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Book Review: Read and Share Bible: More than 200 Best-loved Bible Stories by Gwen Ellis

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If you’re looking for a way to share Bible stories with your four-to-eight year-old, the Read and Share Bible: More than 200 Best-loved Bible Stories may be just the book for you. It contains over 200 Bible stories retold by “Read and Share” best-selling author Gwen Ellis. It’s also a visual delight with over 400 colorful illustrations by U.K. artist Steve Smallman.

Each titled and illustrated story consists of a mere two-page spread, perfect for the short attention span of little people. Each story’s Bible reference is noted just under the title, making it easy for adult readers to find the complete story in a regular Bible should they want to.

Text in a box at the bottom right-hand page of each two-page segment serves a variety of purposes. For example, sometimes it entices the reader/listener on to the next segment. After Moses gets his assignment at the burning bush we read: “Whenever God asks us to do hard things, He will help us. Let’s see how He helped Moses” – p. 109. At other times it suggests an application. Below the story of David killing the giant we read: “David was brave and he trusted God. God will help us in scary times if we ask Him” – p. 203. At still other times it serves to stimulate discussion. Below the story of Jesus’ birth we read: “Why do you think God would want His son to be born where animals were kept?”- p. 301.

This Bible also contains a gift-inscription page and a “Tips” page with four ideas on how to use the book. The Table of Contents includes each story’s title and Bible reference. The stories follow the chronology of the Bible with all the stories about each character grouped together under the character’s name.

The book’s sturdy hardcover binding and good quality glossy paper make it one that will stand up under hours of use by little hands.

I like the author’s to-the-point style. Though each entry is short (under 100 words) the telling is clear and vivid. The scope of the book is interesting with stories of lesser-known Bible characters (like Balaam and Deborah) sprinkled amongst the usual Bible story fare. The discussion bits are written in a warm, friendly tone that invites participation. Read the story of Noah as a sample.

This book would be a wonderful addition to any home, preschool, kindergarten, early elementary school, or church library. It could be used as a book for adults to read to youngsters or for beginning readers to read themselves. If there is a little person in your life who needs a first Bible, the Read and Share Bible would be an excellent choice.


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About Violet Nesdoly

  • Gwen Ellis

    Thank you so much for your words. You really understand what was in my heart when I wrote the book. While the book is selling very well and in several countries, my wish would be that every child in the world have a copy of this book.

    Gwen Ellis

  • Curiously, my wish would be that no child is exposed to this propaganda. Like all propaganda it is based on falsehoods. At the very least this book should be marked as fiction.

  • Dillon Mawler

    You can get any kid to believe in a god, or a superman, or a talking square sponge.
    Kids aged four to eight, for the most part, still believe in magic, as they are still very much forming their ideas about how the world works. That’s why it’s the perfect time to indoctrinate them in the group of superstitions you personally favor. This is the reason why so many religions have an important ceremony around age 6 or 7. And it’s the reason Ms. Ellis has chosen to target that age group for her book of mythology.

    There are so many wonderful kids’ books that fire the imagination and open up a whole world of knowledge and inquiry, why bother with a small-minded set of propaganda, as Chris said, like this?

  • And these “wonderful kids’ books that fire the imagination and open up a whole world of knowledge and inquiry” are based on a set of beliefs, a worldview, and value system too. Open your kids up to them by all means, and encourage them to base their lives on the beliefs they put forward.

    Some of us have made the choice to base our lives on the truth of Scripture. And you’re right, Dillon, we teach those things to our kids. What they do with those beliefs as they mature is up to them.

    I’m so thankful for the country I live in (Canada) and our neighbour the U.S., where there is room for all of us to coexist.

  • This is the reason why so many religions have an important ceremony around age 6 or 7.

    Really? Which ones?

    12 or 13 is actually far more common, as it marks the stage at which children begin the transition into adulthood. It is the age at which Jews have their bar or bat mitzvah, Christians undergo confirmation, and Muslims begin to participate fully in the Ramadan fast.

  • Dillon Mawler

    Perhaps my use of “ceremony” comes from my family’s Catholic background and my experiences in Japan, since Japanese-style Buddhism/Shintoism and Catholicism both have such ceremonies. So do, of course, the ceremony-loving Hindus.

    More broadly, my point was that almost all religions make sure they’ve got you before you are old enough to understand the very concept of gods — or indeed the more encompassing concept of agency.
    For instance, American Jews and many American Protestants don’t generally have any kind of formal initiation at about 6 or 7, but kids usually begin Sunday School/Hebrew school right around that age.

  • Dillon Mawler

    Yes, violet, I agree that books contain ideas. The books I prefer for kids are the ones that present positive ideas kids 4 to 8 can understand: imagination is good, learning is good, being kind and loving to others is good, etc.

    Those kids, especially 4-6 year olds, cannot understand the concept of an omnipotent creator being, as neuroscience and obvious experience tell us. (Experiment: Do a simple card trick in front of a five-year-old. When he asks you how you did it, tell him seriously with a straight face that you are magic and have the power to bring any card to the top of the deck. Watch how easily satisfied the kid is with that answer.)

    Why would you teach children something they literally cannot understand?

  • You don’t make sense, Dillon. You believe in imagination, but avoid teaching things that can’t be understood? What is imagination if not going in our minds past what we experience and understand?

    In regard to teaching our children about beginnings, kids’ books, DVDs and shows on TV tackle these topics all the time. They teach a mindless material world that came into being on its own over millions of years of haphazard experimentation to become the order that we now see on earth. That seems way more of a stretch to understand than the possibility that there is intelligence behind it all—an omnipotent, omniscient creator. The latter is what we teach our children from an early age, not to deceive or trick them but because we believe it conforms to reality.

  • Actually, it is you that makes no sense, Violet.

    There is nothing about the bible stories that can’t be understood.

    The material world is anything but mindless, although some of the things in it clearly are. The very fact that you are willing to deny the copious evidence that supports evolution and espouse the creation myth, despite the complete and utter lack of evidence that a creator exists is the epitome of mindlessness.

    What you believe about reality is laughable, shallow and ultimately dangerous nonsense.

  • Thank you. Someday we will see who’s right.

  • Agetta

    I read my children from very similar books when they were little. They grew up believing that they had value and purpose in life because a loving Creator made them for a reason. I have no regrets having read the Bible to my children.

  • How will you know if you are wrong, Violet?

  • For instance, American Jews and many American Protestants don’t generally have any kind of formal initiation at about 6 or 7, but kids usually begin Sunday School/Hebrew school right around that age.

    They begin regular school at around that time too.

    I guess I’m just not buying the hypothesis that religions specifically view age 6-7 as an indoctrination opportunity, when it can be accomplished just as effectively by involving children in daily religious practice at home and weekly/regular attendance with the family at a place of worship.

  • Did some of you miss the little note here that “Personal attacks are NOT allowed”?

    My daughters are 4 and 1 1/2. The both recognize pictures and statues of Mary and Jesus and they have several Bible storybooks. My 4-year-old enjoys praying the Hail Mary with us and recently asked her first deep question: “Where is God?”

    I would point out that the Bible stories, especially those in the New Testament, are historical. At the very least, then, Gwen’s storybook tells children about history. Many of those stories present the idea that being kind and loving is good. Just reading presents the idea that learning is good. And by telling children about God (whom they can’t see), we encourage their imaginations.

    Children aren’t always easily satisfied with answers. My oldest is still in the “why” stage that most toddlers go through, and many of her questions make me think very hard. My husband and I have had some great conversations with her as she responds to our comments with more questions.

    As for creation and evolution… both are merely theories, since no one was there to see what happened. Evolution is a theory based on the idea that there is no god and the world created itself. Creation is a theory based on the idea that there is a God who created the world. Personally, I’m more convinced by the scientific evidence for creation than I am for evolution, but that’s a choice every person has to make for themselves. I hope to teach my children to be more open-minded and questioning than some of the people who have left comments here (I’ll be polite and refrain from naming names, since personal attacks are NOT allowed).

  • Did some of you miss the little note here that “Personal attacks are NOT allowed”?

    There have been no personal attacks on this thread. An attack on someone’s opinion, however strongly worded, is not the same as an attack on their person.

    Evolution is a theory based on the idea that there is no god and the world created itself.

    No it isn’t. It’s a theory which explains how life on Earth developed and continues to develop in the way it does. It has nothing to do with the origins of the world or the universe, nor the presence or otherwise of a god.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Bonnie –

    I am a strong Christian – and I believe in evolution. If you’ll read Genesis, see that the sons of Adam and Eve found wives in Ur. Where did those ‘wives’ come from? More importantly, how did their land come to be named “Ur”?

    Furthermore, when the Bible says the world was created in seven days, whose frame are we talking about? Ours? Or God’s? Remember that according to Peter, God’s time frame is very different from our own.

    Lastly, I cannot deny the Bible, but neither can I deny science. The wealth of physical evidence for evolution is incontrovertible. It’s overwhelming. So would God put such evidence on earth for us to find, that we would be deceived? No, I don’t think so. I’d rather think that He put it there to challenge us to see how both science and the Bible are right.

    I hope this helps.

  • Violet, your #10 is absurd. I hope you think you were joking.

    Agetta, well done on making your children believe in, well, nothing.

    Bonnie, asking where is god is not a deep question at all. A deep question would be asking you to produce some “scientific evidence for creation” because I have never ever seen any. I await your answer eagerly.

    Glenn, once again your apparent ability to believe two things that contradict each other is impressive, although not cool.

  • Actually, creation and evolution don’t contradict each other since they have nothing to do with each other.

    As far as “scientific evidence of creation” is concerned (I’m guessing that by “creation” Bonnie means the Genesis version rather than, say, the Mayan one, the Navajo one or the Australian aboriginal Dreamtime), Chris is correct: there isn’t any.

    The Genesis account is a story created by rabbis, using the best knowledge available to them at the time, to attempt to explain how the world came to be. It was never intended to be the be-all and end-all. If it were, Genesis would have stretched to an almost infinite number of volumes, since the universe is a complicated place and they would have had to describe in detail exactly how God created every star, every animal, every tree, every rock, every element and every atom.

    Wisely, the rabbis didn’t do that. Instead, the whole thing is over and done with in a few paragraphs… to be expanded upon later by people who knew more than they did.

  • You might want to visit creation dot com to verify your statement about science not backing creation. Nobel prize winning scientists are there to disagree.

  • Donna, I visited creation.com, typed “Nobel” into their search box and couldn’t find any. Plenty of appeals to authority and misrepresentation, yes; actual science, not so much.

    Nor is your contention relevant. The conferring of a Nobel Prize does not make the recipient infallible.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    To the creationists here –

    If you would read your Bible with a critical eye, with ready understanding that much of the Bible is metaphorical rather than literal, you’d find that the contents therein and science are NOT mutually exclusive.

    For instance, Noah’s flood is flatly impossible – unless you want to believe that five thousand years ago only eight people were left alive, and from those eight Hebrews we now have seven billion people – all the Africans, Asians, and all the other different distinct races throughout the world – all in five thousand years. Um, no. Much more likely is that Moses was using a metaphor to describe just how few people of God there were left in the world.

    And do you really believe that Paul preached the Gospel to every creature? Yet there’s no record of him in all the other lands, particularly across the oceans. Um, no. Much more likely is that Paul – although he certainly did all he could possibly do – was using hyperbole…and he wouldn’t have been the first apostle to make a mistake, if you’ll recall.

    Again, God would not allow there to be evidence on earth to deceive us from what is true. The evidence for evolution is overwhelming, and God is not a deceiver. That must mean that both are right, and that the opening chapters of Genesis are metaphorical.

  • Dillon Mawler

    And, of course, people don’t come back to life after being dead for three days, so that part of the book is obviously metaphorical too.

  • Agetta

    Along with having no regrets about teaching my children God’s word, I also have no doubts about our Creator. I know you’ll call me and several million others lunatics. I’m fine with that. It’s nothing new. It happened in the garden too.

  • I assume by “garden” you mean Eden, Agetta, and if so that bit of your comment is meaningless. To my recollection, Genesis doesn’t mention anyone in the Garden calling anyone else a lunatic, nor do any of its residents question the existence of a Creator, not even the serpent. That was rather the whole point.

  • @ #22:

    Actually, Dillon, Jesus died at 3 in the afternoon on a Friday. He was then placed in his tomb and spent the rest of the day and the whole of Saturday ripening in there. By Sunday morning he was up and about again. So technically, he was only dead for about a day and a half.

    There are numerous documented cases of people being declared dead and then reviving, sometimes days later. So it’s not all that far-fetched, really.

    Of course, getting yourself crucified first does make the feat somewhat more impressive.

  • I like Sam Kinison’s description of the Resurrection. Much more believable.

  • I too visited that creation site but had to stop reading and go take a bath after 10 minutes, I felt so corrupted and dirty.

    What an appalling abuse of both science and language!


  • Dillon Mawler

    Ahahahaha! Dr. Dreadful, that is hilarious. Thanks for making me smile. Jesus was just like my uncle Marty, who was declared dead on the operating table, but was revived! Miracle! Praise Marty!

    Seriously, the various levels of what faithists will accept as “logical” proof that their stories actually happened is contorted beyond belief.

    …and if the lake was heavily saline, and if Jesus wove special “snowshoe-style” sandals, and it wasn’t too windy that day, then he could have actually walked on water…

  • I’m a fan of the English magician Dynamo, who does some of the most literally awesome tricks I have ever seen.

    In one of them he is walking through London and walks down some steps leading to the River Thames and literally walks right out onto the river and out to the middle. I was impressed, to say the least!

  • Dillon Mawler

    That’s cool but not enough to convert me to Dynamism. Does he do anything with loaves and fishes, or unlimited wine?

    I love magic too, so I watched a couple of D’s youtube vids. He’s got close-up and sleight-of-hand skills, too. NIce.

  • Unfortunately, this debate is one that has raged for centuries without clear resolution. The problem, of course, is that each side views the issues through a different lens, speaks a different language, if you will. I would recommend two great books on the subject by Lee Strobel, The Case for Faith and The Case for Christ if those of you arguing against a belief in a higher power have any interest in researching the subject further. I do have one question though; I have always been interested in what it is about the subjects of faith and Christianity that evoke such hostility and animosity. If, as some of you have insisted, you believe that the Bible and the Christian faith specifically are nothing more than a collection of superstitions and mythology, then why waste time and breath adamantly opposing them? You wouldn’t be incensed by a child who tells you that they believe in Santa Claus, would you? Of course not, because you know for absolute fact that there is no Santa Claus, and therefore that child’s belief does not threaten you in any way. I also cannot comprehend your opposition to teaching children Biblical truths as a way to live their lives. A careful reading of the Bible with an open mind – not taking the easy way out and dismissing it all as metaphorical – reveals certain principles. Principles such as; love your enemies, respect authority, do not commit adultery or murder, do not lie under oath, take care of widows and orphans in their time of need, give to the poor and, as much as it is in your power, be at peace with everyone. Principles that were exemplified in the life and teachings of the historical figure, Jesus Christ. At worst, people who follow these guidelines just because they are wise and right make strong, happy, contributing members of society. At best, those who follow these principles out of a love, respect and commitment to a greater power, also live lives of peace, joy, and a hope for a future. And, ultimately, that is what this is all about, isn’t it, the desire to know if there is more to this life than just this life, the question of whether what we do and believe here on earth affects what happens to us after our lives are over? So while you may mock Violet’s assertion that one day we will all know the truth, in actual fact that statement is the only way for those of us on both sides of the belief in God issue to respectfully conclude our debate.

  • Sara, apart from your inability to use paragraphs, there are other major problems with your argument.

    The case for either faith or Jesus is irrelevant to the fundamental issue of a creator, for which there is zero evidence.

    The reason people who don’t buy in to this creation myth argue against it is because of the enormous political, financial and cultural influence the churches have, unlike Santa Claus who has no such power.

    There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the biblical principles but there is a lot wrong with the political power wielded by the three sick strands of monotheism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam and the often violent competition between them.

    It would be fine if these faithists confined themselves to following their doctrines but none of these cults seem able to prevent themselves from trying to impose their values on others, which is a serious global problem.

    Finally, Violet’s assertion is as ludicrous as it is unverifiable, so it is nothing more than a trite remark.

  • Well, I suppose, Christopher, if all else fails, attacking the way someone has laid out their arguments on the page is one way to go – grin.

    As for bringing Jesus into this, since, according to the Bible, the world was made through him, he is hardly irrelevant in any discussion of creation.

    And your argument that you are on the side of those that don’t subscribe to a belief in God because those who do don’t “seem able to prevent themselves from trying to impose their values on others” is self-defeating. Self-proclaimed atheistic nations such as China and North Korea impose their values on others daily by torturing, imprisoning, and putting to death those who refuse to deny their beliefs. That’s a fairly serious global problem as well.

  • Sara, unlike yours, nothing about my arguments is failing, but please do carry on deceiving yourself as it provides a modest level of entertainment.

    I’ve no idea what on earth “the world was made through him” means and am fairly sure that isn’t what the bible says, but if you want to try and substantiate that argument, go for it.

    My argument about the busybody nature of faithists isn’t in the slightest contradicted by the events in countries like China and North Korea, which is a completely different problem.

    However, I didn’t say that I was on the side of those who don’t subscribe to a belief in a deity for that reason. For the record, I don’t care whether there is a creator or not but there is zero evidence to support the idea, a point you seem unwilling to engage with.

    You really need to polish up your logical and debating skills if you want to carry on this debate…

  • Would Sarah win her debate with you, Christopher, if she were St. Thomas Aquinas?

    You know she wouldn’t, so why do you mislead her?

  • And in answer to your question about the world beng made through Christ, Christopher, that is found in the book of John, in the New Testament, where it says, in reference to Jesus, “1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2)He was in the beginning with God. 3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4) In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Sara –

    Concerning John 1:1, if you’ll look up the Greek, you’ll see that if properly translated, it says, “the Word was divine”, rather than “the Word was God”. This is because “Theos” without the declarative “ho” is not a noun, but an adjective. The Catholic saint Jerome translated it as a noun in his Latin Vulgate, and almost every translation since then has taken “Theos” as a noun rather than as an adjective.

    This might not initially seem like a big deal, but trinitarians tend to get unhappy when I tell them that there are no verses in the Bible stating that Jesus is or ever was God – if you want to point out other verses I’ll be happy to show you the difference between the earliest translations and what we now see. The erroneous translation of John 1:1 is a prime example of what trinitarians use to prove their belief.

  • Glenn, that’s a whole different debate that would take us pretty far from where we started here. The verse I was attempting to highlight in John 1 was actually the third verse, that all things were made through Christ, and without Him nothing was made that was made. All that to say that Christ cannot be left out of a discussion on the creation theory as He is central to it.

  • Roger, there is enough gibberish going on in this thread without you speaking in tongues, so please keep your meaningless irrelevancies to yourself whilst the grown-ups try to sort the wheat from the chaff.

    Sara, once again you demonstrate that careless and woolyminded nature; the quote you reproduce doesn’t mention Jesus but your fictitious deity.

    As even your co-believer Glenn has noticed even your strand of this monotheist deception is confused as to what it believes.

    It’s high time we all grew up, accepted personal responsibility for our actions and relegated this shameful superstition to the level of that other absurdity, astrology.

  • As no one seems capable of stating an opinion worthy of your respect, Christopher, it also seems like time to end this discussion.

    I do respectfully decline your invitation to engage in a debate on creation versus evolution. As you correctly pointed out, my debating skills are weak, largely because, unlike some, I am not interested in devoting precious days of my life to arguing matters I have admitted that I couldn’t care less about one way or the other.

    Besides which, Psalms 19 verse 1 says “the heavens declare the glory of God,” and Romans 1 verse 20 says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

    If you can study the NASA pictures coming back from the Hubble telescope revealing indescribably beautiful universes we never even knew existed, or look around you and witness the order and design of all creation without being able to see a designer behind all of that, then there is nothing I or anyone else can say that will convince you differently.

  • @39

    There is nothing unclear about my comment about your comment. You’re imploring Sarah to improve her debating skills concerning theism while you damn well know that no matter how good or bad her debating skills, they’re not going to make a damn of a difference insofar as you are concerned.

    Rather empty gesture on your part, Christopher, and all I’ve done it to point it out to you.

  • @40

    I wouldn’t worry, Sara, about commanding Christopher’s respect. He’s one of those modern breed of humans who don’t acknowledge their debt to anyone — a truly self-made person. Christopher has always been a fountain of wisdom all onto himself, so yes, your decision not to debate him is a right one.

  • Oh, plenty of people are capable of that, Sara, but they are all people who are committed to discovery rather than their beliefs. You should try it some time…

    If you don’t care about defending creationism then I can’t help wondering why you got involved in the first place. Presumably you aren’t used to having your unfounded opinions challenged.

    I’ve no idea what you were trying to convey in your latest bible quotation as it seems to be yet more meaninglessness.

    I regularly view the latest astronomical images and admire their beauty. I am also aware of the wonder of life on our planet but none of that implies or requires a creator.

    Furthermore, both this world and everything on it, to say nothing of our own species, have been around a lot longer than the monotheist conjecture, which has only been around for around 5,000 years.

    It is an appealing notion in many ways of course, which explains its persistence, but still entirely unsubstantiated so, until that changes, and I am completely happy to accept any such change, I will remain content to resist such folly.

  • Roger Roger Roger, every time I go away for a while I always wind up reminding you about the hazzards of poking bears with sticks…


  • troll

    Chris – seems to me that your repeated references to the meaninglessness of religious propositions (whatever you mean by that) is pretty pointless…I can’t remember any instance of your having convinced anyone not already in your choir in any of your interactions with faithists

    you can resist folly to your heart’s delight but to what end?

  • t


  • Sorry, Jet, a BB gun is all I’m gonna use. Besides, a Christopher is a friendly kind of bear, the kind of bear you can like.

  • Um… we’re not talking Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh here.

  • Roger, you couldn’t be more wrong – a condition you have vast experience with.

    Unlike you, I don’t consider myself any kind of authority. Furthermore, I am open to the idea that a deity might exist. That said, I’ve never yet encountered a faithist that can make a coherent case, let alone a convincing one but I remain optimistic that there is one out there somewhere.

    As to your #42, you know nothing about me and your portrayal is inaccurate in every degree. Another condition you are more familiar with than you probably believe.

    An intelligent mind would ask questions rather than make stuff up, yet that is what you do time after time. Shame you corrupt yourself so much but it is your life.

    troll, I’m not in a choir as far as I’m aware but I do believe that if people of faith seek too engage in debate I’m going to do so. It may be folly or may be not but what is life without a little folly in it?

  • Igor

    As a non-theist I usually refrain from these discussions, but this morning I got a glimpse of a stunning new series on PBS called “Catholicism”, which walks through many of the historical and artistic sites of the Catholic religion with Robert Barron and is visually and emotionally magnificent. Unfortunately, it is in 480 instead of 720p or 1080i (although available on DVD blue-ray), but you may be luckier.

    It is well worth seeing regardless of your religious orientation, if any.

    Even a crusty old irreligionist, such as me, is impressed by the fabulous beauties created by the church, and the profound emotional movements of its believers.

  • For seekers, this website may be interesting and specifically this article.

  • The bible is nothing more-nothing less than a set of morality tales plagiarized from centuries old folk legends meant to control and mold an unruly and uneducated population of nomads. Every story is related centuries after the alleged events. Look how accurately the right wing and religious nuts are re-telling the story of America’s founding fathers and then tell me you trust that mindset’s accuracy!

  • The point really is, Christopher, that you’re badgering these people. It would a far more honest editorial policy for BC to simply refuse to publish their articles than to have the authors subjected to your verbal abuse.

    I wouldn’t give a damn if you were just “am average bear,” but being you’re a senior comments editor, you do represent this site, however unfavorably, and it’s a not a good thing.

    I know you’re too thickheaded to pay heed to these subtleties, but here I am again, poking a stick at my favorite bear.

  • Roger it is possible for a comments editor to be a separate entity from BC. You’ree guilty of what you’re thoughtlessly accusing him of, trying to stifle his own personal opinions on the subject.

    Can you say hypocrite boys and girls?

  • troll

    my contribution to this folly:

    violet – the world is chained as effect – effect – effect…arguments from first cause are ‘sophistry and illusion’
    (channeling a cool philosopher (who had Hobbes beat hands down))

    orange rocks!

  • Roger, when it comes to badgering people, my opinion is that you are more guilty of that than almost anybody else.

    Furthermore, you often do it in an aggressive, rude and, worst of all, uncomprehending way, so I’m not really inclined to accept your point.

    Additionally, I am merely responding to other people’s comments, which is surely the whole point of the comments space.

    As to my role here, not for the first time, here is some clarification for you; I am not senior in any meaningful way, except in terms of time served, and have zero influence in the way this site operates, although I wish I did as it has many issues that need urgent attention.

    Yes, I am the Comments Editor, but I don’t see my role or myself as representing the site in any way except for applying our very tolerant and liberal guidelines, which I am also bound by.

    I think the most important elements of the site are the writers, the commenters and the editors, in that order. Beyond that there are the silent readers and the owners, about both of which we know almost nothing.

    In my view, from a site visitor’s point of view, its presence is a compound of those who participate in it, which is the writers and commenters, so you are just as much if not more a representative of it than I.

  • It’s not the content of Christopher’s opinions that I’m objecting to, Jet, but his verbal barrage.

    It’s not one of your better days.

  • Wrong, Christopher, a condition to which you’re far more accustomed than I, if I may return the favor.

    At the very least, my heated exchanged with the Contrariuan or zing, are with the people I knwo, in a manner of speaking. It’s “all in the family,” so to speak, and what’s in the family is far more tolerable than what’s between perfect strangers.

    So ‘scuse me for saying it, but you do come across on these threads as a bull in a china shop, uncouth the the nth degree and intolerably rude. And it’s got nothing to do with the content of your drive-by comments, just with your total lack of disrespect.

    I know you can’t help it and that it’s beyond your comprehension, but that’s no excuse.

  • … heated exchanges …

  • Costello

    Chris’ lack of self awareness that the beginning of #56 is more applicable to him, as proven by this thread alone, is staggering.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger – Chris

    Pot – Kettle – black

    And the current ‘discussion’ between the two of you seems like nothing more than a lovers’ quarrel.

    *ducks back into foxhole after having committed the grave error of deliberately interrupting a lovers’ quarrel*

  • I transcribed this quote recently. looks like it fits here, maybe.

    “…what they [scientists] observe and what they believe is creating what they observe are often quite separate from each other…” –Fred Alan Wolf

  • Roger, I love the way you make up the imaginary world you inhabit; it would be charming if it wasn’t so utterly unconnected to reality.

    And my “total lack of disrespect”? That is a classic Nowosielskism, out of control, a lack of care and misfiring in all directions.

    Costello, your drive by shooting before running away again is so predictable, as is your prejudice. Both combine to reduce any import you words could have had to zero.

    Glenn, you complete the unholy trinity perfectly with your remark. Thanks once again for the considerable light you manage to shine upon any exchange.

    Cindy, nice to see you around the place again but the relevance of that quote evades me.

    Why wouldn’t those two quite distinct things often be quite separate? Is there a requirement that they shouldn’t be?

  • It’s all my fault really, I keep forgetting I’m only supposed to comment on my own articles…

  • Good to hear from you, Cindy.

  • I realise this is like asking Sheldon Cooper something but “total lack of disrespect”?

  • Chris; Americans have never understood English humor and vice versa… sigh

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    Don’t let your paranoia about everyone being against you detract from the reality that everyone really is against you. Always remember that you’re right and everyone else is wrong, and anyone who says otherwise is just another idiot.


    Just Another Idiot

  • Right right, Jetski. A double negative.

    You’re so fucking brilliant.

  • Thank you for proving my point Roger

  • I said you’re brilliant. What more do you want? A pretty please on top of it, with sugar on top?

    Please clean the fucking car!

  • I washed it this morning-shut up and get my breakfast. bitch bitch bitch

  • Not until you get those bloody clothes off and I scrub you dry.

  • Everything to good Rosey here is imaginary if it doesn’t accord with his conception of things.

    A good ole bloke, I must say; and I sure wouldn’t mind sharing with him a pint or two at the nearest watering hole — just as with George Dubya, so I hear.

    Gotta love that average bear!

  • Glenn, let me correct your multiple errors. I’m not paranoid; everyone isn’t against me; three people isn’t “everyone”; and I don’t think either that I am right or that everyone else is wrong.

    As to idiocy, my experience has been that one person’s idiot is another person’s genius.

    Personally, I don’t care at all whether someone is more or less intelligent than someone else; what matters to me are things like openness, honesty, curiosity and a willingness to think for oneself rather than follow a party line.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    If those were truly important to you, then you wouldn’t be so insulting towards those who don’t believe as you think they should.

    Your error lay in your assumption that if one belongs to a party or a church, then that person must not think for him/herself. Einstein believed in God. So did Jefferson – though he was a deist, as was Newton. Are you going to say they couldn’t think for themselves?

    And you may think that those who belong to parties can’t think for themselves…but what you’re not understanding is that a political party is normally made up of like-thinkers, who largely want the same things. Go to a political rally, and you’d have a hard time trying to find any two people who agreed on 100% of the issues. After all, even Teddy Roosevelt belonged to a party – are you going to say he couldn’t think for himself?

    Now if you were to refer to religious or political advertising campaigns and how they influence people, then sure, I’d agree with you that they often deceive people en masse, but mass psychology is much simpler than individual psychology, and to assume that any particular individual can’t think for himself or herself is the most basic of errors in individual psychology.

  • Glenn, I don’t care what people think, I care about why they think that.

    It isn’t an error to believe that people who follow dogma aren’t thinking for themselves in relation to that dogma.

    Your examples of Einstein, Jefferson and Darwin are pointless. You yourself can think for yourself outside of your faithism, but on that point you believe in your particular strand of monotheism because someone made a prediction you couldn’t explain but refuse to talk about.

    Hardly convincing, is it?

    I don’t think that those who belong to political parties can’t think for themselves but I do think that excessively rigid political dogma can never serve we the people. It is believing in things too rigidly that is our problem.

    I don’t agree with you that it is an error to believe that most people can’t think for themselves, I think it is self evident, so on that point, as with many others, we will have to disagree.

    You, for example, think you can instruct me on matters such as understanding human psychology but I have never ever seen you display anything insightful or even thoughtful so you disqualify yourself as someone who I would look to for that kind of input.

    You HAVE to believe that a particular individual can think for him or her self because it is part of how you justify what you believe. I think what you believe is proof that many people actually can’t.

  • @77

    “,,, You, for example, think you can instruct me on matters such as understanding human psychology but I have never ever seen you display anything insightful or even thoughtful …”

    That’s not exactly true, Christopher. We’re not talking now about anyone “instructing” anybody else, and Glenn does have that nasty stylistic habit, but to say that Glenn had never said anything insightful or thoughtful to even consider is gross exaggeration. So either you’re just dumping on him by way of retort or reduce him to the level of a thoughtless robot.

    Even ideology and dogma have their reasoning behind it. And however we may regard them as inferior to original thinking, which they are, they do serve their purpose of providing a certain level of stability.

    All thinking tends to become ideological and dogmatic over time if it’s not constantly questioned. And from my experience, Christopher, that’s a rare quality indeed.

  • Roger, I’m not doing either of those things, but thanks for the input, it has really helped the debate along. Oh, wait… 🙂

    As a matter of fact, Glenn WAS instructing me, as anybody with a reading age above 10 can clearly see, and I personally haven’t ever seen Glenn be insightful or thoughtful in that context.

    With your usual careless imprecision, you have understood that as “Glenn had never said anything insightful or thoughtful to even consider”, which is a completely different statement. Please try to take greater care with your deployment of language.

    I don’t think ideology or dogma are serving the purpose of “providing a certain level of stability”. Maybe that was the case in the past but now they have become a source of instability and conflict, as a quick look at the national or international political and financial landscapes will confirm.

    What we need is a new way of managing things that is more nimble and solution oriented and is not stuck in rigid outdated patterns.

    Am I to understand from your final paragraph that you actually agree with me that these raddled old modalities need challenging and a more agile approach to the contemporary landscape is called for?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    The fact that you “don’t care what people think” shows that you don’t care for “openness, honesty, and curiosity” nearly as much as you claim.

    But the sad part is, you really don’t understand what I just said. In order to understand what I just told you, you’d have to have real humility, the kind that gives you the courage to be courteous to a fault even to those you dislike the most.

    And you don’t have that humility. It doesn’t matter how much you claim otherwise, for if you did have that kind of humility, you’d know the need for and the utility of humility. I hope you someday do learn real humility, for you’ll be a better, happier man for it.

    And yes, Roger’s right that I do tend to instruct people…call it a bad habit if you like, but I like to think that it’s students who make the best teachers.

  • Igor

    #55-troll: good point.

  • The fact that you’re even having this conversation free of any BC or editor’s repercusions with him proves Mr. Rose’s point

  • Glenn, no, it doesn’t mean that at all.

    What you need to do is practice the art of listening to what people are actually saying rather than pushing your own meanings on to it. It’s called paying careful attention…

    Unlike you, I’ve never claimed to be humble, nor did I even use the word, just as I’ve never claimed any of the other qualities you have arrogantly and mistakenly attributed to yourself.

    Finally, it wasn’t Roger that originally said you were instructing anybody, it was me, you dolt.

    You aren’t either a student or a teacher but as a kindness I’ll avoid defining you further.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    I read your words, Chris – but more importantly, I’m reading the personality that typed those words. I am not addressing the words you typed – I’m addressing the personality…and if you’ll read what I said more closely, my aim is for you to be not only a better but also a happier man.

    Perhaps you think you’re generally happy – perhaps I’m stupidly wrong. But I don’t think I am, for in my experience, the humbler a person is, the happier he is…for humility is what one gains when one learns to be grateful for even the little blessings in life. It is as Cicero said, “Gratitude is the greatest of all virtues, and the parent of all the others“.

    The more grateful you are for everything you have and everything you are, the humbler you become…and the wider your eyes open in disbelief at the silly posturings of the proud and the more you shake your head in pity for the arrogant. And the more you see the utter futility in tossing insults, or returning the insults heaped on you.

    Yes, Chris, I could very well be wrong. But so could you – and the acceptance of one’s shortcomings is a good starting point on the path to real humility.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jet –

    No, that’s simply Chris following the rules set forth by those senior to him in BC. Following the rules – whether the letter or the spirit thereof – is not the same thing as respecting the “openness, honesty, and curiosity” of others.

  • Glenn, if you think you have what it takes to help make me a better man, then please add that to the list of seriously out of control delusions you subscribe to.

    I have not yet seen anything in you that I have found worthy of anything other than avoidance at all costs. You are a classic example of everything I reject as dishonest and corrupt – and your arrogance and conceit in believing that you could is simply breathtaking, although not atypical of a certain kind of faithist.

    Major heads up – you are NOT a humble person; the very act of proclaiming yourself as such is the exact opposite of humility.

    I’ll let you know if as and when you ever display either humility or an awareness of your shortcomings – as opposed to the rather nauseating Uriah Heep persona you actually present as…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    You’re essentially saying I’m proud in my humility…and yes, there is significant truth to that. Problem is, I see the admission itself as a form of humility, whereas you almost certainly see it as pride. Am I practicing self-deception, or are you projecting?

    I will say in my defense that much as a recovering alcoholic fights to stay away from what will ruin his life, I fight to keep from using the insults and profanity that one learns to use over twenty years in the military. I strive to refrain from pointing out to others just how FUBAR they are. I do this because despite the pride that I have – that I have earned – I know that it is not just counterproductive, but it is wrong to allow pride to rule one’s actions. That’s why I force myself to try to do what a humble man should do…and that includes apologizing when I am off-base and admitting when I am wrong, even to those I like the least. Lots of people on BC claim to do that – including you – but I’ve seen precious few other than myself do so for anything other than minor gaffes.

    So at least I’m trying to hold myself to a higher standard of conduct, Chris. I admit when I’m wrong, when I’m off-base…and I do so because “right” and “wrong” are infinitely more important than my own pride. But it takes work; in every single comment, it takes work and effort and determination.

    Join me in that work, Chris – it ain’t easy, and sometimes it sucks, but it’s well worth the effort – I promise you that.

  • Glenn, I’m afraid Chris is right on this point. Humility is not the kind of character trait one is “proud of.”

    It is a contradiction in terms.

  • troll

    … practice the art of listening to what people are actually saying rather than pushing your own meanings on to it…avoidance at all costs.

    correct on both counts

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Is it really a contradiction in terms? So a person who has always been greedy in the past cannot honestly try to be generous? And a person who has always been dishonest in the past cannot sincerely try to be honest?

    Read my comment again, and thin of it in that light.

  • Yes, it is. Humility is the kind of virtue which, like modesty, shies pride.

    One shouldn’t be proud to have overcome their past defects but thankful, grateful, whatever …

    Let others say you’re humble. Never say so yourself.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    troll –

    That’s like demanding that one take aspirin for the pain of a broken arm and just ignore the fact that the arm is broken. Paying attention only to what is said is treating the symptom, but not the cause.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Find someplace where I’ve said “I am humble”. You’ll find places where I’ve said in effect that I’m trying to be so, that I am doing what a humble person should do. You’ll find places where I said that I never insult – but only up until a month or so ago for I can no longer say that I never do so. Now I can only say that I very rarely do so.

    but I strongly doubt you’ll find anywhere that I said “I am humble”.

    AGAIN, Roger, I am trying my level best to overcome what I see as a flaw in my personality – not out of consideration to you or anyone else, but solely to fix a flaw in my own personality – but what you and Chris are doing is not much different from what a guy does when he pooh-poohs the efforts of a recovering alcoholic honestly striving to remain sober.

  • troll

    well goll darn and plague take it – while avoidance remains the best policy here no self respecting troll could let these comments pass without professional assessment…

    while we appreciate that Glenn Contrarian acknowledges his personality disorder and that he is struggling with his pathology we at the Acme Psychobabble Institute feel that were he to face just how symptomatic his #92 is it might lead to a major cathartic event and that both he and his blogcritics family would be well on the road to happier lives

    our bill is in the mail