Class Warfare Blog

November 8, 2013

Fundamentalist Ignorance Forewarned

Filed under: Religion — Steve Ruis @ 8:25 am
Tags: , , , ,

I have written recently about Christians having opinions of the validity of scientific concepts they do not understand (Evolution, age of the Earth, etc.). Apparently my opinion was preceded by someone oft quoted as a valid source of Christian thought, to wit.

“In matters that are obscure and far beyond our vision, even in such as we may find treated in Holy Scripture, different Interpretations are sometimes possible without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such a case, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it. That would be to battle not for the teaching of Holy Scripture but for our own, wishing its teaching to conform to ours, whereas we ought to wish ours to conform to that of Sacred Scripture.”

“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience.

“Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking non-sense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.

“The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men.

“If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?

“Reckless and incompetent expounders of holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”

Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE) aka Saint Augustine, from The Literal Meaning of Genesis, written ca 401-415.

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4 Comments »

  1. Apparently the later Christian concepts did to Augustine what latter day Muslims did to their earlier teachers. They superseded the good bishop’s message

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    Comment by lbwoodgate — November 8, 2013 @ 9:41 am | Reply

    • Don’t be to sure about latter day Muslims, the Quran says otherwise, as did Mohammed.

      PS We’ve moved (again)! Just change the Apt # from 28C to 17A (110 feet down and about 30 feet east). Effective Date: October 1, 2013

      *Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.* ************** Steve Ruis

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      Comment by stephenpruis — November 8, 2013 @ 10:00 am | Reply

  2. Patron saint of my old school. Used to pass a giant stone statue of him every day. Even bright men can be dumb.

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    Comment by john zande — November 8, 2013 @ 12:39 pm | Reply

  3. […] Fundamentalist Ignorance Forewarned (stephenpruis.wordpress.com) […]

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    Pingback by Top Ten Signs You’re a Fundamentalist Christian | Sir David Ochieng' the Great — November 20, 2013 @ 2:41 am | Reply


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