Are the Christians bamboozled, or is it the reverse? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
I have a kindle as a gift from someone I was in Seminary with and I get a list of free books that come out regularly. One of my subjects of interest naturally is religion and so when free books on religion come out, I get notified. One such book was by a man named Timothy Aldred called “Bamboozled.” I amusingly told a friend who is in apologetics as well and he downloaded it and read it before I did.
I was told to expect something incredibly bad from him. He could not believe what he was reading. I was thinking “It cannot be that bad.”
After all, in my time of apologetics, I have made it a point to read what I disagree with regularly. I have been online for more than a decade doing debate and I have seen a lot of really strange ideas.
I do not think I have seen anything as crazy as this. I kept thinking throughout the book that I would love to find a good psychologist who would read this book and try to give an assessment of the author. The material I find in here is insane.
Aldred says he was a born-again Christian. I do not doubt him. Then about 50 years later he abandoned his faith and now argues against it. As I have argued elsewhere, all he did was change his allegiance. He did not change his mode of thinking. It would be difficult to give examples, but it is not because there are too few. There are too many! In fact, I stopped using the highlight option on the Kindle after awhile or else I would have been highlighting most everything. To reply to all the mistakes in this book would take a book ten times the pages in length, and that’s because there are so many false assumptions all throughout.
Aldred regularly makes statements about God speaking telepathically and has an obsession with talking about an “invisible God” and says that the answer to any objection is “God can do anything.” You will not find arguments given why some people think the Bible is reliable in this book. In fact, with his own sourcing, at best, he tells you a book he found the information on. There is no citation with a page number so you can check it up yourself.
Not to mention, his sources when he uses them are regularly not scholarly sources. The Encyclopedia Britannica is cited regularly on Constantine, leading me to think that’s all Aldred read on the matter. In the chapter on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Baigent and Leigh are the main sources, a source no historian would accept, although Aldred lists them as historians. In the chapter on Billy Graham, Wikipedia is his main source.
Aldred tells of how biblical history is blindly accepted but a look at real history shows otherwise. What is the real history? Sumerian history. What is the reason given to accept Sumerian history? None. Aldred accepts it with the same blind faith that he accepted biblical history.
So what Sumerian history are we talking about? Oh just the usual. You know, stuff like aliens establishing space ports on Earth and that there was one in Canaan and that YHWH is not the real deal but that there were alien overlords working with humanity. This takes place all throughout Genesis.
Do you not believe me?
From page 22
“the Anunnaki maintained outposts at the gateway to the space facilities; Jericho is one of them.” (This is started in mid-sentence to be fair, but any reader can look at this for free and see it changes nothing.) One is reading this and thinking “Is this serious?” The sad reality is “Yes. Yes it is.”
Aldred has an obsession with the KJV Bible and with Rome. For him, everything is a big Roman conspiracy. Dead Sea Scrolls? That was a Roman cover-up to keep us from seeing what was in them. John Allegro tried to expose the cover-up, but he failed. Never any mention that Allegro’s own publisher apologized for releasing the book Allegro wrote called “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross.”
The conspiracy theory runs constant throughout the book. Indeed, it takes a lot of faith to believe what Aldred is selling. I was even thinking at one point that Peter Joseph of Zeitgeist would have told him that his theories were crazy. Aldred ignores all evidence opposed to his theory and his biblical interpretation is horrendous. (Has anyone heard of an interpretation of the parable of the ten virgins where the bridegroom is coming to marry all the virgins? Note that that is said to be “light paraphrasing.” (Page 111)
Aldred came from a background apparently that fostered faith as belief without evidence and did not consider that perhaps, not everyone is that way. He has not changed that belief. He grants full faith to the Sumerian accounts as accurate history. He grants full faith to Baigent and Leigh. He grants full faith to Wikipedia.
Most amusing is an account of him on trial against D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge. I am no fan of Kennedy. Still, reading this, it seems to escape Aldred’s attention that the problem could have been him. He goes to a church and causes a disruption and gets indignant when he is told to leave and when he doesn’t the police are called. Aldred sees himself as a hero standing up and exposing Coral Ridge instead of realizing they did exactly what would be done anywhere. It seems to be Aldred’s position that he could not be at fault and perhaps, what was the real problem was his fundamentalist way of thinking.
Fortunately for me, the book was free, but finishing it was a labor. I regularly told people I was reading the most ridiculous thing I had ever read. It almost makes me think I should pick up a book by a new atheist again soon because at least there is some glimmer of reason in there from time to time.
What is sadder is that people on Amazon have frequently commented about how eye-opening this is and what great research was done. Great research will have better documentation than this and interact with much more scholarly resources. For instance, in writing on the Inquisition, there will be no interaction with writers like Henry Kamen. Of course, Aldred would reject any such scholarship as part of the great Roman conspiracy that has sought to bring monotheism to the world to deny our real history under a gospel of Jesus.
Yet he is believed entirely by some readers. I even wonder if they know what he believes. Is Aldred a Christ-myther? I can’t tell. What does he think about textual reliability of the NT? I can’t tell. Does he think Peter or Paul existed?
Sadder still than Amazon is the fact that we are responsible. When the church does not give a good focus on education, people like Aldred are the result. Aldred regularly writes about a God of love would not allow X to happen, ignoring that God is a God of justice. He writes that he can see no reason why X should be the case, as if that would settle the case entirely.
Aldred is still a man of faith. His allegiance is changed, and for those agreeing with him, it is sadly the blind leading the blind.