David Dunn gets the message

A reader  tw**ted my critique of David Dunn’s HuffPost article (you know, the one in which he argues that theology isn’t about God) to Dunn himself, and Dunn responded on Twi**er. I love the picture of Ceiling Cat in his response.  And I can testify from personal experience that feline theology is about Ceiling Cat!

Picture 2


  1. Posted November 11, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink


    • gbjames
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink


      • jimroberts
        Posted November 11, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink


        • Diane G.
          Posted November 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink


  2. Sastra
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Question to ask Dunn: if God doesn’t exist, is theology still worthwhile? Or has it simply evolved into Theolosophology: the study of what theologians have said, can say, and might say — as opposed to coming up with any actual new insights, thoughts, discoveries, or ideas?

    Subsume “theolosophology” into “religious studies” and now it makes sense.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      I though that “the study of what theologians have said, can say, and might say” was the study of glossolalia writ large.

      Shouldn’t that be subsumed under linguistics?

      • Scote
        Posted November 11, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        I like it. Theology is macro glossolalia.

        Instead of spewing random phonemes and calling it language, as in “micro glossolalia”, they use larger chunks of language, near-random chunks of philosophy and logic and call it an academic discipline.

  3. Posted November 11, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    If David Dunn responds, please let us know, as most of us will be VERY interested in how he will defend his unique view of theology as being NOT about God, NOT “the field of study and analysis that treats of God and of God’s attributes and relations to the universe; study of divine things or religious truth; divinity” [dictionary.reference.com], if indeed he does try to defend his unique view, THANKS!!

  4. Steve
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    David Dunn has responded again!!


    • gbjames
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink


      “…atheism and Christianity actually have a lot in common…”

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      “[New Atheism]…has roots in evolutionary scientists like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennet…”


    • Chris
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      What sums the whole thing up is the single commenter who would have a beer with Alain de Botton.

      Who suggested an atheist church. That Dunn complains about.


      BTW IMO de Botton is a pretty daft philosopher, but I’d already bought one of his books at that point. Pro-tip: don’t bother.

    • Sastra
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Oh, how adorable. I read his nice little attempt at a rebuttal (and then Dunn is DONE so there!)

      It’s cute the way Dunn thinks passion is THE sign that someone is a “fundamentalist.” No, dear. A fundamentalist is someone who sits smugly inside a system which can’t deal with dissent. But we can see why you are just so tired of all that passionate criticism. If I was in your position — and using your arguments — I’d be bone weary too.

      Apparently the way to take religion “seriously” is to refrain from analyzing its supernatural claims in the light of modern science and the spirit of honest inquiry.

      Right. Because doing that is just naive. And besides the point. And jejune. And deadly.

      • Posted November 11, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Well, I was all set to post a comment about how Dunn thinks NA(m) sucks because NA(ts) are actually out there trying to make a difference, and that the reason they’re out there is because they DO take religion and it’s effects seriously.

        But I see I don’t have to.

        • Posted November 11, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          Before BillyJoe gets here: yes, I see that grocer’s apostrophe.

    • jimroberts
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Jesus F. Christ! I found it impossible to read to the end of this ignorant drivel.

  5. Posted November 11, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I need to get me some philosophical gravitas to eschew my conceptual naïveté.

    In other words, embrace the metaphorical stupefaction caucus to ensure maximum self-righteousness.

    • Posted November 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, where can a feller pick up some of that there philosophical gravitas these days?

      • Posted November 11, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        I usually like turkey gravitas, but I could do beef if I had to.

  6. Bruce S. Springsteen
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Dunn seems to aspire to be a kind of Eastern Orthodox Reza Aslan or Tariq Ramadan. When atheists criticize his religion for the absurdity and bigotry of its standard theology (that the majority of adherents subscribe to), he replies that we “fundamentalist” atheists don’t have a sophisticated understanding of his faith, that it’s simultaneously more ineffable, reasonable and specifically *liberal* than we are prepared to imagine. We just don’t have the subtle and sublime understanding of it he does. He then tries to explain it to us, in terms no competent English language speaker can hope to decipher.

    Ya know what? He first needs to convince his coreligionists of his nuanced, profound insight, before hectoring us. It looks like an all-day job, too. They aren’t really grokking the happy, fuzzy, lofty double-talk, from what I can tell.

  7. Marella
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    The only theologians who believe theology isn’t about god are the atheist ones: Karen Armstrong for instance. Intelligent well educated people who spend their lives studying god must often be forced to come to the conclusion that gods exist only in people’s imaginations. Thus leading to the necessity of studying people instead of gods.

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