Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Before the Common Era

One of the great changes that has swept academia since I was a college student is the switch from AD to CE and BC to BCE in dating history. AD stands for Anno Domini or 'in the year of the Lord (Jesus Christ)". BC, of course stands for 'Before Christ'. There is strong evidence that the dating system gets the advent of Our Lord wrong. BCE stands for 'Before Common Era' and CE therefore stands for 'Common Era'.

I really do not have a problem with non-Christians using the new system. Were I a Muslim or a Jew, I too would refuse to use a Christian dating system. Doing so elevates a mere man to undeserved significance. I am a Christian, so I refuse to use CE and BCE. It introduces a flasity into dating and removes the true meaning from it. In particular AD is a witness to the continued presence of God. I can make a pretty strong srgument that we really should be marking time from the Resurrection, but the possible (but probably erroneous) birth of Christ is acceptable.

Where it really gets interesting is in the case of purported Christians who use the new system. Academia is pretty rough and tumble and I can understand those who, in the quest for employment or tenure, use the new system. I've been unemployed and the uncertainty that brings can sap the courage.

Which brings me to two scholars. One very well known and one who is candidate to be bishop. Both are priests.

The first is Marilyn McCord Adams, who is a doctor of philosophy, expert in my fave philosopher William of Ockham, progressive apologist, and canon. She's very very smart. She just wants God to learn from her wisdom. She also falls into the trap of using the secular system of dating. So much for boldly proclaiming the Gospel.

The second is a candidate for suffragan bishop of Los Angeles, Rev. John Kirkley has written an interesting fusion of Bible story, revisionist theology and gay bodice ripper. He too believes that God has no place in the time business.

It may seem a little thing, but the little things show where your priorities are. It's very similar to discovering who a person is by the way he treats his subordinates. The Reverends Adams and Kirkley have redefined their job description of 'God botherer' to mean that they bother God, not that God should ever bother them.

Post Script, eminent scholar though she is, the The Rev Dr Canon Adams completely misunderstands Ockham. She is right in almost all of the details and completely wrong as to the totality. Some day, I'll explain exactly why her two volume set on Willy O is overpriced for the content.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I am amazed how people like Rev Kirkley want us to believe that David and Jonathan and Saul had a 'homoerotic' relationship based on a Biblical account of deep affection. If this was the case, the account in the bible would have never made it past the 'censors' of the time who deeply believed that homosexuality was strongly sinful. Can these people not believe that two men can care for each other without homosexual activity? Sheesh.
Logic and rational thinking are much out of favor these days.