Did early Christians knowingly design the Bible Wheel?

A reader left this comment yesterday, touching upon my question Who Designed the Bible Wheel?:

Richard,

After doing a Google search this evening, on another idea, I came across your Bible Wheel site and this post of yours. This is the first I’ve heard of the wheel and I found the concept of it very intriguing. I’ve not been able to read through all of the posts in this discussion but decided to add my thoughts after reading a few of them. Read More »

Posted in Bible Wheel | 15 Responses

Explaining myself …

I received this comment in response to my post Why I quit Christianity. Tony brought up a number of important questions so I thought it best to repeat our exchange here where more folks can read it:

Hi Richard,

I must say I enjoyed your conversations. I admire your works on the bible wheel, and I am quite surprised by your turn from christianity. I ordered your book a few years back and came back to order a couple more for a couple of my friends that were interested in the study. I was shocked to see the statement why I turned from christianity. You said, I am set free from christianity… May I ask how were you set free from freedom? You were once a bond servant set free from the bonds of sin, and now you want go back into bondage. It reminds me of the Galations who were converting back to the law. You noted a scripture: Deuteronomy 20:16 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: 17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee: Did God not destroy the Earth with a flood? Does that make Him evil? Is He not the judge? Doesn’t He have the right to judge? Do we deserve death, and if not why did Jesus go to the cross? Why did God come down from His throne to die for you? Even the angels ask God, why do you concern yourself with us humans. How can we being the clay even consider judging the potters intensions or motives? Does He not see whats in your heart before you even see yourself? Didn’t the Lord tell Peter He would deny Him 3x even though Peter was ephatic he would die for the Lord? Surely a person with your intellect has read these scriptures over and over, yet now you recant? What has occurred in your life to release you from the ultimate Love? Read More »

Posted in Losing My Religion | Tagged | 35 Responses

A Critique of the Bible Wheel Book – by the Author! Part 2

The first part of this series may be found here.

Part I, Chapter 2 of the Bible Wheel book is available in html format for viewing in your browser here.

Critique of Part I, Chapter 2 of the Bible Wheel Book:

The second chapter is called The Canon Wheel. It begins with an explanation that the word “canon” refers to the list of books that “belong” in the Bible. I acknowledged that this list differs amongst various Christian groups, but maintained that the differences do not matter for the study of the Bible Wheel per se because the Bible Wheel is defined by the traditional Protestant canon of sixty-six books. I then reviewed the structure of the Old Testament and showed that it exhibits a pattern of perfect symmetry on multiple levels:

Perfect Symmetry of the Old Testament

I then reviewed the structure of the New Testament and showed that the entire Bible naturally falls into seven categories, and when theses seven categories are labeled and colored on the Bible Wheel, we discover the Canon Wheel: Read More »

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A Critique of the Bible Wheel Book – by the Author! Part 1

Bible Wheel BookWhy would I want to critique my own book? The answer is quite simple. As explained in my last post, Why I quit Christianity, I have recently completed the huge transition from being a “born-again Bible-believing Christian” to being an agnostic without any specific religious beliefs. The process took about 18 months. It began in earnest when my wife Rose and I began our “fireside chats” in December 2009 with the question “Why should we care what other people think?”. Little did we know where that innocent little question would lead. We made the transition together though our individual paths were somewhat different. For me, there were two primary insights that “broke the spell” of Christianity. First, I came to see that the Bible is filled with errors, contradictions, and moral abominations attributed to God, and that the attempts by Christian apologists to explain them away and/or cover them up and makes them look like fools of the first order. Second, I came to see that God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers, and that this directly contradicts the plain teaching of Scripture and the whole point of the religion which posits a parent-like Father God who watches over us, protects us from harm, and answers our prayers. For Rose, her primary insight was that the Bible is saturated with a strong male bias which has caused immeasurable and unjust suffering of woman at the hands of men throughout the ages and therefore  invalidates any possibility that the Bible could be the “Word of God” in the traditional Christian sense. Read More »

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Why I quit Christianity

Update: Comments on this thread are now closed because there are too many. I have reposted the article here. Comments in the new thread are welcome.

Since I began this website back in 2001, and during most of the decade that followed, I identified myself as a “Bible-believing Christian” in no uncertain terms. For example, here is how I described myself in my old FAQ (which remains on the old version of my site for historical purposes):

Are you a Christian? Protestant? Catholic?
Praise God, I am a man saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesian 2:8). I am a non-denominational blood-bought Bible-believing Trinitarian Christian. I believe that the true “faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3) is well stated in the early creeds of the church that Christ founded.

Likewise, here is my testimony about the purpose of my website on the old homepage:

To this end I labour, to glorify the Triune God; to glorify the Father Almighty, Creator of all, to glorify His Son Jesus Christ my Saviour and Hope, and to glorify the Giver of all divine gifts, my Comforter, Guide, Teacher and Friend, God the Holy Spirit. To You be the glory, thrice holy blessed God of Eternity! To You be the glory, now and forevermore. Amen. Amen. Amen.

And here are the thanks I gave to Christ on my old About page:

I remain eternally grateful to my Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, for shedding His Light upon me and guiding my path – usually without my knowledge – and giving me both the burning desire and the ability to proclaim the neverending wonders of His Holy Word. Oh! The wonders of His Grace! Had He left me to myself, doubtless I’d be dead or wandering aimless and lost through this dark world. Thank you, my Lord!

So, that’s where I was at for most of the last couple decades. How then is it possible that I now reject the faith I once believed with such passion? What changed? The answer is really pretty simple. I was “blinded” by the light I saw in the Bible. Anyone who has entered in to the Bible with believing eyes knows how it can capture the soul. It feels alive. It touches chords that resonate down into the deepest parts of ourselves. It seems to be filled with light everywhere you look: the Gospel message shines with its numinous symbolic elements like the Alpha Omega, the Cross, the Dove, the Death and Resurrection of Christ, and on and on it goes. Who wouldn’t want to believe such a story? Indeed, the believer wonders how anyone could resist such an amazing Gospel message. And beyond all that, I had the overwhelming witness of the Bible Wheel which seemed to confirm everything about the Bible as the very Word of God. All these things blinded me to the “dark side” of the Bible. I simply “overlooked” all the problematic passages, errors, contradictions, and moral abominations that didn’t fit with the amazingly glorious, and blinding, vision of the Bible as “God’s Word.”

So here are three of the primary issues that conspired to finally convince me that the traditional Christian faith is not true: Read More »

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2011 Rainbow Gathering in Washington State

The Rainbow Gathering was absolutely wonderful. I spent six days with 20,000 happy hippies in one of the most beautiful natural settings imaginable. It rained a lot up till the day I arrived (June 30) and then was sunny and warm every day, though the nights were very cold. There was still a lot of snow on the road when I arrived:

Snow on road

I made my camp near the D.R.E.E.M. Reality kitchen. The vibe was very high. Here’s a pic of the meadow by the camp: Read More »

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Heading out for the Rainbow Gathering

The Rainbow Gathering is in my home state of Washington this year. Up high in the deep green pine forests on the “wet side” of the Cascade mountains. It should be about as good as it gets. I’ll be away from all computers and electronic communication devices for five or six days, so if you leave any comments here on my blog, they will have to wait to approved when I get back.

Posted in Thinking Freely | 4 Responses

The Bible Wheel as a Cosmic Mandala of Archetypal Wholeness

The mandala is an archetypal image whose occurrence is attested throughout the ages. It signifies the wholeness of the Self. This circular image represents the wholeness of the psychic ground or, to put it in mythic terms, the divinity incarnate in man.” – Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections Pgs 334-335

“The “squaring of the circle” is one of the many archetypal motifs which form the basic patterns of our dreams and fantasies. But it is distinguished by the fact that it is one of the most important of them from the functional point of view. Indeed, it could even be called the archetype of wholeness.” – Carl Jung, Collected Works 9i Par. 715

The evolution of consciousness is one of the most important and intriguing aspects of life. It is perhaps the purpose of life. It tracks with biological evolution, increasing with the complexity of the brain in various species. To many, this naturally suggests that it is “nothing but” a product of the physical brain, completely reducible to “matter.” But there are deep philosophical problems with that view, and it seems more likely to me that matter is a product of mind than the reverse. If we are to believe that our ultimate understanding of the world should be a philosophical monism in which there is only one ultimate explanatory “category” or “principle” (as opposed to a mind vs. matter dualism) then the monism of Idealism or Panpsychism which states that everything is ultimately a product of Mind (or God) has a much greater explanatory power than a materialistic monism. This is because “matter” can only be known through mental processes and so must be explained in mental terms (concepts, which could all be in the mind), whereas no one has yet been able to explain mental processes (like consciousness) in terms of matter only. But the true nature of consciousness remains a mystery; no one knows the precise relationship between mind and matter and we need not immerse ourselves in these deep waters for this introduction to the cosmic significance of the Bible Wheel. For our current purposes, I will be following the definitions used by Richard Maurice Bucke in his classic Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind.  He defines three kinds of consciousness:

  1. Simple Consciousness is basic animal consciousness by which dogs or horses are just as conscious of the things about them as humans are.
  2. Self Consciousness is the ability to be aware of oneself as a distinct entity apart from the rest of the universe.
  3. Cosmic Consciousness is as far above Self Consciousness as is that above Simple Consciousness. It is a consciousness of the cosmos, that is, of the life and order of the universe and the interconnectedness and unity of all things.

The Wikipedia article on cosmic consciousness begins with this broad definition: Read More »

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Who Designed the Bible Wheel?

The Bible WheelWhen I first discovered the Bible Wheel in 1995, I soon became convinced that it was designed by “God.” My conception of God at that time was pretty much in line with with the “Guy-in-the-sky” style God of traditional Christian theism. I have since come to realize that I do not, indeed cannot, believe in that kind of God at all. I now identify myself as a “non-theist” and “non-Christian.” But this led to a big problem. All the evidence for the seemingly supernatural design of the Bible Wheel remains valid. Despite all the changes in my understanding of God and Christianity, none of the basic conclusions about the Bible Wheel have changed. So how do I explain its existence? How am I to understand how it came to be? After two years of seriously thinking about this, I think I am starting to get a basic understanding.

I’m beginning to understand that the Bible Wheel is something like a “collective dream image” produced by our collective cosmic consciousness. The universe as a whole is like a dream in the “Mind of God” of which we are all parts. There is no “agent” who “designs” things consciously any more than you or I “design” our dreams. They are a natural product of our minds, and so is all reality the natural product of the Collective Cosmic Mind. This strongly coheres with the insights of psychologist Carl Jung, especially in light of his observation that many patients draw circular mandalas with crosses in them when they reach psychic unity. This is an extremely exciting possibility since we could be witnessing the birth of the Cosmic Religion that will unite all humanity. The Bible Wheel looks like a Divine Dream Mandala representing the unity of all religions manifested by our unified Collective Cosmic Consciousness. I’m just beginning to understand this. It seems to be the best solution since the concept of a “personal God” that “intervenes” in the world (a “Zeus-style god”) seems impossible to me for many reasons which I will be explaining in future posts.

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Christians Praise Harold Camping for doing “God’s Work”

Rapture sign

There’s a lot of praise over on FiveDoves.com for the “great work” that Harold Camping did for the Lord by popularizing belief in the rapture and the end of the world. Here are some samples. I begin with this post by Fay on May 23 [source]: Read More »

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