Pastor Russ of the Aurora Church of the Nazarene writes a blog. In fact, if you view the menu on the Church’s website, you can see a direct link. Not surprising, considering how many pastors enjoy writing, and how many others do as well. This Tuesday last, Pastor Russ published a blog entry entitled Science and the Bible. Nothing earth-shattering or surprising here either. Within the blog he wrote:
I know that many people are skeptical of the Bible and I have no problem with that, it is a good trait of an intelligent person to consider evidence before deciding whether or not something can be trusted. All I ask is that you really do look at the evidence and not make up your mind before you even take a look. Most people who say they don't believe the Bible, have never read it for themselves, they are simply repeating what someone else has told them. That is not a trait of intelligence.
While I might wonder who he means by the “most people” who say they don’t believe the Bible (and what does “believe the Bible” mean?) have never read it, I get his general drift. If you are going to question something, inspect it first.
The only reason I stumbled upon this blog was Vinny’s posting a response (accurate in my opinion) ”You Call that Evidence?” Even a bit humorous. Again, so far extremely standard fair in internet-world. Vinny also posted a comment to Pastor Russ’ original blog on Wednesday, essentially questioning what scientific degree Kirk Cameron held, and pointing out how apologists often do the same thing—fail to investigate by actually reading what the opposing side writes. I was thinking of writing a similar comment, questioning Pastor Russ what books written by scientists defending evolution against creationism he had read.
Basically asking Pastor Russ if he was guilty of what he accused “most people” of doing—not reading it themselves, but believing what other Christians had told him.
This morning, with coffee cup firmly in hand, I stopped by Pastor Russ’ blog with curiosity as what response, if any, to Vinny’s comment was made. What’s this? Vinny’s Comment—gone. Comments—no longer allowed. Even Pastor Russ’ profile was removed from the blog! (The only proof I can offer that comments were even allowed at one time is by Google Cache.)
I chuckled. Not out of surprise, but more out of how characteristic this “Katie-bar-the-door” mentality permeates the Christian community. This is not a “surprise” ending—this is as typical as can be.
I’ve lost count of the times I have had the conversation:
Christian associate: Have you read [a. Zacharias; b. Strobel; c. McDowell; d. Johnson]?
Me: Some. Have you read any non-believing authors on the same topics?
Christian associate: Oh, I don’t have [a. time; b. need; c. desire; d. enough problem with my faith] to read those.
Christian associate: Have you studied ____?
Me: Sure have. Here are the arguments for. Here are the arguments against. Here is why I find this set of arguments persuasive. What do you think?
Christian associate: Gee, look at that time…Gotta go!
I find it amusing we are told as skeptics we need to ask questions; but when we DO, the question is erased, ignored and forgotten. Why tell us to ask, if you don’t want us to…er…ask?
Look, Pastor Russ is free to run his blog how he chooses. He can allow comments from everybody or just Christians or even just people named “Steve.” He can erase comments at his whim, and have no comments at all.
And I am free to find it hilarious to see someone (again) say, “You need to look at the evidence” and when a skeptic attempts to do that (again), the person runs away. Again.
If you have truth, why the fear of open commentary?
As I said—I am too easily amused.
UPDATE: Pastor Russ has posted a new blog entry responding to some of the points made. However, while you may see a “comment” link on the entry, and can even try to post a comment, if you do so you will be greeted with this message:
“Comments on this blog are restricted to team members.”