Welcome to undoJesus.orgI would start by asking why these people would bother to call the Bible "Holy" under any circumstances. What's the point?
The time has come to abandon Christianity.
* to advocate against the widespread acceptance of the story of Jesus Christ as written in the Holy Bible
Suppose I said, "I’d be happy to burn all the copies of your Holy Koran and make sure no one ever reads it again." (note to Islamo-fascists: this is a hypothetical example, not an advocation of a political position; please keep your weapons sheathed) It seems pretty clear by saying "burn all the copies" that I don't really find anything very "holy" about that Koran, do I? So cushioning the blow of "I'd rather burn your Koran" by calling the Koran "holy" is somewhat laughable.
But that's the kind of reasoning one gets when one is dealing with someone who wants to "advocate against the story of Jesus Christ". See: the problem is that this person does not understand that, like "Holy" when it modifies "Bible", "Christ" is part of the story of this Jesus person he is trying to advocate against and not his last name.
What this demonstrates, on-net, is that this person doesn't really know much about the Holy Bible or Jesus Christ – and who really wants to argue with someone who is boxing with the shadows in his basement?
Well shoot: I do! That's why I blog! Let James White and Phil Johnson take on the serious problems in Christian life today – I'm here sweeping the streets, just trying to keep my little sidewalk clean.
So they go on at undoJesus.org:
* to advocate prescinding the infiltration of Biblical conscience into law and the courts;No, that's not a typo. "Prescind" means, in the transitive sense, "to detach for purposes of thought". See: these folks know that they can't actually re-write history and say, "oh shucks: there never was no 10 commandments at the heart of the Western legal tradition," but they can advocate that since we now have a fully-formed legal system, the roots of that system don't matter.
This is where I get my suitcase metaphor from, for those keeping score. See: western political systems were going in the same direction as every other political system on the planet until a funny thing happened on the way to the Dark Ages. A system of thought crept into the various western societies which turned out to reject classism and pagan deification of rulers and encouraged things like the value of the individual based on his inherent nature as being in the image of God.
And now that there exists a system of law which trades on the premises of that ideological system, the atheist wants to come out and say, "Judas Priest, people! We have sucked all the juice out of that orange! Let's pitch the rind and move on!" It doesn't strike him as somewhat historically-oblivious that the things he takes for granted – which I would call "the Christian suitcase full of stuff" – are inherently Christian and Christ-centered, and without the Christian epistemological and anthropological systemics to hold it up, he's going to wind up without either a suitcase or the stuff in it in very short order.
For example, once you extract imago dei from the dignity of man, what you have is man as an end unto himself – a philosophical ideal completely disproven by the 20th century. Consider it: if each man is an end unto himself, on what basis do you restrain any man? Do you start arguing for the benefit end of the majority? How big does the majority have to be? Can the best end of the plurality be acceptable? You quickly start moving back to pre-Christian political values when you abandon the Christian bases for the laws which we now have.
* to reveal and expose the absurdity of the supernatural claims of the scriptures of the Holy Bible;This is one of the claims of atheism I always enjoy – as if they make no supernatural or metaphysical claims at all. Sure – the atheist would turn his nose up at a resurrection or a healing or (heaven forbid) a prophecy or speaking in tongues. But what about a quark or a graviton? The atheist would claim that these are scientific certainties – yet in the best possible case, he takes the word of witnesses who have claimed to measure the effects of these objects without ever having seen any of them and affirming without any shame that he probably has no means of measuring or seeing any of them.
But let's assume for a second that current scientific data – as opposed to all the data prior to it – is actually the correct representation of the universe we observe. What about yesterday? Or more precisely, what about any particular moment of the past? It is astounding how anyone can place so much value on something which is entirely not in evidence and cannot be measured if one takes 5 minutes to think about it – except that at the end of those 5 minutes, you really can't affirm the existence of that time except by the testimony of witnesses.
The atheist has at least as much invested in the non-corporeal and the non-physical as the Christian theist does, but if he were to admit that it would be surrendering one of his most time-worn tools of encounter with the Christian.
See: this is an epistemological problem for the atheist. On the one hand, the "supernatural" (think: Scooby-Doo) is "bad" which only the "ignorant" invest any credibility into. Yet on the other hand, if we define the supernatural in a way more meaningful than using terms like "superstitious" and "imaginary", we find that there are plenty of supernatural beliefs we require just to get from bed to work and back again every day.
* to prevent the loss of human energy being wasted through religious practice resulting from the interpretation of the text of the Holy Bible;If we don't dismiss this objection as too broad – it's like saying "all that energy we waste as a country counting money – think of all the things we could be doing if we just didn't bother" – we have to ask, "in what way is it wasted?"
For example, was it a waste of time to use the Bible in the development of Western political philosophy and law, including the abolition of slavery and the progress of political rights? How about when the Bible was used to establish medical missionary hospitals – waste of time, or effort well-spent?
See: what this group wants to do is dismiss all Bible study as useless under the cover of things like trying to set the date and the time for Christ's return (which the Bible defines as a waste of time, btw). But what it exposes instead is its own dismal understanding of the role of the Bible and the study thereof on the very context of the debate it is trying to wage.
Again, they like what they find in the suitcase, but they forget rather capriciously that they didn't put any of those things in there.
* to prevent further justification of actions causing death and destruction from those in power of whom abuse the widespread acceptance of the Holy Bible as truth;The charity we have to exercise to not dismiss this claim at face value is fairly generous. What exactly is this objective seeking? Does it seriously claim that all Christian religious decisions end in "death and destruction"? Can he name 3 from the last 50 years?
On the other hand, on what basis will he justify his own beliefs? I'll wager it's on the net benefit of those beliefs as he would argue rather than what he might have to demonstrate from history. Well, I'd argue that whatever "down side" he can argue about Christianity is vastly – by a factor of 10 minimum – outweighed by the benefits of Christian philosophy to the people of the world.
Here's my ante: If you take the total population of Africa and divide it by the number of Christian medical centers in Africa (that's hospitals and staffed clinics, not just outreach centers) you get about 1 Christian med center per 170,000 people (you sift through the WHO data yourself). That number will be higher in the West and lower in the East, so let's assume the higher population in the East brings the ratio down to 1:150,000. That means there are about 40,000 Christian medical centers in the world today.
If each of those centers, on average, only treats 1 person per day, last year they treated 14,600,000 patients; in the last 10 years, using that ridiculously low-ball number, they treated 146,000,000 patients. That's the low-ball figure for the global medical benefit of Christian for 10 years – and it doesn't account for anything like the indirect effect of the research and development of dugs and treatments in the last 100 years by Christian doctors like John MacLeod (insulin) and Alexander Fleming (penicillin).
I'd be pleased to see in what way Christianity harmed that many people in the same concrete way as medical treatment helped them. It takes a lot of chutzpah to say that there are 150 million people in the last 10 years who were harmed by Christianity as directly and palpably as those who received medical treatment in that time benefited, and I have yet to meet the atheist who can muster the case.
And that's part 1. Let's see if there's enough interest in a second part to continue this topic.