Let’s talk about ignorance. The sort that makes you drop your jaw and stare. I really couldn’t care less about the opening line; it’s the things that he says are “not in the Bible” that are amazingly bad. If what he says weren’t reposted so often by atheists, it might even be hilarious; akin to Silverman’s infamous “Bear Theism” performance he gave during the closing statement of his debate with James White in August of last year.
The next time believers tell you that ‘separation of church and state’ does not appear in our founding document, tell them to stop using the word ‘trinity.’ The word ‘trinity’ appears nowhere in the bible. Neither does Rapture, or Second Coming, or Original Sin. If they are still unfazed (or unphrased), by this, then add Omniscience, Omnipresence, Supernatural,Transcendence, Afterlife, Deity, Divinity, Theology, Monotheism, Missionary, Immaculate Conception, Christmas, Christianity, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Methodist, Catholic, Pope, Cardinal, Catechism, Purgatory, Penance, Transubstantiation, Excommunication, Dogma, Chastity, Unpardonable Sin, Infallibility, Inerrancy, Incarnation, Epiphany, Sermon, Eucharist, the Lord’s Prayer, Good Friday, Doubting Thomas, Advent, Sunday School, Dead Sea, Golden Rule, Moral, Morality, Ethics, Patriotism, Education, Atheism, Apostasy, Conservative (Liberal is in), Capital Punishment, Monogamy, Abortion, Pornography, Homosexual, Lesbian, Fairness, Logic, Republic, Democracy, Capitalism, Funeral, Decalogue, or Bible. – Dan Barker (Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist, page 109)
First; the point he’s trying to make is that there are certain things “implied”, but not “directly stated” in Scripture. This is true, of course, as the great confessions tell us. However, what he says is “nowhere in the Bible” is fairly amusing; if flat-out wrong, in many cases, and uninteresting, in others. For “Deity”, of course, we have Col 2:9 in the NASB – and in Rom 1:20/Acts 17:29 as well, in the RSV. “Divinity” isn’t present, although “divine” is in the KJV (in the sense he means) 4 times, 6 in the NKJV, 9 in the NIV, 8 in the ESV, and 10 in the NASB and RSV, due to various translation choices.
Oh, he’s speaking of the original languages, you say? Well, in that case, why does he say “Liberal is in” at one point? It’s obviously meant to be in English! Second, see “Eucharist” below. If he meant “in the original language”, why include that one?
How about “Christianity”? Notice he doesn’t say “Christians,” which is found in Acts 11:26. Chastity – chaste is found 3 times in the KJV/NKJV, twice in the NASB. Eucharist… hoo boy. Yes, maybe that isn’t in English. Because it’s taken directly from the Greek. εὐχαριστέω eucharisteō – found in 1 Cor 11:24 and 36 other verses. Also, another one taken straight from the Greek, Catechesis; κατηχέω katēcheō – used 8 times in the NT. Moral – twice in the NASB. Apostasy – twice in the ESV and RSV, 3 times in the NASB. Homosexual? Once in the NIV. Homosexual(s)? Twice in the NASB, once in the NKJV. Fairness? Once in the NIV, twice in the ESV and NASB. Funeral? Twice in the NIV.
Now, we’re not even counting *all* of the different forms of the words in question. We’re not counting synonyms, linguistic parallels, or the like. This is more or less straight “word search” argumentation. Even on *that* level, Mr. Barker’s ignorance is amazing. An argument, for whatever reason, that is centered on “which English words are in the Bible” is asinine, at best; that he can’t even get *that* right just compounds the silliness. Since he often touts his work as a “preacher”, this illuminates the ignorance in which he carried out his work. As I said, I couldn’t care less about his assertion regarding “separation of church and state”. I DO care about his ridiculous assertions concerning what is “nowhere in the Bible”. I’m aware, of course, that he isn’t saying that these *concepts* are not in the Bible (although I DO wonder who he believes is saying “Methodism” is stated in the Bible, but I digress). Note the confusing mixup of terms like “Sunday School” (a typically Protestant practice) along with the denominational group called Methodism (neither of which, as far as I’m aware, anyone asserts is in the Bible) with Romanist distinctives (aka heresies) such as purgatory or penance, immaculate conception, or transubstantiation. Couple that with obvious anachronisms like “Democracy” “Fundamentalist,” “Cardinal”, “Pope”, “Excommunication,” “Conservative” (not to mention “Liberal!”) and “patriotism”, the modern dispensationalist “Rapture”, the English euphemistic term “Second Coming” for the final return of Christ; the title “Doubting Thomas”, which, obviously, we don’t think is in the Bible, the modern name for the Red Sea, as it is called in Scripture, even in the KJV.
In short, Mr. Barker’s surreal list of words that appear “nowhere in the Bible” are simply ridiculous. We’ve come to expect this level of knowledge from Mr. Barker, unfortunately; his past debates have come to epitomize the poor performance by atheism in the public square. From his amazing assertions concerning “contradictions” to the incredible leaps he makes for “parallels” in prophecy, Mr. Barker’s depth of knowledge and study leaves much to be desired. Whether or not “separation of church and state” is implied in our founding documents, his “list” is rather flawed. As it has been cited over 900 times, by my count, by various atheists, my suggestion is that they address this “in house” before they embarrass themselves further.
(Incidentally, the post title comes from his children’s book “Maybe Right, Maybe Wrong”, wherein he asserts, essentially, that we are no more than “cosmic broccoli”; that book was cited in his debate with Paul Manata, and that debate exchange was referenced in his later debate with James White.)