|Do you believe in walking, talking Snakes?|
Dear conservative Christians: I have good news for you. I and other skeptics can continue to bring up apparent discrepancy after apparent discrepancy in the Bible and Christian apologists will always have a harmonization for every alleged discrepancy to reassure you of the veracity of your Christian faith. There are no new discrepancies. For 2,000 years, Christians have faced these same criticisms from skeptics and have come up with some dazzling harmonizations to demonstrate there are no true discrepancies in the Bible. The interesting thing is that Mormons have had just two hundred years, and they too have a harmonization for every alleged discrepancy in their holy book. And I’m sure the Muslims and Hindus can do the same with theirs.
So you can sit back and relax. Your precious conservative/orthodox Christian Faith is secure…unless you start studying science.
And that is where it all breaks down. Christian apologists are usually not scientists. They are scholars/experts, of an ancient text, ancient cultures, and perhaps philosophy, but most are not scientists. Some, yes, but most are not.
Christianity doesn’t do to well against science. Christianity has repeatedly been forced, grudgingly, to modify its interpretation of God’s Holy Word, based on scientific discoveries. Let me list some of them:
1. A flat earth held up by pillars, with a domed ceiling (firmament) above.
It is true that Christians never taught this concept, but the ancient Hebrews, the original followers of Yahweh and his holy text, the Bible, did. It took the scientific discoveries of the ancient Greeks—pagans—for believers in Yahweh to learn that the earth is a sphere.
2. The earth is the center of the universe and the sun revolves around the earth.
Wrong again. Both Roman Catholics and Protestants believed this until the scientific evidence became overwhelming.
3. Six day Creation, with 24 hour days, a young earth of no more than 6,000-10,000 years old.
Wrong. Even the avant garde of evangelical Christianity is beginning to abandon this position. The scientific evidence is too great.
4. A world wide flood.
Nope. Geological evidence is overwhelming. There never was a world-wide flood. Conservative Christians are now re-interpreting the story of Noah to say that “earth” only refers to the “earth” or soil of the Euphrates River Valley.
5. No Exodus, no Forty Years in the Sinai, no Conquest of Canaan, no great kingdoms of David and Solomon
Most conservative Christians don’t accept the archeological evidence for this position yet, but there is movement away from the literal reading of the text. Some Christians are now saying that instead of several million Hebrews wandering in the Sinai for forty years (for which there is not one archeological trace) maybe it was just a few thousand families.
6. Moses could not have written the Pentateuch.
“So what,” say some Christians. “So previous Christians had a few things wrong.”
Here’s the problem, my friends: Jesus and the writers of the New Testament believed that Adam, Eve and Six Day Creation, Moses and the Exodus, and Noah and the world wide flood, were real people and real events. Science has proven them wrong. Science has proven that Jesus made mistakes. And if Jesus made mistakes, he was only human. And if Jesus was only human, the entire conservative Christian belief system comes crashing down, down, down…