Texas vs the Bible Belt

I had a few minutes to watch this 15 minute exchange. Always fun to hear two people you know separately, talking to each other. It shows two approaches to the Bible. One, Aron Ra’s, where you find errors, contradictions, and problems, with it. The other, Ehrmann’s, where you try to find what the original authors were trying to say, what the context of the words are.

Neither is wrong. It can depend on who you are talking to, what claims they are making, or what their approach is.

I watched this because you put it up here. Now I’m wandering what the point of what I just watched was.

Okay, I recognize the two styles, but beyond that, what was there? Mind you, I’m talking from the outside looking in and all I see is two people using trivial arguments about a novel and trying to tease out what the author had in mind. And that passes for theology?

Contrast that desiccated theological landscape to my other listening experience a couple days ago. One that was down right scintillating, and has me excited to learn more about the man and his words. Because, for me, it feels like there’s real meat on the bones of his words.

You see, over the last year I’ve heard the name Kondiaronk mentioned a few times, most particularly in James Poskett’s “Horizons” and now in Graeber/Wengrow’s “Dawn of Everything, a new history of Humanity” but it was only a couple days ago that I actually managed to start learning about the man. Most fun and excitement I’ve had since “discovering” Dr. Mark Solms, though Kondiaronk comes from a totally different era in human & scientific & theological affairs, having lived from around 1649 to 1701. There even seems to be solid evidence that Kondiaronk might well have been the spark, that started the smoldering in Europe, that flamed into the Intellectual Enlightenment. Imagine that.

Whereas the debates regarding the Bible come across as stale and contrived, this carries real meaning.

3:40 ( Baron de) Lahontan begins by announcing his wish to educate the Indian about Christianity in order to save his soul, because he says the Huron have no religion.
Adario* replies how do you mean without knowledge of the true god, what are you mad?

Do you believe we are void of religion after you have dwelt so long amongst us do you not know?

In the first place that we acknowledge a creator of the universe under the title of the great spirit or master of life whom we believe to be in everything and to be unconfined to limits.

Second: That we own the immortality of the soul.

Third: That the great spirit has furnished us with a rational faculty capable of distinguishing good from evil as much as heaven from earth to the end that we might religiously observe the true measures of justice and wisdom.

Fourth: That the tranquility and serenity of the soul pleases the great master of life and on the other hand that he aborts trouble and anxiety of mind because it renders man wicked.

Fifth: That life is a dream and death the season of awaking in which the soul sees and knows the nature and quality of all things whether visible or invisible.

Sixth: That the utmost reach of our minds can’t go one inch above the surface of the earth, so that we ought not to corrupt and spoil it by endeavoring to pry into invisible and improbable things. This my dear friend is our belief and we act up to it with the greatest exactness.
We believe we shall go to the country of souls.

After death but we have no such apprehension as you have of a good and bad mansion after this life provided for the good and bad souls for we cannot tell whether everything that appears faulty to men is so in the eyes of god.

If your religion differs from ours it does not follow that we have none at all …"

The introduction ends at 3:20.

Jul 10, 2022

Some excerpts from the French Baron de Lahontan’s dialogue with the Huron Chief, Kandiaronk, first published in 1703.

Yep. This is the kind of stuff that a whole lotta people are talkin about. This is an anti-theist talking with an agnostic scholar, that’s what was unusual about it. Also, that they respect each other.