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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

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Page 12 - Silly flowchart, irrelevant evangelism

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Cut out flowchart

How silly; it has many glaring omissions. Here is my own flowchart:
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As you will note, it's much more comprehensive than the one above, less colourful though it might be.

As John Beversluis comments on CS Lewis: “One of Lewis’s most serious weaknesses as an apologist is his fondness for the false dilemma. He habitually confronts his readers with the alleged necessity of choosing between two alternatives when there are in fact other options to be considered. One horn of the dilemma typically sets forth Lewis’s view in all its apparent forcefulness, while the other horn is a ridiculous straw man. Either the universe is the product of a conscious Mind or it is a mere “fluke” (MC. 31). Either morality is a revelation or it is an inexplicable illusion (PP, 22). Either morality is grounded in the supernatural or it is a “mere twist” in the human mind (PP, 20). Either right and wrong are real or they are “mere irrational emotions” (CR, 66). Lewis advances these arguments again and again, and they are all open to the same objection.”

And then on the right is a strong suggestion to pray a prayer - wth?! This is almost entirely irrelevant to the stated purpose of the pamphlet.

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Page 13 - Afterword

The afterword claims that the pamphlet has put Jesus on trial. What it doesn't say is that this trial has been in a kangaroo court, with the assumption (not only the presumption) of innocence and without any cross-examining or counter-arguments by the prosecution at all. As a piece of critical writing, I would give it 1/10, and hope never to get any of the people behind the pamphlet defending me in a court of law (though I would certainly welcome their presence on the other side of the courtroom).

Certainly, as they hoped I have enjoyed browsing the magazine in that I've been able to tear their so-called arguments to shreds with nary an effort. After all the FUD put out by the CCC, I really hope that readers have been able to find some real answers as they sort through the lies and half-truths contained in this pamphlet.

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Page 14 - Pamphlet tie-ins and contest

This page promotes many apologetic publications to the reader, with no mention of any opposing or contrary views. Fie, fie. There is also a contest where those who send in their feedback to beneath_that_smile@yahoo.com.sg stand a chance to win an iPod Shuffle. I am almost tempted to send them my blog posts about this shitty pamphlet, but the iPod Shuffle sucks anyway, so.

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Back cover


Inspired by the pamphlet, here I present my review of "The Da Vinci Code (Companion Guide)" by the Campus Crusade for Christ

In A Nutshell
The companion guide is not produced by the people behind the Da Vinci Code but instead by the fundamentalist Christian group "Campus Crusade for Christ". It aims not to enlighten you about the truth behind "The Da Vinci Code" but to convert you to their strain of Christianity by presenting you with lies and half-truths without any counterarguments at all, ending with an appeal to emotion - not what you were promised on the cover.

What's Hot
This pamphlet is excellently marketed, presenting an example of the classic bait and switch strategem. Its distribution also attests to the power of using unpaid volunteers to spread your wares.

What's Not
Just like "the Da Vinci Code", this probably contains only one true line.

Our Say
The money used to make this pamphlet should've been used to feed starving children in Africa. Or at the very least they could've made a more convincing case less likely to piss off thinking people with half a brain.

Vital statistics
Gloss and polish: 5/5
Tie-ins with other apologetic literature: 5/5
Historical accuracy: 1/5
Disingenuousness: 1/5
Contribution to the littering problem in NUS: 5/5


Quiz!

In an era where "black is white" is reality worth anything?

In this era seeing the resurgence of Christian fundamentalism, are you a fundamentalist Christian or a truth-seeker? How does the notion of 'biblical inerrancy' figure in the last 2 centuries? We dare you to take this test to find out!

1. How old is the earth?
a) Less than 10,000 years old, despite all scientific evidence to the contrary
b) 4.5 billion years old

2. Is the bible inerrant?
a) Yes, even when it contradicts itself it must be because we have cataracts floating in our eyes.
b) No, some parts clearly contradict each other.

3. What do you think of Catholics?
a) They worship Mary! They're the spawn of Satan! The Pope is the Anti-Christ!
b) Just another Christian denomination.

4. Is there a possibility, however slight, that St Paul suffered from Temporal Lobe Epilepsy given that his description of his conversion fits the symptoms of the disease?
a) No! You will burn in hell for this!
b) Yes.

5. Can the massacre of the Midianites in Numbers 31 ever be justified?
a) God can never be questioned, even when he causes more suffering than Satan!
b) This raises troubling questions that we must at least consider.

6. Can women become priests/pastors?
a) Yes
b) I don't know/care
c) No

Wonder what the results will show? Here goes! Are we describing you right?

Mostly As
You are a Fundamentalist who believes that the bible is inerrant and that when your or your denomination's interpretation conflicts with reality, our perception of reality is flawed. If the bible told you to commit genocide, you would.

Mostly Bs
Congratulations! You are not a fundamentalist. We can't say anything else about you though, since this is a stupid quiz fundamentally flawed in its format.

One C
You're Catholic! Every sperm is sacred.


-End of Part 3 and the whole review-

Moral of the story: Just because Agagooga is not in Singapore doesn't mean that fundies can spread their trash freely.

A repackaged version of BibleTrash.zip with truncated and resized scans of the pamphlet and my flowchart is available for downloading:

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