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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The One Million month

Thanks very much to everyone who visited here in April, especially those who took the time to get involved in the various discussions in the comments.  I remember scoffing when ten years ago a reader predicted that this blog would one day have a million pageviews in a year, so it seems incredible to me that VP and AG now see that level of traffic in a single month. 
With a few notable exceptions, most blogs hide their traffic reports these days, but I think this is a tactical blunder.  The primary problem with doing so is that it allows the Left to dishonestly attempt to marginalize right-wing blogs in the eyes of others.  Recall that I have been portrayed for ten years as an extremist whack-job whose writing no one ever read even as the readership steadily grew, and I was regularly reminded that PZ Myers, John Scalzi, and a number of other left-wing bloggers had much bigger blog readerships than I did... until it was revealed late last year that the traffic here alone, (never mind that of the  WND columns that those bloggers were reading and attacking), passed up some of those blogs almost two years ago!  Never forget, the Left is heavily dependent upon lies, and one of their biggest lies, perhaps the one to which they resort the most readily, concerns their pretense that their opinions enjoy much more popularity than they actually do.  Therefore, the more metrics that are visible to everyone, the less they can get away with it.

That is why I make my Sitemeter and Google Analytics statistics public.  (VP uses the old template, which is why there is no monthly traffic widget in the sidebar as is the case with AG.) That's why I've begun a quarterly Top 10 Game blogs report that I expect to expand to a Top 25 report in the second quarter. That's why I encourage everyone who is in any way sympathetic to the neoreactionary traditional Relightenment to be open and public with their statistics. The truth is on our side. Victory through data!

Let's face it, it is very difficult for the rabbits of Whatever to continue to claim that the Chief Gamma Rabbit of their warren is a vastly influential individual, or that their sick transquax-gendered view of human intersexual relations is the mainstream perspective, when everyone now realizes that Whatever has only two-thirds the traffic of my blogs and one-quarter that of the Great Prophet of the Crimson Arts.  Open metrics make it clear that it is the influential Cathedralites such as Jim Hines (Alexa Rank 729,110) and Making Light (375,254), who are actually the marginal ones. Despite their artificially elevated positions in the field of SF/F, they cannot maintain sizable blog readerships, not even with the benefit of occasional puffing by their ideological allies in the mainstream media.  They may be big fish, but they are big fish in a much smaller pond than the ocean they try to claim.

It's not that their opinions aren't relevant or that no one shares them, it is merely that their perspective is nowhere nearly as dominant as they are desperate to have you believe.  They can run from debate, they can refuse to permit substantive criticism, they can wield their banhammers to hide from even semblance of genuine discourse on their sites, but the one thing they cannot avoid is the harsh light of statistical reality exposing their pretensions.

It is ludicrous to imagine that it is popular writers such as Sarah Hoyt and Larry Correia who are the societal outsiders when their influence is an order of magnitude or more larger than most of the supposed "big names" in modern SF/F.   Sure, the Cathredralites sell more books and appear more often in the mainstream media, for the time being, because their capture of the genre's gatekeepers means they control access to its media and distribution channels. But what we are seeing now is the early stages of a Fox News-style transformation in the SF/F industry, as new media outlets and new transmission channels is in the process of seriously upending the tilted playing field.  The cultural battle in SF/F isn't over, as the self-appointed winners would have you believe, the heavy cavalry is just beginning to enter the field and the unarmored footmen without shields are quaking.

However, the fact that the Left is wrong about equality, wrong about economics, wrong about the past, and wrong about the future does not mean there is nothing that we of the Right cannot learn from them.  The one thing the Left does very, very well is the force-multiplication of its various assets, no matter how small and insignificant they truly are, and that is something that the neoreactionary Right will have to learn in order to mitigate the damage our progressive counterparts have inflicted upon us and upon themselves.  That's why I've created the Standout Authors and Friends of Narnia, and I encourage other writers and bloggers of the Right to devote at least some effort to building up others of the Right even as they continue to pursue their own diverse and independent ambitions.

Consider that Prospect Magazine declared the top World Thinkers of 2013 on the basis of 10,000 votes.  10,000 votes!   That's nothing, and yet the Left will gravely - and absurdly - pretend, on that basis, that Richard Dawkins is widely considered to be the greatest intellectual of our time. 

We can do better. We should do better. We will do better.

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139 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymoose May 01, 2013 1:06 PM  

Congratulations!

Anonymous Jabari May 01, 2013 1:18 PM  

Quite a jump in the last month here (but AG looks about the same). Any particular reason you think?

Anonymous Beau May 01, 2013 1:27 PM  

The one thing the Left does very, very well is the force-multiplication of its various assets

I remember a local issue reported in my small circulation home town paper. My stepmother, her daughter, the daughter's husband, and the daughter's pre-teen daughter, all living in the same home, all using distinctively different surnames had their four near unanimous opinions printed in the local newspaper Letters to the Editor on the same day.

Anonymous VD May 01, 2013 1:32 PM  

Quite a jump in the last month here (but AG looks about the same). Any particular reason you think?

A fair number of people came here to discuss Boston. However, AG was up 5.8% from the previous month and 52.6% from the end of the year, so it is hardly flat.

Anonymous Josh May 01, 2013 1:33 PM  

Cathedralites

You went full moldbug.

You never go full moldbug.

Anonymous Orion May 01, 2013 1:49 PM  

Funny thing is, I've been reading members of your stand out authors for years (Pournelle for... crap I am getting old). The so-called top authors... I've been passing on for the same amount of time. If I even recognize the names. David Gunn's Deathshead series is pretty decent by the by.

I find it impressive that without WND your blog continues to grow at a similar pace (where I first read of you).

Anonymous Stingray May 01, 2013 1:50 PM  

Does the force multiplying thing now apply to taking two of their talking points and combining them?

I thought you would get a kick out of this one, Vox.

Blogger Joshua_D May 01, 2013 1:53 PM  

Congrats. Your work is very much appreciated.

Anonymous Jill May 01, 2013 2:00 PM  

I don't know what your problem is. Dawkins is entertaining.

I tend to be de-friended when I write political posts, so I restrain myself. And my blog stats really suck. But that's okay because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. Or at least a few do.

Anonymous Beau May 01, 2013 2:04 PM  

Or at least a few do.

Keep commenting Jill.

Anonymous Skinny Dan May 01, 2013 2:12 PM  

Rock on VD! Freedom!

Anonymous cheddarman May 01, 2013 2:20 PM  

This is why I petition the Almighty and His Risen Son on your behalf.


Sincerely

Cheddarman

Anonymous damntull May 01, 2013 2:25 PM  

Who is the Great Prophet of the Crimson Arts? Roissy?

Anonymous Josh May 01, 2013 2:27 PM  

Yes, Roissy, or Heartiste as his successors have styled themselves.

Anonymous Sigyn May 01, 2013 2:31 PM  

Let's face it, it is very difficult for the rabbits of Whatever to continue to claim that the Chief Gamma Rabbit of their warren is a vastly influential individual, or that their sick transquax-gendered view of human intersexual relations is the mainstream perspective, when everyone now realizes that Whatever has only two-thirds the traffic of my blogs and one-quarter that of the Great Prophet of the Crimson Arts.

Not really. All they have to do is poke the hamster up and he'll spin the wheel and give you something like: "Yes, but the people who visit Whatever are all IMPORTANT people, and the commenters over at the RSHD's place are NOT IMPORTANT. Cheers and backpats for everyone in the warren!"

Blogger Nate May 01, 2013 2:36 PM  

"Open metrics make it clear that it is the influential Cathedralites such as Jim Hines (Alexa Rank 729,110) and Making Light (375,254), who are actually the marginal ones."

Ok...

We will not accept the adopting of Moldbugian language. Moldbug is loathsome wretch, a sloppy thinker, and roughly as economically confused as the average democrat.

Anonymous Keeg May 01, 2013 2:39 PM  

If Scalzi hadn't posted his charity drive initiative, I probably never would have heard about Vox or this blog. Politics doesn't interest me, but I do appreciate the many posts about sci-fi and fantasy.

Blogger Gilbert Ratchet May 01, 2013 2:39 PM  

Congrats... but crowing over your stats is surely accepting the rabbits' frame? If something is true, then it's true, no matter how many (or how few) people believe it.

Anonymous Supernaut May 01, 2013 2:40 PM  

Of all the blogs on the Q report, to find out that Return of Kings is at the top is astounding! Talk about meteoric rise, that site is not even 1 year old.

Roosh has truly taken the MAndrosphere global.

Anonymous John Regan May 01, 2013 2:41 PM  

OT: Rogoff & Reinhart are out there defending themselves. Seems to me it's austerity with a little softness thrown in to make it more palatable:

http://strikelawyer.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/rogoff-reinhart-redux/

Anonymous Ig Parrish May 01, 2013 2:41 PM  

Vox; worthofweb.com has VD at $45.6k and AG at $26k.  They have Whatever at $77k. 
 
I’m curious what they are taking into account in their analysis that you are missing in yours.

Anonymous JartStar May 01, 2013 2:42 PM  

How many of those views are credit views versus actual views and should we consider the credit views, views?

Blogger Nate May 01, 2013 2:42 PM  

By the way.. I haven't had a chance to say it before... but... The cover of The Last Witch King is freaking amazing.

Anonymous ENthePeasant May 01, 2013 2:45 PM  

Congrats and Thank you. I've loved this Blog from the beginning although in the last four years I don't have as much time to spend here as I'd like. What you offer is unique and I'm glad you're here... and I'm also fond of the Ilk.

Anonymous Noah B. May 01, 2013 2:50 PM  

And people wonder what botnets are good for. Seriously though, congratulations.

Anonymous Sigyn May 01, 2013 2:56 PM  

If something is true, then it's true, no matter how many (or how few) people believe it.

I'll bet you're a real treat at birthday parties and weddings.

Anonymous Sigyn May 01, 2013 2:57 PM  

And congrats to you, Vox!

Anonymous Crispy May 01, 2013 3:01 PM  

Congrats, Vox and ilk!

Definitely agree on force-multiplication of various assets: I've been reading quite a bit about the IT infrastructure around the Obama campaign, which is being repurposed for pushing the agenda, including getting people signed up for Pelosicare. There doesn't seem to be comparable infrastructure lined up against them, but then not everyone is amenable to herding by rabbits. See http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500523_162-57371195/swedish-sheep-herding-bunny-becomes-viral-hit/

Anonymous Anonagain May 01, 2013 3:04 PM  

There is an abundance of examples of the Left's capacity for incessant noise-making right here on this blog. Just one single filthy freak will screech all day long if permitted, only stopping when forced to. The enemy is not only immoral, it is insane.

This is a microcosm of the greater reality with which this country is faced. It takes only one Leftist to make a lot trouble for decent people - if given the opportunity. Decades of their infiltration have ensured they have that opportunity.

BTW, the link to The Last Witchking loads the The Wardog's Coin on Amazon.

Blogger WATYF May 01, 2013 3:05 PM  

Speaking of liberals relying on lies....

Police say liberal student activist threatened herself with rape in Facebook hoax, framed conservatives

WATYF

Anonymous VD May 01, 2013 3:18 PM  

Congrats... but crowing over your stats is surely accepting the rabbits' frame?

I'm not crowing over anything. What I am doing is shattering the rabbits' frame, not accepting it. I have been entirely open about my stats from literally the very beginning; no one ever accused me of crowing back when I posted about reaching more pedestrian levels. It's rather like cars; one thing I learned when I was younger is that it is perfectly acceptable to be openly enthusiastic about your beat-up old MG that you are gradually restoring, but it is "bragging" and "crowing" to be enthusiastic about your new Porsche.

I’m curious what they are taking into account in their analysis that you are missing in yours.

They are going by the number of links, most likely, and estimating the traffic from that. Alexa also artificially inflates traffic due to large numbers of links. For example, if you look at the Top Ten Game list I mentioned, you'll see that Dalrock's Alexa Rank is almost exactly 40,000 higher than AG, but Dalrock and I have confirmed that AG gets 60,000 more Google pageviews per month than his blog.

Since Whatever shows something like 3,500 more incoming links than VP and AG combined, this means his estimated traffic is considerably higher than his actual traffic. Those sort of link-based estimates aren't worthless; I used them for my initial estimates before I had the actual data from the other bloggers. But to put it in perspective, I significantly overestimated Dalrock's traffic due to his Alexa rating. Since I have a relatively low number of links for my traffic due to people's lack of desire to be associated with me, whereas Scalzi has a relatively high number of links for his traffic due to people's desire to claim association with him, it should not be surprising that his estimated traffic is still higher even though the actual traffic is lower.

Anonymous VD May 01, 2013 3:20 PM  

BTW, the link to The Last Witchking loads the The Wardog's Coin on Amazon.

Yep, just waiting for it to show up on Amazon before making the formal announcement.

By the way.. I haven't had a chance to say it before... but... The cover of The Last Witch King is freaking amazing.

JartStar just keeps getting better. We wanted to go a bit darker for it, which will probably make sense once you read the novelette.

Anonymous Meganeura May 01, 2013 3:23 PM  

Congratulations, VD!
And thank you for this blog.

Because of this blog I became I Christian.
You may not post much about religion but you certainly drive home the point that there is no hope for anyone apart from God.

Anonymous Josh May 01, 2013 3:29 PM  

All concerns over moldbuggery aside, nicely done, Vox. Truth will always take the field over falsehoods. Keep on dishing out the chili.

Anonymous VD May 01, 2013 3:35 PM  

Yep, just waiting for it to show up on Amazon before making the formal announcement.

And speaking of which....

Blogger Bogey May 01, 2013 3:37 PM  

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500523_162-57371195/swedish-sheep-herding-bunny-becomes-viral-hit/

That's funny, the Border Collie is just hanging back ready to jump in just in case his pupil starts embarrassing him.

Interesting to note that Scalzi has cut way back on the political stuff, me thinks he was hemorrhaging readers during and after the election, and quite frankly the whole Gamma Bunny thing must have embarrassed many of his heterosexual male readers who hung their heads in shame and left for a different blog.

Anonymous David May 01, 2013 3:39 PM  

@Stingray

As if those Democrats actually cared about women engaging in transactional sex. If they did care they might worry about college costs...which is putting poor AND middle-class young woman into the sex industry right now.

Anonymous Sigyn May 01, 2013 3:42 PM  

Because of this blog I became I Christian.

Victory!

Blogger Markku May 01, 2013 3:42 PM  

But can't ANYONE tell how many more times we still have to mock McRapey for little gay black girls?

I'll bet nobody is really counting, and few will be donating in the end. He has already said that it isn't a problem that no evidence needs to be presented, since many will be donating more than the required sum, and it will offset it.

Anonymous Josh May 01, 2013 3:43 PM  

Because of this blog I became I Christian.Victory!

Hallelujah. Praise be to God.

Anonymous Josh May 01, 2013 3:44 PM  

He has already said that it isn't a problem that no evidence needs to be presented, since many will be donating more than the required sum, and it will offset it.

Atheist liberals are noted for their charitable giving...

Anonymous Anonagain May 01, 2013 3:45 PM  

Yep, just waiting for it to show up on Amazon before making the formal announcement.

And speaking of which....


I clicked on it trying to get a better look at that cover. Now I can see it up close. Nice. Good work, JartStar. Somebody's up to something in that there tower...

You've lost a bit of weight there, Vox. Looking lean and mean.

Anonymous bobert May 01, 2013 3:48 PM  

I remember a local issue reported in my small circulation home town paper. My stepmother, her daughter, the daughter's husband, and the daughter's pre-teen daughter, all living in the same home, all using distinctively different surnames had their four near unanimous opinions printed in the local newspaper Letters to the Editor on the same day.

Beau - were these opinions all mainstream-approved (aka) radical left wing?

Anonymous Sigyn May 01, 2013 3:50 PM  

@ Stingray and David:

This quote is the key:

"[F]ood insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage..."

But no, no amount of need could EVER result in women going for arranged marriages at younger ages...

Anonymous bobert May 01, 2013 3:50 PM  

Because of this blog I became I Christian.

Victory!


Seconded!

Anonymous bobert May 01, 2013 3:52 PM  

"[F]ood insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage..."

Gotta love how early marriage is seen as a risk...kind of reminds me of some commercial for (I forget what) that said 'risk of pregnancy'.

Our culture is f&*%^&%^ sick! We really do revival in this nation.

We need to clone Beau and Vox. (Full copies including neurological). :-D

Anonymous VD May 01, 2013 3:53 PM  

You've lost a bit of weight there, Vox. Looking lean and mean.

That's the strange thing. I cut my carbs in half and gained five pounds. I'm pushing 190 these days. But we're three games into the new soccer season and I'm playing almost the full 90.

Anonymous VD May 01, 2013 3:55 PM  

Because of this blog I became I Christian. You may not post much about religion but you certainly drive home the point that there is no hope for anyone apart from God.

I am pleased to hear it. Just remember, this is the hard way. It's not supposed to be the easy way.

Anonymous vales3 May 01, 2013 4:07 PM  

Thank you Vox for the years of inspiration and gratz on the numbers.

Blogger Bogey May 01, 2013 4:08 PM  

Learning a few more things to defend your faith is a net gain as well.

Anonymous Edjamacator May 01, 2013 4:09 PM  

I am pleased to hear it. Just remember, this is the hard way. It's not supposed to be the easy way.

WHAT?? But that prosperity preacher told me the exact opposite! So I won't win the lottery just by praying for it? Sheesh!

Anonymous Beau May 01, 2013 4:27 PM  

Beau - were these opinions all mainstream-approved (aka) radical left wing?

A viral sub-set to be imposed upon the locals.

Blogger Markku May 01, 2013 4:32 PM  

So I won't win the lottery just by praying for it? Sheesh!

You haven't donated enough money to your preacher, in order to show to God that you really believe.

Blogger Markku May 01, 2013 4:34 PM  

Note to any new believers: Sarcasm abounds.

In reality, health, wealth and prosperity preachers are disgusting devil-spawn.

Anonymous Beau May 01, 2013 4:34 PM  

Because of this blog I became I Christian.

Welcome to the family of joy. Celebrating in Roswell!

Take a look at Ephesians 6:10-20, you'll need it for your journey here.

More Celebrating!

Anonymous Edjamacator May 01, 2013 4:35 PM  

You haven't donated enough money to your preacher, in order to show to God that you really believe.

That must be it. After all, he's looking pretty prosperous, so I guess I'll crank that tithe up to 50% now. Or should it just be given directly to him as cash?

Anonymous wcu May 01, 2013 4:39 PM  

Good stuff vd. Someone bought me your book the "irrational athiest"and it really changed the way I viewed those bastards. Just started posting here recently; love the topics and the back and forth on all sides. Keep up the good work sir.

Blogger tz May 01, 2013 4:47 PM  

http://consumerist.com/2013/05/01/someone-is-probably-working-on-a-coffee-table-book-of-hilarious-amazon-reviews-right/

Which points to

http://www.amazon.com/Cloverdale-Fresh-Whole-Rabbit/dp/B00012182G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1367411572&sr=8-2&keywords=fresh+whole+rabbit

The reviews are more entertaining than for books...

They brand cattle, perhaps...

Blogger Nate May 01, 2013 4:52 PM  

"In reality, health, wealth and prosperity preachers are disgusting devil-spawn."

Agreed. They are almost as repugnant as Calvinists.

Blogger Markku May 01, 2013 5:01 PM  

Your begging for my attention is pathetic, Nate.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 01, 2013 5:01 PM  

"Quite a jump in the last month here"

Recurring Ankle-Biters probably account for half of that....

#rimshot #cheapshot

Anonymous Loki of Asgard May 01, 2013 5:03 PM  

Your begging for my attention is pathetic, Nate.

At least he does not harbour gender-flipped or bestiality fantasies about you.

Blogger Nate May 01, 2013 5:04 PM  

"Your begging for my attention is pathetic, Nate."

You had your shot little one. You and your little band failed miserably. At least you can take comfort in the knowledge that God willed you to get your ass kicked in the debate.

Blogger Markku May 01, 2013 5:06 PM  

Quit horsing around, Loki.

Blogger Nate May 01, 2013 5:12 PM  

"At least he does not harbour gender-flipped or bestiality fantasies about you."

Hey Daddy Issues! how ya been?

Say.. after that ass kicking you took from the Hulk... have you dreampt up any decent revenge plots? Or are you still limping around hearing the words "puny god" in your sleep?

Anonymous Edjamacator May 01, 2013 5:15 PM  

At least he does not harbour gender-flipped or bestiality fantasies about you.

Hey now, stop being so bestiaphobic. They're people, too. Well, at least half of the couple is.

Anonymous Egypt May 01, 2013 5:23 PM  

Good Luck

Anonymous Loki of Asgard May 01, 2013 5:32 PM  

/eye twitch/

Banner cheated. He did not let me finish my speech before...before...the bastard. He is no better than Thor, who uses a strength-amplifying hammer against me.

Only Rogers has ever fought me man-to-man. I even pulled my punches to give him a chance.

And furthermore, yes. Yes, I have a number of plans, each one more fitting than the last. But it will take time to enact them, oh yes, it will happen when least he expects it...

Anonymous Sigyn May 01, 2013 5:33 PM  

Oh, brother.

Guys, did you HAVE to make him all twitchy and vengeful just before supper?

Blogger Dr. Faust May 01, 2013 5:47 PM  

Convince me God exists and that the bible is real and I'll become a Christian. That's not a challenge. I'm curious as how a intelligent person can justify your beliefs.

Anonymous Dot connector May 01, 2013 5:55 PM  

"Convince me God exists and that the bible is real and I'll become a Christian."

We can't but God can. And you'll have to ask Him.

Blogger JartStar May 01, 2013 6:00 PM  

Convince me God exists and that the bible is real and I'll become a Christian. That's not a challenge. I'm curious as how a intelligent person can justify your beliefs.

This is all rather loaded even if it is unintentional. How about we simplify things to two questions:

1. Do you believe that evil exists?
2. If you do, have you ever committed an evil act?

Anonymous Sigyn May 01, 2013 6:05 PM  

Convince me...that the bible is real

You should be able to find one in any bookstore.

Anonymous Orion May 01, 2013 6:16 PM  

"Convince me God exists and that the bible is real and I'll become a Christian. That's not a challenge. I'm curious as how a intelligent person can justify your beliefs."

I find it hard to believe an intelligent person can look out the window and not believe, considering the incredibly low probability of the billions of interactions and connections right there if they open their eyes. "Those who have eyes but cannot see" comes mind. I could spell it out further but if your intelligent you should be able to arrive at the answer.

Blogger Dr. Faust May 01, 2013 6:16 PM  

1. Do you believe that evil exists?

Without a god there is no good or evil since there is no standard of morality. There is only what can and cannot be done, a technical cosmos, not a moral one. If I say, "righty tighty lefty loosey" it is not one of moral virtue but of technical efficacy.

Blogger Dr. Faust May 01, 2013 6:23 PM  

"I find it hard to believe an intelligent person can look out the window and not believe, considering the incredibly low probability of the billions of interactions and connections right there if they open their eyes. "Those who have eyes but cannot see" comes mind. I could spell it out further but if your intelligent you should be able to arrive at the answer."

Given the eternal nature of the cosmos, no amount of probability of an event occurring will matter because it has an eternity to occur.

"You should be able to find one in any bookstore."

lol. Good answer.

Anonymous Anonagain May 01, 2013 6:25 PM  

Convince me God exists and that the bible is real and I'll become a Christian. That's not a challenge. I'm curious as how a intelligent person can justify your beliefs.

There are plenty of books written by intelligent people who believe God exists and that the bible is real. If you're that curious, research it yourself. As for me, I don't care whether you believe, or not. Go to hell, or not. It's your choice.

Anonymous Sigyn May 01, 2013 6:27 PM  

Well, Doctor, you yourself regard Christianity as gold. In fact, your recent posts reflect that you find the morals of Christians to be demonstrably more effective than any other system--and, therefore, worldview--out there.

Why do you think that is?

And what is it that's holding you back from embracing the whole of it?

Anonymous Sigyn May 01, 2013 6:28 PM  

Given the eternal nature of the cosmos, no amount of probability of an event occurring will matter because it has an eternity to occur.

This is the part where Stickwick explains how the universe is not eternal, but had a beginning and probably will have an end.

Anonymous bobert May 01, 2013 6:33 PM  

@Dr. Faust

Vox has commented on this issue hundreds, if not thousands, of times over the past few years - between his blogs and his books is a wealth of information pertaining to this topic.

There is abundant historical and philosophical evidence of the veracity of the Scriptures - since you have access to the internet (as you are posting here) you also have access to google, not to mention Vox's archives.

I, along with many here, can both answer questions and point you to numerous great sources, but some initial background research on your part is crucial before any intelligent discussion/questioning can be had.

Anonymous bobert May 01, 2013 6:36 PM  

I'm curious as how a intelligent person can justify your beliefs.

Spinning that around I am curious how you can justify your doubt of Christianity?

The Bible is a report of certain historical events that happened at a certain time.

On what basis do you doubt it's veracity?

Anonymous Beau May 01, 2013 6:37 PM  

I'm curious as how a intelligent person can justify your beliefs.

In the milieu of competing explanations of the nature of Man, which best describes what is readily observable to anyone? We are capable of endearing acts of compassion and appalling cruelty.

Is the universe really a closed system as David Hume posited, or did he construct a flawed syllogism to disavow miracles?

Examining claims of the miraculous proffered by adherents of various religions, which claims were advanced will contemporary witnesses still were alive to either alive to support or object. Christian claims to the resurrection happened only three days after the fact, versus centuries later in competing religions.

What are the probabilities that claims made in the Hebrew scriptures centuries prior to announced events - the birth and the death of Jesus - are mere chance?

How reliable is the documentary evidence for a religious claim? If a reasonable man accepts the existence of a historical figure such as Alexander the Great based on (x) number of documents and/or artifacts, is it not also reasonable to accept the existence of another historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth, based on (y) far more material?

We all know phonies. Has anyone successfully shown Christ to be a phony? Can you take Him at his word about Himself? If not, upon what evidence do you reject His testimony of Himself?

Anonymous The CronoLink May 01, 2013 6:39 PM  

Congrats, Vox!

Anonymous bobert May 01, 2013 6:42 PM  

Given the eternal nature of the cosmos, no amount of probability of an event occurring will matter because it has an eternity to occur.

Do all of these 'low-probability' events that you are writing off as certain to occur based on unlimited time really have a non-zero chance of occurring? Have any of them ever been observed to have occurred randomly so that we know this rather than only think that we know it?

(Infinite time => a certain event is certain to occur) only works if the event in question can actually occur with non-zero probability. Those probability calculations are all heuristic and tend to make assumptions greatly in favor of the event being able to occur at all. Likely some of them can happen 'by themselves' - but has even a majority of such events been so established?

Blogger Dr. Faust May 01, 2013 6:43 PM  

"Well, Doctor, you yourself regard Christianity as gold. In fact, your recent posts reflect that you find the morals of Christians to be demonstrably more effective than any other system--and, therefore, worldview--out there."

This is correct. I do regard Christianity highly and I would never deny the wisdom found in the bible. I believe it to be incomplete knowledge though. The success of the west is multifaceted. It cannot be attributed to Christianity alone. There are racial, cultural, and geographic considerations to consider as well.

"Why do you think that is?

And what is it that's holding you back from embracing the whole of it?"

I have trouble with the miracles: the talking snakes, the giants, the walking on water, and most of the creation story. I've never heard a voice, seen a miracle, or felt anything which can be described as supernatural. If God can only be understood through revelation than he's not made himself known to me after a lifetime in the church.

"This is the part where Stickwick explains how the universe is not eternal, but had a beginning and probably will have an end."

This would directly conflict with the belief system I've spent my life creating. I would be willing to read what he's written.

Anonymous VD May 01, 2013 6:47 PM  

Convince me God exists and that the bible is real and I'll become a Christian. That's not a challenge. I'm curious as how a intelligent person can justify your beliefs.

I'll give this its own post soon, but what you're promising here is beyond your ability to provide at the moment. Belief in God is a necessary, but insufficient condition for becoming a Christian. Your lack of belief is not the real issue here, but rather, your intellectual pride.

Now, I can give you the intellectual topping you crave, of course, but that won't instill real faith in you. Even if your inquiry is genuine, and I suspect it is at least in part, it isn't really related to Christianity or even faith.

Blogger Bogey May 01, 2013 6:48 PM  

As for me, I don't care whether you believe, or not. Go to hell, or not. It's your choice.

I care a great deal if Dr. Faust goes to hell (I didn't miss the irony of that statement). Never turn down a person who may honestly be searching.

Here's a good post by Vox:
http://voxday.blogspot.com/2009/01/on-quality-of-evidence.html

There are many books along these lines of evidence.
Knowing the truth I think carries with it some serious ramifications on your life.

Anonymous bobert May 01, 2013 6:53 PM  

Never turn down a person who may honestly be searching.

And keep him in your prayers as well.

Anonymous Sigyn May 01, 2013 6:56 PM  

I have trouble with the miracles: the talking snakes, the giants, the walking on water, and most of the creation story.

This part usually is. But would you agree that if this God exists and is not part of the universe, He would be capable of suspending the rules of physics?

I've never heard a voice, seen a miracle, or felt anything which can be described as supernatural.

Can or should? When you encounter something, do you run right to the first popular explanation based on naturalism and stop there, or do you weigh the probabilities? Would you accept that Providence (positive events that are attributable to chains of natural events but highly unlikely to happen exactly as they do when they do) as a proof of an intervening entity?

If God can only be understood through revelation than he's not made himself known to me after a lifetime in the church.

What were you expecting? And if He had, would you have accepted it?

This would directly conflict with the belief system I've spent my life creating.

This one's a hard one, but: Are you willing to discard this belief system, completely and without reservation, if it is proven wrong? It's more important to know this, for yourself, than you think.

I would be willing to read what he's written.

Stickwick's our resident lady physicist. I invoke her because she could explain the beginnings of time and matter better than I could, that's all.

Anonymous Anonagain May 01, 2013 7:01 PM  

Never turn down a person who may honestly be searching.

There have been a few on this blog who were honestly searching - and they found. They stuck around, quietly reading, thinking, feeling, believing, understanding, then finally confirming and affirming their faith. On this very thread:

Meganeura May 01, 2013 3:23 PM

Because of this blog I became I Christian.
You may not post much about religion but you certainly drive home the point that there is no hope for anyone apart from God.


This is real. This other character imagines we are all are going to fall over ourselves attempting to convince him that our beliefs are worthy of his intellect. To that I say go jump in the lake (of fire, ultimately). I've seen this act before - it's tedious and a waste of time.

Blogger Dr. Faust May 01, 2013 7:05 PM  

@VD I want to go to church because I'm lonely. I want to believe in a god because my life seems so hopeless otherwise. But I need to be able to rationalize it. You guessed it right. Intellectual pride. I don't want to join a group - the churches in my city - who can't hold a conversation about anything but football and celebrities.

@Bogey thanks for the link.

Blogger Markku May 01, 2013 7:08 PM  

Since the universe is expanding, it had to have a beginning. And the second law of thermodynamics places an upper limit for the duration that any events can happen in the universe; After all energy has been converted to heat, nothing can ever happen since events require usable energy. Big Crunch might put an end to the universe even before that, but the scientific jury is still out on whether it will happen. End due to 2nd law is uncontroversial, though.

So, the current naturalistic explanation is that there is an infinite amount of parallel universes, and therefore anything that can happen, has happened in some of them. But this is completely conjecture, with no evidence to support it other than the fact that we are here, so it has to be that way.

"But what about God as explanation?" Asks the Christian. "Unscientific, and therefore not one of the options we can consider as scientists" answers the naturalist. But the only reason science rules it out is that the explanation involves things that cannot be tested at will. This is a good example of the Streetlight Effect:

A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he lost his keys and they both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, that he lost them in the park. The policeman asks why he is searching here, and the drunk replies, "this is where the light is."

Blogger Nate May 01, 2013 7:08 PM  

"Banner cheated. He did not let me finish my speech before...before...the bastard. He is no better than Thor, who uses a strength-amplifying hammer against me.

take some advice on dealing with the Hulk mate. see the longer the fight is... the madder he gets... and the more infuriatingly invincible he becomes.

Avoid complex plots. Cheat. Do not be tempted to tame the beast and employ it as a weapon. Just kill it. Kill it instantly. In such a way that is so fast and so violent it never even knows its in a fight.

I'm not a large man. And I tend to have a cutting sense of humor... and I don't know when to shut up. So... I've had much experience in these matters. End the fight before the Hulk knows the fight has started.

Blogger Dr. Faust May 01, 2013 7:16 PM  

"This is real. This other character imagines we are all are going to fall over ourselves attempting to convince him that our beliefs are worthy of his intellect. To that I say go jump in the lake (of fire, ultimately). I've seen this act before - it's tedious and a waste of time."

I've spent very little time with people that weren't atheists. At least for the last few years. The Christians I do know can't relate their beliefs in a convincing manner. I'm not trying to troll anyone. I hold very few absolute truths. Almost everything is in question.

I've spent a lot of time creating a belief system on my own but I'm willing to engage with others on what they've found in their lives.

Blogger Nate May 01, 2013 7:16 PM  

" I want to go to church because I'm lonely. I want to believe in a god because my life seems so hopeless otherwise. But I need to be able to rationalize it. You guessed it right. Intellectual pride. I don't want to join a group - the churches in my city - who can't hold a conversation about anything but football and celebrities. "

Does not the existence of the emptiness in your soul... the craving you feel for ... lead you?

The fact that you ask the question should tell you something.

Sorry mate. You're further down the path than you realize. The hooks are in. Before long you will start to realize just how brilliant many christians thinkers were and the whole "I'm to smart for Christianity" myth just falls apart.

We've got many among us who were just where you are today not so long ago.

Anonymous Sigyn May 01, 2013 7:26 PM  

Well, I have to go, Doc (I just can't bring myself to call you "Faust", I'm sorry), but I think you're in good hands here.

Praying for you ((as is LoA))!

Anonymous bobert May 01, 2013 7:30 PM  

Vox will be posting on this, so I will wait till that post to speak more about this issue, but just curious:

Have you read any stuff by C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton?

Blogger Dr. Faust May 01, 2013 7:31 PM  

"Have you read any stuff by C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton?"

just the narnia books.

Blogger Nate May 01, 2013 7:36 PM  

"I've spent very little time with people that weren't atheists. At least for the last few years. The Christians I do know can't relate their beliefs in a convincing manner."

I think its very difficult to convince anyone of anything when it comes to worldview. People have to come to their conclusions on their own.

Plus... consider... how would you go about communicating your belief in the existence of the color red to a color-blind individual?

Blogger Markku May 01, 2013 7:37 PM  

Dr. Faust:

Here's Mere Christianity from C.S. Lewis for you. It's intended for someone exactly in your position. It will not present a 100% conclusive case (nor does it intend to), but it will probably answer many objections that you have, and inform you what it is, exactly, that we expect you to be convinced of. That is, it doesn't contain any stuff that it is particular to any specific denomination.

Anonymous Anonagain May 01, 2013 7:38 PM  

I want to go to church because I'm lonely. I want to believe in a god because my life seems so hopeless otherwise. But I need to be able to rationalize it. You guessed it right. Intellectual pride.

If you're that intelligent and rational, you should then understand that your pride does not arise from either your intelligence or rationality. Your pride is the direct result of your fallen human nature - we resist the things of God. That's clue #1 right there.

You are not a special snowflake. We have all been there. Read the Bible. Pray. Seek and ye shall find. You appear to be more intent on feeling sorry for yourself and justifying your faithlessness than forming a relationship with God. Belief and faith are personal, not to be found in a group therapy session.

Seriously, dude. If God could be 100% rationalized by the human mind, He would be a very small god indeed. And being fallen, we are all squinting through that glass darkly, but we are intelligent enough to realize this. What we can confirmed for ourselves - reality, this world, human nature - all justify our Christian faith, belief, and the Bible.

Anonymous Dot connector May 01, 2013 7:56 PM  

"Convince me God exists and that the bible is real and I'll become a Christian."

"There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How ev'rything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last..."

Anonymous mistaben May 01, 2013 8:05 PM  

What a great place. God bless the Ilk.

Blogger mmaier2112 May 01, 2013 8:09 PM  

This blog led me to become a Christian too. It blew apart all of my intellectual stumbling blocks, leaving only my pride for a few years, IIRC.

Eventually, I gave that up too.

God bless you in your search.

Anonymous Godfrey May 01, 2013 8:28 PM  

This blog is part of my daily therapeutic routine. I'm just thankful our host doesn't charge a fee for his services. It's good to know I'm not the lone sane inmate on this lunatic asylum we call Earth.

Anonymous Anonagain May 01, 2013 9:26 PM  

BTW, Faust, you are not as intelligent nor rational as you imagine yourself to be. You are relying on the ability of lesser beings to convince you of the existence of the Supreme Being. If God exists, it is He you should be seeking - directly.

You are using the failure of others to convince you of God's existence as an excuse for your own hard-heartedness. I do not believe you are as innocently seeking the Truth as you claim to be.

Anonymous Ferd May 01, 2013 9:33 PM  

I had never heard of Richard Dawkins until i started reading this blog. And, i have always had a sense that the lefties lie and lie about the lie. They are the little goebbels of the present and their Chechens are now coming home to roost!

I would love to see a resurgence of as you say " a Fox News-style transformation in the SF/F industry"! Yaaaaaaaaaaa!!

Anonymous Red Comet May 01, 2013 9:36 PM  

I've spent very little time with people that weren't atheists. At least for the last few years. The Christians I do know can't relate their beliefs in a convincing manner.

Dr. Faust, you are not expected to just "feel something" someday out of nowhere and suddenly become a believer. I suggest reading up on the scholarly side of the case for Christianity, commonly referred to as apologetics.

These are perhaps the two best sites on the net for it that I have seen. They detail and research pretty much any question you could think of. You'll find a lot of things aren't the way the culture has trained everyone to think they are.

Tektonics
A Christian Thinktank

Blogger Phoenician May 01, 2013 9:36 PM  

Recall that I have been portrayed for ten years as an extremist whack-job whose writing no one ever read even as the readership steadily grew,

Dipshit, you've been portrayed for ten years as an extremist whack-job whose writing most people only read in order to laugh at. Conservapedia boasts that it has nearly 500 million page views - but it is also regarded as a hangout for marginal whackos.

The fact that you haven't grasped this yet demonstrates still further what a fool you are.

Anonymous Red Comet May 01, 2013 9:41 PM  

Messed up the link in my last post. Try this:

A Christian Thinktank (link fixed)

Anonymous Mudz May 01, 2013 9:41 PM  

Is that the same rationale for why people reply to you?

Anonymous Mudz May 01, 2013 9:43 PM  

Sorry, that was intended for Phoenician.

Anonymous Red Comet May 01, 2013 9:45 PM  

Conservapedia boasts that it has nearly 500 million page views - but it is also regarded as a hangout for marginal whackos.

I have no horse in the Conservapedia race, but if it truly has that many pageviews then wouldn't it have too many people involved to label it "marginal" or "fringe?"

Anonymous Daybreaker May 01, 2013 10:00 PM  

We can do better. We should do better. We will do better.
-
Good.

Anonymous Vic May 01, 2013 10:19 PM  

"I have trouble with the miracles: the talking snakes, the giants, the walking on water, and most of the creation story."

That is because you are looking at it in the "talking snakes" sort of way. Let me paraphrase the first murder in a way that you may be able to see the prophetic nature of the verse.

The first son of man rose up against the second "son of man" and killed him. Why? Because his sacrifice was acceptable to God and he was jealous.

There was power in the blood of Able as it cried out to God from the ground.

Because Cain slew his brother, he was cast out of the land, and became a wanderer upon the earth.

Can you not see the parallels between Able and Christ?

Try the same experiment with Adam, Abraham, Job, Jacob, Joseph, ect. and see what you come up with.

The depth of it all still blows my mind!

Anonymous farmer Tom May 01, 2013 10:30 PM  

Dr. Faust,

the book of Hebrews Chapter 11 verse 6 says,

"6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him."

If you are genuinely seeking answers, follow the principle here. Can you examine the evidence, and intellectually come to the conclusion that there, is/must be, a God? If you can assent to the proposition that there is a God, then when you make that decision, you should begin examine who God is?

A different translation says that "He rewards those that diligently seek Him."

Examining what God says about Himself in His letter to mankind(The Bible), will answer many of the questions you have about the miracles/Creation. Diligence requires deep, thoughtful, persistent and comprehensive study. This is not a 140 character Twitter comment. It is an intensive, extensive examination of the evidence.

Believe that He is...then begin the process of examining Who He is,... don't try to examine the evidence to prove that He is,...






Anonymous Mudz May 01, 2013 10:35 PM  

I think some of you guys are being a little unfair to Dr.Faust. Don't be so quick to assume he's pulling a 'if only I wasn't so smart as to realise Christianity is a lie' kind of thing. At least I don't think he is. He's asked for reasons to believe, and the Apostle Peter says we should be ready to provide it. Else, what are we good for?

@ Dr. Faust

Vox promised to give you a full post, so I can be brief. Others here can probably give a more technical explanation, but I'll just give you my perspective as a layman. And I'll try to do it in two pretty non-technical stages, God and Christianity.

God:

Kalam Cosmological Argument, everything that begins to exist has a cause. The Big Bang marks the point when our universe began to exist.

We do not, and cannot perceive any reality outside of the universe to where space and time does not exist, and speaking technically that would be contradictory in any case.

Nature only exists in the context of space and time. Therefore, if the universe has a beginning, it has a cause that cannot be natural, and it must be spaceless, and timeless. Therefore, what we are looking for is a supernatural, non-physical, timeless cause.

The only being that could account for it, would logically have to be a supernatural creator.

Moreover, to wax theistic, such a Creative Source would, as well as being supernatural, have the properties of being immaterial (spirit), and eternal (timeless), which matches the description of a God. This God would also be the creative source of the properties of the universe, including simply the existence of space and time ex nihilo, which has allowed for a finely tuned universe in which we can exist.

Christianity:

This is somewhat more difficult. Not in matters of proof, but in emotional acceptance. It really is a faith, because even after all the evidence in the world is piled up in front of a person, that person still has to accept it into his heart.

What we know, is that a man named Jesus Christ existed roughly 2000 years ago. He claimed to be the son of God, as was promised in the OT, and began the Christian faith which proceeded to dominate kingdoms and sweep the world.

Now, for the purpose of this argument, let's just take it for granted that being a Christian means believing Jesus is the son of God. Let us also, for the sake of argument, presume that the NT is fairly accurate in terms of recording his words and his claims to such.

What we have to determine therefore, is whether we can believe him.

In part, this is something I do not have the ability to convince you on, because it simply requires reading the NT and forming your own conclusion about the nature of the man, and his moral teachings.

But on a more pragmatic end, it isn't that difficult to provide support of the claim. I'll have to do this roughly with Daniel's Prophecy.

Daniel Chapter 9 (around verse 24 I think):

This is a prophecy that predicts the coming of the Messiah. Gabriel tells Daniel that in 7 weeks, also 62 weeks, the Messiah would come.

You may be unfamiliar with the concept of prophetic weeks so short course: Weeks = Sevens, and it refers to years.

69 * 7 years = 483 years.

49 years since the going forth of the word to restore Jerusalem ends in 406 BC when Jerusalem was rebuilt.

That leaves us with 432 years.

432 years on from 406 BC brings us to about 27 AD.

Christ was baptised and reocgisend as the son of God roughly 29 AD. Crucified a few years later.

There's a little room for doubt on exact years which may be argued as more or less exact, but crap do I think that's a pretty convincing 'coincidence' of prophecy.

This is merely one supporting proof. But it's a pretty damn good one.

Anonymous Mudz May 01, 2013 10:36 PM  

An extra note.

About talking snakes. Which you be incredulous if they printed an article in the newspaper that scientists taught Percy the Pimp Chimp how to talk? Certain birds are also known as capable of mimicking speech or by their animal lonesomes.

Assuming snake even referred to a snakey snake, instead of say, a badass Chinese dragon or something awesome like that, would you not consider God or Satan capable of rendering it capable of speech? Even granted a snake sufficient intelligence and knowledge would probably make it capable of speaking in some sort lanaguage, even if that were necessary, which I doubt.

---

I really do hope that I've given you some food for thought here, and I really do hope that you come to accept Christ into your heart.

I have never known what it is like to be without faith in Christ, so I'm not entierly certain of the emotional difficulties, but fortunately Vox does, and may be able to speak more directly to your heart. Rooting for you, buddy!

Blogger Markku May 01, 2013 10:38 PM  

We're fresh out of talking snakes, but even in this very thread you can witness the miracle of a Bileam-style talking jackass.

Anonymous Mudz May 01, 2013 10:45 PM  

Sorry, a slightly calculation error.

483 - 49 = 434 years

Wow. So it actually does end up smack bang on 29 AD.

Prophecy for the win!

Anonymous Azimus May 01, 2013 10:47 PM  

As always, growth of the body can be achieved two ways - fat or muscle. I noticed, or maybe thought I noticed an uptrend in "battleground" posts in the last few months. Part of a clandestine campaign? An experiment? I have no comments of a critical nature regardless of the answer, personally the "battleground" topics are why I come almost every day. And to bask in the glow of someone willing to articulate his sincere thoughts to us lowly SD+1.5's....

I only caution that growth of itself is no virtue - it must be growth in strength to be an accomplishment. And I counted, A.Man and Who Nose visited the site 98,000 times between them in April alone...

Anonymous Mudz May 01, 2013 10:47 PM  

We're fresh out of talking snakes, but even in this very thread you can witness the miracle of a Bileam-style talking jackass.

Is that meant to be me? I've haven't noticed you before so I don't know what team you're rooting for. :)

Blogger Markku May 01, 2013 10:48 PM  

No, I mean Phony.

Anonymous Mudz May 01, 2013 10:50 PM  

Ahhh... ahkay. Pleasant surprise. :D
I now think you're a wonderful, wonderful person.

Anonymous Mudz May 01, 2013 11:22 PM  

Holy shiznick I make a lot of typos. Curse of the rapid typist.

Anonymous DonReynolds May 02, 2013 2:17 AM  

Vox, what the Left HAS, that the Right does not have is their own channels of communication, which provide them with sanctuaries or staging areas, where they can regroup, rethink, and reinvent themselves. (They do this frequently.) We do not see the intense infighting among the Left because they do not wash their dirty linen in public. This is what the channels of communication are for....provide the faithful with scripted narratives (even down the the key words), they correct doctrine errors, punish the disloyal, discipline the weak, and reorganize for yet another campaign.

The Right prefers to do their infighting in front of television camera, within earshot of news journalists, and invite the (enemy) MSM to be the umpire and referee the face scratching between key players on the Right. Instead of manipulating the media to poke a rival Right winger in the eye, they end up casting doubt on the ability of the Right to settle on a workable and stable program of policies.

Add to this the fact that certain Leftists are mascarading as a Right winger, for the purpose of mauling what would otherwise be the central message of the Right, and you get deliberate misinformation. The message falls down in the cracks or gets lost in the chaos and clammor. (I know of no Right winger pretending to be a Leftist, maybe you do. Not being privy to their channels of communication, it would be a difficult act to carry off.)

Anonymous Boogeyman May 02, 2013 2:18 AM  

It's usually pointless to post this late in a thread, but I feel like I have to get this off my chest.

This last Feb. I prayed for the first time since I was a child. I was laying in a hospital bed, waiting for the morning to come so I could find out if the infection had reached the bones in my leg or not. It was my third trip to the hospital in 6 months (stroke, staph infection, heart attack, bypass surgery, and then a second infection a few weeks after that) and I had just reached the end of my rope.

Unlike the good Dr. I had always been pretty sure God or something we would call God was out there. I'd even had several run-ins with the super natural. Let me tell you, knowing there is something beyond the material is in many ways worse than wanting to know. The nature of the thing means you can't prove it to anyone else, but you know... KNOW its there. It forever puts you on the outside. You live with a secret you can never really share even with the people who want to believe. And the possibility that there is something invisible there with you, watching you, that thought never leaves your mind. Far better to wander than to know.

Anyways, the real reason I went so long without praying is I didn't trust Him. I grew up around flakes, low grade drug users, and people who seemed one way but were anything but. I grew up only ever respecting my grandfather, and even that faded away as I grew up.

I read things in the bible that didn't square. If God was good, how could he kill all those innocent children and babies in the flood? And why did He need to let His son die on the cross? To pay man's debt? But that was a debt we owed to Him. Yea, I know. Lots of explenations and arguments. I'll look into them on my own later.

So I'm laying there, so tired of being poked and bled and in pain and having my body not working the way it's supposed to, wondering if I'm going to loose my leg, and I get to the point where I just gave up. I prayed. Not for Him to save my leg. You don't get miracles just because you ask for them. Beside, there are so many so much worse off than I was that I'd feel guilty if it actually happened. No, I just prayed to say I was afraid, and I promised to try and be a Christian.

I've been home since the end of Feb. and I kept my leg. The money situation has stabilized and I'll soon get a bible and start reading. I can't picture going to a church. Just because I dig a band's music doesn't mean I like their other fans. I like Star Trek but you wont ever catch me at a convention. I think it's more my contrariness and dislike of crowds.

There's still pride there, but it's taken a beating. I am not quite the peron I was. This blog had a hand in me praying that night, and for that I have to thank Vox and all the rest of the ilk.

Anonymous Rufus May 02, 2013 5:09 AM  

This blog is a force for good. Thank you Vox, thank you Ilk!

It's been my daily reading for a good while now - but I still wished I had found it earlier.

I'm just an average guy, but have always enjoyed the intellectual side of Christianity. This blog really stretches me, and often times goes way over my head.

It's inspiring to hear that being part of this community has transformed the lives of some. Welcome into the brotherhood of Christ!

It's also inspiring to see how even the most intelligent here, the loudest, the funniest - even those of rapier wit and acerbic tongue - are very down-to-earth, honest, generous and humble brothers and sisters when it comes down to it.

Mudz - where in Godzone do you reside?

Anonymous Mudz May 02, 2013 5:20 AM  

New Zealand. Why?

Anonymous Sigyn May 02, 2013 6:23 AM  

Boogeyman: Biblegateway.org has copies online of most of the available translations. Until you can get a hard copy, you can at least start your reading there. Or you could try gutenberg.org, which should have downloadable text copies of those translations that aren't covered by copyright.

Just be careful what translation you get. Some are more precise than others, and some have fallen prey to political correctness.

Blogger Bogey May 02, 2013 6:32 AM  

"I have trouble with the miracles: the talking snakes, the giants, the walking on water, and most of the creation story."

Snake, Serpent, Dragon, Generally refers to Satan.
The Giants were another unnatural attempt to mess up Marry's lineage for which Christ would eventually arise from. Whenever you read a passage where an army seemingly does something terrible by the instructions of God, ask yourself the logic behind it. I know of at least one case where it was because an underisable clan was purposely intermixing with Marry's lineage.

Another issue non-believers take issue with is God telling Abraham to sacrifice his own son, the analogy is so painfully obvious that it really doesn't deserve a response.

Blogger Markku May 02, 2013 6:36 AM  

I'd recommend Revised Standard Version. Its balance is on accuracy's side, but it's still a lot more readable than KJV.

Anonymous Rufus May 02, 2013 7:00 AM  

Mudz - I know.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God%27s_Own_Country

So do I. Where in New Zealand do you reside? Just curious. Quake central myself.

Thanks for your comments above to Dr Seuss (Freud). I found them very helpful.

Anonymous Mudz May 02, 2013 7:15 AM  

Hahaha, oh wow, I never even knew that! God's Own Country or anything like that just makes me think of America. Must be because so many of my friends are atheist, I figure it's official. :D

I live in Shannon, technically. Horowhenua region. But I'm all over the place, typically. I visited Christchurch after that whole thing. I have a mate who reckons you guys are going to get another one. You live right above a fault-line or some such.

And oh, totally no problem, I'm very glad someone found it of use. :)

Anonymous Anonymous May 02, 2013 9:16 AM  

Quote from the good Dr. Faust: I've spent very little time with people that weren't atheists. At least for the last few years. The Christians I do know can't relate their beliefs in a convincing manner. I'm not trying to troll anyone. I hold very few absolute truths. Almost everything is in question.

To build upon what has already been said - engaging God's Word can transform your life. Be willing to give it to God - to let it go - to willingly submit to something outside yourself. Reading Acts 16:16-40 is a good start.

The jailer falls on his knees before Paul, wanting to know what he must do to be saved. YOu will notice Paul does not give a lengthy discourse on avoiding sexual impurity, or offensive language, or even being a good person. He says believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.

Jesus, after engaging the oft-unfairly labeled doubter Thomas (he was really no worse than the rest) Jesus has a simple statement.

Stop doubting and believe. (John 20:27)

I prayed for you last night, and hope that God meets you precisely where you need Him to be.

Anonymous Azimus May 02, 2013 9:30 AM  

Boogeyman - may I also recommend not reading straight through? The whole Bible is God's word, to be sure, but you could save Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Chronicles for a time when your biblical knowledge is deeper so those books have more meaning. Also, reading Kings and the Chronicles in order is brutal. IMO, of course. I would suggest spending the money to buy a cross-reference Bible and start with the NT - then the cross reference cam guide you to OT passages that support your reading. It helps you navigate like a pro!

Anonymous Anonymous May 02, 2013 9:38 AM  

(I give this guide to all persons requesting information on how to read the Bible. Many have found it helpful).

If you are uncertain on how to begin reading the Bible, the following sequence might be useful. Read through the Gospels of Mark and John to become more familiar with the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. These Gospels portray Jesus in different ways that can help readers expand their understanding of who Jesus is.

Then read the book of Acts, in order to get a better idea of the way the gospel message spread and early Christian communities were formed. Finally, read one or more of Paul’s letters which address concerns of these early communities. Paul’s letter to the Philippians is short, warm, and personal, offering an intense and moving glimpse into the heart of the Christian faith. His letter to the Romans is longer, presenting a summary of Paul’s preaching.

When you turn to the Old Testament, you may find it helpful to begin by reading all of Genesis and the first 20 chapters of Exodus. These chapters take readers from the creation to the pivotal events of Israel’s escape from Egypt and the giving of the commandments on Mt. Sinai.

Then turn to the book of Psalms, which contains some of the Bible’s best loved hymns and prayers. The book of Psalms is long, but read at least the first section (Psalms 1-41). Finally, become acquainted with one of the books of the prophets. The book of Micah is short and written in the poetic style typical of the prophetic books; it contains messages of warning and hope. Isaiah and Jeremiah are much longer. Isaiah is written almost entirely in poetry and is more widely read among Christians; Jeremiah contains both prophetic passages and narratives about the prophet’s life.

This selection of the Old and New Testament books will acquaint you with the main types of material found in the Bible. Continue by reading in the areas that seem most interesting to you. Important books to consider include the other Gospels (Matthew, Luke), the remaining letters of Paul and I Peter.

In the OT you may find it helpful to read the chapters recounting Israel’s journey to the Promised Land (Exodus 32-34, Numbers 11-17 and 20-25), and the stories of the conquest and kingdom found in Joshua and 2 Kings. The events recounted in 2 Kings 18-25 provide the context for the work of some of Israel’s prophets. Many people find it helpful to read one or two Psalms each day, using them as a basis for prayer and personal reflection.

When you first read through a portion of scripture, avoid getting entangled in difficult passages. If some parts of the bible seem confusing, just keep on reading; you can return to them later.

And may God bless your reading and study. Know that as you travel through the pages of scripture that you do not journey alone. Many have gone before you, many will follow; and the Spirit of God will accompany you on the way.

Blogger Markku May 02, 2013 10:02 AM  

Yes, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT read the Bible in sequence the first time around. Remember, it's not a book, it's a library. Even the name "Bible" means books, plural. The chronological sequence of the books carries about as much weight as far as getting the big picture goes, as the alphabetical order of books in any given library bookshelf. Picking books up randomly would be exactly as useful.

Reading them in the order recommended by someone who is already familiar with them, would be CONSIDERABLY more useful.

Anonymous Beau May 02, 2013 10:16 AM  

Anyways, the real reason I went so long without praying is I didn't trust Him.

He is worthy of your trust. Thank you for letting us know what you have been facing. I second JDC's bible reading regimen suggestion; it's a good one. Blessings to you as you get acquainted with the Good Shepherd.

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