we must be reading different books

you may care to admit, that there is no other book on earth such as the word of God. Even if you hated every word, did not believe one word of it, you could not honestly deny its past, merit, influence, laws, grace, wisdom, history, geography, hope, promises, and confident assertions. Even the devil would chastise you for such denials. (Colorstorm)

My current blog muse is the charming master of the lyrical sweeping statement, invariably paying scant attention to logic, and with little or no factual underpinning. It’s a delight to read his words and an even greater pleasure to ponder the lack of sense.

Take the quote above. When I meditate on the many qualities of the Christian holy book, I don’t quite come to same conclusions as Colorstorm.

Influence: of no relevance

The actions of people identifying as Christians, purporting to be acting in accordance with the Bible, have indeed had a huge influence on Western society. But something has to influence every culture and society. Mohammed influenced the Middle East, Buddha influenced the Far East – get the picture? In terms of any kind of Truth, they all mutually exclude each other.

But of even more relevance is the fact that if the example of the character Jesus had been a genuine influence, all Christians would be living in communal poverty: not building greed-driven, individualistic, capitalist societies. And if the Old Testament was an influence, we’d be stoning most of the population to death.

Laws: disgraceful and repugnant

If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. (Deuteronomy 22:28-20)

If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. (Leviticus 20:13)

If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity. (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)

Wisdom: commonplace

Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss. (Laozi, 6th century BCE)

Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing (Thales, 6th century BCE)

Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself. (Confucius, 4th Century BCE)

Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Jesus, 1st Century CE)

History: myth and fantasy sometimes loosely based on true events

Marine archaeologists have found the first evidence of a people who perished in a great flood of the Black Sea that has been linked with the story of Noah’s ark. … About 7,000 years ago, according to geological evidence, the rising Mediterranean sea pushed a channel through what is now the Bosphorus, and then seawater poured in at about 200 times the volume of Niagara Falls. The Black Sea would have widened at the rate of a mile a day, submerging the original shoreline under hundreds of feet of salty water. Nearly 100,000 square miles were inundated. (Guardian article)

I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made. (Genesis 7:4)

Geography: so what?

A book written by people about the area they live in. Are we to be divinely impressed by place names?

Hope, promises and confident assertions: or threats, fear-mongering and general nastiness

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. (Mark 9:43)

I’d like to thank Colorstorm for providing his thoughts on the inherent qualities found in the Christian holy book. But, based on the list above, I have to wonder if we’re reading different books.