Monthly Archives: June 2010

Riddled with Doubts

The Internet Monk deals with his fear and uncertainty.

What’s really frightening is that these doubts [about God and Christianity] persist and get stronger the longer I live. They aren’t childish doubts; they are serious, grown-up fears. I don’t have the kind of faith that looks forward to death. The prospect terrifies me, sometimes to the point I am afraid to close my eyes at night. I have more questions about the Bible and Christianity than ever, even as I am more skilled at giving answers to the questions of others. I can proclaim the truth with zeal and fervor, but I can be riddled with doubts at the same time.

Goals that can be Measured

Rachel Held Evans discusses how we measure our accomplishments.

Perhaps goals that can be measured aren’t big enough.

No Safe Place To Land

Rachel Held Evans says it’s not always bad to be a stumbling block, depending on which ideas you trip up and where you cause people to land.

The truth is, there are some beliefs that I think Christians should doubt.

…I think they should doubt the notion that God belongs to a certain political party. I think they should doubt Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins. I think they should doubt restricting the roles of women in church leadership. I think they should doubt the wealth, health, and prosperity “gospel.” I think they should doubt religious nationalism. I think they should doubt the idea that Jesus is simply a personal savior and that being a Christian is about being right.

If challenging my fellow Christ-followers to think more critically about these issues makes me a stumbling block in the path of bad ideas, then I accept that role.

And she offers these thoughts to help us calibrate exactly how big of a stumbling block to be:

In my desire to challenge what I believe are false fundamentals, I must be careful of creating false fundamentals of my own. I’ve got to be wary of growing so big and obtrusive and unyielding that those who fall over me have no safe place to land.

Sending a Thank You

I found someone’s blog to be useful, and since they didn’t have commenting enabled on their website I thought I’d thank them here and provide a link so that the search engines can thank them for me.

This article discusses how to fix a D-Link DSS 16+ network switch if its power supply craps out. Our kind web denizen experienced that problem, did the hard work of finding a solution, and provided all the details needed to perform the fix on his/her website. I have this D-Link switch, it experienced this problem, and I will attempt this fix. Thank you.

You Bring Your Own Fire to Hell

Jeremy Smith writing about a Hindu story that seems to comport with C. S. Lewis’ story The Great Divorce.

You bring your own fire to Hell.

The Experience of Its Beauty

A comment by Gav at

Firstly, for me, I think the understanding of what exactly a sunset is and how/why it occurs takes nothing away from the experience of its beauty, for me it only adds to it.

The Skeptical Improvement of All Knowledge

From a review at JesusCreed of the book Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think

…The skeptical improvement of all knowledge. That’s what science is all about…

The Shoulders of Ancient Israelites

Paul Seely writing about The Flood at, says we can trust the theological lessons of Gen 5—9 even if the Flood story is not historical.

Although the human author probably did not make a sharp distinction between Legend and History, the account [of Noah’s Flood] was factual to him. But because of the light we have received from modern science, we must think of it as parabolic. Some, however, still raise the question, How can we believe the moral-theological lessons in the account if we reject its historicity since the lessons are based on the assumption that the account is historical fact?

The answer is that we are reading the account over the shoulders of the ancient Israelites to whom it was addressed. They believed it was factual. This was a naïve belief, but they had no reason to question the account’s historicity. We must remember that their understanding of the natural world was that of little children. As the conservative nineteenth-century Princeton theologian Charles Hodge said, they believed the sky was solid, the earth was flat, and the sun literally moved.1 As for an anthropologically universal Flood, second millennial Mesopotamians believed it was an important historical fact, and this tradition may well have been passed down to the Israelites through the Mesopotamian patriarchs beginning with Abraham.

Given these inherited naïve “scientific” and traditional beliefs, it was pedagogically wise for God to speak to them in terms of those beliefs.2 We can thus appropriate the moral-theological lessons which are still valid for us while ignoring the accommodated ancient Near Eastern “science” and traditions upon which they are based. These now outmoded concepts are in the text only because the account was not written to us but to the ancient Israelites.