The subject of prayer has been widely debated over the years. We’ve discussed this topic on several occasions including Simen’s What’s the Point with Prayer?, MysteryOfIniquity’s Prayer: Communion with yourself, and LeoPardus’ Praying my way to losing faith.
Slapdash recently made this comment on one of our posts:
For me, the issue of (unanswered) prayer was the first, primary, and most important thing that unraveled my faith.
Christianity is completely schizophrenic when it comes to prayer. On the one hand you have loads of scriptures inviting us to pray – to pray about everything, to pray without ceasing, to pray boldly, to pray specifically, to pray with the faith of a mustard seed – and our prayers will be answered.
On the other hand, based as far as I can tell only on the Lord’s prayer, Christians insist that you add “not my will be done, but yours” to every prayer, thus effectively giving God an ‘out’ any and every time your original desire doesn’t come to pass…
We have spent a considerable time on this blog, addressing Biblical myths. HeIsSailing wrote on several myths of the Bible including the Leviathan, the creation story, the tower of Babel, and the origins of languages. I compiled an entry on the Exodus. Richard recently wrote on the Apocalypse. However, I believe one of the greatest myths of the Bible is the existence of the creature we call the devil.
On his personal blog, Gary has a post entitled The Grand Myth of Lucifer in which he describes in detail what the Bible says, or what most evangelicals believe the Bible says, about this mythical creature. In the post, he describes the origins of Lucifer, the part he played in the fall of Adam and Eve, the crucifixion of Jesus, and what he knows of his own destiny.
Even as a Christian, I began to have my doubts in the existence of the devil. I struggled with the story of Job in which Job was a pawn in a great cosmic battle between God and the devil. If God was the great omnipotent being and the devil was simply a fallen angel, why did it seem as if they were somehow on equal terms? What was the devil doing in heaven approaching God?…
A common topic discussed on non-religious or post-religious sites is the subject of morality. Many religions, particularly those who consider Abraham the father of their faith – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – believe they have the corner on morality and that “God” though his “holy book” is the source of morality in the world.
We’ve had our share of discussion on this site including HeIsSailing’s The Bible does not contain a guideline of moral absolutes, AThinkingMan’s Challenging Religious Myths 1: No Morality without Religion, and Stellar1’s You do not need religion to be moral. Of course this is not an exhaustive list as this issue is a part of several other excellent blog entries.
For many, the 10 Commandments set the foundation on which morality is based. The 10 Commandments are found in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Depending on your religion or denomination, there are 12 commandments used to make up some version of the 10 Commandments. They are:
- I am the Lord your God
- You shall have no other gods before me
- You shall not make for yourself an idol
- You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain
- Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy…
It’s hard to believe, but a year has passed since we opened our door. It has been a very successful year for the d-C blog and its over 20 contributors. I’d like to personally thank each and every one of you for your contributions over the past year.
I’d like to share a few of our statistics:
- As of today, we have had over 500,000 page views (not including page views by contributors) thanks, in part, to StumbleUpon users
- We are close to 300 blog entries with almost 10,000 comments (wow!)
- We are within the top 30,000 blogs per Technorati and within the top 300,000 sites based on global traffic rankings by Alexa (as of today)
Here are our top 10 most read blog entries (as of today):
|Don’t Ask Me to Read Your Holy Book||23,143|
|Christian Reaction to Atheistic Books becoming Best-Sellers
It’s one of the oldest faith questions: If there’s an all-powerful and loving God, why do human beings suffer?
In his latest book, religious studies professor Bart D. Ehrman wrestles with that question — and with the implications of the often-contradictory answers he finds. In God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question — Why We Suffer, Ehrman meditates upon how the Bible explains human suffering, why he finds the explanations unconvincing, and why he gave up on being a Christian.
Ehrman, author of Misquoting Jesus and more than a dozen other books, chairs the religious studies department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill…
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 12:2 -
Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by renewing the mind…
One of the major patterns of thinking humanity has created and cultivated is religion. This, in most cases, includes a deity who is to be feared unless a long list of unattainable demands are met. Failure typically means spending eternity being relentlessly tortured.
Judaism follows this pattern. An ancient nomadic Middle Eastern tribe created a god who demanded blood and a long list of rituals in order that they would be forgiven of their transgressions. The description of the ritualistic slaughter of innocent animals and the amount of blood which flowed in the temple as a result of these sacrifices would make any modern day bloody thriller seem like a children’s movie. This god also gave divine direction to their conquests as he demanded the extermination of entire nations of people including babies, children, and animals. A Christian will tell you that this was required in order to somehow bring to an end to evil pagan practices such as sacrificing babies to idols. I think it’s a bit ironic that babies are killed in order to stop the killing of babies. How does that make sense?
Christianity continues to build on this pattern as God ended up having to sacrifice himself to himself as the ultimate penalty for man’s sin…
LeoPardus recently posted a few You might be a Fundy if… one-liners. Among them was:
You might be a Fundy if… God regularly opens up convenient parking spaces, JUST FOR YOU.
Well, it turns out that this is not far from what is being preached at one of the largest churches in America, Lakewood Church in Houston, Tx. According to a Slate Article by Chris Lehmann on Joel Osteen’s new book Become A Better You:
Joel Osteen’s God really wants you to dress well, stand up straight, and get a convenient parking space.
The article gave this analysis of Joel Osteen:
Joel has pointedly refrained from … really doing much biblical preaching at all. He has the wardrobe and tirelessly dapper mien of an oil industry lobbyist; it’s as a walking advertisement of the success creed, and not as any manner of prophet, that he’s made his name. “I’m not called to explain every minute facet of Scripture or to expound on deep theological doctrines or disputes that don’t touch where people live,” he writes dismissively in Become a Better You. “My gift is to encourage, to challenge, and to inspire…”