When explaining Biblical contradiction Christian apologists and their explanations range from the sublime to the ridiculous. An apologist is a defender of the faith, the person that explains the unexplainable, that makes sense out of nonsense and guards a door with no house.

The best write concise and lucid prose cloaked by an illusion of reason and logic. As the biblical terrain becomes more difficult, the apologist's explanations have more twists and turns than a Robert Ludlum story. Such tortured bending and stretching of minutia leads to pinched frowns and up turned noses like noticing a bad smell.

The call of faith is powerful, making the blind belief of Christian adherents at least understandable, but apologists are usually highly educated in some fashion making it difficult to comprehend how the cognitive dissonance does not overwhelm them. Religious aspirations usually drop with extensive education. Yet, apologists apparently can ignore, pretend or reject obvious errors and contradictions without feeling bothered in the least.

It is surprising with the amount of information available today that anyone could use such convoluted thinking to shore up a book at the root of the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Dark Ages. At some point, the intellectual dishonesty must be overwhelming. On the other hand, maybe not, as some people develop immunity to reality without any awareness of anything outside their confines.

Sadly, the apologist becomes a maker of excuses, master of obfuscation and promoter of ancient ignorance. Part of the problem lies with the insistence of biblical inerrancy. It is impossible to take the Bible literally without putting the Christian apologist in a nearby indefensible position. For the Christian apologist, the dissonance must be deafening; if not, then they represent a clear and present danger to rational thought. 

They are apologists in the most literal sense--making apologies for the indefensible.

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Comment by Daniel W on August 2, 2017 at 12:26pm

Don, nicely written essay.  I always enjoy your writing.

I view your key point as this:  "At some point, the intellectual dishonesty must be overwhelming. On the other hand, maybe not, as some people develop immunity to reality without any awareness of anything outside their confines." 

In the intellectual dishonesty department, I include the concept of tribalism.  I think of tribalism as the menace of modern times.  Only tribalism explains the continued alliance of conservative christians with the most unchristian politician of our time, and what seems to be a daily growth of authoritarianism and scapegoating, around the world. 

I thought that with the rise of science and technology, people would be more thoughtful.  I was wrong.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 2, 2017 at 11:49am

I watched a video while going to sleep last night and I must watch it while I am awake. One of my favorites, Jerry Coyne lectured on evolution and creation. He sounded frustrated about the numbers and percentages of the voting public are believers of some superstition and how they cannot open their minds to other options. 

Evolution is True! Get over it - Jerry Coyne Lecture

I don't want to encourage arguments with believers, however, if we nonbelievers in old legends want to have critical thinkers in our legislatures, we are going to have to raise the numbers of nonbelievers, lower the numbers of believers by effectively and efficiently challenging their beliefs, or set up a colony on some S. Pacific island with a mountain. No building permitted on the flood plains and a dependable water source.

 

Comment by Donald R Barbera on August 2, 2017 at 11:15am

For all the Trumpettes they have made Mark Twain's truism real when he said,

"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people"

Comment by Frankie Dapper on August 2, 2017 at 10:26am

BB, it is funny you mention Trump in apology dancing. Was just listening to a rather good apologist who debated Sam Harris. The apologists ascribe intention to anything and everything Trump does and fails to do.  Replace Trump with a blithering idiot (yes, a different blithering idiot) and the absurdity of their dancing is clear.  

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on August 1, 2017 at 8:18am

Hmmmmm, good points about apologists. You could say much the same thing about Trump supporters. It's getting to be more and more of a stretch except for the most brainless.

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