Thursday, December 2, 2010

Laziness, Inc. Part 3

Ministry associate Nick Peters told me about a sign he saw on a van that said, “Life's Too Short To Clean Your Home.” It reflects a sort of laziness that permeates modern Western life these days, much like the copy on the side of a box containing a projection clock my wife and I once received as a gift (which did not work, by the way):

Go ahead

Stay in bed

With [this projection clock] you don’t even have to lift your head.

I think that’s a good way to thematically close out our look at objections from the bums at Laziness, Inc.

You say inerrant copies would implicitly coerce people into conversion. But don’t you also say that the evidence we have now is sufficient for faith? Wouldn’t inerrant copies be “more than sufficient”?

No – coercive elements (whether inerrant texts or not) would not be "sufficient" for anything in the way of faith. This objection makes the standard bungle of equating “faith” with belief; it is not that, but loyalty, and coercion does not produce loyalty – it produces resentful and disloyal people just along for their own self-interest, like those who are too lazy to do the spadework needed for a depth understanding of the Bible.

And of course, let’s not abuse John 20:24-9 on this either. It is precisely because these klutzes don’t have contextualized meanings of words like pistis that they continually abuse this story for their purposes, thinking their “plain reading” is sufficient – and all it takes is a very tiny amount of searching to uncover the meaning of pistis in its patronage contexts. Whining about the Bible not being “clear” on points like this, because of our own willful deficiencies in understanding, is pure laziness and nothing more.

Bottom line is this: The critics at Laziness, Inc. deny that they are asking for much, and cry incessantly about the detailed and allegedly convoluted, subjective, or contradictory answers they get from our side. In other words, those who call themselves freethinkers are whining about God requiring them to think, which is not only ironically delicious, but also says volumes about their relative maturity, and just how useless they would be as putative disciples.

You said your point about the Declaration of Independence’s copies being under tight guard proves your point. But this is just a case of supply and demand in action.

Precisely! And if the copies of the Bible were inerrant, there would inevitably be a choke point on the “supply” restricting the copies to those who could pay the price for them – as happened with relics. Yet the demand for these inerrant Bibles would be extraordinarily high.

But I have an inerrant copy of the Declaration of Independence right here. I bought it for a few bucks at a gift shop.

So what? This has no application to the matter up until the time of rapid and accurate duplication techniques which ensured that making accurate copies didn’t involve a lot of effort – and it also involves a work that is a mere handful of words (the Declaration) versus a work which is a huge volume (the Bible). It wouldn’t take a divine effort to keep copies accurate now, or of just a few words; in contrast to keep a large document inerrantly copied, using only ancient techniques of copying, would require divine intervention.

Well, those early copies of the Declaration weren’t signed or written by the Founders. They’re just from the time of the Revolution, so they don’t have any prestige value as you said.

Wrong. Again, this is nothing more than proof of my point. If they weren’t even touched by the Founders, yet are considered deserving of all that security, how much more so the inevitably rare copies of the inerrantly-copied Bible? Rarity and prestige value are two sides of the same coin: The rarity grants prestige, and the prestige is what enabled the rarity in the first place.

And so, in the end, the couch potatoes have nowhere to hide – though I daresay they’ll end up on Gehenna’s couch in just the way they have asked.


  1. A skeptical friend of mine once confused the difference between "sufficient" and "coercive" evidence. He thought my use of evidence in favour of the Biblical worldview negated my defence against the charge of "divine hiddenness".

    But evidence can be excessive for a belief and yet not be coercive. Consider that we have ample evidence to demonstrate the ill-effects of smoking. The evidence rationally warrants the belief that smoking is harmful, but the evidence isn't coercive enough to stop a smoker from smoking.

    Imagine however that God left a dozen corpses of those who'd died from lung cancer in a smoker's bed along with mantled blackened lungs on their wall and other extreme measures. This would be coercive as the smoker is unable to avoid the evidence which is already staggering.

    The way I see it coerciveness has more to do with avoidability than merely the strength of the evidence.