What is Christian Humanism?

This has come up recently in my world.  Someone my wife knows has claimed to be a “Christian Humanist”.

Now, I know a little about humanism (I agree with the principles for the most part) and I know a lot about Christianity (I don’t agree with their principles for the most part).  When I read this, the first thing that popped into my mind was, “two more opposite things could not be said as one thing.” [1]  Upon doing some research [2] I have to say that my initial thoughts were right on the money.

This website (which I freely admit to not having read very much of, I can’t handle raw idiocy very much), claims that it is possible to be a Christian without belief in God.

Wait… what?  Ummm… Christianity is a religion, developed by Saul of Tarsus (later called Paul) that claimed Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate.  That’s what Christianity is!  By definition almost.

Humanism (from the American Humanist Association) is many things, the most currently prominent of which is based in free-thought, critical thinking and belief in humans rather than a deity.  Interestingly, the American Humanist Association also lists Christian Humanism as

defined by Webster’s Third New International Dictionary as “a philosophy advocating the self-fulfillment of man within the framework of Christian principles.” This more human-oriented faith is largely a product of the Renaissance and is a part of what made up Renaissance humanism.

In early times, Christian Humanism was basically research into the classics of Greek and Hebrew literature (meaning the Bible).  In this way, Christian Humanism is basically literary criticism.

Of course, part of the problem with being a Modern Christian (as opposed to a Jewish Christian as the first ‘Christians’ were properly called) is that there is no real evidence for anything.  Much of the foundational book is known to be wrong, written well after the period of time involved (and by unknown authors for sometimes nefarious purposes [3])

So, what is Christian Humanism.  Well, it’s kind of whatever you want it to be… which means that as a principle, it’s basically useless.  One might as well claim to be pagan, at least people know what that is.


[1] This is called an oxymoron.  Phrases like “sanitary landfill”, “freezer burn”, “Military Intelligence”, etc.  Two opposite things or two things that do not go together at all.

[2] Someone remind me to post how I learned to always research things before getting involved.

[3] As a side note, I maintain that a disciple of Paul wrote the Gospel According to John as a way of countering the other three gospels and their beliefs about Jesus.  This was done in order to promote Modern Christianity, which is only preached by Paul, over Jewish Christianity as promoted by James, brother of Jesus and Peter.

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