Ep 115 – Rant Chat

So the bonus episode today has already gotten a bit of a mixed response, which is fine. I record all my episodes more for myself than the audience, and this more than most episodes was like that. But, for those who sat through a full hour of my groundless, poorly formed opinions, with opinions of your own, this is a good place to chat about it. Critical thoughts are invited, though of course you are also free to tell me how I am perfectly correct in all my opinions if you genuinely think that lol.

It has actually been a few months since I put that episode together, and even with fresh eyes looking back on my notes, there are already a few things that I would perhaps adjust, mostly in terms of focus more than anything else. Shortly after I recorded that, a Youtube pastor I listen to just coincidentally was pushing against people who put anything at all above or equal to scripture, either personal “holy ghost” experience or the “book of nature”, or of course those who think that the various human hands involved in the bible can be pitted against each other. The question of how to resolve disputes between A) our natural observations, B) Books of scripture, C) potentially contradictory scripture passages and D) my own personal religious experience is one that has been bothering me for a bit, and I am already unsure that my conclusions in this episode, which was mostly put together looking specifically at history and scripture rather than larger theological issues, are quite correct. Some would say that at least some of those 4 elements are incapable of disagreement, some would even say that the first three are always in harmony and the fourth counts for objectively nothing, but I am not sure that is quite correct either.

Anyway, free-for-all here in the comments, all things will be approved even if they are really mean, but maybe don’t be mean to any other commenters, just me, and be civil to each other otherwise.

7 thoughts on “Ep 115 – Rant Chat”

  1. Thank you for sharing your spiritual experience on the rant episode, James. I believe that our intelligent designer (God) created us to be perpetual problem-solvers, thus, the problem of knowing, is ever at our feet. The pursuit of truth through narrative (including historical ones) is a gift that our faith-rewarding God has bestowed upon us. Keep that fire for truth burning for yourself and us listeners as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve wondered when you’re newly found faith would start interfering with your earlier follow-the-science approach, and I guess this is it. There is a lot to unpack in this episode: a lot of contradictions (the violence and archeological evidence rant), a lot of selective comparisons (comparing thucydides and early biblical sources as equivalent? Really?), and a mocking-ranting tone towards people you don’t agree with that wasn’t there before. This isn’t a rebuke, it’s your podcast and you can do what you want with it, but I’ll be more carefull about what you’re saying going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is as much the reason I did this episode as anything. I have tried to be a neutral voice as much as possible, but that is ultimately impossible, and it matters more on this series than previous ones. Better for my perspective to be on display than for you to be left guessing at what my perspective might be blinding me to. Glad to hear your thoughts on this, and I hope there is still enough going forward for you to get good stuff out of the show. Have a great day!


    1. I think you meant this as a joke. I wanted to make a similar wise crack, but didn’t think I pull it off and not be offensive.


  3. I’m an atheist. Nothing about this episode bothers me. It is actually really smart to put the opinion section in a different episode. I’ve been very curious about you personally, and your opinions. This was a perfect way to answer a lot of those questions without accidently introducing those opinions too heavily the normal narrative. One of the things I love about this show is that you try out stuff. I loved the episode where you made up a story about the year in the life of a regular family, brilliant.

    One minor critique, the extreme skeptic you propose is a bit of a strawman. I think most skeptics are more moderate about biblical historicity. Sure, some of that stuff happen. We just can’t confirm much of it. However, I’m sure extremists are very active on the internet on these search terms, and you hear from them a lot. Helps keep the discussion going too.


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