Saturday, August 29, 2020
Friday, August 28, 2020
Bulverism is a silly word. It was made up by C.S. Lewis in order to make fun of a silly mistake sometimes made by silly people. He mentions it only once, in a light-hearted introduction to a serious religious lecture. He doesn’t use it consistently. Sometimes Bulverism is a rather dishonest rhetorical trick; sometimes it is a logical fallacy; and sometimes it is a very serious metaphysical error.
But Lewis’s silly word is frequently used seriously by conservative Christians. If you ever dare utter the phrase “you only think that because...” then someone from the American Internet will pop up and accuse you of Bulverism....
A very long (10,000 words) commentary on C.S Lewis's very succinct essay: available to Patreon Backers right now.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
King James again used the word “betrayed”; but as we have seen, Jesus consistently talks of being handed over. The Son of Man will be handed over to the priests and the lawyers and they will hand him over to the gentiles.
And now it comes. One of you says Jesus — one of you twelve — is going to hand me over. The disciples are sad — grieved — and they say to him one at a time “Is it I?”
Look carefully. When Jesus says, a few paragraphs later, that all the disciples are going to run away and desert him, they deny that this is so. “No, boss” they all say “Definitely not. How could you think that? We would never do such a thing.” But when he says that one of the twelve is going to hand him over, they simply ask “Do you mean me?”
They are not talking among themselves: they are talking to Jesus. And they are not crying out in shock. Mark is quite clear. They take it in turns to ask him: “Is it me?” “Is it me?” “Is it me?”
It’s a solemn ritual. Jesus isn’t making a prophecy. He isn’t saying “I know what transpired between Judas and the Priests.” He is laying the task on someone’s head. “I tried to give myself up. I gave them every chance to arrest me. But they wouldn’t take me. So one of you is going to have to surrender me to them.” And the question goes round the table, one by one. “Not me.” “Please, not me.” “You surely don’t want me to do it?”