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Friday, June 02, 2006

Changing Times

Al Mohler shares on his blog about the controversy surrounding using BC and AD instead of BCE and CE. If you weren't even familiar with the usage of BCE/CE, Mohler explains:
Of course, B.C. refers to "Before Christ" and A.D. to Anno Domini, or "In the Year of Our Lord." The system for dating years venerable and easy to understand -- and it is increasingly considered to be politically incorrect.

The issue, of course, is the clear and unavoidable reference to Jesus Christ in the B.C. and A.D. date reference system. After all, the system takes its structure from the assumption that the incarnation of Jesus Christ is the central event of all history. The invention of B.C.E. for "Before Common Era" and C.E. for "Common Era" is nothing more than an attempt to avoid any reference to Christ.
I talked to a man recently who believes Jesus was a fable and therefore we should adopt the terms BCE/CE to be more accurate for history's sake. Of course, what he couldn't explain to me, if his theory were correct, is why the year numbers (which are the same in either system) revolve around a fable. Mohler similarly said:
The nonsensical nature of this proposal comes down to this -- there is no way to get around the fact that the hinge year is assumed by tradition to be the year of Christ's birth. one can try to avoid any reference to Christ by using B.C.E. and C.E., but the numbers of the years still tell the story. If advocates of this change are really serious about avoiding all references to Christ, they will have to come up with a whole new numbering system for the years.
The only reason for the change is to eliminate a reference to Christ. I appreciate that Mohler states this is not an assault on Christianity, but insult may be a better word.

You can read his full blog article (including comments from the Kentucky School Board debating this issue) here.

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