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March 03, 2014

“I grew up in a cult run by a sexual predator.”

I dare you to read up on Botkin Syndrome and not want to drive out to Iowa--or wherever these incestuous fundamentalists live--and just spit in their eyes. On Growing Up in Bill Gothard’s Homeschool Cult | Redemption Pictures
There’s barely a memory from the first twenty years of my life that isn’t run through by the thread of the Cult. We joined the Advanced Training Institute when I was in first grade. Bill Gothard’s materials were the foundation of my homeschooling curriculum for the next twelve years. The Institute’s books began to fill our shelves; their routine became part of our daily life. As a child and then a teen, ATI/IBLP formed most of my peer group. In the summer we went to the camps and the conferences. I attended the seminars as a child, then as a teacher. After I graduated from high school, I spent the next two years living and volunteering at the one of the Training Centers. My wife was exposed to the cult when she was growing up too, though not as deeply as I was. When we began our awkward courtship, we followed many of the rules and procedures prescribed by the cult. And in the years since then, I’ve found myself in the long, slow process of rooting out the remaining traces of the cult from my heart, reconstructing a faith brick by brick. When I tell my story, people say “You should hate God by now. It’s a miracle you’re a Christian at all. They’re right. It’s a miracle.

February 06, 2014

The Bible was likely written around 586 B.C.E. says new report out of Israel

New research into the domestication of camels--seriously--suggests that the Bible was authored about 2500 years ago, not 4500 as is usually claimed. All of the early history, the scholars explain, was backfilled from 586 B.C.E. and is not what you what call even remotely historically accurate. Camel Bones and Jerusalem: Archeology Shows Bible written Late, Full of Errors | Informed Comment
But here is proof that the Bible was written late and projects later developments into the distant past: it alleges that people had domesticated camels four millennia ago in what is now Israel. And that assertion, folks, is simply not true. That is the finding of Sapir-Hen and Ben-Yosef. E.g. Genesis 24: 64 says, “Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from the camel.” If this encounter happened circa 2026 BC, it was happening a thousand years before anyone was riding camels. The archeologists’ digs near the Jordanian border find evidence of domesticated camels sort of 930-900 BC. But they don’t find that evidence in any settlements older than 930 BC. There is a pretty clear dividing line between the pre-domestic camel and post- domestic camel settlements. Although it was likely based on previous oral tales, the Bible probably wasn’t written down in something like its present form until the Babylonian exile, 586-539 B.C. When those scribes reworked the folk tales of the Canaanites, they projected sixth-century BC realities back into the past. Thus, they had characters riding camels before they were domesticated. Riding a camel was taken for granted in 580 BC. You might think this point is a minor one. But it demonstrates how the scribes worked. They projected recent things into the distant past. The archeological evidence shows that not only weren’t people riding camels in the Levant when the Bible says they were, David and Solomon didn’t have a huge palace in Jerusalem in the 1000s and 900s BC. The Assyrians, the gossips of the ancient world, wrote down everything on their clay tablets. They knew events in the whole Middle East. They did not know anything about a glorious kingdom of David and Solomon at Jerusalem. Indeed, in the 1000s when David is alleged to have lived, Jerusalem seems to have been largely uninhabited, according to the digs that have been done. Jerusalem was not in any case founded by Jews, but by Canaanites in honor of the god Shalem, thousands of years ago. There is no reason to think anyone but Canaanites lived in the area of Jerusalem in the 1000s or 900s BC. Likely some Canaanites became devoted to Y*H*W*H in a monotheistic way during the Babylonian exile when they began inventing Judaism and becoming “Jews” and projecting it back into the distant past.