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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pin pricks

"Kirk stood up and introduced himself. You couldn't have heard a pin drop. There was too much noise." - From Ray Comfort's post the other day regarding The Dark Lord and his Apprentice attending a showing of the movie about a man who can't set light to his cross because it is flame retardant - or something.

Well, it turns out that Darth Comfort was not the only one to impart this tale... So too did Count Friel. He recounted the self same story on his daily propaganda broadcast only the other day.

"And when it was all done, Kirk got up and said 'Hi everybody - I'm Caleb'. You could hear a pin drop except for a couple of women going 'hurrrrr'.

Two different people - two different versions of the story... But why let reality get in the way of a chance to tell a 'good' story?

The discrepancy is (of course) not important... BUT it tells us something about the nature of stories - they change, they are elaborated upon and they diverge from their source material.

Friel - very kindly - demonstrated exactly why the bible IS errant and has to be errant - Comfort and Friel cannot recount a story correctly within DAYS of it happening, so what chance a document based on thousands of years of editing, recounting, translating revising and rewriting?

(Good grief, now Friel is talking about the reality of angels - but that is whole other post).


  1. Because you don't have faith?

  2. C'mon Matt -

    You and everyone here should know that if you take any number of witnesses to an event, take them in separate rooms, and ask them to recount the event, there will be differences. Their perception or observations of the event are based on many things.

    True, you want to hold Friel and Comfort to a higher standard because of their reputation and ministry. Perhaps they should.

    We all do it.. I do it, I can guarantee you've done it before. Anyone that would say they haven't changed a story (even slightly) in the re-telling is a liar (or has a bad memory).

    We get your point. They're publicity hounds. Nobody (including Friel and Ray) claim they're perfect.

    I suggest you move on (but I suspect you won't, simply due to the nature of this blog).

  3. I have a bigger problem with what Ray said, "You couldn't have heard a pin drop. There was too much noise." Ummm...is it just me, or does there only need to be the tiniest bit of noise to not hear a pin drop?

  4. Yes that is exactly true, laof.

    Now imagine passing this story by word of mouth for say 10 - 15 years, by the best estimates, then writing it down. Then have people who can barely read/write copy it for a few hundred years. Add in a couple of those people doing the copying who think they can make the story better and add or take away a few bits here and there. What do you have? The Bible!

  5. Rocky -

    I admire your persistence.

  6. Excellent post, Mr. Wooler. I agree that evidence of the fallibility of the Bible is quite obvious, regardless of whether fallibility it a human trait or not.

    Of course, biblical apologism requires that you maintain the divine nature of the authors, which explains why you find so many fundamentalists refusing to consider otherwise.

  7. Rocky S.

    Spot on! You took the words right out of my mouth. :>

  8. Lance Christian Johnson:

    "...is it just me, or does there only need to be the tiniest bit of noise to not hear a pin drop?"

    Yeah, Ray often uses words without thinking about the meaning. My favorite example is that he called one of his books his "Authorized Autobiography."

    What would an unauthorized autobiography be?

    Ray just heard the word "authorized" used in the context of books about people and slapped it on to sound official or important or whatever.

  9. Ray does sometimes have an issue with the 'language barrier'.

    I'd agree on that point.

  10. "What would an unauthorized autobiography be?"
    Something you publish with your agent telling you not to, I guess.

  11. LAOF, this is part of the reason I've argued that Ray communicates by emoting, rather than trying to convey ideas.

    Over the last 3 months (or so?), I've watched him use language very imprecisely. There's nothing wrong with this, of course - different people communicate differently. But when you're dealing with a book which is supposed to hold ultimate truths about Life, The Universe and Everything (thanks for the fish!), use of remarkably imprecise language is extremely dangerous.

    Even in this one blog, we see that different Christians have different ideas about what various passages in The Book mean.

    And to be perfectly honest, this use of emotion to convey meaning is practiced by most religions, not just Christianity.

    I would like Ray to speak more clearly, but he's certainly not an abberation in this respect; that aside, I will hold him to the words he uses. Issues like the fate of my mortal soul dictate that I fully understand what's going on, and consequently what I should be doing about it

  12. As an afterthought, this is also the major reason I shun religion. I find most of the communication to be of this sort - people seem to want to communicate feelings more often than ideas.

    I guess this could be fertile ground for a seperate topic.


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