Ken Gilmore takes another leap towards deconversion

The Ken-Cat is leaping towards the truth
By John Bedson

Ex-Christadelphians have worked hard to help the Ken-Cat to deconvert; so his latest blog post in which he rejects the foundation clause of the BASF is a cause of much celebration to us. 



We all love and admire Ken and when he finally reaches his goal of learning the truth about God and the Bible, he is going to get the biggest welcome of his life from us.

He is going to be an extremely valuable asset to us and within weeks and months the cream of the Christadelphian intelligencia are going to follow him into Agnostic or Atheistic Ex-Christadelphianism.

"The cream of Christadelphian intelligencia" is only a few people; far less than the number that we already have in the Ex-Christadelphians. I'd estimate it to be around 80 people. Nevertheless we await their company with eager anticipation. It's going to be fun and the party and celebrations will go on for months if not years.

This won't concern the Christadelphians; because the Logos ecclesias have already disfellowshiped the Christadelphian intellectuals by altering their Statement of Faith to exclude Evolutionary Creationists; and all of the other publishing and preaching organisations of the religion are attacking them with vigour. But nevertheless it will be a blow to the religion.

The best of the Christadelphian
community are deconverting.
We celebrate every one and
offer our love and support.
Losing the intelligent, rational thinking liberals to the Ex-Christadelphians and having them attack the religion instead of defending it, will mean that there will be no place left for intelligent people in the Christadelphian community. They will know that the smart ones have left and peer pressure will bring them out of the religion faster than we can pop the Champagne corks to celebrate their escape.

Before he resigned in July 2013, Rod Hyndman walked exactly the same road to deconversion as Ken Gilmore and the other Christadelphian liberal intellectuals. Click here to read Rob's article 'Does inspiration mean the Bible must contain no mistakes? where in August 2012 he first started to question the divine inspiration of the Bible  and click here for his later article in December 2012 'Models of inspiration' Slowly but surely he was coming to realise that the foundation clause of the BASF:

"THE FOUNDATION -- That the book currently known as the Bible, consisting of the Scriptures of Moses, the prophets, and the apostles, is the only source of knowledge concerning God and His purposes at present extant or available in the earth, and that the same were wholly given by inspiration of God in the writers, and are consequently without error in all parts of them, except such as may be due to errors of transcription or translation."

- did not make any sense and should be abandoned. By July 2013 he was able to write in his resignation article:

"Far from inspired, the Bible now appeared as a collection of ancient human documents, full of propaganda, legend, and bigotry. Yes, there was some wisdom there, and some beautiful poetry, some uplifting words. But the attitudes to women and foreigners that it describes, sometimes commands, were not worthy of the God I once believed in. The alleged miracles seemed more like the superstitions of a primitive people than evidence for enlightened belief. Even the prophecies that I once found so convincing, appeared to be either contrived, out-of-context, or written after the alleged fulfilment."

Ken Gilmore has in the past given us hints that his mind is leaning the same way. But his latest article 'Why Bart Ehrman is good for Christianity' goes further than ever before in rejecting the simplistic fundamentalism and literalism of the Christadelphian Foundation Clause which claims that the Bible is inerrant. Now Ken is prepared to accept the thousands of contradictions and discrepancies in the Bible without bothering to defend or explain them.

  "I have learned that there are discrepancies in the Gospels..."

- is a quote from a Greg Monette's recent blog post in Ken's article; Ken is saying that he now agrees with Greg's conclusion.

Only a few weeks ago Ken wrote on his blog:

"While this blog's main purpose is to show that Christadelphian theology is not affected by evolutionary biology, it has at times touched on subjects of a broader apologetic focus. What has been a one-off event will become a regular feature of the blog as it expands its focus."
 
- But that resolution has foundered on his latest admission that the Bible contains numerous "discrepancies." How can anyone engage in Biblical Apologetics when they have already admitted that the Bible is strewn with "discrepancies?" 

It is the job of the Ex-Christadelphians to highlight all of those discrepancies and it is the work of the Christadelphian apologetics like Ken and the Berea-Portal team and the other Christadelphian intellectuals to invent convoluted answers and explanations to our criticisms. But if they are going to run up the white flag of surrender before the battle even begins; the audience are not going to see a fight.

But why would we want to battle with our favourite Christadelphian (Ken) and his wonderful intellectual colleagues? They are our beloved brethren and sisters and we love every one of them as our own.

We have patently waited and watched as Rob Hyndman, Joe, Mark, Geri and hundreds of other sensible and intelligent Christadelphians carefully trod the path to freedom as they deconverted themselves out of their family religion. We have rejoiced with our newly deconverted brethren and sisters and offered to them every possible support and comfort as they struggled to adjust to a new life outside the Christadelphian sect.

As the Ex-Christadelphian community grows ever stronger, the strength of our love and the power of our support becomes deeper and more resilient.

Our confidence is high that we did the right thing. As we read the following from a brilliant mind like Ken Gilmore, we are again encouraged that we acted correctly in deconverting. We hope that Ken's deconversion epiphany will not be long delayed.

Why Bart Ehrman is good for Christianity

By Ken Gilmore

Source:  Click here

Many conservative Christians would disagree strongly with the opening title as they see Bart Ehrman as    representative of 'godless, anti-Bible higher criticism', or some other equally hysterical term. That's a shame because apart from being one of the best NT textual critics alive today, Ehrman when read intelligently acts as a catalyst to spur Christians into a more intelligent, less fundamentalist way of reading the Bible.
 
Greg Monette's recent blog post shows exactly how an intelligent reading of Ehrman helped him move from fundamentalist Christianity to the sort of faith that disintegrated on encountering a single discrepancy: (Editor's Note: That last sentence does not make any sense. It must be a typo in Ken's original article. I've asked him to correct it, but without success. It's a sort of Freudian slip. It is actually true; but Ken could not have meant to write it that way, because he is not deconverted yet.)
Ehrman is also correct that the New Testament contains “discrepancies” and not simply “apparent” discrepancies. Evangelicals (and I am one) often make sure they use the word “apparent” before discrepancy because what may seem like a discrepancy now, we may discover isn’t one at all. However, there are definitely more than a few discrepancies in the Gospels that will never be straightened out. For instance, who asked Jesus if the sons of Zebedee (James and John) could sit at his righthand when he entered his kingdom? Was it James and John themselves (Matthew 20:20-28) or their mother (Mark 10:35-45)? The two Gospels do not agree with one another. Was it the centurion himself who asked Jesus to heal his male servant in person as we read in Matthew’s Gospel (8:5-13)? Or did the centurion send some Jewish elders to ask Jesus as we read in Luke’s Gospel (7:1-10)? The discrepancy is clear. Ehrman is correct to point out many of the real discrepancies that exist in the Gospels. However, where Ehrman errs is where he says nothing about the possibility that real events occurred like those described in both Gospels and yet one or both of the Gospel's authors made a mistake in a few of the details, or purposely changed some of the details for reasons they thought acceptable. Yes, it may be an important detail here or there, but it doesn’t necessarily discredit the entirety of each story. Only super conservative Christians should be easy prey for scholars like Ehrman. I used to be one of these people. I’m not anymore. I have learned that there are discrepancies in the Gospels and yet they don’t discredit the overall historical reliability of the stories in question. (Emphasis mine)
Ehrman is only a problem if your view of inspiration is a rigid variant of verbal plenary inspiration which argues that God dictated every word to the writers. In this case, any discrepancy automatically reflects back on God, and produces the sort of tension which can - and does - lead to a collapse of faith. However, as Monette says:
If anyone tells you that the Bible must be 100% reliable in order for Jesus to have been raised from the dead...have a good chuckle. That’s ridiculous. That’s like saying that if a modern day journalist is slightly incorrect in their reporting of something that took place that it mustn't have actually happened. Please. We can do better than this brittle fundamentalism.
Exactly.

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