Menu Close

Why Should I Care What the Bible Says?

the bible says

Imagine if I went to an Evangelical preacher’s blog and left comments quoting text from the Harry Potter books. Imagine me saying, Harry Potter says ____________ or the path to salvation and eternal life and happiness and peace is through the miracle-working power of Harry Potter. Imagine me telling this preacher that he needed to read and practice the teachings of Harry lest he die and face eternal damnation. I suspect he would rightly say to me, Why should I care what the Harry Potter books say? Why should I pay any attention to what Harry says? These books are just the words of one person, JK Rowling. They carry no weight or authority with me.

Yet, when this preacher and other Evangelicals do the same with the Protestant Christian Bible, they claim that the Bible is “different”; that there’s no book like the Bible; that the Bible is a supernatural book written or inspired by a supernatural God; that its words are magical and powerful. As presuppostionalists, Evangelicals expect nonbelievers to accept their claims about the Bible without providing any evidence and support for them. In their minds, the Bible is inspired, inerrant, and infallible, a divinely written book that is TRUTH. When atheists, agnostics, and other non-Evangelicals reject these claims due to a lack of evidence, they are accused of having hardened hearts; people who are deliberately blind to what is right in front of them. Yet, when I take the same approach with them concerning the Harry Potter books, Evangelicals demand evidence for my claims. Why the double standard? Shouldn’t all claims be judged by the same evidentiary standards? Just because you say something doesn’t mean it’s true.

While I am more than happy to discuss or debate the Bible with Evangelicals, when they start making supernatural claims, then I expect them to provide evidence and support for their claims. Of course, no evidence will be forthcoming. Why? There’s no evidence to be had. Evangelical claims for the Bible are based on faith, not facts. And I am fine with that as long as Evangelicals admit that their beliefs about the Bible rest on faith, not evidence. When it comes to faith, either you believe or you don’t. I don’t, and until you can provide empirical evidence for your claims, I cannot and will not believe.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

9 Comments

    • Avatar
      GeoffT

      Usual stupidity from the guy. He’s desperately trying to reverse the burden of proof, so he argues that the challenge is for atheists to provide evidence as to their position, because Christians have for so long been failing to provide evidence for theirs. Sorry Mr Tee, but the cases are not equivalent, not in the least. You are making the claim, atheists simply don’t accept that you’ve made your case. We need add nothing more. Though I would point out that there is no evidence whatsoever for your beliefs: indeed the evidence you provide is so poor that it actually counts as evidence against you.

    • Avatar
      DavidTees DoseofTruth

      Hey Derrick – Arizona is a real place, too, but you don’t seem to have a problem denying the veracity of the tales of your adventures while living there, even with supporting documentation.

      Oh, excuse me. Those were prior bad acts from before you became a Christian, weren’t they?

      Except that you were saved before moving there. You had long since graduated from the seminary you attended by the time you moved there. Your anti-abortion pamphlet had been published (under a pseudonym) by a religious-literature clearinghouse well before you moved there as well (1986, I believe?) and there’s no reason you would you have sought them out as a publisher if you weren’t a Christian at that time.

      I know you read these comments, Derrick. What say you?

  1. Avatar
    Matilda

    Increasingly, prior to deconversion, it bothered me about my bible readings. I read it daily and tried so hard some days to find a verse in that day’s chapter that was definitely god speaking to me….I manufactured results, like god said today was going to be a great day, so when something trivial but nice happened…that was a ‘praise the lawd.’ I also mused about its origins, damp, faded papyrus fragments pieced together, transcribed by monks over centuries – who had to make guesses about missing words. Or being misogynistic, twisted any piece that said a woman had done something spiritual. I supported missionaries who spent decades translating the NT into remote ethnic groups’ languages. It hit me that if god wanted his humans to know clearly and precisely what he demands of them, how they’re to obey his rules, he’d made it very difficult for them to find out for sure…there are thousands of interpretations – and new ones keep coming. Most of us, with just moderate, normal intelligence could have written a clearer, simpler guide to The Meaning Of Life, couldn’t we?

  2. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    I didn’t evennread all of Mr Tee’s article. I couldn’t get past “Jerusalem and other places mentioned in the Bible were real, therefore everything in the Bible is real.” Um….back to Harry Potter – London is real, but that doesn’t mean that everything written in Harry Pptter is real. Authors often use real places as settings for stories as those real places give context for the story that the author doesn’t need to explain. Fictional places need explanation, back story. Eye roll, Mr. Tee.

  3. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Obstacle–That “Jerusalem” argument reminds me think of the famous scene in “Sex and the City” where Carrie Bradshaw stands in front of the Magnolia bakery and bites into one of its pink-frosted cupcakes, and crumbs tumble down her chin. the bakery that made it exists, at 401 Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. Does that mean Carrie Bradshaw isn’t a fictional character?

    Or, if we want to deconstruct the logic of his “argument,” we can look to Scene 4 of Shakespeare’s “Henry V.” In it, the Welsh captain, Fluellen, compares the king to Alexander the Great because they were both born in places (Henry in Monmouth, Alexander in Macedonia) that had rivers with salmon swimming in them. Fluellen’s compatriot, Gower, points out that the comparison is not only silly but unflattering to the king, “who never killed any of his friends” as Alexander did after he conquered all of the world he knew and had too much time on his hands.

  4. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    My (probably never-to-be-published) science fantasy novel is mostly set in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I’ve lived my entire life. It makes extensive use of my knowledge of engineering culture, since I was a hardware engineer for two decades, and my husband has been a firmware engineer for over four decades. Does that prove that all my science fantasy is real? Does it mean my characters, human and AI, are real people? (I sure as heck hope not, especially the human-analog AIs. The ethics are gnarly when they’re just fictional.) Well, okay, for some minor characters, I borrow the personalities of people I’ve known, but I suspect even they wouldn’t recognize themselves. Still. Fiction.

    The difference between my writing and the Bible is that there are not millions of people whose worldviews demand that the words of the Bible be true. I know Bruce’s deconversion story, and the part that I think is typical is that it took awhile, and a lot of thinking. Even people brave enough to entertain frightening, worldview-challenging ideas–and it does take courage–usually need time to fully accept those ideas. Approach, skitter away, approach a little closer, skitter away…until one day you have your mind around that idea, and you’re ready to accept the implications even if they seem horrible. But it’s much more comfortable to not approach the idea at all, and Tee is firmly in the camp of the comfortable.

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away! If You Are a First Time Commenter, Please Read the Comment Policy Located at the Top of the Page.

Bruce Gerencser