Showing posts from September, 2015

The Emperor Has No Clothes, A Book Review: The Athiest Who Didn't Exist

The concept of atheism in the last century has jumped off of the pages of  Rousseau, Russell, and Nietzche, leaving the vaulted corridors of academia and entering the streets of popular thinking. Atheism is no longer an obscure philosophical worldview, it has made its way into New York Times best sellers, movie plots, and public transit advertisements. This, by and large, has a great deal to do with writings and publications of  the "four horsemen of the new atheism": Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. 

The term "New Atheism" first appeared in a November 2006 issue of  Wired magazine, and has been perceived to be the default of "modern," "educated," positions ever since. We no longer have time for the old dusty ways of religion and its thinking, religion is out, atheism is in! But this is not your parents brand of atheism either, that's "old atheism," and there's no room for the old. This bra…

Doctrines, Dates, and Dead People: The Changing Moral Landscape

It did not take long after the death of Christ in AD 33, and the birth of the Christian faith following that time, for Christianity to become a persecuted group. Christianity was deemed a "religio ilicita", an "illegal religion" in AD 64 by Emperor Nero. This initiated nearly 300 years of Christian persecution. Persecution that finally ceasing in AD 313 with the passing of the Edict of Milan by Emperor Constantine.

Ancient Rome was a society that prided itself on its tolerance of other cultures, perspectives, and faith-based groups (sound familiar?). After occupation they did not disband all aspects of that invaded culture, instead, they would cut a deal with the leaders. We see this in the New Testament background of the Jewish leaders of Jesus' day. Deals were made with local leaders, Rome became the governmental rulers, and the occupied nation could continue living as they were in their cultural and religious practices. All that was asked, all that was requi…