to stay afloat. In addition, the 10,000-member church canceled this year’s “Glory of Easter” pageant, which attracts thousands of visitors and is a regional holiday staple.

Vendors owed money by the church formed a committee in April and agreed to a moratorium to negotiate a repayment plan with the Crystal Cathedral.

Kristina Oliver, whose Hemet-based company provided live animals for the church’s “Glory of Christmas” manger scene, said she doubts she will recover in full the $57,000 she is owed.

“The church never made any kind of advancement that they wanted to pay their debt, that they were willing to try to make it happen and every time we tried they told us, ‘You can’t tell us how to run our business,'” Oliver said.

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October 19, 2010 Posted by | Current Events | , , , | Leave a comment

The “Evidence” for Jesus’ Resurrection, Debunked in One Page


Chris Hallquist

Among Evangelical Christians, it’s become popular to claim that Jesus’ resurrection can be proved
with historical evidence. This is nonsense. Here’s why:

1. There is no evidence for the resurrection outside the Bible. Non-Christian historical references
to Jesus don’t occur until about six decades after the time when Biblical scholars think he probably
died. When these non-Christian sources refer to Jesus’ miracles, there’s no reason to see them as
anything more than a report of what Christians of the time believed.

2. There is little evidence that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, or based directly on
eyewitness accounts. Most of what the Bible says about Jesus’ life and supposed resurrection is in
the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, (a.k.a. the Gospels).
But Biblical scholars now agree these books were originally anonymous, their names added later.
The traditional Christian claims about who wrote them is now widely doubted by scholars.

3. This means that the Gospels can’t be trusted as evidence for miracles. Imagine someone trying
to convert you to another religion based on the “proof” of the miracles worked by the religion’s
founder… in the form of a handful of anonymous tracts recounting his life. Would you accept that
“proof”? Of course not. Among other things, the stories could just be legends.

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There are counter arguments to this. How would you respond to Chris?

October 14, 2010 Posted by | Apologetics, Atheism/Agnosticism | , , , | 1 Comment