Katie Hopkins
Media

Who on earth would book Katie Hopkins for a Christian conference?

The Church and Media conference has been running in various guises for the last 39 years. Not many people know it exists, but that is because it has aimed to serve Christians involved in the media, who are both a brave and select bunch. This now looks like it may well change following the appearance of Katie Hopkins – yes the Katie Hopkins – at their latest bash held yesterday.

One might ask why someone with such disdain for migrants, children called Tyler and anyone who uses a foodbank should be given a platform at a nice event full of nice Christians. Well the theme of this year’s conference was ‘Polarisation’ and you can imagine how things worked out in the planning meetings:

Chair: “Right let’s brainstorm polarisation in the media. Who’s the most divisive person you can think of?”

Response: “Katie Hopkins!”

Chair: “Can you just imagine the response if we got her to come? That would massively raise our profile.”

Collective response: “Yes! Let’s do it!”

And obviously one thing led to another and Ms Hopkins was indeed booked. You can imagine her surprise at being asked, but then she must have quickly moved on to considering how she could maximise the opportunity and decided she could use it to her advantage.

When the time came she certainly made the most of it. With all honesty she announced, “I’m Jesus of the outspoken. Jesus had his followers; I have 600,000 followers on Twitter. It’s about leading the way – I am the new Jesus.” She then went on to discuss her dislike of religion and nuns in particular.

It was perfectly engineered for the moment and had exactly the desired effect. We now have the papers and commentators (like the one writing this) jumping on her comments and giving her yet more unnecessary exposure. So Katie gets another moment in the sun and the Church and Media Network get their name mentioned in the process and do a few interviews explaining what on earth they were thinking.

Now though, having had a few moments to consider this slightly surreal occasion, we’re left asking whether this was all a good idea or not. Did Katie Hopkins really need a chance to equate herself to Jesus in front of a bunch of Christians? There were some who deeply unimpressed when the booking was first announced with the Church and Media Network to having to publicly defend their decision. Those same people will probably now be saying that this outcome was inevitable and did nothing for the credibility of the organisation or even the Christian faith.

Let me however, give an alternative perspective. Jesus was not exactly well known for spending his time exclusively with nice, agreeable people. He went out of his way to hang out with a whole range of sinners who according to others didn’t deserve his attention. Jesus was as much at home conversing with prostitutes and thieves as he was with supposedly respectable Pharisees and politicians. Like Katie Hopkins, he wasn’t afraid to say what he thought or offend people, although he evidently did it with a lot more wisdom and understanding. Jesus was a radical by anyone’s standards, which is why the church’s traditional ‘More tea vicar?’ image is so out of step with the one who is the very reason it exists.

Too many both in and outside of the church would prefer it to be harmless cosy place that makes them feel good, but rarely challenges anything or anyone. That attitude is one of the main reasons that the church has declined so rapidly over the last few decades. It has lacked bite and has taken very few risks for the sake of its mission to reach out to the world. Safe is boring and anyone who has even a basic understanding of the Bible and the life of Jesus can never accuse God of being boring.

Jesus asked Peter to step out in faith when he told him to get out of the boat and walk upon the water. Real living faith involves risk – of making decisions that in human eyes seem crazy, but in God’s eyes make perfect sense. Sometimes those risks pay off and at other times they don’t go quite as we might expect, but if they are done out of a desire to serve God, he will honour that obedience.

So well done to the Church and Media Network for deciding to do something a bit different, even if in doing so Katie Hopkins got another helping of attention she probably didn’t need. What we undoubtedly do need is plenty more Christians willing to make faithful steps and challenge the boundaries of acceptability for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Maybe Jeremy Clarkson for next year’s conference then?

  • “Quem Jupiter vult perdere, dementat prius.’
    That applies, I dare say, both to Ms Hopkins and to the Church and Media Conference.
    Next year, why don’t they invite the Inspector General? That would really be fun.

  • The Explorer

    John Lennon’s statement that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus” always seemed to me a strange comparison. More popular than Cliff Richard: fine. More popular than Beethoven: also fine; the primacy of pop music over classical music in terms of numerical appeal.
    What did he mean by ‘Jesus’? Presumably, a historical figure: once revered, but by 1966 les so. The criteria of value had shifted. The historical figure is, I take it, also the basis of comparison used by Katie Hopkins. Unless she has aspirations of divinity?

    • Lennon was being ironic.

      • The Explorer

        The irony escaped me at the time. It still does. Was he being ironic when he wrote ‘Imagine’?

        • Jack isn’t into judging John Lennon and doesn’t know what was on his mind. He was a complex man with a complex history. “Imagine” was heard by Jack as a statement about the hypocrisy and violence of organised ‘religion’. So too his comment about popularity and Jesus.

          • Anton

            Surely Imagine encapulates the words of an atheist idealist?

          • Yes it does. So what? Not too hard to understand is it, given Lennon’s history and the times in which he lived. How do we answer the Lennon’s of then and now?

          • Anton

            Ah, I see; I had misread your sentence, “Imagine” was heard by Jack as a statement about the hypocrisy and violence of organised ‘religion’, as a suggestion that Lennon was not against the gospel. He clearly was, because the gospel is big on heaven and hell in which Lennon obviously didn’t believe.

            As a nonconformist I agree that politicised religion is generally hypocritical and violent. I’m slightly surprised that you do…

          • Lennon was confused spiritually and because he called on people to imagine a world without religion, heaven and hell, doesn’t mean he was an atheist. Most go through this phase at some point. Lennon liked to provoke controversy.

          • Anton

            I’d say he was half-cynic, half New-Ager. He couldn’t have been totally NA or he would have gone with the Maharishi stuff instead of getting disillusioned with it.

          • What we don’t know is where he arrived spiritually before being murdered.

          • Anton

            Obviously we don’t know the spirituality of anybody at their moment of death because they might have had a radical conversion a few minutes before and not had time to tell anybody, but is there any evidence that he was anything other than half-cynic, half New-Ager in the months before his death?

          • Hard to say. He lived a fairly private life.

          • CliveM

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_the_Beatles

            You may have seen this already, if not you might find it interesting.

          • Thanks, Clive. Jack hadn’t seen it. An interesting article.

          • sarky

            Never liked Lennon, always thought he was arrogant and had a nasty side (I.e. the recent footage of him mocking disabled people)
            However, imagine is pure genius.

          • The Explorer

            Naïve tosh. Not you: ‘Imagine’.

          • Anton

            It hasn’t aged so well as Band on the Run.

          • sarky

            More of a ‘live and let die’ man.

          • The Explorer

            ‘Imagine’ seems to me to be saying that if we realise that we only get one shot at things then we’ll be nice to one another.

            What about the reverse side? If you only live once, why not push other people out of the queue (if they’re weaker than you) to ensure you get your share. No need to worry, after all, about consequences in an after life.

          • Granted, the lyrics do say that. So what? However, it is not how Jack heard it or what he focussed on “back in the day”. What answer do you give him in the context of the 1970’s? The words were asking people to imagine a world without religious and national divisions, greed and hatred. Lennon also acknowledged he would be seen as an idealist.

          • The Explorer

            There would be no religious divisions because there would be no religion. Insofar as the song encouraged impressionable minds away from belief I Imagine (no joke intended) it probably did harm.

          • Possibly …. but an unquestioned faith is hardly a firm faith. Think what American religion was like in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and what the world had witnessed just 25 years earlier.

          • The Explorer

            In ‘The God Delusion’, Dawkins praises ‘Imagine’ as a magnificent song.

          • If you really want a Beatle song that is spiritually hazardous then consider the lyrics and impact of “All you need is Love” and its double negatives. Drugs and Eastern philosophy – a fatal combination.

          • The Explorer

            ‘All you need is love’ (which seemed to me sentimental twaddle) plus ‘nothing’ (which summed up the song for me) and ‘easy’ were the only words I was ever able to hear. If others were in the same boat as me, the damage would have been restricted.

          • Possibly …. However, it’s title suggests a question rather than an assertion.

          • Anton

            I’d say the song is confident that there’s no heaven or hell but not confident that utopia will be reached.

          • The Explorer

            I’d say that sums it up. But it’s inviting the experiment without being sure of the outcome.

      • Anton

        I’d say he meant it (in UK/US at least) but in a comment that, cleverly, had plausible deniability.

        • Watch the whole interview. It’ll be on Youtube (probably). Jack has a copy on DVD. Why would JL want “plausible deniability”?

          • Anton

            In case the Establishment took too much offence. This was in the era when the 1960s trendies were pushing the envelope.

            In irony you don’t really mean what you say. Do you think that was true of Lennon in this comment?

          • What he said was probably true at the time and still is, possibly more so. Irony may not be the proper word.

  • Martin

    Who, what conference? There are Christians in media?

  • bmudmai

    Considering the fact we are allowing married gay Priests to be on synod, let alone not disciplining them for breaking Church orders I think within Christianity in England, anything goes. May as well get Anjem Choudary in next or Josef Fritzl.

  • Jon Sorensen

    “Jesus was a radical by anyone’s standards”
    Why is that? He seem to have propagated older ideas and ideas of his time. What were Jesus’ radical ideas?

    • Anton

      Love your enemy.

      • sarky
        • Anton

          No thanks. Just about everything ever written isn’t new, and that was true then (as Ecclesiastes said long before Jesus!) The point is not a discussion of priority of the sort that involved Newton and Leibniz regarding who invented the differential calculus, but who actually got his message across and founded a school that propagated it.

          Most of Jesus’ radical ideas are implicit or explicit, to varying extents, in the written Laws of Moses from long before.

          • sarky

            But doesnt that prove jon’s point? These ideas were already in the populations consciousness so weren’t at all radical.

          • Anton

            Mosaic Law was radical if you compare it to the Code of Hammurabi. And I suggest that Love Your Enemy is ALWAYS a radical idea (even though it is not always a new idea).

          • sarky

            Think we will have to agree to disagree.

          • Anton

            OK; Christians are not unused to that…

          • sarky

            Neither are atheists 🙂

          • Jon Sorensen

            Mosaic Law was not really radical. It copied some from Code of Hammurabi (and Egyptian law) code and improved some parts. Mosaic Law was typical having different laws for in-group and out-group. It was not the first monotheist idea either. Just a product of it’s time.

          • Anton

            The early parts of the OT are the first records we have about a God who created the world; there can be only one of those.

            Yes Mosaic Law was radical. Compare, for instance, the penalties for theft of goods. Never capital punishment for that in Moses. Women were treated as equally in the image of God as men. Every family owned outright its own land in perpetuity. The king was under the law, not above it. Those are radical.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “The early parts of the OT are the first records we have about a God who created the world”
            No its not. We have many earlier account from Australia to Egypt, from India to China.

            “Yes Mosaic Law was radical.”
            No it was not. What was radical about it. It was still in-group/out-group morality.

            “Women were treated as equally in the image of God as men.”
            WUT? Women have never been treated equally, no matter what your word play is.

            “Every family owned outright its own land in perpetuity.”
            Except the families they conquered and killed to get the land. (Part of God’s plan.

            “The king was under the law, not above it.”

            Nothing new about this. Most rules in ANE were responsible to God and gave oath to him and his people.

            “Those are radical.”
            Those were in many places, nothing radical about them.

          • Anton

            Please give references to a creator-of-all God (and *no other* – that’s monotheism) in ancient India, China, Australia, Egypt. If so, of course, it would be traces of truth from the very distant past.

            You asked before what was radical about Mosaic Law and I told you. Why now are you asking again?

            Contrast the radical land ownership regulations in ancient Israel with the feudal system. (If you want to know why God had the Canaanites trashed, read Leviticus 20:10-24, which is amply backed up by Philo of Byblos and the Ugaritic manuscripts unearthed between the wars.)

            Rulers in the rest of the ANE/AME were generally seen as living gods and the idea that they were accountable before the law is nonsense. They WERE the law.

            In the Law of Moses women were treated as equally in the image of God. Are you denying that?

            And you made no comment on the fact that theft of goods was not a capital offence in ancient Israel. That is radical, isn’t it?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Please give references to a creator-of-all God (and *no other* – that’s monotheism) in ancient India, China, Australia, Egypt.
            Aten religion was monotheistic creator-of-all God way before Biblical God era. There were plenty of other Creator God stories before biblical times.

            “Leviticus 20:10-24”
            Adultery laws were brutal, but hardly uncommon in the area.

            “If you want to know why God had the Canaanites trashed”
            Why was this again?

            “Rulers in the rest of the ANE/AME were generally seen as living gods and the idea that they were accountable before the law is nonsense. They WERE the law”
            You should really read about oaths King took in ANE (often yearly) and read about Mithra’s function in oath. You will be surprised.

            “In the Law of Moses women were treated as equally in the image of God. Are you denying that?”
            Women were never equal to men. They still are not in modern society. No matter what your “in the image of God” smoke and mirror claim. Their testimony was not equal to men no matter what you claim.

            “theft of goods was not a capital offence in ancient Israel. That is radical, isn’t it?”
            NO. Hammurabi law 259 “If any one steal a water-wheel from the field, he shall pay five shekels in money to its owner”. Nothing original to that either. Christians just think their book is special because the have not read other similar books.

          • Anton

            I am glad that the ancient Egyptians apparently had preserved some knowledge of the one creator God.

            If you read that passage in Leviticus setting out a list of sexual sins then you will see that the last two verses say that these were rife in Canaan which is why God gave over the Canaanites to the Israelites.

            I asked for references. You have merely given more comments unsupported by references. Please give a reference for king’s oaths in the ANE showing that they were under the law not above it.

            I wrote: “In the Law of Moses women were treated as equally in the image of God. Are you denying that?” You responded: “Women were never equal to men.”

            Am I denying it? But that was because the Israelites did not obey their laws very well. Their laws were impartial and that is what I claimed.

            I wrote: “theft of goods was not a capital offence in ancient Israel. That is radical, isn’t it?” You replied: “NO. Hammurabi law 259 “If any one steal a water-wheel from the field, he shall pay five shekels in money to its owner”.

            Where did I say that theft of goods was ALWAYS a capital offence in Hammurabi? What I am saying is that is sometimes is, whereas in Moses it NEVER is.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “I am glad that the ancient Egyptians apparently had preserved some knowledge of the one creator God.”
            Yep. Aten is the only true God. Other are just heretical later copies or Aten.

            “If you read that passage in Leviticus setting out a list of sexual sins then you will see that the last two verses say that these were rife in Canaan which is why God gave over the Canaanites to the Israelites.”
            You are fallen to victim of your own propaganda. It is disgusting and morally bankrupt to justify genocide of a people group by blaming they are wicket or bad. Last couple centuries we have seen genocide+victim blaming propaganda and you still support that. Shame on you. What did Canaanites say about these accusations?

            “Am I denying [that women were not equal]? But that was because the Israelites did not obey their laws very well. Their laws were impartial and that is what I claimed.”
            Nonsense. Biblical law is partly different for men and women. Just read your Bible. Can highpriest be a women?

            You asked “Where did I say that theft of goods was ALWAYS a capital offence in Hammurabi?”
            Nowhere. You claimed “theft of goods was not a capital offence in ancient Israel. That is radical, isn’t it?”
            Where I refuted that Hammurabi had this before Israel.
            Now you mislead us with “What I am saying is that is sometimes is, whereas in Moses it NEVER is.”
            But the Bible clearly says that sometime it is (Exodus 21:16)

          • Anton

            There is good evidence that some parts of the Old Testament which speak of the creator God were written before Akhnaten’s time.

            Regarding context for the invasion of Canaan, Genesis records that at one point God regretted he had ever made the human race, so degenerate had it become. Once you grasp how deeply sinful you are then you see these scriptures differently.

            The Laws of Moses of course distinguish between men and women in circumstances which relate to their distinct roles. Before we go any further, please define what you mean here by “equality”.

            I claimed that theft of goods was never a capital offence in Mosaic Law in contrast to other ancient codes. I stand by that statement and consider that you have not falsified it. You quote Exodus 21:16, a verse which commands capital punishment for kidnapping, but a human being is not a parcel of goods. If you steal a parcel of goods you don’t wrong it; you wrong its owner. But if you steal a child then you wrong the child, as well as its parents. According to Wikipedia on the “Code of Hammurabi”, by way of contrast, law no.22 states that “If any one is committing a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death.” Roman Law routinely executed people for theft of goods too.

            If Tiridates I of Armenia pledged himself to Nero then Nero, not Tiridates, was at the top of the hierarchy. Was Nero under the law of ancient Rome or above it?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “There is good evidence that some parts of the Old Testament which speak of the creator God were written before Akhnaten’s time.”
            There is no evidence for this. This is a Christian myth. I’m happy for you to table any evidence. Note that OT has copied some of the Egyptian law code and prayers.

            Genesis if a fiction and there is no sin.

            equal from dictionary;
            adjective: being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value.
            noun: a person or thing considered to be the same as another in status or quality.

            OT considers kids, slaves and wife as a property. Kidnapping is a property crime. Some human beings are piece of goods in OT. Like it or not.

            Tiridates was a king and he swore an oath to Mithra(s?)

          • Anton

            You are avoiding the question of what equality would mean between men and women specifically, which is what I asked for. And ducking my question about Nero.

            “OT considers kids, slaves and wife as a property. Kidnapping is a property crime.”

            Please prove that assertion.

            I wrote: “There is good evidence that some parts of the Old Testament which speak of the creator God were written before Akhnaten’s time.” you responded: “There is no evidence for this. This is a Christian myth.”

            It would actually be a Jewish myth that Christians picked up on, but it is factually untrue regardless. Please see my other post on this thread in which I showed that Ahknaten and Moses were roughly contemporaries. Parts of Genesis are much older. This was shown by PJ Wiseman who recognised that Genesis was divided into parts by the statement “these are the generations of…” which sum up and conclude each section. Wiseman recognised the signs that these parts had originally been written on clay tablets and then transferred to papyrus. And, crucially, there are no forward references in time within each section, strongly suggesting that they are contemporary with the events they describe – much older than Moses and Akhnaten.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Tiridates was a client king and a high(ish) priest. He made his oath to Nero and God. God is higher than Nero. It shows that oath were done to God as I claimed.

            “Please prove that assertion.”
            You could buy and sell your kids and slaves. What do I need to prove?

            Ahknaten was real. Moses was a fictional character. Nobody takes PJ Wiseman seriously except apologists.

          • Anton

            And Nero – was he under or above the law of Rome?

            People could volunteer to work as a bonded labourer for someone else as an alternative to starvation, but it lasted only as long as the end of the next 7-year cycle of debt relief. That doesn’t remotely resemble the chattel slavery that you describe.

            PJ Wiseman (d. 1948) recognised that Genesis is a compiled sequence of ancient texts that had originally been written on stone tablets. Many stone tablets from Mesopotamia dated as old as Abraham and Noah have been found, and they have their own writing conventions, which Wiseman recognised within Genesis. The retaining of those conventions by the compiler –presumably Moses, who also wrote the last part set in Egypt – shows that he copied faithfully. Moses added the names in his own time of places which had changed name, but that is all. We even know who each tablet had been written by (or on behalf of), because the earlier, Mesopotamian parts of Genesis each end (not begin!) with the phrase “These are the toledoth of…” and toledoth means “historical origins”. (For example, “these are the toledoth of Jacob” in Genesis 37:2; our chapter divisions, which are mediaeval, do not match this insight.) Each section runs up close to the death of the man named but never reaches it, and each section gives information which only that man could have known or reliably found out. These are substantial points in favour of the historicity of Genesis and I believe that to blank them as you do, instead of engaging with them, will cause readers to suppose that you unable to do the latter.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I don’t know what Nero has anything to do with anything. He was probably above the law.

            “volunteer” slavery has nothing to do with slavery we were talking about. War prisoners or foreign slaves were not volunteers.

            Only delusionals believe PJ Wiseman. There was no Moses. Sorry to tell you this

          • Anton

            You speak as if you know with certainty, but you don’t. You are avoiding engaging with my detailed points about Wiseman. Can you?

            I pointed out that it was the norm for rulers in the ANE to be above the law rather than under it, whereas any king in ancient Israel was under the Law of Moses. you quoted a king of Armenia as a counter-example, but I never said that there were no exceptions; simply what the norm was, as you agree re Nero.

            War prisoners were not volunteer slaves for sure. but they were not captured for purposes of slavery; they were captured because they chose to come against the people of God. Lucky to survive the battle!

          • Jon Sorensen

            Not even Christians Scholars believe PJ Wiseman. Why should I care what he says.

            You claim something.
            I show a counter example
            You say “I never said that there were no exceptions”
            Typical lame apologetics. Never admit that you are refuted. Whatever.

            “[War prisoners] were captured because they chose to come against the people of God”
            WUT? Are you serious? Your god commanded genocide and you think poor people defending their homes “chose” to come against the people of God. Your thinking just shows how dangerous religious thinking is. ISIS is implementing your principle. Such a bankrupt morality you have.

          • Anton

            So show me where I said there were no exceptions to that rule.

            ISIS is implementing Muhammad’s principle. Nothing like that can be found in the New Testament. We Christians read the Old Testament but not for rules to obey but to learn more about God.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “So show me where I said there were no exceptions to that rule.”
            LOL, the old debate tactic. When ever you get refuted you claim that is an exception, and you claim stands. Cute.

            “ISIS is implementing Muhammad’s principle. Nothing like that can be found in the New Testament.”
            You clear have not read the Bible.

          • Anton

            Readers my verify their words for themselves.

            I think I know better than you whether or not I have read the Bible. As to what it says, please state where the New Testament exhorts believers to behave like ISIS.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Jesus said that not a jot or tittle of the law should change and divine command theory is still valid.

          • Anton

            He said that to other Jews about Israel’s national code of law. The church is not a nation and most of its members are not Jews.

          • If your question is serious, read this article in Wiki. It is a good summary of the Golden Rule, how it is common in many religious and philosophic systems and, most significantly, how Jesus applied it positively and, the most radical part, applied it universally to all men, even to one’s enemies. That was the radical part and it still is today.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

          • sarky

            Reading through, that doesn’t seem to be exclusive to jesus. Pity most people of religion seem to ignore ‘the golden rule’.

          • Maybe not but it was radical in the context of first century Judea. Not many prophets predicted and willingly accepted their own deaths and called on others to lay down their lives for others.
            It’s a pity most people ignore the Golden – not just people of religion.

          • sarky

            For once we agree!

          • Anton

            Some religions explicitly deny it; Islam, for instance.

          • sarky

            Manifestly not true. See jacks link.

          • The Explorer

            Manifestly true. See the Qu’ran. You must give alms to a Muslim in need, but a non-Muslim is not your neighbour.

          • Did the Jews of Jesus’ day consider non-Jews their “neighbour”?

          • The Explorer

            “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; if he is thirsty give him water to drink.” ‘Proverbs’ 25:21.

            Was it meant to apply to non-Jewish enemies? I don’t know. I assume it would not have applied in the case of Samaritans.
            From the Samaritan parable, I assume non-Jews were not considered neighbours.

            From there, Christianity took a step forward, only for Islam to reverse the process with renewed particularity.

          • Yes, Islam is a corruption of Judaism in the Old Testament, as understood by Christians, and Christ’s own teachings. Jesus was asked “who is my neighbour” and Jack is sure the Jewish law had and still has a tight definition of this and how charity should be dispensed.

          • Anton

            I don’t care about that link. Would you like me to quote the Quran on how to treat unbelievers, Christians and Jews?

          • sarky

            Do you want me to quote the bible on how to treat gentiles?

          • Anton

            Yes.

          • sarky

            “If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you … Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die.” — Dt.13:6-10

          • Anton

            If in ancient Israel you fell out of faith then you could quit the land and work as a labourer elsewhere. Also the regime had fixed borders and never sought to impose its faith outside them. I accept that I didn’t say this, but I had forced conversions in mind in our discussion above.

          • The Explorer

            Previous places one has lived may be of historical interest, but it’s your present address that is of social significance when interested parties wish to contact you.

            Quote Anton the verses for how to treat unbelievers and fellow believers currently binding on Christians and Muslims.

          • sarky

            Thats all very well, unless the person at your address is not you but a fraudster, doing things in your name that ruins your reputation.

          • The Explorer

            Some wriggling going on here. Quote me a verse (one from each religion will do) on how to treat unbelievers and fellow believers currently applicable to Muslims and Christians.

          • sarky

            It’s pretty obvious you are trying to lead me down the ‘new covenant’ road.

          • The Explorer

            Quite. But I’m more concerned with the Muslim equivalent of the New Covenant, and the abrogations that lead to distinctions about how to treat Muslims and non-Muslims.

          • sarky

            The problem is both books are open to interpretation and people will use their own interpretation to justify their actions. They also ignore verses that cancel out otherverses etc.

          • The Explorer

            You’re quite right both books are open to interpretation. All books are open to interpretation. Marxism might seem pretty uniform, but you get Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism, Maoism. Not to mention Lukacs and Gramsci.

            Aspects of the Old Testament become of historical interest only, but the whole of the New Testament is current. So conflicting, or seemingly-conflicting, statements must be reconciled. But that’s not true of the Qu’ran. When statements contradict one another, the later one really has cancelled out the earlier. And the ones cancelled out tend to appear towards the end of the book because they are earlier statements although they appear kater.. A lot of Qu’rans have a list of conflicting verses at the end, to show which have been abrograted and which are in force. And Islam, as a conquering religion, really has one law for the conquerors, and another for the conquered.

            Although there are different schools of Islamic interpretation, the principle of abrogation is universally accepted.

          • alternative_perspective

            And do you and Jon obey the golden rule? But you are quick to point fingers at ‘people religion’.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I try to ignore Jesus’ Golden Rule. We can do better than that.

            Negative Golden Rule usually works better, but in a multi faith/value/ethic society better principles need to be used to co-exist.

          • sarky

            I think George Bernard Shaws version makes more sense.

            “Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same” 

          • The Explorer

            The stage beyond that is the golden rule of Aleister Crowley’s Thelema: “Do what thou want shall be the whole of the law.”
            The stage beyond that again is the closure of prisons. After all, how can one do wrong if one has simply been following one’s impulses?

          • sarky

            But even satanism has rules. Do what thou wilt should only ever be amongst willing participants.

          • The Explorer

            I seem to recall that Crowley said the perfect human sacrifice would be unwilling, but I could be wrong. The Daily Mail described him as the wickedest man in England, and a title like that takes some living up to. He did his best until the Demon got him. After that, coherence about anything was rather difficult.

          • sarky

            Kind of. Crowley advocated blood sacrifice, but this involved the letting of blood not leading to death.
            There are alot of myths regarding crowley, the majority untrue, however, he was a strange one!!

          • The Explorer

            I had an interesting book on Crowley, but I don’t have it any more to check my facts (eg that the Demon got him when he was cursing someone else and the curse rebounded). I lent it to a witch: you meet all sorts in the C of E. She never returned it, and I have since lost touch with her. (Her initiative. Too much disparity, I suspect, in our world views.)

          • sarky

            I know a couple of pagans, two of the nicest people I know 🙂

          • Coniston

            C. S.Lewis also wrote about it in his ‘The Abolition of Man’.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Nothing radical about this Jesus’ message. Other religions used to apply to everyone just like Jesus, but 100s of years before him. Jesus just copied his “radical ideas” of other thinkers

          • Well, He was God incarnate and prior to His birth had influenced the thinking and ethics of countless men and women. What Jesus did that was radical was to articulate the morality placed in all our hearts by God and show how it could be lived. No other religious thinker voluntarily gave His life

          • Jon Sorensen

            “He was God incarnate and prior to His birth”
            Well only according to John. Paul, Mark, James and Didache disagrees. But then again someone being God incarnate on earth is a very old idea. Jesus was a copycat here.

            “Jesus did that was radical was to articulate the morality placed in all our hearts by God”
            What? this was nothing new or radical. C’mon

            “No other religious thinker voluntarily gave His life”
            What? History is full of these people. Socrates and many ancient heroes for example.

            BTW asking your father “to take a cup away” sound less voluntary than other brave heroes prior Jesus

          • i>”Paul, Mark, James and Didache disagrees [that Jesus was God incarnate].”

            You can evidence that assertion, can you?

            “But then again someone being God incarnate on earth is a very old idea. Jesus was a copycat here.”

            The deception by Satan was to confuse. What other person self defined as God incarnate who came to give His life to restore our broken relationship with God?

            Okay so Socrates and others died for their beliefs, accepted. Socrates didn’t claim to be God. Who else permitted themselves to be slain as a foreseen, intended, positive and necessary act to achieve a Divine purpose? Jack would be interested to learn of any such person.

            “BTW asking your father “to take a cup away” sound less voluntary than other brave heroes prior Jesus.”
            Care to name them and describe their sacrifice? And the full prayer to His Father was:

            “My Father, if this chalice may not pass me by, but I must drink it, then thy will be done.”

          • Jon Sorensen

            “You can evidence that assertion, can you?”
            Paul’s Jesus was declared to be the Son of God… by his resurrection from the dead Romans 1:3-4
            Luke’s (didn’t mean Mark sorry) original baptism passage was adotionist Luke 3:22 but now changed in our Bible
            James’ prayed in the Temple where believers that Jesus was God would not got in
            Didache’s Jesus is son/servant (pais) of God and Eucharist has different meaning what modern Christians have.

            “The deception by Satan was to confuse.”
            You can evidence that assertion, can you? Convenient to blame Satan as if God or Jesus could not handle him.

            “What other person self defined as God incarnate who came to give His life to restore our broken relationship with God?”
            Some were incarnated, some gave their life, some came to restore something. Jesus was copied different parts of different characters. No single part is unique.

            “Who else permitted themselves to be slain as a foreseen, intended, positive and necessary act to achieve a Divine purpose?”
            Offering to sacrifice themselves or going to hell for good of mankind, yearly circle or others is very common idea in pre-Jesus God myths. Read Inanna story how others offered to take her place. Read about Demeter myth and Persephone. Read about Prometheus or Dioskouroi. Read about Osiris’ death and resurrection to rule the Underworld. Jesus story is just another version of these with Christian flavour.

          • Life really is too short and Jack’s time too limited to waste it on nonsense, Mr Sorenson.

            God has dealt with Satan. He defeated him at Calvary. Satan was a scriptural scholar but actually missed the whole point and message of it. Imagine his horror when it dawned on him that the death of Christ was actually his final undoing and not his victory.

            As for all that hotch-potch of mythical beings you cite, they do not compare with the historical Jesus and His claims about Himself. You know it and Jack knows it.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “time too limited to waste it on nonsense”
            I know. You ask for evidence and run away when I provide. So typical.

            “God has dealt with Satan.”
            So is Satan still running the Hell or is he killed?

            “As for all that hotch-potch of mythical beings you cite”
            “One man’s religion is another man’s belly laugh”. But of course you ask for evidence, I provide and then you ignore the point. You just wanted to waste my time.

            “His claims about Himself.”
            Every mythical being has done this. Jesus was no different in that sense

          • Satan is defeated and when Christ returns will be consigned to Hell with all those who have rejected God. For the moment, he is permitted to ensnare the damned, those who wilfully reject Christ, in his lies.

            You’ve provided no evidence at all. Jesus was a historical figure who lived and breathed and who made claims about Himself. The figures you cite are all mythical persons with no historical evidence substantiating their existence or resurrections. The ‘mystery religions’ are a simple deception of evil.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “You’ve provided no evidence at all.”
            Such dishonesty….

            “The figures you cite are all mythical persons with no historical evidence substantiating their existence or resurrections.”
            They’ll say same thing about your Jesus. Such is religious mind,

          • Go on then, run the ‘best’ myth by Jack that is the closest to life, death, resurrection and message of Jesus Christ.

          • Jon Sorensen

            No thanks. You just claim again: “You’ve provided no evidence at all” after I provide original sources. Do your own research or stay ignorant.

          • We both know there is no such myth with the historical or theological credibility you claim.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Of course there is. It just not your “theologically credible”, but it was their “theologically credible”. Their theologians rejected your theologians. And remember even early Jews believed Jesus was just a myth.

          • So present an example of a historical figure comparable to Jesus of Nazareth. The early Jews did not believe Jesus was a “myth”. They denied His divinity, His conception and His resurrection and the Talmud contains propaganda reflecting the tensions of the time.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “So present an example of a historical figure comparable to Jesus of Nazareth”
            No thanks. You just claim again: “You’ve provided no evidence at all” after I provide original sources.

            “The early Jews did not believe Jesus was a “myth”.
            Of course they did. Read Justin Martyr.

          • We both know there is no such comparable historical figure.

            As for Justin Martyr, perhaps you could provide a citation. You do know he was a Christian apologist engaged in a fierce struggle between rabbinic Judaism and Christianity?

            It’s some time since Jack has considered “Dialog With Trypho the Jew”. As he understands it, Trypho is not claiming Jesus was not a historical figure but that Christians had misrepresented the Old Testament and had fabricated the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Not a “myth” but a lie about a real man which the Talmud offered a different biographical account.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “We both know there is no such comparable historical figure.”
            Nonsence. There are several comparable historical figures.

            “As for Justin Martyr, perhaps you could provide a citation.
            Read Trypho’s option. Jesus was a myth = fabricated. There was never a man Jesus.

            “You do know he was a Christian apologist engaged in a fierce struggle between rabbinic Judaism and Christianity?”
            Not really. There was not fierce struggle. There was some evangelical Jews building synagogues near churches…

          • Then cite the passage within the apologetic writing and Jack will respond. The Jews of the time clearly believed there was a man called Jesus of Nazareth and they constructed an alternative history of his birth, live and death. The early Christian Church and the Jews were most certainly locked in a bitter struggle for membership.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Then cite the passage within the apologetic writing and Jack will respond”
            No thanks. Just read Justin&Trypho

            “The Jews of the time clearly believed there was a man called Jesus of Nazareth”
            Another Christian myth from the Bible. Jews never said that. Typical Christian bias.

          • Jack thinks we’re done here. You have nothing of substance to contribute.

          • CliveM

            It’s like holding a debate with a Kafka novel.

          • Jack will ignore him in future.

          • CliveM

            Very sensible.

          • bockerglory

            Have had many discussions with western European Muslims who raise same args as Sorenson .. Same old args about Jesus being based on a narrative myth re. resurrection blah blah and bible being corrupted and changed. Jesus was radical look how he acted … Who he mixed with ….

          • magnolia

            Didache was not a person. It is a group of writings by different people. Your arguments feel a bit as if they have been pasted and copied if you list “Didache” amongst a group of names.

            You have not imaginatively understood the depths of suffering, torture and psychological dereliction Jesus was called to, nor the kenosis involved if you can think that his suffering in the garden of Gethsemane was a light thing. I suggest you go to one of the better and more thoughtful three hour Good Friday services to enter contemplatively into the suffering of Jesus which might enable you to comprehend it better, even if you go as an outsider.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Didache was not a person”
            I was referring to books not people. I’m well aware of Didache. If you have seen my comments here before I quoted it re Eucharist issue and I know a little bit greek. I don’t think Mark was a person either, but I still refer to “Mark” too. But point taken. I should be clearer.

            “You have not imaginatively understood the depths of suffering, torture and psychological dereliction Jesus was called to, nor the kenosis involved if you can think that his suffering in the garden of Gethsemane was a light thing”
            OK. Jesus had a bad weekend. There has been millions of people being tortured for years in prisons and camps in death row. A lot worse that Jesus had to suffer. And Jesus know he will not really die and he’ll be in paradise already on Friday. And Jesus had good motivation to suffer where many people in prisons see no meaning in physical punishments. Doesn’t sound so bad to be God.

          • Anna

            “Other religions used to apply to everyone just like Jesus, but 100s of years before him…”

            Could you give some examples, please?

            Jesus came to establish the ‘new covenant’ and fulfil the old, not propound new ideas. God does not change and his truth is unchanging. What Jesus gives us is a new revelation of God himself.

            While the teaching on Christian conduct is superior to anything that other religions offer, the good news really is that way has been opened for a closer relationship with God himself. This changed relationship results in changed attitudes and then, changed behaviour. A comparison between the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments, shows that the emphasis had shifted from outward actions to inner attitudes. Not simply changed behaviour, but a new birth.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “some examples”
            I’ve written in this thread some of them, but “love your enemy”, forgiveness of sins, resurrection, Eucharist, sending people to hell.

            If you have a particular idea that you think Jesus invented let’s hear it.

            “New covenant” – a deal with God is in many religions including early Mithraism.

            “teaching on Christian conduct is superior to anything that other religions offer”
            This is simply not true. What is a superior teaching you are thinking of?

            “the good news really is that way has been opened for a closer relationship with God himself.”
            The bad news is most people will be tortured forever a per your God’s plan.

            “A comparison between the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments”
            Both are bad set of laws and teachings. We can do much better than that. Luckily Christians don’t follow those.

            “This changed relationship results in changed attitudes and then, changed behaviour.”
            Unfortunately Christian organisation have highest rate of pedophiles and those protect those. I wish your assertion would be true but its not.

          • Anna

            Could you be more specific about which ‘religions’ you mean? Did you mean Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, animism or witchcraft – religions that people practice today? Being familiar with these religions and people who practise them, I would unhesitatingly say that the Christian teaching is superior. None of these religions have anything to compare with Romans 12, for example.

            You seem to be talking about religions/philosophies that are now extinct? I wonder if you could provide something more concrete – some teaching in a specific religion to prove that there is nothing very special about Christianity after all.

            About Christians who live unholy lives, Jesus did say that weeds would grow with wheat right until the end and there would be wolves in sheep’s clothing.

          • sarky

            Didnt work for the kiddy fiddling bishop did it?

          • Anna

            Sadly no. Nor for the gay ones.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “radical ideas” are not copies from someone else’s ideas from old writings.

          • Anton

            As I’ve explained, a radical idea is not necessarily a new idea; it is simply one that is different from the prevailing social norm. As I believe that Jesus is God, I have no interest in whether anyone else said the same first. The golden rule must have occurred to thinkers in may societies independently. You won’t find a combination of ideas like his though.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Well if Jesus took other thinkers ideas and those were “radical” those were not his ideas. But the problem is his ideas were not radical, he mostly copied ANE and rabbianic ideas.

            If you now start advocating communism, it’s not your idea nor radical idea.

            And I agree you won’t find a combination of ideas like his though. Amount of permutations is large so pretty much anyone with a set of ideas have a unique set of ideas. Jesus ideas were not different from his era, nor radical.

            It would have been so easy for him to come up with radical ideas, but he just didn’t.

          • Anton

            The Jewish authorities and the Pharisees thought he did.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I don’t think so. Why would that be?

            Note that in the Bible Jesus “argues” against Pharisees, but actually if you read Pharisees writing they actually advocating same things as Jesus. Bible just distorted Pharisees views to become strawman.

          • Anton

            If the Pharisees and Jewish authorities didn’t think that Jesus was a radical then why did they get his crucified?

            “Bible just distorted Pharisees views to become strawman.”

            Please provide some evidence for that claim.

          • Jon Sorensen

            For example Talmud denounces six types of hypocritical Pharisees just like Jesus. If you read Talmud you find parallel ideas. BTW the latest Bible Geek podcast discussed this issue briefly and he pointed out the irony Jesus attacking Pharisee while agreeing with their views.

          • Anton

            Matthew 23 shows that Jesus castigated the Pharisees for teaching the people the Law but not living it out themselves.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Yes. Both leading Pharisees and Jesus castigates hypocritical Pharisees in their writings. Jesus just copied what leading Pharisees were saying all along.

          • Anton

            Rather, he took sides in a dispute. You claim that the side he took were the “leading” Pharisees. That is not the impression given in the New Testament. Would you back up that assertion, please?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “That is not the impression given in the New Testament.”
            I know. NT build a strawman. We can read from Talmud what leading Pharisees thought, as they wrote parts of it.

          • Anton

            Talmud was written down a couple of centuries later; the gospels were written down within the lives of the people concerned.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “the gospels were written down within the lives of the people concerned”
            Another Christian myth. How come early/mid 2nd century church father new about parts of Gospels?

          • Anton

            Because they had read them? But I think the question you have in mind is not that which you wrote. If you clarify it then I’ll respond

          • Jon Sorensen

            Sorry, my writing was incomprehensible.
            How come early/mid 2nd century church fathers didn’t know about parts of Gospels?
            It is not possible that Gospels were written by eye witnesses.

          • Anton

            ?

            Which church fathers didn’t know which parts of which gospels and how do you infer that, please?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Ignatius did not know anything about Gospels, Justin did not know Jesus birth story.

          • Anton

            Justin Martyr knew plenty about Jesus’ birth, for he wrote that Jesus was born in Bethlehem where Joseph had nowhere to lodge so stayed in a nearby cave, and that the newborn was laid in a manger after his birth. Neither Matthew nor Luke mentions a cave but what they do say is not inconsistent with it. It is possible that the family asked to stay at the inn because Mary had just given birth. If your statement that “Justin did not know Jesus birth story” is based on Justin’s mention of a cave and you believe this is inconsistent with the gospels, then you are going by interpretive summaries of those gospels which inadvertently add to them.

            Ignatius of Antioch died around AD100 which was so early that the notion of what writings about Jesus were and were not “scripture” was not settled.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Justin’s Jesus was born in a cave. It’s different Jesus I guess. Maybe Jesus was never born and Christians had to make up many different birth stories.

            Why would Justin make up another birth story if he had read Gospels?

            “Antioch died around AD100”
            Yes. He had never heard of any Gospels as Gospels were written long after his time.

          • Anton

            You seem not to have understood what I said. The cave narrative is not inconsistent with what the gospels say about the nativity. It is inconsistent only with details that Christian tradition often adds to the gospel narrative. Remember the three wise men? Nope, there were wise men who brought three gifts, but the gospels don’t say how many men came. The cave is another situation like that.

            Likewise, nothing Ignatius says is inconsistent with the gospels.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “The cave narrative is not inconsistent with what the gospels say about the nativity.”
            Cave birth narrative is a complete different birth story. Unless Jesus was twice born the story is mutually exclusive with Gospel birth stories. You should actually read it.

            “Ignatius says is inconsistent with the gospels.”
            LOL. I just showed that Ignatius is even inconsistent Ignatius. So according to the Bible how was Jesus raised?

          • Anton

            O, let readers compare Justin Martyr’s account of the Nativity with Matthew and Luke’s for themselves. They will find details in the gospels that aren’t in Justin and details in Justin that aren’t in the gospels but no discrepancy.

            Your second paragraph doesn’t make sense; sorry.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “there is no discrepancy”
            So let’s check this with mutually exclusive statements;
            1) Was Jesus born in a cave or not in a cave?
            2) Was Jesus raised from dead by himself or not by himself?

          • Anton

            1. The Bible accounts (Matthew and Luke) say he was born at Bethlehem but don’t say where his mother was during his birth, only that he was then “placed in a manger because there was no room in the inn”. It is perfectly possible that Mary gave birth in a cave and then she and Joseph came to the inn, and the innkeeper seeing a new mother and baby wasn’t prepared to turn them away but had no room. The usual pictures that people have in their heads of what happened actually go beyond the gospel accounts.

            2. He was raised by God, but He is also God; you need to distinguish between God the Father and God the Son to ask a meaningful question here.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Nicely dodged both questions. You will have great career as an apologist!

          • Anton

            What possible replies would you have regarded as NOT “dodging”?

            1. The Bible – which I go by – doesn’t say, but cave birth is not inconsistent with the Bible. Justin says so, in which case it might well be – but as a Christian I need not insist on it.

            2. You need to understand more about the Trinity before commenting.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Just answer those two questions:
            1) Was Jesus born in a cave or not in a cave?
            2) Was Jesus raised from dead by himself or not by himself?

            “You need to understand more about the Trinity before commenting”
            What did Ignatius or his contemporaries say about Trinity?

          • Anton

            1. I don’t know for sure because the Bible, which I trust, doesn’t give information which settles it. I’ve no reason to doubt Justin, so I’d say “probably”.

            2. See

            https://bible.org/question/did-god-father-raise-god-son-or-did-jesus-raise-himself-dead

            and please read the Bible verses quoted there before making any further reply.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Well done again avoiding straight questions avoiding the Ignatius’ Trinity view. You will have great career as an apologist!

          • Anton

            1. Saying I’m not sure is not an evasion, is it?

            2. God raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24). Jesus is divine (Isa 9:6). You decide for yourself from these two assertions whether the answer to your question is Yes or No.

          • magnolia

            The word “inn” I understand should be translated not as “inn”, an English medieval equivalence reading, for they did not have a local equivalent of “The Red Dragon” or “The King’s Arms” (!!) but as “guest room”. As there was no room for him in the guest room, they had to be accommodated in the lower room, which would have been similar to a cave, and in which traditionally the animals were kept in overnight.

            As for the Innkeeper, he is utterly unscriptural, being deduced from a mistranslation!

        • alternative_perspective

          ‘I AM’

      • Jon Sorensen

        OT already offers similar ideas 1Kings 20:30-34 and 1Sam 24:12, but this was developed 1Century BC by Hillel the Elder to love everyone. Jesus just follow Jewish trajectory. But of course Babylonian, Buddhist and Taoist advocated this well before Jesus as sarky pointed out below.

        This illustrates my point on two levels 1) This was not Jesus’ original idea and 2) Christians don’t read/know history so their world view is in Christian bubble.

        • Anton

          Actually I already said elsewhere on this thread that Jesus’ ideas were essentially already in the Old Testament. As for the ideas being elsewhere earlier, the point is not an academic priority catfight as as I believe Jesus is God I’m not bothered. In any case the golden rule will surely have occurred independently to people in many cultures. you won’t find a combination of ideas like Jesus’ though.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I’m glad we agree Jesus’ ideas were not new nor radical.

          • Anton

            You are distorting my words in a way that readers will have no difficulty recognising. “Love your enemy” is always radical and was new in Jesus’ culture.

            If, moreover, you want to argue it from the Bible then Jesus is God and shared in these ideas long before the dawn of man. That is John 1:1.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Love your enemy” is always radical and was new in Jesus’ culture.”
            OMG. I just showed that it was not new in Jesus’ culture or cultures surrounding his culture. Old ideas are not radical no matter what you claim.

            “from the Bible then Jesus is God and shared in these ideas long before the dawn of man. That is John 1:1.”
            That is just John’s opinion and claim 150 years after the events. David Koresh was considered God only ten years after his death. Just because somebody wrote the claim does it make so.

          • Anton

            I wrote: “Love your enemy” is always radical and was new in Jesus’ culture.”

            You replied: “OMG. I just showed that it was not new in Jesus’ culture or cultures surrounding his culture. Old ideas are not radical no matter what you claim.”

            An idea is radical if it goes against the prevailing culture. I do not know of any culture where Love Your Enemy is mainstream. Therefore it is always radical.

            Radical and New are not the same thing. Please check the dictionary if you are in doubt.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Sure. Jesus was radical just like all the other radicals from whom he copied his message. Propagating someone else old message made him radical. Ok.

          • Anton

            Yes, OK. You seem determined to narrow this into a discussion along the lines of academic priority disputes today but that is a minor point. Jesus had a unique combination of concerns and, since I believe he is God, I believe he had those answers before the Pharisees, Akhnaten etc were even conceived…

          • Jon Sorensen

            Aten religion was long before Hebrews. There is no academic dispute about this. Faith is a powerful thing; it makes people believe thing against the evidence.

          • Anton

            Your statements such as “there is no academic dispute about this” are either empty rhetoric or uninformed. Akhnaten was 14th century BC according to standard chronology and a few centuries later according to Rohl’s New Chronology. I make no judgement between these timings. There are also two timings for the Exodus among scholars, which happen to be the same. So your statement is not correct. Moreover there is good internal evidence that parts of Genesis are substantially older, as I shall gladly show if you wish.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Akhnaten was 14th century BC. They started to write OT around 8th-5th century. Exodus is a myth with no evidence. Both Genesis version are not that old.

          • Anton

            “They started to write OT around 8th-5th century.”

            Prove it!

            I’ve given the internal evidence that Genesis is contemporary with the events it describes in a recent reply to you elsewhere on this thread.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Genesis is fiction. And also Batman’s internal evidence show that it is contemporary with current events.

          • Anton

            You are freely quoting ancient manuscripts, both in the Bible and out of it, and deciding which parts are fact and which are fiction without explaining your reasoning and always coming down against the Bible. That is your privilege but readers might think that your criteria are not literary-historical but prejudice.

          • Jon Sorensen

            We barely have evidence of David and Salomon, but no evidence any events or people older than that. Already 1000BC events are mostly fictional in the Bible as found by archeological finding.

            Well anyone relying on Rohl and PJ Wiseman shows their prejudice.

          • Anton

            Rohl is not a believer to my knowledge (certainly when he wrote his books) and I argue in detail for Wiseman elsewhere on this thread and trust that you will engage there with my points.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Pre-existing faith in your own narrative gives you overwhelming bias that clouds your judgment. Free your mind to unbiased level.

          • Anton

            Do that same yourself – you discount the Bible but accept other ancient narratives without explaining why.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Bible is on par with Book of Dead and Gilgamesh story. What do you think I accept there?

          • Anton

            You quote Hammurabi and Talmud too. You mistrust the gospels about the Pharisees, but you trust Talmud about them because it was written by them. But just as you think the gospels wantonly paint the Pharisees as bad, it is as likely that Talmud wantonly ignores their bad points. What is really on display are your prejudices.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Re Pharisees: Talmud chastises in-group people, Bible chastises out-group people. Chastising in-group people tends to be more reliable evidence, but in this case Bible and Talmud are not in conflict.

          • Anton

            I don’t understand what you are saying as it is too compressed, but it sounds like a fairly arbitrary principle.

    • Anna

      “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:6 (ESV)

      Perhaps this doesn’t seem radical enough to you, but for many people with no Christian background, to find out that God actually loves them has been life changing. Some of them have been willing to suffer for what you so readily mock.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Many people with various background have also found the love of Egyptian Goddess Isis and Goddess Cybele. Their follower are still mocked and they suffered. What is the difference?

        • Anna

          What is the difference? Sadly I cannot comment on that as I have never met people who ‘found the love of Egyptian Goddess Isis and Goddess Cybele’. You must have, so perhaps you could enlighten us?

          I have, however, lived among Egyptian people for a good part of my life… none of them ever mentioned these goddesses that you are so familiar with!

          • Jon Sorensen

            Sometimes these comments truly puzzle me.

          • Anna

            Ditto.

      • sarky

        He’s not mocking, he’s pointing out that jesus offered nothing that wasn’t already out there.

  • “Maybe Jeremy Clarkson for next year’s conference then?”

    Why not? He could give a talk on turning the other cheek and sheaving one sword. Jack would certainly attend such an event.

    Jesus confronted and challenged by the Pharisees of His age and He met them head-on and told the in no uncertain terms what He thought of them. What matters is that if the Church engages in public dialogue with the modern enemies of God that she is capable of robustly answering them. It is also important the media fairly represents the Church’s position.

    And there’s the rub ….

    • Tutanekai

      The media represents the Church’s position as fairly as it represents any other.

      What people don’t seem to understand is that the media isn’t some kind of impartial organ of the State. It’s a profit generating business producing content targeted at specific audiences. Spin is part of its role.

      The Church may not like how it’s represented in the media, but that’s not really the media’s problem. To sell content to an audience convinced of the reactionary and condemnatory nature of Christianity, content is pitched in a way that confirms the audience’s existing bias.

      If the media’s role was to act as a PR consultant for the Church, content would be spun in a different way. But still spun.

      When you say “fair representation”, what you really mean is representation that spins the news in a direction you approve of. Because you’re the only truly impartial judge of what’s fair, aren’t you?

      Really?

      • The Explorer

        The media also sees itself as having an educative and educative role. ‘Eastenders’, I believe, is getting a transgender character into the cast, and I ‘ll bet that’s not by popular demand. It’s what the media thinks the viewing public ought to want, whether it actually does or not.

        The media follows the old principle of socialist realism. Present life not as it is, but as it ought to be. Then life will copy art.

        • Tutanekai

          Incorporated companies can pursue whatever policy their boards decide. If that means introducing trans characters into their soap operas, that’s a choice they’re free to make.

          Media does have an educative role, and when the decision makers in media companies have a strong liberal bias, so will the programs they commission, which will clearly have an influence on public perceptions of various issues. If conservatives don’t like that, they should be competing for jobs in the media industry and tryîng to influence it from within. Or they could always set up their own media companies in competition to existing providers.

          The Fox Network did this pretty successfully in the US. I doubt you’ll find many trans characters in any Fox show.

          So subscribe to Fox and get all the conservative bias you like. Oodles of it. Heaps. Spades. Enough to satisfy even the most dyed-in-the-wool misogynistic queer-hatin’ Bible bashin’ bigot. The nasal American accents might be a little annoyîng for British sensibilities, not to mention the fake bonhomie, the fake tans, the preternaturally white teeth and the flat-ironed hairdos on the women that make it difficult to distinguish one from another. But if you can get past the whole “insincere nooze anchor” thing, there’s a wealth of conservative bias just waiting to sweep you up in its comforting embrace and reassure you that you really are normal, and everyone else is evil and twisted and wrong.

          • The Explorer

            You were suggesting that the media reflects the taste of the audience. I was suggesting the media also seeks to create
            the taste of the audience.
            As to your response, I don’t personally watch Eastenders,
            so I don’t care if they’ve got a cast member with a proclivity for molesting sheep.

          • ” … the most dyed-in-the-wool misogynistic queer-hatin’ Bible bashin’ bigot. The nasal American accents might be a little annoyîng for British sensibilities, not to mention the fake bonhomie, the fake tans, the preternaturally white teeth and the flat-ironed hairdos on the women that make it difficult to distinguish one from another.”

            Now who does that remind one of?

          • The Explorer

            I found my memory twitching in recognition.

          • Time Tuti came out of his closet, or would that be a pissoir?

          • The Explorer

            He is being remarkably coy this time about declaring his blog ancestry.

          • In fairness nobody’s asked and in Jack’s view nobody should. We know who Tuti’s author is and his previous identity. Let’s just deal with his ideas. However, we can reserve the right to have a bit of fun from time to time.

          • The Explorer

            The difficulty is when he comes out with things Tuti couldn’t know. (Although of course, he could have been a lontgtime reader of the Blog who has only recently become a contributor.)

          • Jack is just assuming he is the blogger formally named Linus and commenting accordingly.

          • Tutanekai

            Eastenders has a sheep shagging character now? Poor chap. He must live in a state of considerable frustration.

            In terms of sheep per square mile, the East End of London must have one of the lowest population densities in the country. You’d have thought that someone with a penchant for ewes (or rams – one assumes that not all sheep shaggers are heterosexual) would have elected to live in Wales or the Highlands of Scotland. A dedicated sheep lover might even emigrate to Australia or New Zealand. The last place you’d expect to find him would be Albert Square. How many sheep would he see there when stumbling out of the Queen Vic all bevvied up on an average Saturday night?

            Of course I’m sure the Eastenders scriptwriters will treat this poor chap’s situation with great sensitivity and tact. One assumes we’ll be privy to his struggles to stay on the straight and narrow path. Perhaps he’ll also be a Christian, and we’ll learn all about how the Church just loves sheep shaggers, and makes provision for them with a special apostolate called “Flockage”, where they learn all about the virtues of abstinence and NOT wearing rough woollen underclothing as penance for the baaabaric sin of their Ewecharistic desire. A difficult task for the brave priests involved in such a ministry. I mean, you couldn’t even recite a simple Agnus Dei without putting their immortal souls in danger…

            So, was that silly and contemptuous enough to be a worthy response to your disdainful and dismissive conflation of trans people with animal fetishists? One always tries to pitch one’s responses to one’s interlocutor. Jeering mockery is clearly your preferred register. How did I do?

          • The Explorer

            Tuti old chap,

            You raise vilification to the level of an art form. I can think of only one other – a former contributor to this blog – of a stature comparable to your own.

            As I said, I don’t watch ‘Eastenders’, so I couldn’t care less who’s in it. I cited it merely as an example of the BBC’s educative priorities.

            A sheep shagger might not be a bad idea. It would tie in with Item 8, or whichever it is, of ‘The Communist Manifesto’ about uniting the agrarian and the urban. That is, after all, the BBC’s reference manual, albeit filtered via Gramsci.

            I don’t equate transgender people with animal fetishists: where did I say so? Both are departures from the norm, granted, but their psychological drives seem to me to be entirely different.

            PS. I do enjoy your sense of humour. Good to have you back.

          • Jack likes to watch EWTN. Good, informative programmes and no bias or bigotry at all.

          • The Explorer

            I fear our Tut might not share your encomium.

          • Tuti …. much better as ‘Tut’ sounds too harsh.

          • The Explorer

            You’re right; ‘tut’ sounds like a reprimand. Why did he have to choose such a long name this time round?

          • Tuti it is then. Jack must avoid calling him Tuti-Fruity.

          • Tutanekai

            I have to say I’m disappointed at the juvenile level of the responses here.

            It’s the sort of thing one expects from playground bullies. What greater proof of enraged impotence could there be than ridiculing your opponent’s name when you can’t think of anything intelligent to say?

            And this blog is trying to pass itself off as a serious forum for the conservative Christian viewpoint?

            Unimpressive, to say the least.

          • The Explorer

            How about coming back with a two-syllable name? You should bear in mind the mental limitations of Christians.

          • Tutanekai

            There are plenty of three and four syllable names here that you seem to have no problems with. Is mine an issue because it’s not of English extraction?

          • Tutanekai

            One assumes a bowling ball isn’t actually aware of its own bias and believes that the curved trajectory it follows is really a straight line. There’s no other explanation for someone who can claim that the biased programming of a network like EWTN is anything but blatant Catholic propaganda.

          • No. It’s programmes represent the unchanging Truth of God’s transcendent moral laws. It is the libertine and liberal mass media that is blatantly peddling secular humanist, feminist and homosexualist propaganda.

          • Tutanekai

            Well done! Lifted almost word perfect (in spirit at least) from the Catechism. What did I say about propaganda and bias? Very good of you to give us such a textbook example!

          • It’s good to know you have retained the teachings of the Catechism. Your Guardian Angel hasn’t given up on you just yet it seems.

          • Tutanekai

            What Guardian Angel is this? You mean I’m being stalked by an invisible entity obsessed with my life and how I live it?

            I hope tonight is his night off. I’m off on the razz after a hard week’s slog in the office, so if he works on Friday nights, he’s in for an eyeful.

            I wonder how he’ll communicate his shock and horror to me? Like he does everything else? By means of utter silence, invisibility and intangibility? How can you tell when he’s happy or sad? With emotional expression ranging from nothing to nothing, he doesn’t give much away, does he?

          • Guardian Angels never rest. They wait and watch. It is said they are busiest in times of greatest need and especially so at the hour of our death.

      • Tuti, we’ve covered all this previously.

  • If the church wants to connect with people who read tabloids (and those who can’t even read tabloids) then it needs to stop bothering about looking respectable and start engaging with people like Hopkins. I’d like to suggest Tommy Robinson next year.

    • gunnerbear

      There are millions of us who read tabloids!

  • len

    The early Church was anything but boring….But as soon as the Church became married to the State the church became a pale shadow of the State. But if the Church wants to become ‘relevant’,’ controversial , (‘and definitely not Politically Correct) then the Church needs to preach the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ as the disciples did.

    • Jon Sorensen

      No. Once the Church became married to the State they got to outlaw other religions, pick fight with non-christians or heretics, organise crusades and inquisitions, own almost half of the land in Europe, roll in money and influence. Those were exiting times.

      Early church a la Didache was boring

      • Pubcrawler

        Yeah, I’m sure Ignatius and Polycarp had terribly unexciting lives.

        • Jon Sorensen

          Ignatius life as from “his” letters is a Christian fiction. Too many contradictions and editions. He probably was never escorted to Rome as Romans had better things to do and there are about 10 other letter of him not written by him. Too much Christian fiction.

          Hard to believe that Polycarp’s live was exciting. Sound like stories about him were fictional. Hard to believe that when they tried to burn him the fire failed to touch him.

          • Pubcrawler

            Well, I don’t know which edition you were reading, but these days the middle recension of Ignatius is generally held to be authentic.

            Polycarp is more problematic, I’ll grant you. But you can’t (reasonably) deny that he lived in what were very ‘interesting’ times for the early church. Quibble about the details of the martyrdom if you like; deny it in toto and you’d better have stronger arguments than ‘sounds like’.

            Do you dismiss Pliny?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Just go to CCEL and read the short and long version. Note how only long versions quote Gospels.
            http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.toc.html

            Ignatius did not write even those seven letters you claim. Surely he did not claim that “Jesus raised himself” (Smyrnaeans 2) and “The Father raised Jesus” (Trallians 9). Authenticity is a Christian myth.

            I haven’t study Pliny’s life but he seems to be a real person. There were no motivated religious people trying to make his story more incredible.

          • magnolia

            So you think:
            1.” Motivated religious people” make a text less credible.
            2. This is written by a religious person who is not without motivation (and who exactly is the ideal motiveless person in your eyes, incidentally? Show me a motiveless person and I will say “there lies a corpse” or as near as…)
            3. Therefore this is incredible.

            That is an amazingly illogical circular argument, completely shut off from open debate.

          • Jon Sorensen

            If “Motivated religious people” forge a text on someone else’s name, yes it makes it less reliable.
            If “Motivated religious people” are motivated tell the truth and not to change the original text, it makes it more reliable.

            “Motivated religious people” is a bad term as these can be so many different “motivations”. Try “motivated by xxxxx” to clear this up. Otherwise you run a risk of a fallacy of equivocation.

            I’m no sure Pliny was religiously motivated, and I don’t get your conclusion. How is my argument a “circular argument”?

          • The Explorer

            Our friend has adopted the mantle of Marcion. So many things are fiction or forgery that meaningful dialogue becomes impossible. I no longer try.

    • Watchman

      There are no more exciting events in the history of the church than those recorded in the first two chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. Apostasy in the church has ensured that the church is now a man-made imitation of the organism it was intended to be.

  • ZX10

    Don’t see the problem if those who attend this are so frail in their own beliefs that Hopkins will win them over in one evening then more fool them , sorry but if the new ‘ church of Corbyn’ wants as it claims debate and consensus then it has to engage with those who disagree with it and it’s up it’s own cloud of smug.
    Good on them for once !

  • jsampson45

    Our Lord moved among tax collectors and sinners but I don’t see where He gave them a platform to sound off with their views. If it is good to take risks why not do something athletic?

  • Inspector General

    An excellent publicity stunt by the group concerned. A superb choice, and a damn sight more apt than Peter Bloody Tatchell or some ‘interfaith with Islam’ lunatic.

    Having said that, the Inspector knows rather little about the woman, other than her wisdom appears in downmarket newspapers and periodicals favoured by the intellectual peasantry of this country, and thus hardly the Inspector’s cup of tea at all. However, he does know she has upset a lot of people (something which the Inspector himself takes great care not to do, as you damn well all know, if you know what’s good for you). Could it be because she possess something rare these days called ‘Common Sense’.

    Still, he wishes her well, and hopes her outspokenness continues for many years to come, whatever it is she says which irritates the smug so effectively.

    Toodle pip, dear thing, if you are reading this. May the mob be with you…

    • She’s no more that a professional troll, Inspector. No wonder you admire her.

      • Inspector General

        Your damn nerve, sir!

        • Never mind, Al. You’ll get over it.

          • Inspector General

            You deserve a sound thrashing, you insolent cur.

          • Probably …

          • gunnerbear

            What is it with posh people and spanking!?

    • gunnerbear

      “and periodicals favoured by the intellectual peasantry of this country,” Hey, that would be me then…..just out of interest, is a peasant above or below a pleb…..

      • The Inspector General

        Good question. Perhaps it would be better to talk of the plebs these days, as they are associated with towns. We seem to have precious few country peasants around thanks to the plan to turn this island into a concrete block…

  • sarky

    Dont know why the church and media network bothered. Looks like the cofe has thrown in the towel.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/14/church-of-england-predicts-rise-part-time-churches-attendance-plummet

  • Hi Gillian

    So like they could also invite:

    Jeremy Clarkson on peace
    Richard Dawkins on science and religion

    Stephen Fry on Catholicism

    Gene Robinson on gay church

    Would that be controversial and or eye catching enough to raise the profile of this group?

    • CliveM

      Ahem Gillan

      • Ooops. Corrected. The automatic spellchecker does these things!

        • CliveM

          Don’t I know it! Hate it.

        • The Explorer

          The automatic spellchecker is one reminder that computers really aren’t very intelligent.

          • sarky

            Normally find its my fat fingers not the spellchecker.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Sarky,

            I have often felt like going on the warpath against the QWERTY keyboard. I have heard two explanations for that monstrosity:

            One: that it was laid out that way so that the salesman could encourage the prospective buyer by letting him spell out the word typewriter all on the top row;

            Two: that the layout was intentionally made clumsy to prevent typists working so fast that the keys on early machines from jamming because they could not return from strike fast enough.

          • sarky

            Also heard remmington produced typewriters and then, for a fee, trained typists to use them, thus ensuring companies kept using their product (with their typewriters using qwerty)

          • ceige

            I was told it was so the letters least used were reserved for use by the little fingers, those old typewriters required a bit of banging.

            Anyhow best thing I ever learnt at school was touch typing.

          • gunnerbear

            “… those old typewriters required a bit of banging.” Can’t answer for that as all the older secretaries I knew were married….

          • ceige

            Well I can see it was the naughty words that made the greater impression when you were having to hand in typewrittten letters.

          • Anton

            Etaoin Shrdlu is a lot nicer expression. (Look it up on Wikipedia…)

          • I used linotype on occasion for a couple of years. Easier than Qwerty; left hand on lower case, right hand on upper, centre for numbers and symbols.

          • gunnerbear

            I’d go with the second one – not a sexist point but the keys were designed for a ladies fingers. I remember when as an apprentice – those were the days – having to hand in an essay that was properly typed out…… ……it was taking me ages…..involving many muttered naughty words and much thumping of keys….. …..one of the secretaries took my scribblings and turned them in to proper, formatted type in about 15 minutes (and most of that was her asking me, “What does that say…..”) 🙂

          • gunnerbear

            I dunno…….my process control PC at work tells me what to do…….and it’s got Freecell an’ Pinball on it! 🙂

    • Gene Robinson could perhaps give a talk on the indissolubility of marriage.

  • len

    Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times ? (Numbers 22:28)

    If the lord can use a donkey perhaps there is hope for Katie Hopkins?

    • sarky

      Thought she was a talking donkey!

  • The Explorer

    If it is true that all have God’s law written on their hearts, then all will know the Golden Rule. ( Whether they obey it or not is another matter.) So it is unsurprising that the Golden Rule will appear within different cultural and religious systems.

    The main issue is how widely it is understood to apply. Fascists have the Golden Rule, but restrict it to a particular class. Nazis have the Golden Rule, but confine it to a particular race. Muslims have the Golden Rule, but confine it to the adherents of their own religion. Feminists have the Golden Rule, but confine it to members of their own gender. And so on.

  • Mike Stallard

    Who is Katie Hopkins?

    • sarky

      In this case ignorence is bliss.

    • Jack confesses he had to look her up too. Having done so, he would describe her as a professional troll who makes a living by making outrageous and offensive statements. These provoke division and discord rather than understanding and unity.

  • gunnerbear

    Padre, don’t forget KH reaches millions of people!