Re: [asa] Gospel in the Stars WAS Star of Bethlehem presentation?

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Thu Nov 26 2009 - 13:46:52 EST

Perhaps we should add a bit more to the Nicene Creed

I believe in all the things which baffle me and loose ends.

It cant be sung to Merbecke though.

Another problem is the unwillingness to reply "I haven't a clue" to some

Michael baffled and clueless
----- Original Message -----
From: "Cameron Wybrow" <>
To: "asa" <>
Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2009 6:32 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Gospel in the Stars WAS Star of Bethlehem presentation?

> Pete:
> I agree with your point about the varied intentions of the Gospel writers,
> and also with your point about Ehrman. I would add that the pendulum
> swing from fundamentalism to atheism is not restricted to Bart and Bernie.
> I've noticed it over and over again. In secular Religious Studies
> departments, student after student, coming from a very conservative
> background (ranging from Pentecostal through Baptist and everywhere in
> between) comes in and after a few years of study "throws the baby out with
> the bathwater". It happens less often with traditions which place less
> emphasis on Biblical literalism (Anglican, Catholic, etc.). Ironically,
> then, fundamentalism is a great breeding-ground for future atheists.
> I always recommend to former fundamentalists who are losing their faith
> that they read more widely and deeply in the Christian tradition, so that
> they can see that there are more options than fundamentalism and atheism.
> But it rarely works. The fundamentalism has generally so shaped their
> souls that they cannot envision any other form of spirituality, and it
> seems they have to "bottom out" as atheists before they can begin a long
> climb upward to recover a warmer and more balanced form of spirituality.
> But unfortunately, many of them never make the climb.
> Thus, my biggest beef against fundamentalism is not its hostility to
> science or its terrible grasp of history. It is its stifling
> spirituality, which drives so many toward atheism, as the only escape
> route. Rigid intellectual assent to the bare words of a book, taken
> literally, is not what Christianity or any religion is about. Yet people
> like Bart Ehrman (and a good number of Ph.D.s in Biblical studies,
> especially New Testament studies) appear to have been permanently
> spiritually damaged by this conception of Christianity, and this
> conception of religion. And when people in Bernie's position look up to
> people like Ehrman, they just repeat the mistake, instead of learning from
> it. An atheism that is built upon railing against the religion one used
> to hold is not liberating, but imprisoning. It keeps one within the
> thrall of the religion that one is seeking to escape.
> Happy Thanksgiving to all.
> Cameron.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Pete Enns" <>
> To: "Dehler, Bernie" <>
> Cc: "AmericanScientificAffiliation" <>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 6:01 PM
> Subject: Re: [asa] Gospel in the Stars WAS Star of Bethlehem presentation?
>> From what I have heard from everyone who knows him (Ii.e., works with
>> him, was a student), Ehrman is a genuinely nice guy. I've only heard him
>> speak and it is clear that his fundamentalist background is still a
>> burden he carries.
>> I am aware of a debate between BE and Richard Hays of Duke. Throughout
>> his presentations and Q&A, Ehrman would preface many of his comments by
>> recounting his time at Moody, etc. FInally, Hays got tired of it and
>> walked over to Ehrman, looked him in the eye and said, "Bart, you need to
>> get over that."
>> That is my advice to you, Bernie.
>> Although I am comfortable with contradiction as a function of varied
>> historical settings, I do not think that differences between the Gospels
>> should be equated with contradiction since they are often driven by
>> theological and and other issues. So, the differences between the four
>> re: the cleansing of the temple reflects the desire on the part of John
>> to write, very intentionally, a different Gospel.
>> Pete
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Received on Thu Nov 26 13:47:14 2009

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