Bible and Interpretation recently posted an article by Robert Cargill on Why Christians Should Adopt the BCE/CE Dating System. In it Cargill argues:
Thus, it is time for Christians to let go of the inaccurate, and to many, offensive BC and AD calendar labels and adopt the BCE/CE system. If using BC and AD to designate calendrical dates is the central identifier of a person as a Christian, then that person has bigger problems than an insistence upon a calendar. Likewise, adopting the BCE/CE system allays the discrepancies of the chronologies of Jesus’ life, while the archaic BC/AD system only highlights them. The BCE/CE system is the de facto dating system for the scientific community, joining the metric system as a standard that peoples of all nations and faiths can accept. This dating system is also the most widely used system outside of the scientific community. The BCE/CE system requires no conversions and no re-dating of historical events; only the renaming of BC to BCE and AD to CE is needed. And, as has been demonstrated above, because the AD/BC system is not actually based upon the birth of Jesus, but is rather off by approximately 7 years, there is no concern from non-Christian peoples to be suspicious of being surreptitiously forced into adopting a dating system based upon the life of Christ.
This is a fascinating discussion as I think it exposes much about one's thought of Christian influence on the culture, especially the "culture war" defense often imposed by Christians. Cargill takes the angle that Christians often are not aware of the problems, not only culturally but theologically as well, that are created by the BC/AD dating system. Interesting angle and well worth the read.
Personally, I whole heartedly embrace the BCE/CE dating system. No real reason, outside of the fact that it is becoming the standard nomenclature in the scholarly realm. While it may be an issue for some, it really has never become an issue for me.
The article did leave me with one question. If the nomenclature of a particular dating system is a threat to the faith, as it is often posited, what is this implying about our faith in the first place?
Love to hear your thoughts. Is this an issue worth fighting over?