Book Plunge: Atheist Universe Part 3

Is God a loving God? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Okay. I suspect we can wrap up this first chapter today so let’s dig in.

The Bible does indeed say that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). It also says that “Love is not jealous” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Then we are told that “I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:5). “God is love” when He is not torturing billions of non-Christians in Hell or ordering the Israelites to “keep the virgins for yourselves” but massacre all the innocent men, women and male children in the confiscated Promised Land (Numbers 31:18).

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 44). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

I have addressed the question of jealousy in another post. As for Numbers 31, that has also been addressed. Ultimately, Mills just keeps having emotional arguments. It’s basically “God does stuff I don’t like so He doesn’t exist.”

While it is unfair to hold Christianity responsible for perversions of its teachings, it is nonetheless indisputable that, historically, more people have been slaughtered in the name of the Christian religion than for any reason connected to atheism. For 1500 years, the Christian Church systematically operated torture chambers throughout Europe. Torture was the rule, not the exception. Next to the Bible, the most influential and venerated book in Christian history was the Malleus Maleficarum [Hammer of Witches], which was a step-by-step tutorial in how to torture “witches” and “sorcerers.”

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 48). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

It is unfair to hold Christianity responsible for the perversion of its teachings, but I’m going to do it anyway!

Naturally, there is no historical information for any of this. Mills gives no names of these people who were tortured for anything related to atheism. As for the Malleus Maleficarum being the most venerated and influential book in Christianity apart from the Bible, I would love to see the data for that. I would much more expect something like the Summa TheologicaPilgrim’s ProgressFoxe’s Book of MartyrsThe Imitation of Christ, or in our time, Mere Christianity.

Aside from the wholesale extermination of “witches,” the Christian Church fought bitterly throughout its history—and is still fighting today—to impede scientific progress. Galileo, remember, was nearly put to death by the Church for constructing his telescope and discovering the moons of Jupiter.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 48). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

I can’t think of a single medieval historian who would go with this. I recommend again reading Tim O’Neill on this, especially this one. Galileo was not near being put to death for inventing a telescope and discovering Jupiter’s moons. The Catholic Church had its own telescope and heavily invested in astronomy.

The ancient Greeks and Egyptians, for example, made amazing scientific discoveries and wrote detailed scientific analyses that the Christian Church later destroyed and suppressed for centuries.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 49). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

Again, it is not said where this happened. The Christian church was the one who was preserving these writings. If they were destroyed, how does Mills know about them? If they were suppressed, when were they no longer suppressed and rediscovered? He also says elsewhere here that the church didn’t allow cadavers to be studied, and again, you can find more on that here.

Ethical disputes between atheists and Christians almost invariably center around malum prohibitum conduct—usually sexual conduct. The atheist would argue that two consenting, unmarried adults who used proper disease and pregnancy prevention could engage in sexual intercourse without being “unethical” or “immoral.” The Christian, however, would necessarily label this sexual tryst as “wrong” because it was prohibited, supposedly, by God.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 54). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

I would say it is wrong for a number of social reasons I have gone into in this blog. It’s not just “God says no.” Mills needs to read some books on Christian ethics where we actually make arguments beyond Scripture says it, I believe it, that settles it. Mills later says he was a Christian for a time, and his mindset is still really the same. His loyalty is all that changed.

I frequently hear this [C. S. Lewis-inspired] reasoning from Christians, but the argument is entirely definitional rather than substantive. Murder, by definition, is an unjustified killing. Of course everyone agrees that an unjustified killing is wrong. We’re simply agreeing that an unjustified killing is unjustified. But what constitutes an unjustified killing? Here, we’ll face heated debate. Is abortion murder or a sometimes-prudent medical procedure? Is euthanasia murder or a humane and compassionate way to end pointless suffering? Is the death penalty a state-sponsored murder, or justice served? Like many Americans, I’m pro-choice, pro-euthanasia and anti-death-penalty, but few Christians agree with these positions. So where’s our “common conscience”? It exists only by wordplay.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 55). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

And that is a great question. What does constitute an unjustified killing? Anotner one is, what does it even mean to say something is justified or unjustified? That already assumes a moral background and an objective idea of good and evil. Looking at his political views, I do find it interesting Mills wants to kill the innocent often, but to let the guilty live. Also, why is it that when “God kills the children” in Numbers 31, that’s awful, but when a mother wants to do it to the child in her womb, that’s her moral right?

Mills is then asked about the Shroud of Turin.

You have cited a perfect illustration of how religious belief absolutely paralyzes the critical reasoning of Christian apologists and Creation “scientists.” Back in 1988, the Shroud was tested in three separate laboratories using radiocarbon dating techniques. All three laboratories, in Arizona, Oxford and Zurich, reported independently that the Shroud dates back only to the Middle Ages. This radiometric timeframe for the Shroud’s origin coincides precisely with the first historical references to the Shroud, which likewise first appear during the Middle Ages. Any rational person would therefore conclude that the Shroud had its origins during the Middle Ages, not during the time of Christ.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (pp. 58-59). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

And goes on to say:

For example, a team of Creation “scientists” in Colorado Springs, Colorado, claims that all of the radiocarbon tests performed on the Shroud were inaccurate because the Shroud was once in close proximity to a neighborhood fire!

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 59). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

Mills is sadly revealing great ignorance here. The Shroud was involved in a fire and was reconstructed to an extent. The case for the lab tests also has several questions and reading any Shroud expert would tell you this. Finally, Mills says nothing about what really caused the image on the Shroud and not only that, but the other effects of it, like the negative images that couldn’t have been done back in that time.

Mills sadly has become a perfect example of how atheist “reasoning” leads him to reject real study on a subject.

During the early days of Christianity, believers tried to persuade the ruling authorities to establish a legal holiday to commemorate Jesus’ birth. But the governing authorities refused. So the Christians decided that “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” and thereafter celebrated Jesus’ birth on an already-established holiday: the Winter Solstice, December 25th.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 60). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

No information is given on this. Also, the Winter Solstice was not celebrated on December 25th ever. There is no looking at any source talking about the data on the birth of Christ.

Easter is likewise a Christian hijacking of an ancient pagan holiday, the Vernal Equinox, a day when darkness and light are equally divided. Even today, the date of Easter is set each year by calculating the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 21st, the Vernal Equinox.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 61). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

And again, we go the other way. Easter is more based on Passover than anything else. Of course, you can’t count on Mills to actually study this. He just believes whatever he’s read as long as it argues against Christianity.

Christian Fundamentalists have been devilishly successful in their propaganda campaign that all communists are atheists, and all atheists are communists. But these “facts” are altogether erroneous. First, I strongly challenge the assumption that communism is a truly atheistic philosophy. It seems to me that the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent god of Christianity is simply replaced by the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent god of the State. Under the communist system, the State is supposedly all-wise, all-good and all-powerful. Communism is therefore just as nutty as religion in its unrealistic, utopian fantasies and pie-in-the-sky promises.

Mills, David. Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (p. 63). Ulysses Press. Kindle Edition.

Communism is a truly atheistic philosophy. They persecuted religion for a reason dynamiting many churches. But hey, they supposedly act religious in what they do, so it’s not atheism, it’s religion.

I would say this is a perversion of atheism, but is it? What in atheism says you cannot do XYZ to your neighbor? All atheism says is there is no God. If there is no God, then how does killing your neighbor go against that? Sure, atheists can be fine and moral people, but is it because they are atheists? Nothing in atheism requires it. I contend still it’s because they have a thoroughly Christian background they don’t realize.

So finally, that’s the end of chapter 1.

We’ll continue next time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)










Envy Is Not Jealousy

Can God be loving and jealous both? Let’s plunge into Deeper Waters and find out.

If you ever want to know how not to read the Bible, one of the best things to do is to just go to an atheist web site and look at the attempts to show Bible contradictions. Most of them are outright hysterical. It’s so bad that you can even find satire illustrating the position, and this one is so excellent. I’ve sadly found several people who don’t even realize it’s satire, some of them commenting on the piece itself.

One of the latest fundamentalist atheist hits is this little image going around:


It’s incredible to see how much this image has spread and that anyone finds it to be a convincing argument shows how badly our thinking capacities are being damaged in this day and age.

Let’s start out with something that should be a simple point but is apparently not.

Envy is not jealousy.

You see, when a person is envious, that means that they want something that someone else has that they do not have and they resent the person for having it. Many of us can want something someone else has and so we go out and buy it or work hard to get it or something of that sort. That’s not what’s being talked about. An example in the OT is King Saul and David. David was getting more honor than Saul and Saul thought he had a right to that honor. He decided he needed to kill David to get that honor. This is especially so when the ancient world had the concept of limited good. That meant that all goods were seen as limited, including honor. If you had honor, that meant someone else lost it. David gaining honor would mean Saul was losing it. It’s also the same reason the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus. Jesus was getting honor and taking it away from the Pharisees.

Now God does desire honor, but He also has the right to all honor for He is the greater good. God is also jealous. This will not be denied as it is said in the Old Testament. God’s jealousy is geared towards His own people and in the ancient world, this would have been seen as something honorable. If you had exclusive rights to something, it was shameful to let it be used for a contrary reason. Many of us today still practice this. I would be more than willing to let you borrow a book from my library. Do you want to enjoy the same rights to my wife that I enjoy? Better not even think about that one!

The jealousy a husband nobly has for his wife is like that which God has for His people. God is in an exclusive covenant relationship with His people and He does not want anyone else intruding on that and in fact, it is for the good of His people. It is because He loves and honors them. The reason I do not let anyone else sleep with my wife is not because I want to ban her from having any pleasure. It is because I do not treat her like a common good and know that she has an exclusive relationship with me and I have one with her and in turn, I do not sleep with any other women.

Once again, we see pitiful fundamentalist atheist hermeneutics at work. I will believe fundamentalist atheists are people of evidence when I see some evidence they learn how to actually research the topics they argue against.

In Christ,
Nick Peters