Showing posts from April, 2017

Here's Carman absolving ancient Christians for doing horrible stuff

Remember Carman? I sure do. While researching my previous post, I happened upon some of his ultra-cheeseball music videos from the 90s, and this one in particular really stood out. First an aside, though: I don't recall anyone I knew ever actually liking  Carman. His music was sort of an unintentional parody of pop culture, and he mostly just came off as an old guy trying really hard to tell everyone under the age of 18 how cool and hip and 'with it' he was. In this video, though, we can see the insidious side of evangelical theology seep into the conversation. The video opens in a classroom setting wherein the students are discussing the Dark Ages, and atrocities perpetrated by the church like the Inquisition. The following dialogue hits: Student: Why did the 16th century church wanna kill people that wanted to be Christian? Carman: Whoa. The Church  didn't do it. You see, the church is the body of Christ, and the body of Christ is not going to kill itself. It was

Christianity as counterculture

This past Thursday marked the 18th anniversary of the Columbine massacre, which I'm old enough to remember pretty vividly. Not just the hysteria that followed the shooting, but the eagerness of an aging and more conservative generation to place the blame on virtually everything that defined popular culture for generation x and older millennials—rock music, violent video games and movies, board games that allegedly promoted witchcraft and satanism, provocative clothing, whatever. I even remember Marilyn Manson eloquently defending himself to ultradouche Bill O'Reilly . By the time the Columbine shooting happened, I had already deconverted from Christianity. But I nonetheless grew up thick in the 90s youth-group culture, complete with huge youth rallies like Acquire The Fire put on by  Teen Mania , DC Talk's hit " Jesus Freak ", the early Left Behind  books, and oh so much more. Vox reported on the fetishization of martyrdom that intensified following Columbine,

Let's talk about testimony as rational justification for belief

Sometimes you crawl out of bed, you're fixing breakfast, and a random topic pops into your head. Today, for me, it was the idea of testimony as a rational justification for theistic belief—in particular, the idea one need not have any additional evidence to be rational in assenting to claims disseminated through testimony alone. At the risk of beating a dead horse, I'm going to quote Randal Rauser on the topic, because he's a strong advocate for this line of reasoning. From a post in 2013 : It is true that you can think of testimony as evidence just like you can think of sense perception and rational intuition as evidence. But so long as there are no defeaters present, we also find that each of these sources of rational belief can provide a stopping point to the regress of justification and thus each provides a means of prima facie proper basicality. Not only that, but sufficiently strong testimony can also withstand the assault of formidable defeaters. Consequently, ju