Your Questions, Please

i have a question

Greetings, earthlings, and residents of other galaxies.

It’s been a year or more since I asked readers to submit questions for me to answer, so I thought I would open the call lines and ask you to submit your questions, along with $66.66 donations to help me reach Evangelicals throughout the universe. Reason — praise be to Reason! — has called me to evangelize Evangelicals, and your donations will help me take the gospel of critical thinking and skepticism to infinity and beyond. Just kidding. While donations are always appreciated, what I really want are questions; your pithy, erudite questions. Please try to ask questions that you think I haven’t answered before.

If you have a question you would like me to answer, please ask it in the comment section of this post. I will answer questions in the order they are received; that is, unless you are a bigly donor. Readers who shower me with cash, checks, gold bullion (ouch), Bitcoins, and restaurant gift cards, just might be moved to the front of the line or be sent an 8×10 photo of me pole dancing at a strip club — “might” being the operative word. (Long-time readers who know and understand my humor, sarcasm, and snark, know whether I am speaking factually. Everyone else? Keep dreaming of Bruce Almighty swinging on a brass pole wearing only his shorts and suspenders.)

You can also email your questions to me via the contact form.

This post will remain pinned to the top of the front page until November 1, after which time it will disappear into the bowels of this blog never to be seen again.

Let the fun begin.

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14 Comments

  1. Melissa A Montana

    There is something that always bugged me when I was a believer. You know there are so many versions of the Bible (KJV, etc.). In the front pages of them, they all claim to be translations of “ancient texts” or something. Are there really any ancient texts, or do they say that to appease the masses? And, as a former minister, how did you decide what Bible to use, and why did you think it was the best version?
    This bothered me because it seemed that every time I read a different Bible, I was getting different stories. I finally got fed up with it. Thanks, and I hope Polly is getting well fast.

    Reply
    1. Troy

      The Bible is written in 3 languages. Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek.

      Reply
  2. Jen

    How do you deal with still fundie/evangelical family and friends? I’m surrounded by them. Now that I’m an eeebil Liberal I’m not taken seriously. When I do speak up, they use the old silencing techniques. I haven’t been outside the fold for very long, so I have a knee-jerk reaction to control tactics (I hate them). I’m hoping we can find a way to have a peaceful relationship, but everything is so one-sided. It’s their way or else.

    I think part of the issue is that I was always the silent submissive one. Now that I can think for myself and speak up, they don’t know how to handle it.

    Thank you for your writings, Bruce. They help keep me sane in this wackadoodle world..

    Reply
  3. Sarah

    Would love to have someone do a post on 12 step groups for atheists. I know AA’s “Big Book” takes a atab at it but I’d love to see it from an atheist

    Reply
  4. Brunetto Latini

    I do have a question that I don’t know the answer to. It is really the last vestige of my lifetime of belief that still nags at my agnosticism.

    In younger days, I had 1 primary apologetic that never failed to quell doubts. It was Daniel 9, the prophecy of the 70 weeks. I had the book by Anderson, “The Coming Prince” and the more modern work by Harold Hoehner, “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ”. I think I still have these. They used different dates to demonstrate mathematically that Jesus was the Messiah. And of course, that would demonstrate divine inspiration of the Bible.

    What is the skeptic’s dismissal of this apologetic?

    Reply
  5. Caroline

    I grew up Catholic, but my parents and extended family were not intense about it (believers, but not intense if this makes sense). As a result, my siblings, cousins and I grew up with the clear understanding that when we were older (teenagers) we could do what we wanted about our beliefs. Some stayed with the faith and raised their kids the same way, and my siblings and I gave it up not long after we were adults. To me personally, none of the rules of Catholicism were logical. The point is that I was allowed to go my own way about personal beliefs, and I have the impression that kids raised in evangelical homes grow up believing that they’d better keep on believing or ELSE!
    My question is: What was your first inkling that Christianity wasn’t for you, and what were you most afraid of when you realized that your family might be wrong? I could probably guess the answers to these questions, and maybe you’ve spoken about them somewhere on the blog. If so, sorry to make you repeat yourself.

    Reply
  6. Neil

    Do you ever get tired, Bruce, of refuting Christian nonsense? Do you ever feel you’ve moved so far from it that you can’t face giving it any more precious time? (I know I do.)

    I guess that two questions.

    Reply
  7. Bob Felton

    What do evangelicals tell each other about the Garden of Eden? Where was it, and where has it gone? Is He still discomfited by the Middle Eastern heat, and enjoy strolls in the cool of the evening? What ever became of the flaming sword, the tree of life, et cetera?

    Reply
    1. Scott

      I know! Aziraphile gave it to Adam and Eve when they left the Garden of Eden and War ended up with it.

      Oh wait, that’s from “Good Omens”. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Dave

    The concept of double predestination in my opinion is completely reprehensible. I believe you went though a Calvinist phase. How did you reconcile the arbitrary nature of this belief system? Do Calvinists who believe life begins at conception actually believe that fertilized eggs that don’t survive are assigned to heaven or hell at the whim of a maniacal supreme being?

    Reply
  9. Matt Martin

    Hi Bruce

    I was wondering if, in your preaching days, you ever dealt with the Rape of Dinah, (Genesis 34)? What do evangelicals make of this particularly odious piece of scripture?

    Reply
  10. babaganusz

    (apologies for not yet figuring out how to reply in-thread; I tried even with no trackers blocked and pop-up permission, and it merely reloaded the page.)

    Taking a first stab at Brunetto’s question: there is no historical verification for anything remotely resembling precise chronological placement of any specifics (let alone miraculous details) within the gospel narrative. So the only thing Anderson and Hoehner have to work with is scripture “confirming” scripture – entirely circular reasoning which any skeptic is entitled to dismiss.

    Reply
  11. Brunetto Latini

    There is chronological data in the gospels. Don’t know how you missed it. Tiberius, Pilate, Herod, etc.

    The problem I find with many skeptics’ answers to apologetics is that they just gloss over the details. I had a Bible as literature professor in college who swore the 70 weeks were literal weeks of days, without knowing any details of how the passage is treated in modern evangelicalism. It works better when a skeptic actually knows the arguments and formerly believed them. Which is why I think Bruce is the best person I’ve found for addressing the question.

    I honestly don’t know how to dismiss the passage. I can talk for hours on moral discrepancies in the Bible and why I don’t believe anymore. But if somebody asked me to address the 70 weeks, I couldn’t do it. I would like to be able to. Maybe I did a number on myself in my youth, which is why I can’t see past it.

    Reply
  12. Ed Maurer

    As a person of similar age and girth as Bruce Almighty…… belt AND suspenders or suspenders/belt alone?

    Somethings are far more relevant to our daily life than institutionalized fantasies.

    Reply

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