You’re just not getting it!

Issues for which there are essentially two sides have people vociferously arguing for their position. Most often each side simply talks past one another. A while back I asked of those on the pro-life and pro-choice issue to vent on what it is the other side just doesn’t get. Now I’m asking my theist and atheist readers to do the same.

Whenever religion is discussed here there is a distinct tone in everyone’s comments, my own included. It seems like everyone is screaming inside “What aren’t you underatanding?! If only you could just figure out that ________ you’d come to your senses”.

So what is it. What is it that atheists don’t get, but if they could only realize that ______ they’d believe in God? What is it that believers are missing? If only they could see that _______ they’d abandon that silliness.

Readers, fill in the blanks.


  1. The assertion by Christians that the Bible is true and proves the existence of the Christian God has not been substantiated. Many religious follows have no problem criticizing the holy texts of other religions, but refuse to be just as critical on their own.

    If you’re a Christian and you’re truly willing to examine the Bible with a critical eye, I suggest going to as a good place to begin. Of course if you’re unwilling to explore the possibility that the Bible is not perfect you will find any reason to keep believing what you do and you’ll try to discredit any criticism by others.

    • Z

      What do you say to Christians who think the SAB doesn’t properly represent the biblical message. For example, I’ve read through much of it and found a lacking understanding of basic theology and cultural history.

      • I would say that’s just the same old complaint of not interpreting it correctly. Every religious group seems to do that when others criticize their holy texts. That website goes through everything verse by verse and offers a rather complete analysis of the text.

        • Z

          How do you respond to the complaint against evolution “why are there still monkeys if we evolved from them?”. Aren’t you just offering the same tired “you don’t understand evolution correctly”

        • In other words z it’s not whether or not Christians always offer that same old response. What’s relevant is whether that same old response has merit and I think it does. Atheists make very poor theologians

  2. paynehollow says:


    The assertion by Christians that the Bible is true and proves the existence of the Christian God has not been substantiated.

    In the tradition of Christianity from which I hail, we don’t say that “The Bible is true and that proves the Christian God…” Just sayin’.

    If it’s not off on a tangent, my comment on those lines would be something more like…

    Truth is what it is and we find Great Truths in the teachings of the Bible (which is not to say that we can’t find great Truths in other places… Truth is what it is, wherever it is found).

    We find, for instance, the teaching of a Creator God that helps explain this vast, complex, elegant, beautiful creation all around us in ways that science can’t.

    We find, for instance, the teaching that in a life of Love, Forgiveness and Grace, we find salvation from the Hell that is in hate, war, pollution and oppression.

    We find that we can find community and family all around us and we can CREATE community and family, all around us, making room for even the least of these, and that in this Community is healing and wholeness.

    And for reasons like this, I believe in the God and God’s Way as taught about by Jesus, the Nazarene.

    If that is off topic and not answering your topical question, please delete it with my apologies.


    • Maybe I wasn’t clear on the intent of my statement. ;)

      I think you’re smart enough to understand the gist of my words. Christians assert the existence of God and the Bible is the word of God.

      • Z,

        You said that Christians assert that

        the Bible is true and proves the existence of the Christian God

        We do believe the Bible is true, but we don’t claim it proves anything. Don’t change it now and insist we’re not admitting “the gist” of your words.

        WHY we believe the Bible is true is one discussion and it those reasons have no parallel in other “holy books” of other religions.

  3. paynehollow says:

    Ah, but you see, I DID honestly misunderstand your words. So… it happens, ya know?


  4. From my reading the Bible, I find that salvation is received by faith and only RESULTS in a life of love, not that salvation is found in living such a life. I also find that its view of salvation isn’t limited to this life but looks forward to the life to come.

    I find that Jesus teaches a lot more about sin than He does about pollution — a word that, like inerrancy, isn’t found in Scripture — and He teaches more about why God made us male and female than about the duty to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

    But, then again, I think the Bible clearly teaches that God exists, and we know that’s an unreasonable and frankly arrogant position.

  5. paynehollow says:

    As you can see in Bubba’s misunderstanding and misrepresentation of what I said, people DO misunderstand what other people write. It happens, ya know?


    • If I were misunderstood in a public forum, I would explain where the misunderstanding lies and clarify what it is I believe. It would lend credibility to my complaint, to others if not the person guilty of the misunderstanding.

      But then, I do think the Bible clearly teaches the historicity of Jesus, so who knows what other crazy conclusions I could reach? Right now I could be confusing Dan’s explanation for a hollow accusation.

      Never mind the graduate degree in engineering from one of the nation’s most prestigious universities, it’s a wonder I can navigate the Internet, obey traffic signs, and decipher Ikea instructions.

  6. Your argument still doesn’t hold water, John.

    The science of biology is an accumulation and collaboration of work from multiple sources and is open to critical analysis by anyone who can present a counter-argument to refute its findings. Scientists are willing and able to modify their conclusions over time as new knowledge over the subject matter is obtained. Conversely, religious followers are unwavering in their conclusions and simply shrug off any analysis as misunderstood or mistaken.

    (Your ad hominem at the end of your statement doesn’t help your argument either. I suppose the same could be said about your personal findings about Islam, Hinduism or even the study of climate change. Christians make very poor theologians of … or scientists of…)

    But, in the end, John, you’re right – we all just talk right past each other.

    Then there are folks like Bubba that don’t add anything to this specific conversation and ramble on about something else.

    • The point is that you think there is a proper way to understand the data. This is true of the bible, there is a proper way to understand it. You can’t dismiss someone who thinks you’re misunderstanding it just because it’s an old charge. Just like someone making the ape human charge can’t dismiss your charge that they don’t understand evolution.

      • Your initial response was “What do you say to Christians who think the SAB doesn’t properly represent the biblical message. For example, I’ve read through much of it and found a lacking understanding of basic theology and cultural history.”

        The SAB goes through the text line by line and examines the meaning, context and accuracy of each passage. Your assertion that they just don’t understand it properly is unreasonable and unfounded.

        • It isn’t though. I’ve read through it. Just because they go line by line doesn’t mean they’re trying to charitably and accurately represent the text.

          I understand your frustration with people seemingly always saying you’re out of context. I have that in house frustration all the time. But I find its true quite often with atheists.

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