Class Warfare Blog

July 20, 2013

The Passionate Desire for Absolutes

Filed under: Religion — Steve Ruis @ 9:35 am
Tags: , , , ,

The title of this post is completely wasted here and should head a novel, but . . . what prompted this post is a university I ran across while reading another blog: the College of Biblical Representational Research of Trinity Southwest University. That’s a really intriguing name for a bible college, so I went to their website where I read this:

“We can confidently describe the Bible as a reliable history, the source of doctrine, and as instructions about how to be saved and lead the Christian life. But this Bible is under attack from within Christianity. Representational Research meets those challenges and demonstrates how the Bible is first of all a representation of the mind of God, and also a completely accurate representation of all of reality. Biblical people—from Adam to John the Revelator—found the same question that students of Representational Research face: How can I challenge and refine my own personal representations of reality, using the Bible only as my guide?” The italics are mine.

This is interesting because of the large number of contradictions to be found in their Bible (almost 500 by one count). Realize that contradictions in this context means that the Bible says one thing and then turns around and says something else which refutes what it says in the first place. This is hard to reconcile with being “a completely accurate representation of all of reality.” Similarly the science in the Bible is of the late Bronze age and contains inaccurate statements about physical reality.

In addition Israeli archeologists now say that much (if not all) of the “history” in the first five books of the Bible did not happen. This is risky for Israel in that their claim to the territory they currently occupy is bolstered by their feeling that it is the territory that God granted them (the story of which is in the first five books . . .).

So why the insistence on these absolutes, exemplified by the CBRR above, but typical of evangelicals all over this country (not so much anywhere else)?

I find this interesting because in the U.S. life is about as secure as it can be made (albeit we could do a better job on poverty, etc.); it is hard for these particular folks to feel threatened in this country. What country can challenge us militarily? Or economically? They don’t live in the dreaded “inner cities” where all of the crime is. So, why the need for absolute truth?

Their behavior is exactly the opposite of John Donne’s “no man is an island” sentiment. If these folks really felt a connection to the divine, why are they so fearful that they have to insist on absolutes. Is there any other example of a book with no errors? Of a person who spoke only the truth? If the good people at the CBRR were to invest in a bit more unbiased scholarship, they would know that the Bible was written largely out of political uncertainties felt by the authors. Each gospel represented factions in the Christian community fighting for their place among the other Christian communities. So, other texts were rewritten to express what they felt was right. This is why the New Testament is full of contradictions. They were placed there deliberately to make political points. (This warfare continues today in that over 40,00 sects of Christianity exist, each insisting that the others are wrong about something.)

Maybe the reason is the same reason they are a Bible University and not a Bible College (FYI a university has graduate programs, a college does not) in that their Ph.D. in BRR consists of only 45 credit hours (1.5 years) of work, whereas a typical Ph.D. program requires 4-6 years of work. Maybe if they spent more time reading without an agenda . . . nah! Reality may not be absolute, but it certainly is personal.

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7 Comments »

  1. How on earth did these institutions ever get accreditation as Universities? As far as I know it’d never fly in Australia or Britain. It lessons academia.

    Comment by john zande — July 20, 2013 @ 11:27 am | Reply

    • You don’t “need” to be accredited unless you want to apply for satte or federal funds or have your credits transfer to other coleges. Most Bible Colleges are not accredited or are accredited by a fly by night Bible accrediting agency.

      And that lessens, not lessons. Tighten up, boy! (Sorry, the editor-self just overroad normal programming. You just can’t turn it off, damn!)

      Cheers, John!

      Comment by stephenpruis — July 20, 2013 @ 7:26 pm | Reply

      • Ha! I do appreciate your corrections. God only know i need a permanent editor/proof reader 🙂

        Comment by john zande — July 20, 2013 @ 8:04 pm | Reply

        • You aren’t the only one if you’ve read any of the self-published e-Books lately. The whole business started down the crapper when proofreaders discovered they had skills that we worth a great deal more than proofreader wages. There are no more proofreaders and copy editors and spell-checkers were expected to pick of the load, thus we have $30 bestsellers with egregious mistakes in them. I asked a small panel of mystery writers if they felt special pressure in submittting clean copy because of the absense of useful proofreading and all three looked at me with a “you do undertand what we go through” look that was priceless.

          I volunteer to help people with their projects but I rarely get takers. (I give gratefully signed copies of my books to anyone who gives me feedback as who can afford to pay for those services.) Maybe somebody will come up with Wikiproof or Wikiedit for authors (maybe with a piece of the royalties for their services).

          Cheers, again!

          Comment by stephenpruis — July 20, 2013 @ 8:25 pm | Reply

  2. Amazing, they can put a man on the moon in 1969 yet the average American appears to swallow this garbage.
    Boggles the mind.

    Comment by Arkenaten — July 20, 2013 @ 11:52 am | Reply

    • ‘Sbig country. Home to “all kinds.” And yes, it does boggle the mind, which is why you need to check yours at the door if you want to mingle with these folks!

      Comment by stephenpruis — July 20, 2013 @ 7:28 pm | Reply

      • Yeah, Steve,like mind over matter: Some have no mind and it’s doesn’t seem to matter.

        Comment by Arkenaten — July 21, 2013 @ 4:42 am | Reply


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