Mark Twain on the Book of Mormon

"All men have heard of the Mormon Bible, but few except the 'elect' have seen it, or, at least, taken the trouble to read it. I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me, it is such a pretentious affair, and yet so 'slow,' so sleepy; such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print. If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle—keeping awake while he did it was, at any rate. If he, according to tradition, merely translated it from certain ancient and mysteriously-engraved plates of copper, which he declares he found under a stone, in an out-of-the-way locality, the work of translating was equally a miracle, for the same reason.
- Mark Twain

Most Popular Book of the Pentateuch

Just as a matter of interest I had a look on Google trends to see which is the most searched for book of the Pentateuch. The results are clear, see the Graph below. Genesis stands out a mile above the others. Perhaps this is down to the wonderful poetic beauty it possesses or is it because of the whole Creation-Evolution debate.

What do you think? Where do you stand in relation to Creation and Evolution?

Liberating Ourselves of God

I have long advocated for the reassessment of our concept of God (see Our Image of God Must Go). Many of the images we have of God are completely unbiblical. These concepts are throw-overs from ancient pagan times or from American fundamentalism. The images are so ingrained in our psyche and popular culture that we take them for granted and revert to them by default.

It is human to project human images onto God. This makes God manageable and familiar; or rather makes the image of God manageable and familiar. But this can lead us into false thinking. It can also create false expectations of God and what it means to believe.

Israel-Palestine: Who's Side am I on?

I was asked today what my thoughts on Gaza was. My first thought is this when it comes to anything geo-political: The state of Gaza is merely a geo-political concept, so too is Israel and Ireland and Britain and any other country that claims to exist.

On talking further it was clear that the discussion was more about whose side I was on. I just got the sense that the conversation was essentially a fishing for a condemnation of the attack on Gaza by Israel.

I won’t condemn the indiscriminate attack on innocent men, women and children no matter who is doing it. It doesn’t matter to me if you are pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian or anti these. It doesn’t matter to me if you are unionist of republican.

Your Tears Touch the Eternal

I love that feeling you get in your throat when you are trying to talk while holding back the tears.

I love it because it means that there exists something or someone that means something to you.

It means that you have touched the unseen world where love, compassion and beauty exists.

It means that you have learned to love and feel love.

In that moment just before tears where the throat is tight and you are rendered speechless you have touched the eternal.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:18