Christian, What Would You Believe if the Bible Didn't Exist?

Tell us. What would you believe? THAT is the question. My claim is that biblical criticism is an undercutting defeater for what Christians believe such that without the Bible they would become agnostics and then afterward possibly atheists. At that point they would see the arguments for the existence of God as little more than a shell game.

268 comments:

Mark Browning said...

Where would you stand if gravity didn't exist? This is a completely specious argument. The Bible DOES exist, so your hypothetical situation is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing.
Or perhaps we should quote another great English poet. "A little learning is a dangerous thing."

Marcus McElhaney said...

By your logic, how does that explain Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacab, Ismael, Joseph and the rest of his brothers, and Moses? They believed in God before there was a Bible. Why? Because God condescended and revealed Himself. God does the same thing today. If God does not, no one could believe. The Bible is a tool in God's toolchest but it is not the only one God uses. We need the Bible but that is not how everyone comes to Jesus. John, I asked for new arguments. This one is sooo old and really, really bad. Do better.

jimvj said...

Absolutely spot on!

Most Bible-worshiping Christians know very little of the history, let alone the contents of the "Bible". It is that ignorance that enables them to venerate such a shoddy, primitive, barbaric, racist, and misogynistic book.

Bart Ehrman is an excellent help in understanding the history. That history shows that the concept of a canonical "Bible" was an afterthought in the evolution of the religion; that the acceptance of a canonical text was only possible when the power of the state aligned itself with one sect, allowing that sect to dominate others.

Believers (like M Browning) should ponder why a "God" would allow centuries to go by without the text(s) that now is the cornerstone of the religion. For catholics it took about 350 years; and for protestants it took more than 15 centuries for an acceptable "Bible" to emerge.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@jimvj Sound like you have been indoctrinated many textual critics and historians disagree with Ehrman. You can see see Dan Wallace, James White, Bruce Metzger (Ehrman's teacher) and many others! Then come back and tell me if you still agree with Ehrman

delinquentminer said...

For the bulk of history and for the vast majority of humans that have ever lived, this is the reality. Very few people, in comparison to those who have lived on the earth, have ever heard of YHWH or even seen a christian bible or the Hebrew scriptures--or ever will. It shouldn't be too hard to find out what such people believe.

Moral luck rears it's ugly head.

Clare said...

Marcus, I do not think you understand John's point. The only reason you know about Noah, Isaac, Jacob etc. in the first place is because they are written about in the Bible. As John said, without the bible, what evidence would you have of their or of God's existence?
Tell me what archeological or historical evidence you have for any of the Biblical characters before David (?) and Solomon. I will not accept the Bible as proof of their existance. Historians are not even sure if Jesus existed!(Let alone rose from the dead)

Clare said...

Mark, re gravity, it is not a specious argument as a hypothetical question can be answered. e.g. Without gravity we would be dead and floating around in space (hypothetically speaking)

jbudrdanl said...

This is an impossible question to answer specifically beyond speculation. It's the same question most atheists can't answer: "What if your experience in church had been better/more loving/open to questions? Would you still have abandoned your faith?"

None of you can answer that with any degree of probability.

Two indisputable facts remain, though. 1) The majority of people who lived before any religious scriptures were written believed in some type of god. 2) Ehrman's form of criticism has been dismissed by nearly all biblical scholars except for atheists. This is because archeology has recovered more supporting pieces of evidence for the historicity of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures than it has for any other ancient person, religion, or government.

You have to find some way to dismiss this evidence, so resorting to Ehrman's arguments and suggesting empty challenges to Christians is how you choose to deal with your intellectual inconsistencies.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Clare
Name a single historian with the same credentials you expect for every other historian who denies that Jesus exists.

As for archaeological evidence Pre David...there is some evidence. The Bible says that Abraham came from Uz. And Uz has been found. There are other examples.

Can you prove that there was no Abraham? If you can I'd like to see that. If you can't prove the Bible is wrong about Abraham, then you have to explain why Abraham believed God without the Bible.

Brad said...

"Where would you stand if gravity didn't exist? This is a completely specious argument."

Well put.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

This is how the Bible is kept alive in the modern world:

The Bible is like an elderly senile citizen who is usually incoherent and out of touch with reality, but because of the love of her children (the believers) and with their denial and ingenuity of support (apologetics), she is lovingly taken by the arm and theologically helped to shuffle along.

Clare said...

Marcus. Circular,circles of logic.

Jim said...

Marcus,

Why? Because God condescended and revealed Himself. God does the same thing today. If God does not, no one could believe. The Bible is a tool in God's toolchest but it is not the only one God uses. We need the Bible but that is not how everyone comes to Jesus.

How many Christians did the Europeans find in South America and North America when they came here centuries ago?

How many Christians were found in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia when the first Europeans with knowledge of Christianity first visited?

Isn't it amazing NOT A SINGLE CHRISTIAN, or even believer in the Judeo/Christian/Islamic God has ever been mentioned?

There is simply zero evidence of your God condescending to reveal himself to anyone other than someone who already believes.

(Except, of course, for mythological stories in an already heavily debunked Bible)

Jim said...

Marcus,

Name a single historian with the same credentials you expect for every other historian who denies that Jesus exists.

You're confusing something, because Bart Ehrman doesn't deny that Jesus existed. A "man" named "Jesus" may have very well existed--what's in dispute is whether all the claims made in the Bible about this "guy" are true.

Jim said...

Marcus,

They believed in God before there was a Bible. . . . We need the Bible but that is not how everyone comes to Jesus.

So is a Bible required to believe in God or not?

Please make up your mind.

By the way, I don't need the Bible for anything--it wrecked my life until I figured out it was bullshit.

Brad said...

"By the way, I don't need the Bible for anything--it wrecked my life until I figured out it was bullshit."

Sheesh, Jim. Did you get an audit letter from the IRS today or something?

Personally, I love the Bible and believe it when it tells me:

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Heb 4:12)

Now the fact that you hate the Bible, might make me sad, but it doesn't offer me a compelling proof not to believe it. Cheer up.

ahswan said...

Note that the 1st Century letters that we have show what Christians believed before the New Testament existed. There is such a thing as oral tradition. And, of course, there are hundreds of non-canonical documents showing what the early church believed.

The Bible isn't essential for either Christianity or faith. It is, however, nice to have.

John W. Loftus said...

Prof. Dan, I don't mind you disagreeing with me but at least get your facts straight. You wrote: "Ehrman's form of criticism has been dismissed by nearly all biblical scholars except for atheists."

Who are you talking about? Where do you live, in a cave or something? Erhman represents mainline scholarship. You are an evangelical and all you must read is evangelical authors or something. Poke your nose inside one of Cambridge University's commentaries, or Anchor Bible Commentaries, or read a book published by Fortress Press, Harvard Divinity School, or Yale, or Chicago Press, or one of the many monograph's from the Society of Biblical Literature.

Again, you can disagree with me but your comment shows an utter ignorance of the facts. I would never have expected that from you. Now I know why you still believe.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Hi Marcus McElhaney:
You might want to consider:

The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham by TL Thompson which broke up the William F. Albright long held view of Biblical Archeology at Johns Hopkins.

And

Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? William Dever

These two books have helped to brake the back of the so-called Biblical Archeology movement.

Also Dever’s first book written for the layman:

Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Biblical Research (Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies) clearly proves the myths of the early Israelite past.

Dever can be see and hear on an older Youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-G8BQidYdL8

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Clare...

What was circular. You said that there was not evidence for archaeological evidence supporting the Bible before David. I showed you WRONG.
What, no comeback?

@Jim

There are stories of Missionaries who go visit places today where they never heard the Judeo-Christian message yet they heard of Jesus is a dream muliple people in the village had at the same time in the same night. We don't have stories like that in the West becasue we have the Bible
By and large God has chosen to reveal Himself today through the Bible but that is not how everyone gets it.

You said that there was no evidence but that is not true.

And you are the one who is confused. Clare said that there were historians that questioned Jesus' existance. I was responding to her and not saying that Ehrman denies that Jesus existed.

I never said that the Bible was required to believe in God. I said that revelation is required and The Bible is one such way God has chosen to reveal Himself.

@John W. Loftus

You show your own ignorance. There are plenty of top-notch scholar who disagree with Bart Ehrman's conclusions on the reliability of the Bible. Read Dan Wallace, James White, and many others.
By the way why didn't Ehrman's own teacher not believe it the way Ehrman does. Bruce Metzgar would not agree with his student any more than William Lane Craig agrees with you!!!

Brap Gronk said...

What would atheists believe if all the scientific literature and knowledge about the natural world were destroyed tomorrow? I think they would simply wait until the same conclusions were reached based on the same observations of the same evidence and natural phenomena that got science where it is today. It might take awhile and take a different path as different theories are offered and then proven or disproven, but it would get there.

There would still be unanswered questions every step of the way, and we would still laugh at anyone who suggested the Flying Spaghetti Monster did it, until the FSM theory is proven correct at least once.

John W. Loftus said...

Brap, you talk as a ridiculous person does. Scientific knowledge is not being undermined or destroyed. The Bible by contrast is being destroyed by biblical criticism.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Harry H. McCall, CET

Thanks for sending the reading list and the video. I have a further question. Will reading these show me that there is no archeological evidence for the Bible period? Will it show that the pyramid temple found in Iraq has nothing to do with Uz? The place were the Bible says both Abraham and Job were from?

Brad said...

"The Bible by contrast is being destroyed by biblical criticism."

Wishful thinking, John.

Mike said...

Marcus McElhaney, I will concede to you that Metzger is a serious scholar. However, Dan Wallace is at Dallas Theological Seminary, the center of dispensationalism. I cannot take that seriously as a scholarly institution. I also have trouble taking James White seriously, due to the fact that he has his "doctorate" from a correspondence school.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Mike

And how many degrees do you have and where did you go to school? I'd put Wallace's and White's scholarship against anyone and they agree with Metzgar and not Ehrman. Do you speak and read Bibllical Hebrew and Greek? They do.

Mike said...

And Marcus, you listed three "scholars." One of them a has extremely shady credentials, and the other one is at an institution that holds to the rapture fairy tale, an idea that is dismissed by even many conservative Christians. I don't see how that shows that Ehrman is outside of mainstream Biblical scholarship.

By the way, in case you are wondering. I'm not an atheist. I used to be a fundamentalist, but beyond belief in a creator, I'm pretty much agnostic.

Mike said...

I actually have a Bachelors, and a masters, but not in theology or Biblical studies or anything like that.

I acknowledge that those guys read greek or Hebrew. So does Ehrman. What's your point? My point is that you listing those guys as disagreeing with Ehrman fails to illustrate that Ehrman is outside of biblical scholarship

x said...

@jbudrdanl

Can you please list all the
"archeology has recovered more supporting pieces of evidence for the historicity of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures than it has for any other ancient person, religion, or government."

I don't know of any.

@Marcus
"As for archaeological evidence Pre David...there is some evidence. The Bible says that Abraham came from Uz. And Uz has been found. There are other examples."

Uz? is not evidence of Moses, or Abraham. The question was evidence of those people not of a town or city that existed. A city or town existing in history does not prove a story written about people in it existed.

Please provide the archaeology.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Upstate New York exists too so I guess the story of Moroni giving Joseph Smith those golden plates there MUST be true.

Harry H. McCall, CET said...

Marcus McElhaney stated:
“no archeological evidence for the Bible period”,

RE: The fact that there is an earth and a middle east IS “archeological evidence for the Bible period” is it not? But what does that prove?

And just why pick on Uz since Egypt, Assyria and Babylon are also mention in the Bible. So what?

Secondly, you claim: “Will it show that the pyramid temple found in Iraq has nothing to do with Uz? The place were the Bible says both Abraham and Job were from?” Is frankly like stating that Akkadian literature supports the Bible, which it does not.

The fact that Uz is mentioned in the Bible collates with the fact that the Exile (which is over a thousand years latter that the supposed Abraham or Job) was centered in that area of the Near East.

Again: So what?!

Your view is great for a Bible college and a peep talk for preachers, but it would NEVER be published in any major academic journal such as Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft; Vetus Testamentum or even the Journal of Biblical Literature.

Brad said...

..is at an institution that holds to the rapture fairy tale...

As opposed to a more "credible" institution that advances the idea that you were miraculously made from nothing? Just keeping it real, Mike.

x said...

'As opposed to a more "credible" institution that advances the idea that you were miraculously made from nothing? Just keeping it real, Mike.'

Which one says that Brad?

Jim said...

Brad,

Personally, I love the Bible and believe it when it tells me:

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Heb 4:12)

Now the fact that you hate the Bible, might make me sad, but it doesn't offer me a compelling proof not to believe it. Cheer up.


Please cite where I "hate the Bible."

Let me finish the thought: I figured out the Bible was bullshit years ago. Now I see it as nothing more than a work of literature with enough nuggets of historical fact to keep the sheep believing the rest of it. Remember, to sell a big lie, there has to be a few elements of truth in there somewhere. However, I also see the Bible as an interesting part of human history. It's a fascinating look at human psychology to witness people believing in something so untenable.

You love the Bible when it tells you " . . . it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

I find judging peoples' thoughts to be ethically and morally bankrupt. You like it because you already believe the B.S. Could you imagine a system in the U.S. where we judge people's thoughts and attitudes (instead of their behavior). What would be some appropriate punishments, Brad?

And no, I didn't get a letter from the IRS. That wouldn't bother me.

Being sold an untenable bill of goods as a child, and sleeping restless at night in fear of demons and devils borders on child abuse. That was all years ago. It's similar to others' stories. Getting free of it has improved my life drastically. Hopefully you'll experience it one day. Then you'll be on this side of the fence taking on Christians as an ex-believer. It's the best place in the world to be!

You seem like a pretty good smart guy. I think you'll see the light of reason someday.

Jim said...

Brap,

What would atheists believe if all the scientific literature and knowledge about the natural world were destroyed tomorrow?

That's one of the easiest questions to answer, actually.

We would all believe what we have a right to believe based on the evidence. At first we would only believe what we can observe with our senses. Slowly over time we would build up a bank of observations and find that certain observations are consistently repeatable.

From these, we would make inferences about how things work, then propose hypotheses, test them, find out what is true and what isn't true.

In other words, in the beginning, we believe nothing; in seconds, we believe something; and over time we roll up our sleeves and get to work trying to discover whatever else we can.

But all the while, if we don't know the answer to something, we are perfectly content to say:

"I don't know"

This is a huge difference with religionists who make up stuff without an ounce of justification. You're not the one who originally made it up, you're just perpetuating it.

"I don't know" is a grown up, mature answer to many things in life.

"God did it" is a childlike, wishful thinking method and you don't get to do that and be taken seriously.

Brad said...

Please cite where I "hate the Bible."

Pardon me John for the presumption but when you say...

"By the way, I don't need the Bible for anything--it wrecked my life until I figured out it was bullshit." (emphasis mine)

...it seemed like a pretty safe leap that you hated the book. Cheers.

Mike said...

"As opposed to a more "credible" institution that advances the idea that you were miraculously made from nothing? Just keeping it real, Mike."

Hey Brad, your attempt to be cute is a massive fail!

How are your reading comprehension skills? If you had any you would have read my previous post and noted that I said I believe in a Creator, but beyond that I'm agnostic. I don't believe something came from nothing. And I would like to know what institution you are refering to.

Brad said...

Hi Jim,

"Being sold an untenable bill of goods as a child, and sleeping restless at night in fear of demons and devils borders on child abuse."

I'm not planning on taking this anywhere, Jim, but I'm really curious...what denom. were you formerly associated with...

Steve Douglas said...

It cracks me up that people keep throwing around "Uz"; that was Job. For Abraham, it's Ur.

Brad said...

Hi Mike,

Apologies. I didn't know you were a deist.

BTW, just noticed your gravatar...and if I might leap to another conclusion from it...my condolences, that was a good team that lost today.

James F. McGrath said...

John, this certainly applies to some Christians. But there are plenty of Christians who don't read the Bible, there were plenty of Christians down the ages when there simply weren't Bibles in a language they spoke, and Christianity itself started without there being a New Testament. And so I think this may make a relevant point to some, but has little impact on Christians broadly defined.

Jim said...

Marcus,

There are stories of Missionaries who go visit places today where they never heard the Judeo-Christian message yet they heard of Jesus is a dream muliple people in the village had at the same time in the same night. We don't have stories like that in the West becasue we have the Bible
By and large God has chosen to reveal Himself today through the Bible but that is not how everyone gets it.


I'll just throw the B.S. flag on that--at least you correctly labeled them "stories."

Let me guess your methodology for determining whether a "story" is true or not: If it matches the presupposition that the Bible is true, then the story is true. If it contradicts or militates against the existence of God and/or the truth of the Bible, then it is wrong. That's a powerful framework for determining truth--and dangerous in the wrong hands (Christian hands).

You said that there was no evidence but that is not true.

O.K., you got me--let me rephrase as "there almost zero compelling evidence." I also use the term "not an ounce of evidence," but I think I'll stick with that one as honest because all the evidence when put together weighs approximately a quarter of an ounce.

And you are the one who is confused. Clare said that there were historians that questioned Jesus' existance. I was responding to her and not saying that Ehrman denies that Jesus existed.

Accepted.

I never said that the Bible was required to believe in God. I said that revelation is required and The Bible is one such way God has chosen to reveal Himself.

Now you're back in murky waters again.

Your quote is "We need the Bible but that is not how everyone comes to Jesus."

Who is "we?"

What do we "need" the Bible for?

I don't need it, and I would argue it makes belief in God more untenable than ever due to all the contradictions and inconsistencies that exist (and I know you probably disavow).

Did you mean to say we need the Bible for other things like a place to record the 10 commandments or something? God couldn't put it on stone tablets, or write it on the sky, or heaven forbid, come and visit us once in a while and let us know what is going on?

Is that why we need the Bible?

Note: Uh oh, the captcha phrase to make this post is suspiciously close to "repent." I think it's a sign! Ha ha! Oh noes, it didn't like that one and the next one is suspiciously close to "heathen." I'm off to church . . . Ha ha!

Mike said...

Brad, if you want to use labels, you could say I'm a deist. But my mindset right now is very agnostic. I have no doubt there is a creator, but I do not see the evidence that He is actively involved in the affairs of this world. And I certainly am not a Christian anymore.

I'm sorry for the mocking tone of my response. That wasn't the best way to make a point.

And yes, as a Kansas alum and fan, I'm in deep mourning. UNI is a very good team, and I think they may win their next game as well.

Mike said...

Come tho think of it, I probably fit the deist label more than agnostic. But there are still tons of things that I'm very unsure about, which is why I'm very hesitant to part ways with calling myself an agnostic.

Brap Gronk said...

Jim said: "I don't know" is a grown up, mature answer to many things in life.

"God did it" is a childlike, wishful thinking method and you don't get to do that and be taken seriously.
===

I agree 100%, which was my point. To take my "what if" in a different direction, more along the lines of the original post:

What if all religious texts and beliefs disappeared tomorrow? I would suggest that religions of some sort would probably evolve again as humans tried to answer the questions why are we here and where did we and everything else come from. But the chance that their texts and beliefs would reach the same point where they are today is pretty slim, since the ability of the creator of the story to gain followers who will propogate it is much more important to the success of a religion than any evidence to support it.

Jim said...

Brad,

I was born an atheist (as we all were), but grew up in a Roman Catholic home.

For some reason the demon stories really got to me as a kid. I was a doubter by day, but I couldn't shut out the thoughts at night.

Not all my siblings experienced this to the same level. My family currently runs the gamut. 2 firm atheists, 1 mild atheist, 3 moderate RCC, 1 hard-core RCC believer. We all get along great and even talk about religion when I visit.

Jim said...

Brap,

I agree 100%, which was my point. To take my "what if" in a different direction, more along the lines of the original post:

What if all religious texts and beliefs disappeared tomorrow?


Unfortunately, I think there would eventually be religious belief of some sort also. I mean, heck even today with all these perfectly good (but untrue) religions around to pick from some people just can't stand it and start their own (Scientology, Raelianism, etc.)

But the worse part is that they can get other people to believe in it!

It just seems to be part of some people's nature to believe in something with an amount of evidence I would find hysterically insignificant.

Human psychology is an interesting animal . . .

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

The promise of God was not scripture, but a man.

However, to hypothetically answer your question, without scripture, I would notice how some people hurt me with the power they've been given and how I would become hurt and sometimes hurtful as a result. Without the bible, I would notice that it is dangerous to be vulnerable and viewed as weak or without value in this world. Without the bible, I would thirst and hunger for a different way - I would seek for something other than what I could experience with other people or myself alone-- I would seek something outside myself -- if there were no bible, Jesus would come, as He did and still does, to assert the divine promise of a loving God and the Holy Spirit to harmonize feelings, thoughts and actions. Without the bible, there would be Jesus, oral tradition and the Holy spirit.

Mark Plus said...

Loftus's hypothetical question describes the reality of the Amazonian Pirahã people. A missionary who tried to witness to them realized that they didn't care about Jesus because neither he, nor his father, nor anyone alive now ever met Jesus; therefore to the Pirahã Jesus doesn't matter now. The Pirahã's empiricist epistemology converted the missionary to atheism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNajfMZGnuo

Brad said...

Hi Mike,

"I'm sorry for the mocking tone of my response. That wasn't the best way to make a point."

We're all big boys and girls here...so no worries. I seem to give as good as I get.

Thanks for satisfying my curiosity.

Steven Bently said...

If there never were a Bible, or Koran, or supposed "Holy Books", we all would probably believe in the "Here and Now", other than what could be, or the hoped for, or the faith hoax.

The bible and koran are nothing more than books written about hatred and murder, because the bible and koran applies labels onto people to create divisiveness between human beings all over the planet.

If there were no holy books, we could all live in harmony, because we would all believe the same thing!

The Tenth Commandment "Thou shalt not kill."

The buybull says that Sampson killed over 1000 men and it's lauded as something good?

Saul murdered people, changed his name to Paul, had a vision of a savior and now is considered a great saint?

Murder is murder!!!!

The bible says it's better to be an unmoral person with a belief in jesus, and go to heaven, than a moral person who does no harm to anyone with no beliefs, and then be sent to hell.

This shows that the bible was written by insane criminals!

Harold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

Mark,

I always think of that story of the Pirahã people and the missionary who deconverted when I think of these types of issues.

The Pirahã are a practical people. They probably spend a majority of their time on basic survival and probably found the minister constantly blabbering about Jesus wasn't helping them one iota. They had stuff to do and the Jesus junk was wasting their time.

On the other hand, you have Manifesting Mini Me and others who sound like they pick lint out of their navel all day and long for some wistful feeling of Jesus to wash all over them so they can exist in perpetual bliss. Like sad artistic souls looking for inspiration.

Look at the vocabulary: hurt, vulnerable, harmonize feelings, . . .

It wishful thinking in print.

It would be depressing for me, but I know they somehow find satisfaction in it.

Harold said...

John,
You are being a tad bit presumptuous. Agnosticism and atheism are not the only other beliefs out there besides Christianity.

People will more likely believe in some form of god than disbelieve in god. I have always disagreed with your claim that agnosticism is the default belief.

If we look in the history of humanity people have always had some form of metaphysical belief in a god or spirits. This is why I believe that belief in some form of god or spirit is the default belief. As Karen Armstrong says we are homo-religious.


Now for my self, if Christianity did not exist I would still have some form of belief in god. My belief in God is not contingent on the Bible. Actually when I left agnosticism to return to Christianity the Bible had no influence on that decision.

Yet this is not to say that they Bible had no effect on my religious beliefs. Yoga and meditation were the things that lead me back to Christianity. Religious experiences are very important events in people’s lives.

We can get these experiences from practices like yoga and meditation or worshiping. I am catholic and the catholic mass draws me to God. Every Sunday I experience God and I miss that experience when I do not go. Another aspect of worship is the emotional and the sense of peace that comes from church. I get a feeling of peace and tranquility after attending most mass. I have not gotten this feeling from any secular event.


We are religious creatures and if Christianity did not exist then we would believe in some other form of religion. Lastly, there is more to this world than the physical world around us.

I tried being a materialist and it never really seemed to make sense. I had to finally be honest with my self and admit that I am a religious person at heart and that religion is an important part of our human nature.

Harold

Marcus McElhaney said...

@ Mike I also have a BS and a Masters but in Engineering. My point wasn't that Ehrman is outside the bounds of Biblical scholarship. My point is that just as capable scholars who disagrees with Ehrman. why would you agree with him and discount the others? I bet you never even looked at why they disagree?

Breckmin said...

I believe I would still be a Christian by God's grace. John, perhaps you do not realize that the gospel and the Word of God existed long before the so called "bible" was put together.

I know that you are aware that the common people had no access to the bible for over 1500 years until the
printing presses made them available.

Christianity does not exist because of the bible. The bible exists because of Christianity.

Now to address your real point: You might ask what someone would believe if there was no Q'ran. You might ask what someone would believe IF there was no Eastern religions like Hinduism. Realistically to answer such question you would have to be "omniscient" about all possible realities (molinism). That is only possible with the Infinite Creator so we are back to the Judeo-Christian faith again.

Interesting.

Breckmin said...

"My point wasn't that Ehrman is outside the bounds of Biblical scholarship. My point is that just as capable scholars who disagrees with Ehrman. why would you agree with him and discount the others?"

Bart uses way too much induction in his historical approach. That is why he is led to error.

Question everything.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Brec

Care to provide an example?

Marcus McElhaney said...

@ X

I'm saying that the fact that both Ur and Uz having been found means that the Bible did get something right! Therefore it lends to some credibility that the events themselves are true.

@ Chuck O'Connor

Everything else about Joseph Smith's stories do not check out. Can't find anything to substantiate any of the places and people particular to the Book of mormon http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=f8a28147672423a8318c

@Harry H. McCall, CET

The reason why Uz and Ur are significant because lots of skeptics used to believe that they were mythical because up until the time they were dug up people thought that they were made up. No one disputed the existance of Egypt, or the Middle East! Duh!

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Jim If you know anything of the Bible then you know that it says we don't have to be afraid of Demons or Hell because Jesus conquered all of that. Why were you scared? You have offered no evidence that the Bible is wrong. God judging our thoughts and attitudes are morally tenable because if God made us that gives Him the right. Our justice system does judge people for their thoughts and attitudes just not behavior. That is why you can go to jail for "conspiracy to commit murder" and for
"attempted murder" if the state can prove that murder was your intention. You are so hopelessly enslaved to your own misunderstanding of what the Bible says you don't even know you are bound. I hope that God frees you of it.

"God did it" is a tenable answer if He really did do it. It's childish to ignore an answer just because you don't like it. Science is about figuring out how God did it. Science helps us to understand how the creation works.

Before you can call a story false you have to first prove it didn't happen as to people who have supernatuaral revelations of Christianity being true before they ever talk to a Christian. I determine truth from evidence not from wishful thinking as you seem to. "Compelling evidence" is subjective. I said that there was evidence, just because you are not compelled by it does not mean it's false. I think it says more about you than it does about the validity of the evidence. When I said
"we need the Bible" I was referring to all human beings. How would you know that fornication was a sin without the Bible to tell you? We all seem to know that adultry is bad, but fornication is a sin that's not obvious...it's easy to rationalize and not see the damage that sin does to yourself and our community.

You asked why can't God come and visit once in awhile and let us what is going on and the answer is that God does. It's called a relationship and if you turn your heart over to Him you can have that kind of relationship with God. If you don't then that means you really don't want that kind of relationship with your creator and will continue to blunder around in stupidity.

As for the missionary who was converted to Atheism because of the tribe he went to...he was the wrong missionary for the job and was not really born-again himself. He failed to show them why Jesus matters.

@Steven Bently... You said the following "The bible says it's better to be an unmoral person with a belief in jesus, and go to heaven, than a moral person who does no harm to anyone with no beliefs, and then be sent to hell.
This shows that the bible was written by insane criminals!" Where does the Bible say that? There is no such thing as a moral person who does no harm to anyone with no beliefs because everyone has beliefs and according to the Bible no one is good. And there can be a person who believes and follows Jesus and is unmora (neither amoral or immoral), Name one example, if you can. Paul killed people, yes, and it racked his guilt that is why he changed when he knew he was wrong. But it wasn't murder. Murder and killing are not the same thing. Paul's motives were clean, but he was wrong. The commandment in the 10 commandments was to not murder. Is it murder when someone breaks into your house to kill you and steal your things and end up killing them instead? No. All murder is killing but not all killing is murder.

Mike said...

"@ Mike I also have a BS and a Masters but in Engineering. My point wasn't that Ehrman is outside the bounds of Biblical scholarship. My point is that just as capable scholars who disagrees with Ehrman. why would you agree with him and discount the others? I bet you never even looked at why they disagree?"

Marcus, you don't have to convince me that there are evangelical scholars out there with impressive academic credentials. I know that already. The point I am making is that for 10 years, as a fundamentalist evangelical Christian, I read the works of these scholars and others, and found their answers to objections to Christianity and the problems of life lacking and intellectually unsatisfying. Instead of constantly reminding me that there are scholars who disagree with Ehrman, why don't you yourself, say why YOU disagree with Ehrman. I

x said...

@ Marcus
I'm saying that the fact that both 'Ur and Uz having been found means that the Bible did get something right! Therefore it lends to some credibility that the events themselves are true.'

Marcus why do you think this lends credibility to the events? The city or town existing is not related in anyway to the actual event happening except that it might have happened there. Does a volcano existing lend credibility to the Xenu story?

As for Ehrman the point is not what ehrman says or some other scholar says. Its what the evidence itself says. Ehrman says we have no idea who wrote the bible, we don't have the originals, all the old copies are different, they were changed by people, etc. Are those claims incorrect?
I've noticed other scholars try to say the things ehrman states are no big deal. Yet how is it no big deal that the originals of the bible don't exist!

Chuck O'Connor said...

Marcus

There is no evidence of a worldwide flood, none for the Exodus of the Jews, none for their captivity in Egypt, none for a 6000 year old earth (thus no Garden of Eden or literal Adam and Eve - 2 things Jesus believed literal). For you to mention the evidence of a mis-spelled ancient city as evidene of the veracity of the abrahamic myths and then use that scrap to validate the supernatual authority of your book, while dismissing the same level of evidential justification for th Book of Mormon, is called special pleading.

Also your continued insistence that those not making the affirmative statement need to prove a negation is also fallacious.

We know you believe what you believe. We've read it before. That doesn't prove what you believe is real. It only proves you are superstitous.

shane said...

Marcus.

Its always the same with you people.
If someone leaves the fold, then its always-
"they were never really a born again believer in the first place".

This is such a copout!
Maybe the truth is that nobody is or ever was "born again" because there is no such thing.
Maybe people leave because eventually they wake up to the absurdity of it all!

You said, "if God made us, it gives Him the right to judge us"!

Whether God made us or not, it does not give Him the right to torture souls in horrible agony for all eternity!!!!

Whether or not a Creator exists, people are living,breathing, beings with thoughts and emotions.
Not you or any christian in this world can claim that God has some divine right to torture!

Also.....you said "God does reveal Himself to us, its called having a relationship with Him"?

How do you have a relationship with a being that you cannot physically see?.......how do you have a relationship with a being you cant audibly hear?.......how do you do this with a being that you cant percieve with any of your senses?

It seems to me that your Godly relationship is equivalent to a child having an imaginary friend!

Clare said...

Marcus, sorry I didn't get back to you with an explanation of your circular logic- I was at work.
You said that Abraham knew about God before the Bible was written. But you only know he knew God because it says so in the Bible!
Circular logic-see?

Mark Plus said...

@ Jim:

"On the other hand, you have Manifesting Mini Me and others who sound like they pick lint out of their navel all day and long for some wistful feeling of Jesus to wash all over them so they can exist in perpetual bliss. Like sad artistic souls looking for inspiration."

People with this sort of psychology would probably starve to death among the Piraha. They should appreciate the fact that our kind of society produces enough surplus wealth to support their parasitism.

goprairie said...

John, your real question is "Won't Bible criticism, the kind where archaeology and science disprove the things written there, destroy Christianity?"
A few points:
Evolution has disproved Genisis, yet creationists persist. No amount of disproving the Bible is EVER going to make that kind of "faithfulness" go away. They make up things like "God created to fossils to give his creation a back story." We laugh at that; they believe that. No amount of criticim is going to make the Bible go away for that certain kind of people who want it to be true.
Second, since MOST Christians are not literalists anyway, they have rejected vast parts as untrue and kept parts for their "symbolic meaning" and only a few parts as "historic proof". As the Bible is "criticized away", they will just relegate more parts to "symbolic" and continue to interpret to each other what the symbolism means and believe in that made up version that they lay on top of the Bible lie. Remember before PowerPoint when architectural presentations relied on mylar overlays to show various aspects of the building? Theirs is a "mylar overlay" religion and no disproving of the literal will stop the layers of interpretation.
Finally, even if there never were a Bible at all, there would be belief in gods and spirits and religions. There have probably been more religions NOT based on a book than there are based on a book. People have a 'woo' experience, interpret it as an outer supernatural being communicating iwth them, and tell others about it. Some believe due to wanting to be part of the 'woo', and there you have some religion. If there is a known religion lurking about due to oral history, each person's 'woo' feelings get interpreted as that god or spirit they heard someone talk about.
The root of religion is NOT the Bible or any other book. It is misunderstood feelings that come from the brain.
To get rid of religion, we need brain science to explain to us what each of those feelings is and where it comes from and how it fits into instinctive capabilities that we evolved wtih.
For example: That 'woo' you get when you are outdoors in a big beautiful space has to do with your brain's mapping of where your body begins and ends and it getting overwhelmed out there. You feel 'connected to all the universe', 'touched by god' if that is in your vocabulary, but it is really just a washing of chemicals in your brain that goes away in a few seconds, to be renewed at the next amazing scene that is revealed as you round the next bend. It can be reproduced chemically or electronically in the laboratory by brain scientists. The amount of time it lasts has to do with how brain chemistry works. Why would god appear in such breif blasts? I could go on. Brain science will do more to kill religion as it explains away the things people claim as personal experiences with god or spirit or soul. Everyone here would do better reading as much brain science as they can and not worry so much about Bible historocity.

Anthony said...

Wow, I missed a lot of discussion.

Marcus: I'm saying that the fact that both Ur and Uz having been found means that the Bible did get something right! Therefore it lends to some credibility that the events themselves are true.

Marcus, your statement has been refuted by several here already but I wanted to make one more point. The Iliad was written by Homer and mentioned a city called Troy which has been discovered and now historically verified. The problem here is that the Iliad is a poem of fiction, simply because it mentions a city that turns out to be a real place does not mean that the narrative that it is found in is historically true. Hence, simply because a narrative in the Bible mentions a real place does not mean that the narrative itself is historically true.

Dr. Dan asks: What if your experience in church had been better/more loving/open to questions? Would you still have abandoned your faith?

Although this may be a legitimate question for some ex-believers but for most of us who left for intellectual reasons the answer would be no, it wouldn't make any difference.

Goprairie: Evolution has disproved Genisis, yet creationists persist. No amount of disproving the Bible is EVER going to make that kind of "faithfulness" go away.

I understand your point and tend to agree, but there are many of us who will and do listen. I spent most of my life as a believer who held to creationism and yet I finally decided to be honest and evaluate the evidence with some type of objectivity. I discovered that I was wrong. This led me on a road of curiosity and study that ended in my rejection of Christianity and ultimately becoming an atheist. So yes, some people just will not listen but for others it just takes time and patience to get through.

afeatheradrift said...

The question belies any intelligence. Understanding the bible doesn't necessarily lead to agnosticism or atheism. It often results in a mature understanding that the bible represents a people's experience of God. That is helpful to all of us, yet surely you realize that for thousands of years, God has been believed in without bibles or Korans or other scriptural elements. What a rather pedantic and childishly simplistic idea. I am beginning to see that you are not much of an intellectual however much you profess to sound so smart. Laughable statement, better left to the kid atheists who just want to point up "errors" all day long, errors we have known about for a few hundred years.

Jim said...

Marcus,

@Jim If you know anything of the Bible then you know that it says we don't have to be afraid of Demons or Hell because Jesus conquered all of that. Why were you scared? You have offered no evidence that the Bible is wrong.

Did you ever watch the movie "Excorcist?" I grew up Roman Catholic--that stuff was a possible reality for us. Were we taught that Jesus could conquer demons? Sure. But that doesn't mean the demons couldn't get a bite at you first--scary stuff for a small child not yet rational enough to figure out that it's all bullshit!

Of course it's not proof--I never said it was. It is child abuse, though, to tell kids they're going to hell if they don't accept Jesus as their savior.

God judging our thoughts and attitudes are morally tenable because if God made us that gives Him the right.

No it doesn't--that's just depraved twisted thinking. God's power may give him the "ability" to do what he wants with us, but it doesn't give him the right.

Only in the twisted, demonic Christan mind does creation of X give the creator license to do whatever it wants with X.

Parents create children--so they can torture the children if they want?

Oh, I know, God created us from nothing--so he gets a special exemption. That's nothing more than special pleading and backwards rationalization. Gotta keep the sheep from realizing all they're really praising is Stalin in the sky! (Who loves them)

You're praising an unethical (and nonexistent God).

Jim said...

Marcus,

Our justice system does judge people for their thoughts and attitudes just not behavior. That is why you can go to jail for "conspiracy to commit murder" and for
"attempted murder" if the state can prove that murder was your intention.


How does the state determine "intent?"

Oh yeah, it looks at your ACTIONS to determine whether you had intent. It can't crawl inside your head and look for every thought and punish you for those thoughts.

Are you saying you can be convicted of "conspiracy to commit murder" just by thinking about it? The state doesn't need evidence that you were in contact with other people? Or that you were putting things in motion (ACTIONS) to accomplish said murder?

You haven't thought that through enough.

You are so hopelessly enslaved to your own misunderstanding of what the Bible says you don't even know you are bound. I hope that God frees you of it.

If he exists, I hope he provides some evidence, too. Because so far, he hasn't provided any compelling evidence. I hope you're freed from the shackles of religion someday, too--you seem like too nice of a guy to be wasting a life of ministry.

"God did it" is a tenable answer if He really did do it. It's childish to ignore an answer just because you don't like it. Science is about figuring out how God did it. Science helps us to understand how the creation works.

"God did it" is a tenable "answer," it's just not a tenable "belief" in the absence of evidence. My point is that Christians leap to "God did it" when the truth is they simply don't know. Mature adults are O.K. with "I don't know." The scientific community LOVES "I don't know"--it gives them something to try and figure out. It's vastly more interesting to try to figure out how the universe formed, how it works, and how it evolved to this day resulting in life in an insignificant corner of an insignificant galaxy rather than state: "Oh, on page 2 it says God made it. Good enough for me!"

Jim said...

Marcus,

Before you can call a story false you have to first prove it didn't happen as to people who have supernatuaral revelations of Christianity being true before they ever talk to a Christian.

No I don't--you don't understand who has the burden of proof. I didn't make the claim.

When I said "we need the Bible" I was referring to all human beings. How would you know that fornication was a sin without the Bible to tell you? We all seem to know that adultry is bad, but fornication is a sin that's not obvious...it's easy to rationalize and not see the damage that sin does to yourself and our community.

Of course, I don't find fornication to be a sin at all. I try to fornicate as much as possible. Two mature people taking part in a mutually agreeable act is only sinful in the deluded Christian (and other religionists) minds.

Nope, I don't know that adultery is "wrong," either. It's neutral. Can it cause emotional suffering? Yes. To the extent it causes UNDESERVED, or AVOIDABLE suffering is the extent to which I would say it is wrong. But that's it. Once again, only in the deluded Christian mind are acts wrong because they're written in ink on paper thousands of years ago.

But again, you seem to be thinking for God. He couldn't keep us informed of what he wants in other ways that are more compelling to those of us who don't trust age-old ink on paper?

To your last point, the most "damaged communities" seem to be centered around the most "religious" communities. Both worldwide and within the U.S.

Jim said...

Marcus,

You asked why can't God come and visit once in awhile and let us what is going on and the answer is that God does. It's called a relationship and if you turn your heart over to Him you can have that kind of relationship with God. If you don't then that means you really don't want that kind of relationship with your creator and will continue to blunder around in stupidity.

Yes, I know, you can read my mind because you're Christian and know why we don't believe.

"Relationship"--another fuzzy term invented to mollify the harshness that comes with believing in a God that drowns little innocent babies because He doesn't like what the parents are doing and thinking. A God who orders that swords be thrust into children.

As for the missionary who was converted to Atheism because of the tribe he went to...he was the wrong missionary for the job and was not really born-again himself. He failed to show them why Jesus matters.

No, they saw the bullshit, too. Practical people see bullshit. Wishful thinkers buy into it.

Thomas said...

John,
If the Bible didn't exist, theoretically God could reveal himself in other ways so it could be possible to believe.

However, it's a rather silly question. The fact is that it does exist so it makes more sense to deal with the available evidence we have.

Didn't David Wood answer this question for you in the debate? As I recall, you even said his answer was good! Why do you continue to ask the question if you've already received (by your own admission) an adequate answer?

Marcus McElhaney said...

@ Clare...

I get that you reject the Bible as a historical document. What proof do you use to reject it's validity? (By the way you are making a claim)

@Anthony...

You call those refutations? I don't. It's dodging the point. U said u missed much of the discussion. It was said that there was zero archaeological evidence validating anything the Bible said was true. I offered the real existence of Ur and Uz as proof that the Bible does make true statements. It says that Ur and Uz existed and because no in modern times knew where they were, some people used to use that ignorance as evidence that the Bible was false. However now that we know that both places really existed, now you want to say "But that does not mean that the narratives are true". Fine. But we have gone from it could not have possible be true because Ur and Uz never existed to those stories could be true because those places really existed. Sounds like back-pedaling to me. As for Troy, there no evidence at all outside of Homer for the events of the Illiad from centuries past the events. As for Abraham, we know that the name "Hebrew" shows up more than just in the Bible.

@Shane...

The hole in your logic is that the truth is that I was born-again at a point in my life. I went from not caring anything about God to wanting to live my life for him. My sins are forgiven. I'm also not the only one. Every single apostate I ever met or ever talked to can't say that. Read Jeremiah 18. Read Romans 9. God has every right to do what ever we want. We are clay in hands and can do whatever He wants. The good news is that He has good in mind for us. You talk as though God is malevolent and wants to hurt us. All you have to do submit to him and you don't have to worry about hell or torture. If you go against God you get what you deserve...and what you want because you could have had different. As for a relationship...God is a real. He doesn't need to dwell in a physical form to communicate with us. This is because he can do anything. One way to know what God thinks and what He is doing is to read the Bible. Go read it if you want to know what relationship with God means. If you had one you would know what it means

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Chuck O'Connor..

No where does the Bible say anything about the earth being 6000 years old. Jesus never said that. By that way how do you know UZ or Ur are misspelled. Can you prove that? (By the way, that is claim) You claim that the Bible teaches the earth is 6000 years old but you can't prove that. You claim Jesus thought that, but you can't prove that. There is evidence for the events of Exodus - Ipuwer Papyrus - yet you claim there is none. Without backing up your claims you are the one doing special pleading. You know what to call claims without substantiation? Fallacious.

@Mike

If you found the "their answers to objections to Christianity and the problems of life lacking and intellectually unsatisfying" maybe you didn't understand the arguments and should have asked more questions and got more clarity. You didn't answer my question. Why don't you believe them? As for why I disagree with Bart Ehrman...because there are very few variations of the Old Testament - less than one percent difference. In the New Testament the majority of variations are spelling errors and word order that have no impact on translating the Greek New Testament in modern languages like English. As for the longer ending of Mark, John 8, 1 John 5:7, and Ehrman's problem with angry/compassion from Mark 1:41 do absolutely nothing to make a break any doctrine or interpretation. All textual critics I have read agree with what I just said. Ehrman included. He just draws the conclusion that makes the text un trustworthy. I disagree. we have more copies of the Greek New Testament from more multiple lines of transmission than any ancient text. We can reconstruct the original documents...and even if we didn't have them we have the writings from the first Christians who quoted from them so much that we can reproduce all but 66 verses. we have less evidence than any ancient works says what we say it says than the Bible, yet Ehrman and those who agree with him are not willing to throw them out like they are willing to throw out the Bible. Hypocritical much? Yup, very much.


@Jim....

I can tell you that if you wanted to be saved you would be. I know this Because God promised that he would reject no one who comes to him. You seem to forget that no one is innocent we all deserve hell. Bottom line. God can choose to have mercy on whom he wants and justice when he wants. I trust him to apply his power perfectly. Just because you don't doesn't make him wrong considering that God is holding back justice from you....for a time. I did not say that the state you can convict you for thinking of killing someone I said that they convict you even if you didn't actually successfully carry it out. You don't seem to be able to read. I'm sorry that under Roman Catholicism you confused "Exorcist" with reality. If you are a born again believer a demon cannot inhabit your body. My upbringing was different. It's funny how you think that the creator has the right to do what he wants with the creation is "depraved and twisted" when the Bible says that ignoring the creator and holding onto idols (your claims and your understanding) is depraved. Which to believe? Hmmmmm. God does not make you or force you to go to hell. You walking of your own will because of your own stubbornness and wickedness. Not God's fault. If you end up in Hell it will be your fault.

jimvj said...

Marcus McElhaney (@4:20 PM, March 20, 2010):

Can you or any "Bible" defender show me any evidence that Jesus, Paul/Saul, Peter or any of the founders of Christianity had any concept of a "Bible".

If Paul - who is the most prolific writer in the NT - had any concept of a canonical text, don't you think he would have written such a text once and sent the same thing to all churches?

Do you know when the first "Bible" was decided on by a major sect? Hint: It was about 350 years after Jesus died.

If that Bible was good enough for your God for 12 more centuries, why did Martin Luther and later protestants have to change it?

Why, if your God is real and if the "Bible" is so important, is there not a single original text available? Not even a single copy from the first century? Note that we have original texts from Sumerians, Egyptians, and other much older civilizations.

Instead of just claiming that I'm indoctrinated, why not just show some evidence to counter my claims.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@jimvj..thanks for having the honesty to just admit that you are making claims. Now if you can just back them up you would have something:
a. Jesus, Paul, and Peter had concept of scripture - the basis of their theology was the Hebrew Bible - Septuagint. They referred to it as "The Law and the Prophets".
b. The Letters and and Gospels, and Acts were added to later and I'm not sure if they considered those as having the same weight as scripture. I would point to ther fact that their writing were widely dissiminated throughout all the churches and the fact Paul told Timothy a definition of what "scripture" is tells me that he had a canon in mind.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. - 2 Timothy 3:16

Peter agreed

19And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. - 2 Peter 1:19-21

And we have evidence that Paul's writing carried weight when he was still alive.

15Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. - 2 Peter 3:15-16

c. You claim that the first Bible was decided by a "major sect". Which one? What Council? What Year? What were the names of the people there?
d. What proof have you that Luther or any protestant changed the Bible? How did they change it? Translating it into vernacular languages like French, German, and English?

Those older original texts you mention...we have one, two, or three copies. We don't have originals either. How do you know that some scribe did not screw up the copies we have? You don't. The difference with the New Testament is that we have so many copies we can be reasonably sure by comparing them. They are not all from the same copies but have many lines of transmission from a large number of geographical locations. Our manuscript tradition is better than any comparable ancient text! I said you were indoctrinated because you don't see to even consider alternate viewpoints or ask simple questions.

Philip R Kreyche said...

Marcus,

Nothing you have written here has not been seen before. We've seen these claims and arguments over and over, have looked into them, and not been convinced. Do you really think you're the one who's finally going to set the record straight and convince the readers of this blog that Christianity is true?

"If you found the 'their answers to objections to Christianity and the problems of life lacking and intellectually unsatisfying' maybe you didn't understand the arguments and should have asked more questions and got more clarity."

What makes you think you're excused from this, yourself? Have you considered that you might not actually understand objections to Christian doctrine and worldview, and that if you did understand them you might agree with them and leave your faith the way we have?

Thomas said...

If that Bible was good enough for your God for 12 more centuries, why did Martin Luther and later protestants have to change it?

Jim,
What is your evidence that Luther and later Protestants changed the text? Who were the Protestants who changed it?

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Philip R Kreyche...my arguments are just as familiar to all of you just mine are to yours! It's been 2000 years! None us has said anything that has not been argued before! I have certainly seen every single argument that has been presented...no surprise! I understand your arguments and that is why I reject them. However I know you don't understand mine because many of the comments here about the Bible and History shows no understanding or knowledge.

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 1:9

Marcus McElhaney said...

For anyone who wants a better understanding of why we believe the New Testament is reliable watch this

x said...

Marcus unfortunately I've listened to 20 minutes of white not saying much and I'm not keen to waste another 40 so I was wondering if you could sum up the arguments he cites for why the NT is reliable.

Gandolf said...

Marcus McElhaney said... "They believed in God before there was a Bible. Why? Because God condescended and revealed Himself. God does the same thing today. If God does not, no one could believe. The Bible is a tool in God's toolchest but it is not the only one God uses."

Many folks happen to believe in aliens too Marcus,folks believe they have revealed themselves.

In some countries some folks still believe in fairys,so much so their city councils even make special laws so fairys are not disturbed.They too believe the presence of fairys has been REVEALED !!

Marcus stop bitching about Johns logic,and do some work on your own logic.While so busy freely bagging John,you really think what you rattle on about is really so new or great?

Gandolf said...

Marcus McElhaney said...
@Clare
Name a single historian with the same credentials you expect for every other historian who denies that Jesus exists."

Marcus even today we can prove Benny Hinn actually exists,great huh ...What a massive feat

But does it prove Benny Hinn actually likely does miracles ,anymore than maybe Jesus did?.

Oh ... and will it help with miracles healing any amputees?

Gandolf said...

Harold said... "If we look in the history of humanity people have always had some form of metaphysical belief in a god or spirits. This is why I believe that belief in some form of god or spirit is the default belief. As Karen Armstrong says we are homo-religious.


Now for my self, if Christianity did not exist I would still have some form of belief in god. My belief in God is not contingent on the Bible. Actually when I left agnosticism to return to Christianity the Bible had no influence on that decision.

Yet this is not to say that they Bible had no effect on my religious beliefs. Yoga and meditation were the things that lead me back to Christianity. Religious experiences are very important events in people’s lives.

We can get these experiences from practices like yoga and meditation or worshiping. I am catholic and the catholic mass draws me to God. Every Sunday I experience God and I miss that experience when I do not go. Another aspect of worship is the emotional and the sense of peace that comes from church. I get a feeling of peace and tranquility after attending most mass. I have not gotten this feeling from any secular event.


We are religious creatures and if Christianity did not exist then we would believe in some other form of religion. Lastly, there is more to this world than the physical world around us.

I tried being a materialist and it never really seemed to make sense. I had to finally be honest with my self and admit that I am a religious person at heart and that religion is an important part of our human nature.

Harold"

Hi Harold ... humans have often had fear of the dark also,its like its some kind of default belief.But does it prove the dark itself is in need of any real fear?.No

You noticed "We can get these experiences from practices like yoga and meditation or worshiping"

Some folks will hang a lucky rabbits foot around their neck and feel kinda safe.But this dont prove gods,it only really proves there is some power in thoughts of the mind.

I understand you might have a "feeling of peace and tranquility after attending most mass"

Human are social and some folks feel the same after attending sports or theatre groups....They also feel something is missing when they dont.

I think we are religious creatures mostly because old habits are hard to shake.Early man trying to understand nature for instance why lightning bolts kill people naturally thought maybe it was about punishment from gods,and the thoughts of fear and possibilities of punishment etc can be hard beliefs for humans to shake off.

Paul said...

If the bible didn't exist, then there's history. A big chunk of the books in the bible is called the Historical Books. On another note, I suggest you go over Dei Verbum which explains the Divine revelation of God. The Bible is and was not the only method used by God to reveal Himself. You should also try going through the articles in http://usminc.org. They have a healthy bunch of articles about Christianity

shane said...

Marcus.

You said we are clay in the Hands of God, He can do whatever He wants with us?
You got this from Romans:9.

This is part of what Romans:9, 18-21 says-
"So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and He chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen!
Well then, you might say, "why does God blame people for not responding? Haven't they simply done what He makes them do?
No, dont say that. Who are you a mere human being to argue with God?
When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn't he have the right to use the same lump to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garabage into"????

This is what you refered to me Marcus and its wrong on so many levels!

For starters, this is one of the scriptures that Calvinists use to back up their doctrine of pre-destination (not hard to see why)!

Second, this scripture states that God actually goes against free will, and He decides who will be given mecry and who will go to hell!
This destroys the christians foundation of "free will"!
For the scripture also states-
"So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it"!

Thirdly, we human beings are not just a lump of clay as you self loathing christians seem to think.
We are living breathing creatures. We have emotions, we have fears and desires, we feel pain and sorrow.
Any God who could create us this way, and then decide He can do what ever He wants with us is a cruel and malicious being indeed!

Fourthly, this scriptures insisitence on God creating some for mercy and some for wrath is a contradiction of the character of God you christians preach!!! And it comes from your very own bible!

shane said...

Afeatheradrift.

In regards to your 12:46 pm post.

Sometimes the oldest arguments are the best.They were the first original arguments that we began with in our journey into nonbelief.

Whether or not the arguments of biblical error have been around for hundreds of years, we do not live for hundreds of years.
So these error arguments become new to every generation of atheists/agnostics who leave their faith!
They are realized over and over again each time.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Let's see...people believe in God BEFORE anything was ever written, there was religion in general BEFORE the bible was written, many people such as myself come to beliefe BEFROE they ever read a word of scripture...

I guess it's something like, God moving upon hearts of men, (which you think is only the mind), and people yielding to that move and what he reveals....This has always been how man has responded to GOd...

This is another lame argument John. Of course people would and could believe without any book, because God is greater than a book. The book signifies communication and should be studied to find out what GOd has done historically and to better understand him, people's actions in response to hims and the results.

A better question sis why are there atheists at all??? Man has always been religious, but he hasn't always been atheist??? So where does this anomoly come from and why does man reject it??? I mean it's only been around since, what, before Jesus, and man still by large rejects nonbelief???? Study that!

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Posts like this reveal a bias against Christianity.

Noone can deny the existence of even pagan religions before the compilation of teh bible...no sain person can deny Shamanism and Hinduism before the bible...

The part of John's question deals with Christianity that sprung out of written and oral tradition Judaism...This is John's trick and the radical atheist trick of the question....

They reject the bible as support for anythign that the bible records...SILLY!

I reject a dictionary for the definition of any word written within it???? How smart of sensible is that??? I reject a science and biology book for anything that it can tell em about science and biology...I mean after all wouldn't any book be bias??? I mean that silly radical atheist logic...but that's the case here...

Proof is that Christianity exists, had a developed and consistent code and creed everyplace Christianity existed all BEFORE one word was written!

God was saving people before Paul or Luke wrote one word compilled...Further, there was no grand meeting to place any of this together until later...therefoe people were getting saved meeting God and believing Jesus, long before any written comilation that we call the bible.

This point is refuted a million times over and I'm just scraping the surface.

shane said...

District Supt Harvey.

You said, "man has always been religious, but he hasn't always been atheist?, so where does this anomoly come from and why does man reject it"?

You have already touched on the answer to this right here in your statment.
Atheism is generally new, although it had been around for a few hundred years but kept quiet for fear of persecution.
But atheism has begun to develop becuase of our advancing understanding of the world and universe around us.

We are recognizing the natural causes of many things that take place around us, and realize that there is no god involved.

Your right......man has always been religious, and its because of man's lack of understanding until recent times.
Man believed everything was attributed to a god or gods because we did not have the means to explain phenomena otherwise!

All atheism is, is the human race maturing and letting go of old views and ignorance.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Shane,

Thanks for your answere my friend, but how I see it is this...I see atheism rather unsucessfully being able to postulate God out of reality in the least. If atheism has been undercover, it hasn't managed to gain any traction in over 2000 years even through the "enlightenment" period of scientific knowledge.

I think that the trend is actually opposite of what atheism assums...dawkins himself has questioned why religion (Christianity itself) continues to proliferate in the face of increasing scientific knowledge. So I don't think it's a matter of humanity gaining more knowledge, it's something deeper...

I know Gene Roddenberry's utopia didn't include God in the future but the more society advances the more that people call upon God and believe. We don't see people conforming their worldviews to atheism. In fact we see more atheists arguing agnosticism (Just like John) than ever before...atheism is DOA (Dead On Arrival) Agnosticism only has an intermittent pulse and is on life support!

I don't believe that religion and especially Christianity will ever be eclipsed by whatever premise people ascribe to in their unbelief.

Thanks for addressing the issue.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Harv,

Superstitions like christianity will always exist with humanity as long as we are conscious and fearful of death.

The phenomenon's reality only speaks to the instability we experience being conscious, finite beings.

It doesn't mean your religion is true.

It is a superstition.

shane said...

District Supt Harvey.

Well....I consider myself to be agnostic to the concept of a creator (whatever that may be).

To me it just seems like atheism has been growing larger and larger over time, and I believe peoples atheism/agnosticism is due to our growing undertstanding of things.

You may be right, religions such as christianity have survived and are still thriving now.
But it is no surprise to see that christians have changed and altered their belief's to fit with scientific discovery!

At one time it was believed by the church that the earth was only about 6 thousand years old, and it was according to biblical chronology.

It wasn't until science had discovery after discovery that the church was basically forced to accept an ancient earth.

This is when the whole "epoch" theory came into light, that the days spoken of in Genesis were long periods of time rather then literal days!
A careful reading of the creation account would show that the epoch theory doesn't have any biblical grounds to stand on.

What im saying is that...yes...christianity has thrived regardless of scientific advancment.....but it survives by altering its context to fit known reality!

Marcus McElhaney said...

@x.... Here are the points form the video that I believe are most important, but they were all good!
There has never been a man or a group that controlled the text of the New Testament
We have manuscripts of John predating Constantine
500-900 year average gap between original writings and first copies of all other extant ancient manuscripts contemporaneous to the New Testament.
Avg 12-13 fragements dated to 2nd cenury for much of the New Testament
Councils did not decide what was canon and what was not

Ehrman agrees with all the points given above. No professional historaian disagrees with the above facts.

White makes the point that If you say that we can't know what the Bible says then we don't know what anyone wrote in History.


@Gandolf....
Just because you disagree that God revealed himself, does not not mean he didn't. Name a single country than has special laws for fairies. You made a claim...back it up. I'm pressing Loftus becaus he is not saying anything new or needed, I know I'm not saying anything new. I'm only saying what Christains have been saying for 2000 years! That is my point! I don't need to make new arguments because there is no reason to. Thyanks for admiting that Jesus existed@! I agree that does not mean that what the Bible says about him is true...but that was not the point of my statement.

@Shane ....
Are you saying that Paul is wrong? And then you say that Free will is a Christain foundation. Think about what you are saying. You are saying that the man who wrote 2/3 of the New Testamnt was wrong as he was carried along by the Spirit. He said the same thing Jeremiah said. You make a lot of assertion. Where does Roman 9 says that God would ever treat us cruelly or maliciously? I trust God with me becaue I know He won't do me any kind of way. No denial of emotions, fears, and desires. Sometimes we need to get rid of of our desires and ewmbrace God's desires for us. His are better anyway. I don't loathe me. I love me, but not as much as God love me. Or as much as God loves you. I agree that God decides to show mercy and he does. Where is the error?
Where is the contradiction of God's Characte? You don't seem to understand what Christians Believe. No where does the Bible say that all of us desrve heaven and God is trying tio save as many of us as possible. You are a godless atheist. What do you care about what God wants? The Bible is not in contradiction. You don't understand.

You also said that "So these error arguments become new to every generation of atheists/agnostics who leave their faith! They are realized over and over again each time." I agree. Every generation needs to know that there is no error no contradiction. There are good answers.

@District Supt Harvey Burnett
All I can say is "Thank You!" You blog is cool!

shane said...

Marcus.

Im not an atheist, im agnostic to the concept of a creator, but I definitely do not believe the bible is divine.

You asked, "where does this scripture say that God will ever treat us cruelly or maliciously"?

Romans: 9:17-18 "For the scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, "I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and spread my fame throughout the earth.
So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to HARDEN the HEARTS of others so they REFUSE TO LISTEN!


This was in regards to the ten horrible plagues God had sent on Egypt.
If you read that story in Exodus, it says plain as day that God "hardened Pharoahs heart time and again so he would not let the Israelites go. And He did this in order to distribute the plagues and show His power!

Therefore we have here the bibles own words saying that God hardens some peoples hearts so that they will not repent, and He does this for His own purposes.
You argue this but the scriptures are there, read all of Romans 9 for yourself!

I think you are the one who does not know what is written in the bible!

And as far as me not knowing what christians believe, I used to be one, and I know the difference between what churches teach and what the bible actually says.

Do some homework Marcus.

shane said...

Marcus.

The bible has many contradictions, I know the difference now because im not wilfully ignoring them anymore!

I am also not subjecting myself to imaginative and sometimes absurd attempts that christians have made to reconcile these contradictions!

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane...I'm sorry I called you an atheist. I made a wrong assumption about you. I deserve an apology from you as as well. I completely agree with Romans 9 and I agree with you. It say s what it says. God hardens or softens our hearts as he see fit! I agree that is what it's saying. We do not disagree. How ever the Bible does not say that God has nefarious purposes.

You are ascribing to me a theology I do not hold. Of course you can't get saved on your own without God drawing you to Christ. You mention Calvinism. It's not that there is no free will...it's that God has it and only His will actually determines reality. Turns out that you are one one who is mistaken.

shane said...

Marcus.

On one hand you say that you agree, that God does harden the hearts of some.
But.
On the other hand you say that God does not have nefarious purposes?

Also, how can you say that God hardening the heart of Pharoah so He can send plagues on all the inhabitants of Egypt including the animals is not nefarious?

Im sorry if I made a wrong judgment about your personal belief's, but other then that im not going to apologize for what I truly think.

If you read romans 9, here Paul says that God hardens some so they will not listen, and that we are not to question this because God can apparently do whatever He wants.

After reading this I do not believe im wrong Marcus.
I believe the scripture is quite clear about this concept.

You would probably tell me that it still does not mean that God would intentionally do anything to impede our repentance......but that is exactly what it does say!
And that is exactly what Exodus tells us about Gods actions toward Pharoah.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane. You hate slavery right? Slavery is an evil that should never be tolerated. The reason for the plagues was not nefarious. You have the wrong point of view. What about all the Jewish boys the Egyptians murdered? What about the 400 yrs of slavery and oppression? I hate to say it but Egypt had it coming. it was not nefarious....it was justice. That is how God rolls.

No, i would not say that God would purposely impede our repentance. I would say that no one would repent unless enabled by God. We would not repent even if we could repent. For Pharaoh it was not a matter of repenting and becoming believer in God...it was about letting the slaves go and getting the plagues lifted. God didn't keep Pharaoh from soul-saving salvation just from getting rid of the plagues due to his own stubborn pride.\

I'm not disagreeing that you have the freedom to think anything you want..I'm saying that without God you have no ability to think or want to think otherwise. That and you don't understand God's character, purposes, or will.

shane said...

Marcus.

No I dont agree with slavery, and if the 400 or so years that the Israelites were slaves is even true (which there is no real evidence of this) I think it was obviously wrong for sure!

But I still dont see why all the citizens of Egypt had to suffer the plagues do to their Pharoahs decision (or Gods however that works out).

But your statment has the ring of hypocrisy in it!

Let me ask you a question, what did the Israelites do under Gods command after they were freed?

Eventually they went into Canaan and wiped out city after city, they slaughtered men, women, and children.
They took many slaves of their conquered enemies.

So you see, it it hypocrisy to say the Egyptians had it coming when the Israelites used their freedom to do ten times worse themselves!!!!

I guess thats also how God rolls.

x said...

@ Marcus

'White makes the point that If you say that we can't know what the Bible says then we don't know what anyone wrote in History. '

Which is a horrible point, why do Christians use it? If the bible does not have supporting documents that prove the story is true that does not effect other historical events that have support. Each historical event is evaluated based on its evidence using the historical method.

How does a man or a group not controlling the NT make it reliable?

There are quite a few pieces of the NT predating Constantine, how does that make the NT reliable?

Marcus do you have any idea what makes a historical event reliable?

Gandolf said...

Marcus said..."@Gandolf....
Just because you disagree that God revealed himself, does not not mean he didn't. Name a single country than has special laws for fairies. You made a claim...back it up. I'm pressing Loftus becaus he is not saying anything new or needed, I know I'm not saying anything new. I'm only saying what Christains have been saying for 2000 years! That is my point! I don't need to make new arguments because there is no reason to. Thyanks for admiting that Jesus existed@! I agree that does not mean that what the Bible says about him is true...but that was not the point of my statement. "

Hey maybe it was Elves.But anyway in places like Iceland seems sometimes roading can even be legally halted due to suggestions Elves may be present.It could be more about preserving culture,but still.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Icelandic-Roads-Rerouted-Due-To-Elves-Tradition-5001.shtml

Marcus you are correct i agree, just because i cant see reason to believe gods have revealed themselves,doesnt mean they didnt.But my point was folks suggest many things have revealed themselves,that includes Elves ,Aliens etc etc .And these beliefs have remained also,so according to the logic you seemed to be using....You might as well have said the fact that these beliefs have remained is enough to prove they must them be correct.

I think that logic is kind of flawed,dont you?.

Hey i didnt mean to admit Jesus existed i dont know that for sure,even though maybe many folks named Jesus could have existed because it was likely a name used just like John or Dave or Paul is a name used also.

However i do personally think maybe their might have quite likely been somebody named Jesus who was considered a leader of a christian sect.But still there is a leader of a christian sect today known as Benny Hinn and another known as Creflo A Dollar ,and these two will likely be remebered many years down the track by many also.

But that wont do anything to help prove stories credited to their names,as being proved as honestly correct will it?.

And Marcus lets not forget to factor in, just how often faith leaders are found to be utter frauds, even these days !!....You dont think it likely in ancient times,it was likely none were frauds...do you? ...If anything i suggest it quite likely there were more frauds,considering without the availibility of modern technology most likely many more could easily pull off complete shams.

Did you remember? to considder factoring in that (very well known) phenomenon of the often fruadulent nature of many faith leaders, that all to often actually HAS BEEN PROVED ! time and time again.... into your equations Marcus??

Oh so John Loftus has to be sure to keep coming up with something new,to please Marcus

But its fine if Marcus ravels on the same old christian line time and time again.

What kind of reasonable logic is this?...Doesnt seem so very fair specially when its actually Johns blog.

Do you often get many atheists DEMANDING what you write on (your blog) Marcus?

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane
Actually your argument only shows you don't know your Bible or History. The nations that were destroyed and displaced were really horrible. They sacrificed their Children to idols. God told Israel to destroy them because of their sins. They also had it coming. Yes, that is how God rolls.

@x
White makes a great point because there are more copies of the New Testament than any other contemporaneous manuscript! That is why its a good point. And Ehrman would agree that the NT is the most well attested ancient documents that we have. Look at Ehrman's Debate with James White to hear Ehrman saying that. Therefore we have more reason to believe what the NT says over any other document, yet we unquestionally believe something like Tacitus is correct but Acts isn't? That isn't logical.
No one man or group controlling what books are canonical makes the NT reliable because that means we can't say that a book was left out or supressed, Many copies of manuscripts existing before Constantine means that he didn't monkey around with the text as many skeptics like Dan Brown allege.


@Gandalf thanks for providing proof that people in Iceland care about elves, but you said fairies earlier. My argument is not "the fact that these beliefs have remained is enough to prove they must them be correct." You are right..it is a stupid idea. That is what you call a "Straw man". Jesus of Nazareth - the Christ - is well attested to as a historical person! The bottom line is He existed even scholars like Bart Ehrman, John Dominac Crossnan, Marcus Borg and other apostates and heretics agree that he existed. Just because there have been fraudulent
"faith" leader today and throughout history does not mean at all that Jesus or any of his follower were flaws. You seem to be missing information into your equation. As for asking that Loftus use newer arguments because his and yours are such failures! I don't have to use new arguments because you and he keep using the same crap. I'm asking for a challenge. And if you, any atheist, or anyone wanted me to write about a subject I'll be more than happy to consider it if I find it interesting enough to put the time into it. I'm asking a simple thing of John Loftus: an argument that has not been refuted ad nauseum. Let's make it easier: an argument that neither David Wood or Dinesh D'Souza has not shredded. Loftus is making a claim to debunk Christianity. Bring it then.

shane said...

Marcus.

Give me a break.......
The bible does not say that all of the peoples of Canaan sacrificed children, I believe it was only one nation who did that.

Also, look at what your saying here.
Your saying that because these people were suppossed so evil it makes it right to be ten times worse in return!

Even if all the people of Canaan really did sacrifice their children, then does that make it right for the Israelites to kill ALL THE CHILDREN, aswell as everyone else as an answer to that problem?


What kind of reasoning is that?

Its like saying- "a father was so evil he killed one of his ten children.
So as an answer to that, the police decided to kill the other nine children aswell as his wife to????

Does that make any sense?

You also dont realize that nowhere in the bible did God reveal Himself to any people accept the Israelites at that time.

Nowhere does God give His ten commandments to any people other then the Israelites at that time.

So how could anyone know who the true God was or how to obey Him properly accept for the Israelites????

Breckmin said...

Elves and fairies are incongruous to a "Creator" or God concept.

Elves nor fairies are believed to be responsible for creating all matter in the universe.

Observations about "worship" and gospel and praise songs that are sung all over the world to the God of Abraham/Jesus are not an appeal to anything other than practical premises (and therefore not a fallacious argument). The fact that people don't worship fairies and elves nor flying spaghetti monsters (made up of matter and therefore can not be the Creator of all matter)fully demonstrates the difference of finite constructs and The Infinite Holy Creator Who clearly and logically has a justfied Special Pleading with respect to Logical Ownership of all that He creates.

Until the atheist addresses the difference between an Infinite Creator and ridiculous little finite examples they will continue
to self-deceive themselves via incongruous example. Question everything.

Question the difference between an Infinite Creator Who owns everything and finite imaginary beings that move around in outerspace. They are infinitely different...

and this is no accident.

Breckmin said...

Shane,

It's NOT fair. No one ever said it could be fair or that it would be fair because "fair" doesn't exist in the universe (as it applies to equal opportunity).

The Law of Unfairness is easily falsified with one example to two beings of choice you have the exact same experiences in a universe in motion (with choices).

Because you do not understand what God was doing in the O.T. with Israel, you are bothered that it is "unfair" to the surrounding nations.

Israel was God's CHOSEN Nation and their is NO standard of right and wrong to appeal to - to say that God is somehow "unfair" (since true fairness doesn't exist)for showing Grace to Israel (because of the FAITH of Abraham and His covenant promise).

God is not fair. He is Just. He has mercy on whom He will have mercy.

This is an obstacle for you...but you don't realize that there is no such thing as "true" fairness in the universe to somehow appeal to as a valid objection.

How can fairness exist in a universe where beings of choice are making choices which are affecting each other? Please be specific?

Breckmin said...

"does that make it right for the Israelites to kill ALL THE CHILDREN,"

If God commands it, absolutely.

God is the Giver and Taker of all life. If this is His judgement, then the Israelites are logically commanded to obey.

None of us would want to be these children...but will not God judge them perfectly in the after life?

God doesn't murder anyone because ALL of us have lifespans determined by God and by such foolish terms like "murder" that would mean that God somehow murders all of us.

The problem is that your God is too small and you expect too little from Him with respect to both His Holiness, His Justice and His Perfection and Perfect Plan and Omniscience. Until you realize that God knows better than you do you will probably never understand how God could command the judgement of the enemies of Israel (to keep their descendents from rising up against them later, etc).

The preservation of Israel was absolutely sine qua non with respect to the slaughter of their enemies and their descendents.

There is no such thing as "fair."

Question everything.

shane said...

Breckmin.

All I can say to that, is that is why I dont believe in the biblical God.

Also, even if what you said is true, then I would never love a God like that!

shane said...

Breckmin.

You said "if God commands it, absolutely"

I dont believe a god ever did command such a thing.
I believe the Israelites were barbaric in nature and they believed in a tribal god of war that really did not exist!

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane and @Breckmin

I agree with Breckmin. I would like to add that it wasn't just one nation that was sacrificing their children to idols. In addition, neither of the nations of Canaan had walked in any of the knowledge of the one true God that they had (explained in Romans 1 and applied to all of humanity). So what if they didn't have as a full a revelation as Israel. They had some knowledge according to Abraham's dealing with those nations. On top of that, they saw what God did to Egypt and they still refused to repent. One of the reasons God came down so hard on Egypt was to make an example and give Canaan an opportunity. Genesis 15:15-16 shows that God cared about the nations of Canaan.

Shane, the point is that God has revealed himself and if you don't like it, then you are making the same choice as the Amalekites, the Amorites, the Philistines, the Jebusites, and all the rest. God is giving you more mercy than what they got. You should take him up on his offer.

shane said...

Marcus and Breckmin.

Man you guys cannot see past the narrow views that your belief system has washed over your minds!

Im not trying to be rude about this, but thats my take on it.

Anyway, its getting late, it was interesting to talk to you guys, hopefully we will again soon ttyl

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane

"Narrow minded" mean ignoring evidence simply because u don't like where it leads? U mean like ignoring Romans 9 and what the Bible says about the Creator of the Universe because u don't like it? Not to be rude but narrow minded describes your statement "I would never love a god like that."

Breckmin said...

"All I can say to that, is that is why I dont believe in the biblical God."

Then it appears that you are rejecting God based on emotional disposition rather than on evidence or the logic of the reality of cosmological principles related to unfairness and knowledge that must be learned (or love that requires choice).

"Also, even if what you said is true, then I would never love a God like that!"

If we can go all through theodicy and explain systematically why it is justified...how much more will an Omniscient Infinite Creator be able to explain this to you once you die???

Let me ask you a question. "Could you ever love a Savior that was like Jesus?"

Wesley said...

It's absolutely amazing how Breckmin and Marcus and Harold have ignored that many of us here used to spout all the same nonsense as them. We got our Bachelors and Masters in Theology or Divinity, we were missionaries or pastors or para-church workers, we led people into a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ", and all the rest of it.

What the hell do you think you are going to accomplish by parroting the same arguments and words that we ourselves used to throw at people?

That's an honest question, for which I would like an answer. Don't you believe Hebrews 6:4-6? If you do, then you'll realize that you're wasting your time here . . .

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Wesley

Yes, I agree with Hebrews 6:4-6. It's true. And it shows that you who have turned your backs on God were not ever really part of the flock. You did not truly taste the heavenly gift. But talking to you is not a waste of time, because maybe God will be merciful and give you the real taste. If you really tasted the gift and God has called you to yourself, you will be back. And God will welcome you back so will we who love God and love you. You are free to believe anything you want, but I can't let you just say whatever you want without challenge. Either be acurate in what you say about the Bible or be prepared to back up your rhetoric. It's a shame to lead people to Christ and be lost yourselves. In addition to Hebrews 6:4-6 add 1 John 2:19

Gandolf said...

1/

Marcus said...." Jesus of Nazareth - the Christ - is well attested to as a historical person! The bottom line is He existed even scholars like Bart Ehrman, John Dominac Crossnan, Marcus Borg and other apostates and heretics agree that he existed. Just because there have been fraudulent
"faith" leader today and throughout history does not mean at all that Jesus or any of his follower were flaws. You seem to be missing information into your equation. As for asking that Loftus use newer arguments because his and yours are such failures! I don't have to use new arguments because you and he keep using the same crap. I'm asking for a challenge. And if you, any atheist, or anyone wanted me to write about a subject I'll be more than happy to consider it if I find it interesting enough to put the time into it. I'm asking a simple thing of John Loftus: an argument that has not been refuted ad nauseum. Let's make it easier: an argument that neither David Wood or Dinesh D'Souza has not shredded. Loftus is making a claim to debunk Christianity. Bring it then."

Well Marcus elves or fairys have been attested to in history by a number of people too, maybe not quite so well,but still many folks once honestly believed in them.

Personally im also inclined to agree that quite likely a leader of a christian sect existed named Jesus.I never said the presense of fraudulent
"faith" leaders today and throughout history absolutely proves Jesus faith was flawed.So nothing wrong with my equation.

But what good evidence do you or any of the scholars you mentioned have to prove that he wasnt?.And with your obvious complete faith thats lacking good proof Marcus i do suggest once again (your) equation might be very flawed! considering EVEN TODAY we have plenty of GOOD EVIDENCE for PROOF that quite often FAITH LEADERS are found out to be frauds.

I have not suggested Jesus is proved as any fraudulent faith leader...so my equation remains legit,im only advising caution!,caution that even the many frudulent faith leaders of today! PROVE is a very reasonable caution to have.

Your equation is complete faith with little good evidence for proof,even with modern day knowledge! that faith leaders are often proved as honestly being fruads!.

Now Marcus your equation is silly and lacking...Your equation sits very well with elve and fairy believers who dont bother with any caution at all.

You asking for a challenge??.

L.o.L ....if you think you are really providing any real challenge here,my suggestion is quick! slap yourself in the face ..Wake-up

Gandolf said...

2/

And David Wood or Dinesh D'Souza live type debates, where folks debating need to be highly (practiced and polished) johnny-on-the-spot showmen types to try to (look) like they won, proves exactly what Marcus?.

Like they is some Jesus preforming miracles,pleasing the crowd present watching the show?.

Then what?

Where is the real goods for good evidence and proof of the gods after the debates finished Marcus?

We are left with people like you blatantly showing your equation lacks reason! because it obviously is very quick to turn a very blind eye to the well known FACTS that even very many modern day faith leaders are often found out to be tricky fraudsters who can quite easily! seem to lead many folks up the gum tree.

Now what good reason can you offer as proof that this wasnt the case?.

The bible?.More than one person kind of agreed with a story that kind of resembled being the same?.

So what? ....Do you suppose Benny Hinns followers and some other folks who kind of knew him,might not in future be suggesting some story that kind of resembled sounding kind of the same.

Would these rather the same sounding storys be good enough evidence for a faithful fellow like you to fall head-over-heals! in great wonder ...and totally believe it couldnt ever be anything fraudulent?.

If enough peoples story about some lie,just happens to end up sounding kinda the same from being told by enough people,does this prove its the truth to you and David Wood or Dinesh D'Souza, Marcus? ...Rather than some fraudulent lie

Gandolf said...

Breckmin said... "Elves and fairies are incongruous to a "Creator" or God concept.

Elves nor fairies are believed to be responsible for creating all matter in the universe.

Observations about "worship" and gospel and praise songs that are sung all over the world to the God of Abraham/Jesus are not an appeal to anything other than practical premises (and therefore not a fallacious argument). The fact that people don't worship fairies and elves nor flying spaghetti monsters (made up of matter and therefore can not be the Creator of all matter)fully demonstrates the difference of finite constructs and The Infinite Holy Creator Who clearly and logically has a justfied Special Pleading with respect to Logical Ownership of all that He creates."

Hey Breckmin hows it hangin.

So tell me are you really suggesting that the facts that folks never happened to come up with ideas that maybe evles or fairys etc might have actually created all matter in the universe,in your mind creates some very vast devide between these differing faith beliefs?.That makes them so very very different?.

I cant see that you prove any reasons why?.

And.

Myths about sky gods and earth gods,or mythical beings fishing up land masses out of the sea etc....Or superstitious beings going about trapping the sun or whatever and whatever.Can be observed in some cultures all over the globe,these folks might feel for them this is nothing more than "appeal to anything other than practical premises" in their minds.

But what do you suggest it actually proves Breackmin ? ..That maybe folks were thinking like hell and wondering and trying like hell to make some sense about much they could never yet understand?...While observing things like lightning bolts that killed folks! that to them as uneducated early man looked VERY MUCH LIKE maybe something or some being might have intentionally thrown it at someone! ...even with seeming intent to actually kill somebody!.Why wouldnt we expect these folk to come up with ideas that maybe some supernatural forces were at work...Why wouldnt these people wonder if maybe some of it was about some kind of punishment?

What does your faith jargon actually prove Breckmin ? ...That even uneducated early man had a brain and tried to use it best he knew how?....and that his brain was displaying he had massive ammounts of very creative thoughts ?.

Yes ..personally i think thats all your faith jargon really proves Breckmin.

Can you prove me wrong?

shane said...

Marcus.

Im not ignoring Romans 9 or anything else.
You are the one trying to tell me it means something other then what it says!

Also, you are a hypocrite!

On one hand you go on telling me how wrong it was that the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites and so on, and how the Egyptians had it coming (regarding the plagues).

Then on the other hand, you tell me it was righteous for the Israelites to destroy, murder, and enslave the Canaanites because they were so evil!

You obviously have double standard in your logic.

Dont tell me what the scriptures mean! I am well aware what they mean, try reading them with your christian disposition out of the way!

shane said...

Marcus.

You want to talk about narrow mindedness?

You believe in a 2000 year old book that was written in a scientifically ignorant and superstitious time.

You believe in a book where no original manuscripts exist, the bible you have is a copy of copies!

You believe in a book that contradicts known science.
It has inconsistencies and errors.

You believe in a book that tells us that illnesses are caused by demon possession, that the sun moves through the our sky?

Jesus said that in the last days the stars would fall from the sky?
Could you please explain to me how that is possible?

How do stars millions of light years away, some bigger then our planet, stars floating in the weightlessness of space are going to fall to the earth????

Your belief's are ridiculous!

shane said...

Breckmin.

I am rejecting christianity emotionally and rationally!

It appears you accept christianity on emotions rather then logic and evidence? What evidence proves the gospel stories true?

Also you asked, "could I love a savior like Jesus"?

That is a complicated question.

First, it would have to come down to whether I believed in Him and the gospel story.

Second, even if I did believe, I dont know how I can love someone I dont know?
Appreciate yes, honour yes, but love....?

scooterwes said...

Marcus, you say you believe Hebrews 6:4-6, then immediately say the opposite of it! It also shows you're a Calvinist. The writer of Hebrews PLAINLY says it is possible to have been a christian (how can you be a "partaker of the Holy Spirit" etc etc and NOT have been a christian?)

Your position is typical of Calvinists: their only answer is that I must have never been a real christian. At least Arminianism is totally compatible with Hebrews 6:4-6, Calvinism is NOT and has to explain it away like you do.

And you never did directly answer my question: why are you gung-ho christian guys commenting on this log? Do you hope to get us saved again? A Yes or No is all I require.

x said...

@ Marcus

Here is what Ehrman said:
'So you’ll sometimes sit and have people tell you that the New Testament is the best attested book from the ancient world, and they’re absolutely right! It is absolutely the best attested book from the ancient world, the problem is the attestation of
the book comes centuries after it was originally written; many, many, many centuries after originally written is when most of our manuscripts come from.'

Before this statement Ehrman says 94% of the 5500 odd copies of the greek NT date from after the 9th century.

If you consider that solid evidence fine, I don't.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Gandolf

Why do u have a fixation on elves and fairies? You show some ignorance of history. There were no Christians before Jesus' resurrection. Since you agree that you have no evidence that Jesus is flawed why bring it up? IF you are introducing the possibility, without committing to a position, that is fine. If you take a position you have to back up that position and not merely ask me to provide proof. But let's look at the facts:
1.Jesus existed, taught and traveled early 1st century Palestine and was crucified by the Romans by Pontius Pilate.
2. The Talmud and other extrabiblical sources show Jesus performed miracles
3. Jesus's tomb was empty - if it was not why edidn't Jesus enemies just produce the body.
4. The disciples sacrificed themselves on the basis that they had seen and interacted with the resurrected Christ. They bodily proclaimed the resurrection when before they were running away
5. Jesus's brother James did not believe in Jesus but completely changed his mind and allowed himself to be martyred.
6. Paul hated Christianity. What changed his mind? He met the Resurrected Christ.

I don't th8ink that I'm offering any challenge. That is why I am asking for one... Your arguments are low lying fruit. No problem at all.
For example you said "And David Wood or Dinesh D'Souza live type debates, where folks debating need to be highly (practiced and polished) johnny-on-the-spot showmen types to try to (look) like they won, proves exactly what Marcus?."It proves that you recognize that they are better debaters than John Loftus. I agree with you that being a better debater does not mean your arguments are better. Loftus lost these because his argument were not good...and he is a horrible debater.

As for your "Benny Hinn" example...do you really think Christians don't recognize Hinn as n embarrassment. Do you have any idea how much material there is refuting Hinn? Obviously you do. Do you really think that both positive and negative information of Hinn is going to survive? With videos and print as we have now of course it will. Jesus is not anything like that.

I saw your comment to Breckmin and I have to ask you why do you assume the writers of the New Testament were uneducated. Luke was a doctor. And Paul was highly educated! Many people in the past did so much and a lot of knowledge that they did have we lost and perhaps only now rediscovering.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane

I agree that Romans 9 tells us that God does whatever he wants to do with you and me. You are the one saying that he can be unfair and nefarious in what he does. Romans 9 does not say that. There is no double standard. Israel did what God told them to do and God held them to the same standard by which he judge Egypt and tthe Canaanites.

You obviously don't understand scripture because you say Romans 9 says something it does not say.

I don't know why you seem offended by my reference to you being narrow-minded. You just went on and proved me right You made the following claims

"You believe in a 2000 year old book that was written in a scientifically ignorant and superstitious time."

Wrong! The New Testament is 2000 yrs old. The old testament is much older and I accept both. Ancient peopel accomplished profound feats of science and engineering

You believe in a book where no original manuscripts exist, the bible you have is a copy of copies!

You need to study textual criticism


You believe in a book that contradicts known science.
It has inconsistencies and errors.

Prove that

You believe in a book that tells us that illnesses are caused by demon possession, that the sun moves through the our sky?

Where does the Bible say that?


Jesus said that in the last days the stars would fall from the sky?
Could you please explain to me how that is possible?

How do stars millions of light years away, some bigger then our planet, stars floating in the weightlessness of space are going to fall to the earth????

Your belief's are ridiculous! "

The really ridiculous thing is that you think Jesus was talking about stars falling from the sky in a way different than when we talk about "shooting stars" today?! Priceless!!!!

Stars are constantly under Gravity's influence not weightless...everything is falling.

You can know Jesus for yourself and when you do, you will understand how you can love him.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@scooterwes

Hebrews 6:4-6 does not say that you can be a Christian fall away. It says that it is impossible to be a Christian and to fall away. If you fall away you were never a part.

4It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

impossible is the word used. And what do you do with: 1 John 2:19 . Both passages agree!

Yes, I think some of you will be saved. I'm commenting on this blog on the chance that some here have partaken of the Holy spirit and if so you will come back.

John W. Loftus said...

Marcus you're playing around here in the big leagues as if you belong.

You don't. Oh, comment as you wish, but you'll only see what I mean when you read my books. If you don't then you'll keep thinking and writing as if you know what you're talking about.

My advice is to read them as soon as you can so you'll not keep spouting off such ignorant things as you do.

There is an intellectual respectful way to argue against me and us, but you have not grasped it by a long shot.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@x...so let's search it out...White said that on average the majority of the oldest copies of the main passages of the Bible actually date within 100 years of the originals instead of 500-900 yr gap between our earliest copies and the originals of other texts contemporaneous with the New Testament. What Ehrman did not say was that 6% of the the manuscripts can be dated within 100 yrs of the events they refer to while we have 0% for anything else!!! ^% is way more convincing than none and more manuscripts keep popping up.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@John w. Loftus....I apologize for any offense I have caused to anyone. I will endeavor to be more respectful even if I disagree. I doubt that I will get any apologies for the personal insults against me, but that does not matter. If you are saying that your books make a better case than your debates...I'll accept that correction and take you at your word and see if they are better. In the mean time, I don't see what I've said in any ignorance at all except assuming that you arguments in your book are no better than the the debates. Therefore, again, I recognize the error and apologize. As for not being a "big boy" what is your criteria? Just so that I'm clear.

x said...

@ Marcus

'What Ehrman did not say was that 6% of the the manuscripts can be dated within 100 yrs of the events they refer to while we have 0% for anything else!!! ^% is way more convincing than none and more manuscripts keep popping up.'

Ehrman didn't say that because it is wrong.
There are 230 pieces of the NT that pre date 600 AD.
There are approximately 10 from the 2nd century.

Your math does not add up. If another document does not have evidence that it is true then it might not be. This does not effect the truthfulness of the bible. They are separate documents.
Do you not understand this!

Marcus McElhaney said...

@X Thanks for making that clearer. I overstated it and I'm sorry. Thank you. So 10 copies for manuscripts from the second century. I'll need to check that out. But even if you grant that there are 10...Dr White (the video link I sent) said 12-13 manuscripts can be dated within 100 yrs of the originals. White was right and You was right and I was wrong. I should have said that 6% date before for 900 AD. The point i made still holds. 10 manuscripts for the new testament is still better than 0 of any other 1st century texts being dated within 100 years of the original texts.

John W. Loftus said...

Marcus, no need to apologize. One cannot know in advance to apologize for ignorance, you see.

Here's the problem. You need to read a whole case, not merely long sound bites. My books present whole cases.

That's it.

John W. Loftus said...

Marcus, if you were one of several world recognized concert pianists and someone came and banged on the piano calling it music then you would know how I personally feel when you argue against me.

As I said, there are Christian people who can do so with me, and they have, but you are as I say.

The only way to know if what I'm saying is correct is to read my whole case.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@John W. Loftus - I like debates because in debates you see interaction. Both throw down their best case on the table and you go back and forth tearing the ideas and arguments apart. Not everyone is a debater, I can appreciate that. It's hard and not easy to do at all.

I find it interesting that instead of saying to me...I disagree with you because of this...and this... you have basically said you are not on my level so you don't have anything meaningful to refute. Fair enough.

shane said...

Marcus.

I was refering to the new testament when I said 2000 years, I was refering to your christianity!
And yes the OT is obviously older????

You said prove the bible has inconsistencies and errors?

All one has to do is google these things today and you can get a list....unless you would like me to show you....but that might open up a whole new topic?

Where does the bible say the sun moves through the sky?
The book of Joshua.
There it states that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still in the sky so the day could be lengthened for his battle!

Why would Joshua command the sun to be still unless the author did not realize it was actually the earth's movement that caused the cycles of day and night!

Where does the bible say illness is caused by demon possession?

Have you even read the NT?
Jesus was said to have casted out demons from people to heal them of epilespy! and also deafness and muteness was affiliated with demon possession!

You said "the really ridiculous thing is that I think Jesus meant stars falling from the sky instead of shooting stars"?

But Marcus....that is what He meant...lol...here is the scripture-Matthew 24:29 "Immediately after the anguish of those days,
The sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, THE stars will fall from the sky",

Notice here that Jesus says-"the sun"-"the moon"-"the stars"
He did not say shooting stars or some stars, He said THE STARS!
Obviously Jesus did not realize that THE STARS were light years away and some are larger then earth!
He believed they were little lights suspended up in the sky....lol

So once again, I have to inform you of your errors!

scooterwes said...

OK, Marcus, let's say that I accept your interpretation of Hebrews 6:4-6 (and I don't, and lots of other christians don't either!):

1) If it is humanly impossible to "fall away", or to turn your back on geniune salvation, then how does one become an apostate, which according to the NT is pretty much the same thing?

2) If it is humanly impossible to "fall away", then that implies that a genuine christian has lost his FREE WILL. He can no longer make a choice in the matter. He therefore has become a robot, has he not?

3) You also failed to address the opposite positions maintained by Arminian and Calvinistic theology in this position. So which is "right"? Is God an Arminian or Calvinist? How do you prove you're right and they're wrong? This is important, because Arminian theology says I could have been a christian at one time, but you say I couldn't have been one. Let me know what God says about it (oh, and I'll need the cancelled postmark envelope from heaven as proof that God's on your side on this issue . . .)

John W. Loftus said...

Marcus, yes, I could engage you. But I would only be offering more sound bites here. If you seriously want to know what I think and how I argue for a complete case against what you believe, then you know what to do. I have read nearly everything on your side that you could suggest. Can you say the same thing? Don't tell me you've read the books by Dawkins Harris and Hitchens. Those books have bolstered the faith of people like you because they do not understand what you believe enough to argue against it.

Take the DC challenge. What are you afraid of? Notice their books are not listed in the challenge.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@shane said

Where does the bible say the sun moves through the sky?
The book of Joshua.
There it states that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still in the sky so the day could be lengthened for his battle!

Why would Joshua command the sun to be still unless the author did not realize it was actually the earth's movement that caused the cycles of day and night!

Joshua was talking from his point-of-view. The point was that the day was longer than 24 hours...do u think Joshua care rd or understood any more than we do how God did it.


Where does the bible say illness is caused by demon possession?

Have you even read the NT?
Jesus was said to have casted out demons from people to heal them of epilespy! and also deafness and muteness was affiliated with demon possession!

Jesus did not say that all illness was from demon possession. The man he healed in John 8 had nothing to do with demon possession although the man was born blind.


You said "the really ridiculous thing is that I think Jesus meant stars falling from the sky instead of shooting stars"?

But Marcus....that is what He meant...lol...here is the scripture-Matthew 24:29 "Immediately after the anguish of those days,
The sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, THE stars will fall from the sky",

Considering that Jesus made the stars, I don't think that he meant what you said. He was talking to people who knew about shooting stars so why would you expect him to be saying something that we would not say?

Notice here that Jesus says-"the sun"-"the moon"-"the stars"
He did not say shooting stars or some stars, He said THE STARS!
Obviously Jesus did not realize that THE STARS were light years away and some are larger then earth!
He believed they were little lights suspended up in the sky....lol

Can you prove what Jesus thought about astronomy? I don't think so.

So once again, I have to inform you of your errors!

I actually see more assertion and no exegesis and no proof. Lots of eisogesis. Try again.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@scooterwes

OK, Marcus, let's say that I accept your interpretation of Hebrews 6:4-6 (and I don't, and lots of other christians don't either!):

What part of "impossible" you don't understand?

1) If it is humanly impossible to "fall away", or to turn your back on geniune salvation, then how does one become an apostate, which according to the NT is pretty much the same thing?

1st John 2:19

2) If it is humanly impossible to "fall away", then that implies that a genuine christian has lost his FREE WILL. He can no longer make a choice in the matter. He therefore has become a robot, has he not?

It's impossible for one to come to faith of his own. So why would you think that you could leave on your own? John 6:65

3) You also failed to address the opposite positions maintained by Arminian and Calvinistic theology in this position. So which is "right"? Is God an Arminian or Calvinist? How do you prove you're right and they're wrong? This is important, because Arminian theology says I could have been a christian at one time, but you say I couldn't have been one. Let me know what God says about it (oh, and I'll need the cancelled postmark envelope from heaven as proof that God's on your side on this issue . . .)

Scripture does not support our ability to become Christians on our own You cannot elect yourself. Free Will is a philosophical idea that i don not hold. If you do...that's fine. But it does not fit with many scriptures. no one gets saved or lost apart from their own will. If you want tob e saved it's because god has elected you. I can go around and around. but the bottom line is if you walk away from god you wanted to...If you come to Jesus you were drawn by the father and no one can pluck you out of his Hand (John 10:29).

scooterwes said...

OK, your prevarication continues, but at least you said one thing about what you believe which puts everything else in perspective: "I do not believe in FREE WILL".

So why the hell are you still here? If we are all robots, we have no choice in whether we become christians or not. You said, in so many words, in your answer to #2 that we are robots and have no say in believing or unbelieving. The robot will only do what it is programmed/pre-destined to do by your god.

The fact that you're flogging this dead horse confirms in my own mind that what Chuck O'Conner is probably pretty accurate, that you are slightly unhinged in some way.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@scooterwes I rejected "free will" as you have defin3ed it not that we don't have a will. I'm hear because in hearing the truth of the Bible you may stop being obstinate and get saved. All great people are considered unhinged by their "contemporaries". Does not bother me that you think the way you do...you have no other choice. I just hope that God saves you.

shane said...

Marcus.

Nice try.

Joshua 10:13-"So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies".

Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still, and according to this scripture it apparently did!

You can change up all you want but the original intent seems pretty obvious!

Maybe I should not have used "illnesses" in such a general term, but the examples I gave in the last post are enough to get my point across.

You asked if I can "prove what Jesus thought about astronomy"?
And you also said that im only making assertions here.

Yet...you have claimed in your post that "Jesus made the stars so He obviously knew what He was saying".

Well can you prove Jesus created the stars as you have stated in your post....?
And you speak of my assertions????

You are just seeing these issues the way you want to, but ignoring their actual meaning!

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane....I'll admit my presuppositions if u admit yours. If you ware on the battle field that day you would have experienced the sun and the moon not moving - no passage of time. Why is that a contradiction with science. It's an observation not an explanation of how it happened.

I say Jesus made the stats because of what Bible says. Ignore the Bible as a credible source if you want. you haven't showed that there is a good reason to reject the Bible other than you can throw out what u think of God. At least you are trying to be consistent given your presuppositions

shane said...

Marcus.

Of course people make some presuppositions to some degree when having a debate!
I mean.... you cant start every explaination with "I believe".

But I do know that the scripture in Joshua explicitly states that Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still and it apparently did.
I do not no why God would allow a false concept into His perfect word, so it leads me to "believe" that the author was mistaken on his astronomy.

You said I've shown no good reasons here to reject the bible.
On the contrary, you have shown no good reason why I should not reject it!

Reality alone does not seem in harmony with biblical concepts.
Astronomy, geology, archeology, and common logic show many things to the contrary.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane...Joshua again is giving an observation not making an astronomical fact. The Bible does not tell us how God made the day longer only that happened. You are assuming ignorance in some places where there is no information being committed. For example in this example in Joshua you are alleging that the Bible should be rejected because it says that the sun and moon stopped moving, but in a the earth's reference frame they do move. Simple physics. If you are floating in space, the earth, sun and moon are moving relative to you. Where was Joshua? On the Earth? Relative to him was the earth moving? No. Where do Astronomy, geology, archeology, and common logic rebut the Bible?

As for evidence for the Bible, I'm constantly writing. Here is what I have noted so far.

shane said...

Marcus.

I realize what your saying here about Joshua.
But there is nothing in this entire scripture Joshua 10:12-14, to advocate your premises either.

All your really doing here is showing the lack of understanding the people in Joshua's time had about astronomy, which in turn, is more proof that the bible is man made rather then the divinely inspired word of God!

I am not the only skeptic to argue this point, and you are not the only believer to try and defend it.

As far as geology rebutting the bible, the geologic column has defeated the popular christian belief of a 6000 year old earth. And the earth being formed in 6 days.

Archeology has discovered fossils, stone age tools, cave drawings, which give much evidence to an ancient earth and evolution. Aswell as the fact that dinosaurs are not mentioned in the bible.

Astronomy has discovered stars millions of light years away (meaning it takes millions of years for the light to reach earth).
The fact that we can even see the light from those stars indicates that our earth must also be mllions of years old.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane

I realize what your saying here about Joshua.
But there is nothing in this entire scripture Joshua 10:12-14, to advocate your premises either.

You can't get your premise without your presupposition

All your really doing here is showing the lack of understanding the people in Joshua's time had about astronomy, which in turn, is more proof that the bible is man made rather then the divinely inspired word of God!

Don't forget the Egyptians were highly adept in astronomy. The Hebrews could have brought some of that with them. You can't say that they ancients did not know anything about the universe since many cultures mapped stars and planets at that time and before. You don't know what they knew and what they did not understand.

I am not the only skeptic to argue this point, and you are not the only believer to try and defend it.

At least we agree on something

As far as geology rebutting the bible, the geologic column has defeated the popular christian belief of a 6000 year old earth. And the earth being formed in 6 days.

who said I believe the earth is 6000 years old? I don't. The Bible does not say that it is. some Christians try to argue that but I disagree. And I am not the only one.

Archeology has discovered fossils, stone age tools, cave drawings, which give much evidence to an ancient earth and evolution. Aswell as the fact that dinosaurs are not mentioned in the bible.

Arguing from absence again? Sad.

Astronomy has discovered stars millions of light years away (meaning it takes millions of years for the light to reach earth).
The fact that we can even see the light from those stars indicates that our earth must also be mllions of years old.

Agreed. Nothing in the Bible says different or lends itself to the earth being 6000 years old. The Bible does not tell us how old the earth is.

shane said...

Marcus.

You said "cant get my premise without my presuppostion".

That actually goes for you not me. Im taking the scripture at face value.

Another thing that should be mentioned in regard to this account of the sun standing still for the length of a full day.
If this were really true, then it would have effected the entire planet not just Palestine.
One half of the world would have had an extra long day, and the other half an extra long night.
But where in the history of any other nation do we find evidence of this ever happening?

My apologies if you hold a different view on the age of the earth, the christian theology that I was brought into believed in a young earth.

Arguing from absence......making discoveries that would point out a lack of knowledge in the bible is worth bringing up to me.

Lastly, you said there is nothing in the bible to indicate the age of the earth?
Not true, there is chronological time framing and this is why some christians believe the earth is so young.
The bible gives us the age Adam was when he died, then gives the generations to the flood, then to Abraham and so on, and shows that from the creation of Adam to the birth of Christ it was about 4004 years!
Do the math and we are at about 6014 years now (according the chronology).

I obviously dont believe this, but dont say the bible gives us nothing about the age of the earth.

shane said...

Marcus.

I forgot to say before. You had mentioned that the Israelites probably would have known something about astronomy because of the Egytians?

The Israelites were slaves.....how is it that they would have been educated by the Egytians?

The only person mentioned to recieve any education from the Egyptians was Moses and he was a member of Pharoahs house.

Furthermore, non of these discoveries had taken place until men like Copernicus and Galileo came along thousands of years later?

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane

God is omnipotent. He could have stopped time only in Canaan. Or perhaps not. We don't know. I'm not willing to go beyond the text. My answer does not go into any speculation about how much science they did and did not know. It fits just with what the text says.

The genealogies in the Bible are not complete and was not meant to cover and name every single person. Hebrew geneologies only hit the high points...the ones the author thinks are important. Therefore you can't use them to determine the age of the earth.

Gandolf said...

Marcus McElhaney said..."Why do u have a fixation on elves and fairies? You show some ignorance of history. There were no Christians before Jesus' resurrection. Since you agree that you have no evidence that Jesus is flawed why bring it up? IF you are introducing the possibility, without committing to a position, that is fine. If you take a position you have to back up that position and not merely ask me to provide proof. But let's look at the facts:
1.Jesus existed, taught and traveled early 1st century Palestine and was crucified by the Romans by Pontius Pilate.
2. The Talmud and other extrabiblical sources show Jesus performed miracles
3. Jesus's tomb was empty - if it was not why edidn't Jesus enemies just produce the body.
4. The disciples sacrificed themselves on the basis that they had seen and interacted with the resurrected Christ. They bodily proclaimed the resurrection when before they were running away
5. Jesus's brother James did not believe in Jesus but completely changed his mind and allowed himself to be martyred.
6. Paul hated Christianity. What changed his mind? He met the Resurrected Christ.

Marcus no i have no fixation on elves and fairies,just pointing out folks honestly believed in them even if they never happened to believe and suggest they created humans or the universe etc.Ok guess you are right maybe there were no Christians before Jesus' resurrection,maybe before Jesus' resurrection they called themselves something else?.Would you also like to get picky and tell me how often my spelling sucks also?,im not here claiming to be any scholar Marcus.And it so happens i left school and home at 15 to head off completely on my own and find work! to support myself!,because it was the only way out because according to your faith beliefs seems your kind caring Jesus/god decided i should be BORN into a abusive cult of crazy Christians who shun and excommunicate any of those who dont agree to totally submit to their ways.

So no,please dont expect me to have learned every single little detail or be any great scholar.For me it was work to survive,not mummy and daddy took care of me while learning at some school.

Yes i was "introducing the possibility, without committing to a position" for reasons faithful folks are to openly faithful and can be led to believe almost anything..Faith teaches them to lack using much/any caution....You would/might agree with this suggestion when suggested about those folks choosing to follow maybe Islam or Mormon or Hinduism etc ...No/yes?


I ask you for the proof because i noticed it seems to be you being so sure about your faith,and im wondering what real goods you really do have to seem to totally disregard the evidence of very many flawed frauds we still see among faiths today..Seeming to turn a blind eye to any possibility, that maybe nothing might be so very new under the sun today than it was when Jesus supposedly existed.

And all you have to offer is things suggested and written in some old book,recorded by faithful folks that even today are often still proved to be tricky frauds.All mixed in with a little history and whatever else.

And for all 6 points you gave there was quite a large number of reasons and answers, i thought of that could quite easily explain.

But to be honest im feeling lazy and board,besides its not likely you will change your faith....Because otherwise you could easily see and understand yourself that there could actually be many reasons to explain.

But im sure all these 6 points have been discussed many times,So i will simply reply Marcus if these 6 points you offer are such good proof... why is it that you think there is still so much doubt?

Are your points really so perfectly excellent,but the problem simply is that so many people are just naughty evil denying folk?.

Or is it more likely that these points your faith rest on are not really quite so perfectly excellent,and could quite easily still accommodate fraudulent practice?

Gandolf said...

Marcus said ..."I don't th8ink that I'm offering any challenge. That is why I am asking for one... Your arguments are low lying fruit. No problem at all.
For example you said "And David Wood or Dinesh D'Souza live type debates, where folks debating need to be highly (practiced and polished) johnny-on-the-spot showmen types to try to (look) like they won, proves exactly what Marcus?."It proves that you recognize that they are better debaters than John Loftus. I agree with you that being a better debater does not mean your arguments are better. Loftus lost these because his argument were not good...and he is a horrible debater."

To be honest i havent even looked at the debate,for starters only have dial up internet and takes to long to download.

Beside like i said i dont think these debates prove so much, other than one person might be more practiced at live debates than the other.

Noticed you assumed...> "Loftus lost these because his argument were not good"

I see.

So Marcus why is it people are still here today with much doubt then Marcus?.Why are people growing in doubt day by day,specially those who used to be faithful and even many preachers/pastors etc.

Blatantly evil? ...Wish to reserve themselves a place in a hell they learned so much about?...Totally crazy?....??

And no please! please! dont bother offering me up some hard up folks in some poor country somewhere on earth as supposedly being good evidence for growth of Christianity and faith....If im poor and hungry and being fully prepared to be (nodding my head) to faith means im securing hand-outs that help me survive.

Then that is about faith in survival!, not growing faith in belief of God/s.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Gandalf as long as there are people there are frauds and hypocrites. The presence of false prophets don't mean that there is no God and that the Bible is not true....just misapplied. I agree with you on the point that we should question everything. If your worldview can't withstand scrutiny it's time for another worldview.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. - Acts 17:11

Be like the Bereans.

I'm sorry to hear that your upbringing was unbiblical. I've had an easier time in life than you have...I applaud your tenacity and the fact that you are absolutely asking questions. What I hear that you lack is personal experience with God. We are all truly evil and denying folk everyone of us until God has mercy on us. We are unable to see beyond our hearts that are filled with lust and greed. When God frees us then we can truly see. Do you want to be free? I do. It's a process. No one is completely free or have arrived at where we will be but without Jesus we can't reach it.

Gandolf said...

Marcus said...."As for your "Benny Hinn" example...do you really think Christians don't recognize Hinn as n embarrassment. Do you have any idea how much material there is refuting Hinn? Obviously you do. Do you really think that both positive and negative information of Hinn is going to survive? With videos and print as we have now of course it will. Jesus is not anything like that.

I saw your comment to Breckmin and I have to ask you why do you assume the writers of the New Testament were uneducated. Luke was a doctor. And Paul was highly educated! Many people in the past did so much and a lot of knowledge that they did have we lost and perhaps only now rediscovering."

Yeah of course there is much material refruting Hinn Marcus.Its modern times thats why,these type of frauds are just no longer!! quite so easy to get away with.

Why suggest Jesus story is so different? ..Are you suggesting both positive and negative information about the Jesus story doesnt exist?.

Sorry dont get me totally wrong,let me try to explain better ...I didnt mean to sound demeaning in suggesting some lack of education of the folks of old.Im not suggesting these folk were totally brainless.

Just saying there was still very much they couldnt and didnt yet know how to understand ....(Im sure a few thousand years down the track!) we people! living today will maybe seem a little uneducated,to those better educated people of the future times.

And yes i do agree with you, much good knowledge can even be lost along the way as people find they dont need to use it so much.

Marcus i see you feel maybe some of us owe you an apology.I`ll admit personally being rather angry about faith,but i know i do have very valid personal reasons for this.I`ll admit getting heated and maybe even a little abusive,but every day my life is personally abused because faithful folks chose to guess about gods and faith.

Yes at times im a little rough because (personally) i feel history proves time and time again sometimes not a lot changes much, without some aggression that seems to help folks! in starting to do a little more honest thinking.

Dont take it personal.

I apologize if you did!

Gandolf said...

Marcus said ...."I'm sorry to hear that your upbringing was unbiblical."

Well thats your take on it.Folks will have a different take on whats supposedly biblical than you have.My folks likely certainly would differ with what you feel is correct.

But there in lays the big problem.There nothing proved and the ideas are all far to willy nilly.And its very stupid! and totally silly! ...L.o.L

Harold said...

Gandolf,
Thanks for your comments. The feeling of peace and tranquility that I am talking about are not because of social interaction or because my team won. This peace and tranquility come from the act of worship. I have gone to sporting events and the theater and have not gotten the same feeling. I also know that my religious experiences are neither from old habits nor from being afraid of the dark.

Religion is a complex thing and one needs to be careful of simplistic answers. Religion is in our nature and is an important part of what it means to be human.

I know not every one has the same religious experiences that I have. However, this does not lesson my experiences for I know I can trust them.

I don’t expect any one else to believe in my experiences and that is fine. I have known from my experience and what I read about other’s religious experiences that religion is something special and important.

Let me add something here when I say religion I mean all forms of religion. I am not discussing only Christianity. I choose to be a Christian and a catholic and I believe that it is the correct faith. However I do realize I could be wrong and that I need to be open to other views of religion.

We all need to be humble and realize that the world is a big place and not everyone has all the answers.

Harold

Harold said...

Wesley,
I have not ignored the fact that many of you have advanced degrees and are ex-Christians. You just have to realize that your arguments are not as persuasive as you think. Additionally, there are many other reasons why I am not persuaded by atheist or their arguments.

However, I will give you two. I am not going to listen to anyone who is disrespectful to me or what I think. My beliefs are not silly nor am I brainwashed. An educated persons must be open minded enough to deal with beliefs that are different from theirs.

A person with a masters should be able to respect others beliefs. They should be able to dialog with out ridiculing or belittling the other’s ideas.

It does not matter how many degrees one has. It does not matter if they were an ex-what ever. When one is disrespectful or think being disrespectful is justified they lose credibility. Lastly just because you think that Christianity’s ideas are silly does not make it so.

Atheist need to be a little less proud of their ideas and beliefs. Atheist need see the flaws and weaknesses in their own beliefs and not be so dogmatic about their ideology.

Harold

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Gandalf

First given that so many books and things were lost in antiquity there is no way to know what they knew and what they didn't. Ever hear about the 2000 year-old battery found in Iraq? We don't know what it was for or who made it. Only that it worked. What else did they have? Could they have even be farther ahead of us in some areas of science and engineering? No way to tell. We still don't know how they made the pyramids.

I want to know who are you talking to such that you experience personal abuse? And I think that some of your views of the Bible is being tainted by those experiences.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Gandolf...apology accepted by the way.

Gandolf said...

Marcus thanks....Thats very interesting about those ancient batterys.I googled it straight away,sadly seems even with this find there is still some questions about the actual facts etc.

But its still impressive.Cheers for suggesting this subject!,i enjoy reading and learning a little about this stuff very much.The net is a great thing,without it i might never have even heard about this.

Dont worry about what i mentioned.Im lucky ive got some very good friends, and im a survivor.The abuse part is only ongoing because sometimes stuff we have experienced keeps on effecting us.Ive personally experienced all sorts through being born to folks of faith, and to be quite honest not much of it ever really seemed very good.Things like personal experience of close family members attempts at suicide,and news of relations (deaths) through suicide.And basically my family and many other families all became so split and devided, our families realistically no longer seem to even actually honestly exist.This hasnt made a real family situation in life so possible even with regards to my own children,i have no family from my side to offer them.No uncles or aunts or cousins, or even a heritage to remember! and cherish! and be able to pass along.

Its kinda dead on my side of life,and it hasnt been helpful infact its been a battle and made relationships seem kinda hard for me to properly form.And as time went by a kind of P.T.S.D crept in, and now quite often even sleep is haunted by bad dreams.

So there you have it,maybe that will help some folks understand a little, why i can be such a angry fucka sometimes.Sure my experience has been tainted by those experiences,some lung cancer patients "smoking experience" has only been tainted by their personal experience of smoking ciggys also.....But does this do much to actually prove smoking ciggys might actually still be a great thing?.

What should we do when we think something might be wrong? ....Put forward only the best case senarios?.

Just because my personal situation might have been tainted by a very extreme christian faith sect,doesnt prove that "faith" isnt possibly a dangerous thing.

Im here speaking out because i KNOW by far im not the only one to have suffered through folks stupidity of foolishness of faith.Im here also as a voice for all those kids in Africa getting hunted down to be killed, accused as being witches because they have less chance of getting access to computers to speak for themselves.Im here speaking out for all those suffering quietly dayley in all the very many johnstown type cults.For the women in faiths like Islam opressed and degraded and made to suffer endlessly.

I speak out angrily! because if i dont bother, many people like you Marcus and the Harvey Burnetts of this world are all to happy to turn a blind eye to these things,only wishing the good bits would ever be spoken about.

Just dont take my anger to personally!.The only thing im personally angry about is the utter stupidity and ignorance of blind faith.

Gandolf said...

Harold said.."Religion is a complex thing and one needs to be careful of simplistic answers. Religion is in our nature and is an important part of what it means to be human."

Thanks Harold i agree religion is a complex thing.But family once used to a very very important part of what it meant to be human also,and to enforce control often faiths and religions have been designed by man to overpower this very important part of what it meant to be human.

I wont battle you about it,but many groups of humans who still have managed to retain much of their old tribal instincts...Do still manage to experience something very very special and important.

Infact this experience was so very very special and important,folks of old from even your christian faith felt a great urge and a need to do everything they could think of to try to destroy it as much as possible.Because without doing that they were unable to force control.

These tribal folks never needed any churces,for them to find good enough reason for bothering with charity either.Hence why faith claims of charity being connected to faith,to me seems silly.

Anyway all the best with being Catholic

shane said...

Marcus.

The scripture does not say God stopped time, it says He stopped the sun (or rotation anyway).
This would have effected the whole planet!

But eitherway, I dont think this one will ever truly get determined...lol

I too am going by what the scripture says and it appears to me to be fact mixed with fiction.
Some history mixed with alot of myths/legends.

You said the generations are not complete and cant be used in dating the earth?
I agree, they should not be used because the OT is only about 4-5 thousand years old at tops!

But the gospel writers must think your wrong.
They list the geneologies of Jesus in their gospels.
Where do you suppose they got the information from?......the OT.

Although Matthew and Luke contradict eachother on the geneologies, they list the names and generations.

Here you cannot say that not all the names are mentioned, because Matthew and Luke give the names-father to son-father to son-all the way down!

Matthew even says "there are 14 generations from Abrahem to David, 14 from David to the Babylonian exile, and 14 from the exile to the Messiah.
This shows that they would have listed from father to son and not missed any names, where do you get the information that they only listed the prominant names?

Luke traces his geneology straight to Adam and a thorough reading of the OT will show that Luke missed no names from Adam to Abraham!

It seems you reject information from the source of your faith!

shane said...

Marcus.

I have just checked it out for my self, Genesis 5:1-32, gives you the gives you the generations from Adam to Noah and even gives their ages when they had their sons!

Then Genesis 11:10-26, gives you the generations from Noah's son Shem, straight to Abraham and this too gives the ages of when they had their sons!

Then Matthew tells us it was 44 generations in total from Abraham to Jesus!!!!

Doing simple mathematics will show that you are in disagreement with the source of your own faith!

x said...

@ Marcus

I just took a look at your blog. I understand that your copying from some other bible website but I wonder if you understand the following:

Earth began as a waterworld. Formation of continents by tectonic activity described
Genesis 1:2-9, Psalm 104:6-9, Proverbs 3:19,

Do you really think the earth began as a waterworld and that science confirms this?

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Gandalf
I'm sorry for the losses you have had. However the smoking exmaple is a bad analogy because I'd say that smoking is 100% bad for the people who smoke and the people around them, but Christianity isn't. I have christian parents and my family background is 180 degress different than yours. I know many people who are Christians and have had terrible familes and some who have had it easy like me. The problem is not the religion but people. Who says i turn a blind eye to the frauds and charletons? i don't. i call them into account whenever possible. It make me angry to see anyone porofane God's name and when you mistreat anyone that is what you are doing.

@Shane
You have made a point saying that God stopp time is going beyond text. I apoologize but saying that God stopped the rotation of the earth is also going beyond the text (in effect we are saying the same thing) All the Bible says is the the the day was lengthened it does not tell us how God pulled it off.

You and I look at a geneology and assume that every single people is listed in that geneology, but to the ancients that is not what a geneology is about. The point to the Matthew text is to show that Jesus was a descendant of David and yet had claims to the throne - not to list everyone. UIn that time people couold claim to be children of someone although they were a grandchild or adopted, Also peopel were skipped. For example we know that namees were left out. Matthew goes from Jehoram to Uzziah in verse 8 skipping Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah in one swoop! Therefore we know that ancient geneologies don't include everyone...in some places it is complete but not everywhere. Genesis 11 therefore tells us that they became the fathers does not mean that they had to give birth to them. by they way Matthew say 42 genreastions not 44...Matthew is trying to make a point. You can'tr read your own western cultural biases into the Bible. There is not conflict with my view point. There is no way to to tell if Genesis listed every single man in the tree. Matthew and Luke don't conflict because they are making different points.

@x
I disagree that the earth started out with nothing but water. I can't find any way to sqaure that with Science of the Bible. When you read "water" in the Bible how do you know it's talking about liquid water in each of those cases? i don't thinkthe whole of Psalm 104 is talking about what the earth was like at it's start, The only verse you cited relevant to your question is Genesis 1:2-9. I know you are asking about the order of creation and all. I think Hugh Ross' interpretation is the best fit to science and so i part ways with young earth creastionist. to a person who is in the earth's reference frame while the earth is being created, they would see it as how it is described in Genesis. The wasy scientists generally explain the formation of at atmosphere, continent, and climate is from a reference point in space looking down. What we get in Genesis is what it looked like if you were in the Earth's reference frame. Folks are going to disagree...even and especially Christians. I'll take science as trying to explain how God did it and why does the Bible describe it that way. There is no contradiction.

shane said...

Marcus.

Sorry for the double wording!

The bible may not say exactly how God lengthened the day, but why does it have to? we know what causes day and night?
Your arguing from supernatural incomprehensibility, im making a logical point lol.

Also, there is a whole slew of problems with what you said about geneologies.

First, you are forgetting that genesis gives the ages of the men when they had their sons who are mentioned in the geneology.
All we have to do is add up the ages to find out how old the geneology itself is.....

It tells us how old each person was when they had the next son all the way from Adam to Abraham, so it does not matter who is left out or who actually gave birth, the numbers are there?....this is not disputable!

It does not matter who came and went in between either, all that matters is the age they were when the specific son in the geneology was born!!!!...man.

Second, Matthew tells us that there is 42 generations (not 44...sorry...)
He says there are 14 generations from so and so, and 14 from so and so...etc...he is obviously being literal here!
Besides, if you believe Matthew is an inspired gospel then you should believe he is telling the literal truth here!

So adding up the numbers and guessing at the length of a 42 generation gap (probably no more then 1300 years) it leaves us at a planetary age around 5-6 thousand years.
This is a far cry from what science shows us.

If you think im so wrong, then why do do so many christians still hold to this concept?......why did the church hold to it until modern science proved otherwise?
You are changing the meaning of the scriptures to fit with scientific discoveries to have it both ways.....very disingenious.

Marcus McElhaney said...

Shane

The bible may not say exactly how God lengthened the day, but why does it have to? we know what causes day and night?
Your arguing from supernatural incomprehensibility, im making a logical point lol.

Your point is not logical. You are saying that the Bible says an event happened in a why it does not say it did and then arguing the event does not happen. That's not logic...that is a straw man

Also, there is a whole slew of problems with what you said about geneologies.

First, you are forgetting that genesis gives the ages of the men when they had their sons who are mentioned in the geneology.
All we have to do is add up the ages to find out how old the geneology itself is.....

It tells us how old each person was when they had the next son all the way from Adam to Abraham, so it does not matter who is left out or who actually gave birth, the numbers are there?....this is not disputable!

It does not matter who came and went in between either, all that matters is the age they were when the specific son in the geneology was born!!!!...man.\

I think you should read this article: Genesis Geneologies

Second, Matthew tells us that there is 42 generations (not 44...sorry...)
He says there are 14 generations from so and so, and 14 from so and so...etc...he is obviously being literal here!
Besides, if you believe Matthew is an inspired gospel then you should believe he is telling the literal truth here!

I showed that Matthew did not include 3 generations. Read 2 Kings 8:24;13:1;14:1) This shows that Matthew was not literally attempting to list everyone. That was not his point...he was not lying. Anyone in the first century would have understood what he was doing. It's our own cultural bias that says a genealogy must list everyone in order that causes confusion. This wasn't the point that Matthew is making. Matthew is establishing the fact the Jesus was a Jew and legitimate heir of King David and provide proof of Jesus being the Messiah - the Christ.

So adding up the numbers and guessing at the length of a 42 generation gap (probably no more then 1300 years) it leaves us at a planetary age around 5-6 thousand years.
This is a far cry from what science shows us.

There is a lot of problems with your math. We know that there is about 1000 years between David and Jesus and 400 between Jacob's sons and Moses. So there are a few generations missing.

If you think im so wrong, then why do do so many christians still hold to this concept?......why did the church hold to it until modern science proved otherwise?
You are changing the meaning of the scriptures to fit with scientific discoveries to have it both ways.....very disingenious.

I think that you need to study church history. There is no way you can prove that Peter, James, and John or all the early church fathers interpret scripture this way. You are right some Christians who fail to understand the Old Testament and give it the same weight as the New Testament come to these conclusions. Even today most Jews don't really think Genesis 11 can be used to calculate the age of the earth. I haven't twisted or re-interpreted any scripture here. And I'm not a "lone voice". Let me tell you what is disingenuous: Taking a text out of its cultural and historical context, imposing your own standard of what it should say and how it should say it, and then reject it based on an analysis that's faulty in the first place. The Bible isn't wrong, but our interpretation can be. I've just showed you that you read these verses because of your own presuppositions and ignorance of ancient cultures and the Old Testament. I can relate to some of your errors because I've made them before too.

shane said...

Marcus.

I am not in complete disagreement with you, I for one see many of the problems with missing names and so on.

The difference is you think they purposely left out names....unlike you, I believe Matthew was tying to be literal but he made mistakes!
I believe both Matthew and Luke were trying to be literal but they contradict eachother, they are not inspired by any heavenly being!

I dont even know where you have the grounds to assert Matthew purposely left out those names?
He specifically tells us how many generations?

I will check out the link you posted, but I doubt it will change anything for me!

I do understand what your telling me....you are saying for example, that even though Adam begot Seth according to scripture, this may not mean Adam has to be the direct father of Seth, he may have been a great,great grandfather or so!

But you are still missing the point, there could be 20 generations in between or even a hundred generations....but that doesn't change the fact that Adam was said to be 130 years old when Seth was born. It does not matter where Adam was in the family tree!

So if Adam was the first man, and we have the ages of all the begotten to Abraham, I really dont know how you get around that!
I think all of these things are plain as day!

Do church history?........Where do you think the Epoch theory came from?
Why do you think the church believed in the literal 6 day creation story, but came up with the theory that the days in Genesis were actually six long whiles(epochs) only after modern science made discoveries about the earth?

As far as this Joshua story goes, neither you or I were there to know what happened or if it ever did happen so stop trying to act like you know something I dont.
All we have is the bibles account and thats it. I think it means one thing, you think it means another.

How do you know what the true meaning of the text is?
I dont claim to know that my interpretation is correct, but I go by what the text says, nothing I have said here is of my own invention, it all comes directly from the pages of the bible.

You on the other hand tell me that there are missing people in the Genesis geneologies, where....?...where does the bible say that?
You tell me I am putting up a straw man in the Joshua story....how so?
I took the scripture at face value, but you say the answer is incomprehensible to us because God did it somehow.

My answers at least have some grounds to them. Your pointing at things that aren't even in the scriptures!

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane...go ahead and read the link and then come back if you feel the need to comment further. It discusses the Matthew and Luke Genealogies too, The reason why i said what I said about Matthew is because we know how the ancients did genealogies. We can compare them to other genealogies. You are basically making my point we don't know how old the earth is from the genealogies. If you are saying that the Bible is wrong because it says the earth is 6000 years old you are wrong because it does not say that.
The church has not always taught that it was six 24 hour days. You can't even trace that to Judaism. Can you say that Moses thought it was 6 twenty-four hours?

Getting back to Matthew....look at his audience. If his intention was to write down every single man between Abraham and Jesus everyone at the time would have know he's wrong. They had the old testament. They memorized it. They would have known. They knew that he was not trying to list everyone. If you say he was, they you are taking him out of context and reading in your own bias,

You said that God cause the earth to stop rotating and the writer thought that stars were lights in a solid dome. Where does the text say that? It doesn't. Where is the ground? How did I go beyond the text as you did?

shane said...

Marcus.

I looked at the link.
You already talked about the telescoping thing in a previous post, and I already explained that it doesn't matter because the ages are given.

The whole bit about Matthew does not show he did anything thing intentionally anymore then it shows
he might have simply made mistakes!

shane said...

Marcus.

When I said everything was not of my own invention I was refering to my arguments, not my opinions.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane
I think you need to reread the link because it talks about why your point about ages does not matter. It deals with your problem. I would like to hear you explain why that article is wrong.

I just explained to you why Matthew was not wrong. It's been almost 2000 years you don't think that in 130 AD, some one didn't look at Matthew and would have noticed the missing names? Or when the Jews first read it. Traditionally, Matthew was written to the Jews and it's the most Jewish of the four gospels. It's written from a Jewish mindset about what is important to a Jew living in the 1st century AD to showing that Jesus is the Christ who takes away the sin of the world. It's not written from the viewpoint of a twenty-first century man living in the United States. We are going to miss stuff because of our bias. Studying the text in context is important.

shane said...

Marcus.

You said Matthew was written to the Jews and it was written in a Jewish mindset to show them Jesus was the Christ.

My question-did it work?
Did the Jews believe Matthew?
I understand some did believe him, but we both know that the Jews in general do not.

About the link, please tell me exactly where im to read about why my point is wrong, it is a long article and I cannot sit here for long lengths of time?

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane...You should read the whole thing. As for the success of concerting Jews read Romans 9 - 11

Marcus McElhaney said...

I meant "converting Jews".

shane said...

Marcus.

Ok, give me a chance to read it and i'll get back to you.......Romans 9-11
I know what it says.
So why would Matthew have written his geneologies to convince the Jews in such a way, if the Jews were destined to reject Jesus anyway?

Marcus McElhaney said...

Finish the whole passage. It says that as a nation Israel will come in.

shane said...

Marcus.

I have read about the Genesis geneologies and I will read the rest soon.

They gave no definite answer!....except that there should have been a summary at the end if it was a complete geneology.
But that is their opinion, I see other christian scholars disagree with them!

Also, they used the phrase-"because of the inerrancy of the scripture we must conclude"..........right here they are already presupposing their bases....?

shane said...

Marcus.

Yes it does say a nation Israel will come in, but Matthew wrote his gospel to convince Jews almost two thousand years ago?

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane....now you have a decision to make: reject the Bible because some people incorrectly calculate the earth is 6,000 years using the Bible or admit that the Bible cannot be us3ed to find the age of the earth. You admit that the earth is not 6000 years old...the issue is: does the Bible say that? No it doesn't. If you are going to reject the Bible, you are going to have to find a better reason.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane

Paul answers you.

shane said...

Marcus.

Do you actually think I reject the bible because of this one reason?

I never said the bible could be used to find the age of the earth, I said that you (christians) change the meaning of scriptures to fit with modern scientific discoveries.

I was making a point that the bible shows one thing and science shows something else, you are trying to make the bible out like it is in harmony with our sciences. But that is not true in many cases.

The only question is-"do I believe the answers that modern christians come up with to age old biblical issues, or do I believe the bible is not divine"?

shane said...

Marcus.

Believe me when I say this, I dont blame you for rejecting the concept of a 6000 year old earth! I do too!

But because you are a believer, it seems as though you are denying that the bible could possibly suggest a young earth?
Therefore making it so that the bible fits your belief system.

I once read that "no one believes the bible means what it says, they believe it says what they mean"!

shane said...

Marcus.

Do you want a real reason why I reject the christian orthodox belief?

I dont think the synoptics ever claimed Jesus was God!

I realize John (or whomever wrote it) thought so, but the synoptics seem to come from a whole different perspective.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane

I know that this isn't the only problem you havw with the Bible but my answer is not a modern answer. Many Christians have seen the issues you brought up the same way I do. Not all but many. This means that I'm not interpreting the Bible to fit modern science at all. The Bible isn't wrong but an interpretation may be. I've demonstrated that your interpretations are not correct given a reading of the texts we have discussed in their relative cultural and historical contexts!

1. Joshua does not contradict science because it does not say anything about the earth's motion relative to the earth from an objective point of reference

2. You cannot reasonably use the Bible to reasonably establish an exact age of the earth, nor can we find any proof that the Bible ever tries to do that. Because some well-meaning Christians (I can't find a single case of the same ideas in Judaism) have tried to use the Bible that way , does not mean they were right.

3. You claimed that Matthew attempts to list every single man from Abraham to Moses and I showed that assumption is incorrect. No where does Matthew say that.

Therefore, I know that you have other "reasons" for rejecting the Bible so you better bring them up because so far you have no good reasons.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane

The synoptics Gospels do tell us Jesus is God. It's just not as overt as it is in John.

Here is an example

Mark 10:17,18
17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone.

Some people think Jesus was saying "Don't call me good, no one is good except God." That is not what He said. He does not tell the man not to call Him God but accepts it because only God is good.

Another example:Mark 2:6-12
6Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7"Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

8Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? 9Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ." He said to the paralytic, 11"I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

It's obvious if only God can forgive sin and Jesus can forgive sin then Jesus is God.

Want more?

I've also have written and dug up a lot of resources on the Trinity (42 posts)

shane said...

Marcus.

Hold up a second.
You have not demonstrated im wrong, you gave an opinion from a website....have I had to refer to websites yet in our conversation?

Your right, Joshua does not say anything about the earths movement, it says-"So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in its place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies".
At face value it contradicts science?....lol..

Like I said before, I dont think the bible can tell us the age of the earth, but those well meaning christians who think it can, out date your theology!
Therefore, yours is a modernized theology!

I never said Matthew lists every man from Abraham to Moses?
I said Matthew lists from Abraham to Jesus.

shane said...

Marcus.

You are using reverse pychology here?
Your examples actually prove my point????

Lol....your throwing in your own theology here and dismissing what the hell Jesus is actually saying????

Oh Man....its like 2:15 am: here, so im going to come back and list scriptures that indicate Jesus never claimed to be God! tomorrow

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane
The argument that the geneologies cannot be used to find the age of the earth predates those who think it can. I'm not making a new argument but bringing up an old one.

I know you are saying that Matthew lists everyone from Abraham to Jesus, I misspoke. (Must be more tired than I thought.) But I've shown you it doesn't and thinking that it does, or any extended geneaology in the Bible lists everyone is a stretch. The Bible never says that is the intention. You are making an untenable assertion....a mistake that I used to make and a lot of people have made. The argument comes from looking at contemporaneous genealogies from that region and time period and the culture. In order to show my points wrong you have to show that the genealogies intended to list everyone or you are making unsupportable assumptions.

I did not throw my own theology in anywhere. Again culture and context is important. You can't just read Jesus' words and use what you think He is saying. You should also study the culture of the people he was speaking to. Did they hear what you hear? Did they understand him to be saying what you understand? From your conclusions I don't think so.

I'd welcome a discussion on those verses you think that negate Jesus' deity. I'm sure that they are the same verses Jehovah Witnesses and Muslims use. And in that case it's easy to answer. I probably already discussed them at the links I sent you.

I send links because I've been studying and writing on these things for a while now and instead or re-typing them it's just easy to send a link.

42 posts of articles and debates is quite a lot to go through so here is a subset

http://mmcelhaney.blogspot.com/2010/03/trinity-on-janet-mefferd-show.html
http://mmcelhaney.blogspot.com/2010/02/surah-112-in-response-to-muslim.html
http://mmcelhaney.blogspot.com/2010/02/christian-apologetics-life-and-doctrine_23.html
http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2598

shane said...

Marcus.

I read your post, I wondering if there is even a point in me listing scriptures........you obviously know what the gospels say, and im sure you will just disagree with me anyway...lol.

From what I have researched over the past few years, there is much belief that the divinity of Jesus came some time after He was killed.

From reading the synoptics I have seen nothing indicating that He ever claimed to be God?

He said He was one with God-but this doesn't mean He was God- as opposed to being of the same nature and spirit as God!
He also prayed that his disciples would be one with Him and God too?

Many times it states that Jesus prayed to the Father....was He praying to Himself?

On the cross He said..."Father why have you forsaken me"?........how can He forsake Himself?

Like you said already, Jesus tells people not to call Him good, that only God is good?

When He was baptized, God said "this is my son of whom I am well pleased".....so God let us know He was well pleased with Himself?

Jesus was also a man (I believe He existed as a man) so that alone plays against Him being a god.
The Jews did not accept Him as the messiah.

Now here is the kicker-Jesus prays in Gethsemene and says "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I WANT YOUR WILL TO BE DONE, NOT MINE!

Does that sound like something Jesus would ask God if He was God?
I can understand christian believing that Jesus shared in the same spirit as God, but Jesus makes many clear distinctions between Him and the Father.

shane said...

Marcus.

I dont know what else to say about the geneology thing?

Im not a geneologist...lol....so im not going to talk too indepth about it.

All I know is that the geneologies are there and the author listed the ages they were when the next name was born.
Also like I said, the link you provided did actually use the presupposition of inerrancy to say that Luke intentionally left out names rather then making a mistake....this is all I know.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@ Shane

From what I have researched over the past few years, there is much belief that the divinity of Jesus came some time after He was killed.

I'm aware of that interpretation of history, but the manuscript tradition does not square with that. And there is plenty of evidence showing that the earliest Christians believed Jesus was God. Look at Paul's stuff if you don't believe me everyone dates his works before 70 AD.

From reading the synoptics I have seen nothing indicating that He ever claimed to be God?

I gave you two examples last night that shows that he does...none of them from John

He said He was one with God-but this doesn't mean He was God- as opposed to being of the same nature and spirit as God!
He also prayed that his disciples would be one with Him and God too?

Many times it states that Jesus prayed to the Father....was He praying to Himself?

No

On the cross He said..."Father why have you forsaken me"?........how can He forsake Himself?

Jesus was quoting Psalm 22...go back and read the whole chapter. In that day when you wanted to call people's attention to a passage, you quoted the first verse and everyone would know you referred to the whole chapter. Jesus wanted those witnessing his death to know that Psalm 22 was being fulfilled right there or right now.

Like you said already, Jesus tells people not to call Him good, that only God is good?

No, i said that some people think that was what Jesus was saying He didn't. He was not denying that He was good...he was was denying that anyone was good.

When He was baptized, God said "this is my son of whom I am well pleased".....so God let us know He was well pleased with Himself?

No. Wait for it.

Jesus was also a man (I believe He existed as a man) so that alone plays against Him being a god.
The Jews did not accept Him as the messiah.

Who says that God cannot be God and take human form at the same time? The old Testament is full of theophanies so it is not alien to Judaism.

Now here is the kicker-Jesus prays in Gethsemene and says "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I WANT YOUR WILL TO BE DONE, NOT MINE!

Does that sound like something Jesus would ask God if He was God?
I can understand christian believing that Jesus shared in the same spirit as God, but Jesus makes many clear distinctions between Him and the Father.

Agreed there is clear distinction between the Father and Jesus but not distinction between Jesus and God. You are combining God's personhood with his being and scripture does not do that. "God" is a title, not a name or an identity. When Moses asked for His Name, the answer was not "God". Throughout all four Gospels the name Moses was given, Jesus applied to himself. In Greek it is "ergo ami". Yes, neither Father, Son, nor Holy Spirit are the same person...but Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share the same being. God is indeed ONE.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane

You don't need inerrancy to show that Matthew or Luke did not make a mistake in their genealogies and I did not. I told you that I know they didn't make a mistake because the goal of ancient genealogies was not to list everyone in history but to prove points. And you don't need to list everyone to make your point. Matthew's leave out Kings of Judah people whom we would today think are too important to leave out of a complete genealogy and people whom any Jew living at the time would have easily realized were missing and had they looked at it the way we do today would have cried "foul". But again listing everyone was not the point back then and including women was almost unheard of.

You said that "this was all you know. Fine. I've got more information than you do about ancient genealogies. All you keep doing is saying "They should list everyone completely". Again:
That is not how they did it 2000 years ago.

shane said...

Marcus.

I have read your post about the divinity of Jesus.

Well......basically, we both know what the scriptures say!
You are a christian who is dead set in his system of belief so there is really nothing I can say?

How do I prove you wrong?

Anyone can come along and take any scripture and say "it means this" or "it means that and im right"!
And someone else can say "no, your wrong it means this"!

Point being, I realize that christians have gone to great lengths to reconcile biblical issues.
They have answers to almost everything.
Regardless of how accurate or how absurd their answers are, they stick to it, believe it, defend it!

All you are doing here is showing how consistent the scriptures are with your own interpretation and personal belief's!!!!
I have done the same whether you agree or not.

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane

You can prove me wrong by just showing that I'm saying something the text does not say, given the cultural and historic context. Would a reader in the first century AD see it the way I do or the way you do? Did the writer mean what u think he meant? Is your interpretation consistent with the rest of the book the passage from?

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane

Words have meaning. I'm not interes5ed in what I think the text say...I want to know what it says and how to apply it. I've had my applecart upset before and in life and had to change how I thought. For example I realized that I had thought that all white people who owned African slaves went to hell and I didn't even realize that I thought. But ins study Scripture God called me on it and I had to change my view. If I'm wrong i hav3e nothing else to but change.

shane said...

Marcus.

Let me give you an example.

"Good teacher, what must I do to be saved? Why do you call me good? Only God in heaven is good".

My take-Jesus was literally saying that no one even Himself is good that only God is good. Therefore not claiming to be God.

Your take-Jesus was only saying that no one was good, but He was not inluding Himself. Therefore still claiming to be God.

Both of our interprations find consistency here (although I think yours may take a little extra explaining).

Example 2, "He said, let the sun stand over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijlaon".
"So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation Israel had defeated its enemies".

My take-Joshua was written a very long time ago when many myths/legends were abundant. I believe the author was literally trying to tell us that the sun stopped, and he believed that it was the sun that moved and caused day and night. Therefore, I think it is bunk because we know it is the earths rotation that causes day and night.

Yout take-The author is not claiming the sun actually stopped, all he is telling us is the that somehow the day was lengthened and what was observed.

Both are views find grounds here.

So basically all we can do is prove our own consistency!

Marcus McElhaney said...

@Shane

Example 1: Why do you think that Jesus included himself when he said "No one is good"? Using only the book of Mark I can show that Jesus was not including himself because He did what only God can do. Recall in Mark 2:6-12 when Jesus forgave the sins of the lame man, it was stated that the Jewish leaders became angry because only God can forgive sin. They understood that if a man claimed he could forgive sin, that man was making a divine prerogative his own. Jesus validated his right by healing the man. Therefore claiming to be God...therefore claiming and showing that He is good. QED.



Example 2: In order to come to your conclusion you assume that the writer of Joshua is conflicting with science. I'm not changing the context or scripture. I agree that to the person on the battle field the day was lengthened. I can't explain how it happened or how wide spread the effect was. The text does not say. Therefore it is not right to assume that there is a conflict with science because we don;t know how it happened.

A word about consistency. I don't think your exegesis is consistent with the text or context. You come to conclusions that an original audience would not come to.