Lee Strobel, You Are Just Plain Stupid!

I like Bishop John Shelby Spong. I've read a couple of his books more than a decade ago and they were eye-opening to me. He presents a superior case against Christian fundamentalism. Watch Spong in action below but take special note of how utterly stupid Lee Strobel is at the end. He merely repeats platitudes that Biblical scholars have long ago debunked. Sorry Lee but you are one ignorant man.


Share

25 comments:

Leah said...

I like John Selby Spong a lot. I wish all theists were like him.

T. A. Lewis said...

Notice that Mohler makes a long appeal to consequences argument toward the end of his dialog as well.

O'Brien said...

"Bishop" Spong is a pseudo-Christian and a noxious mediocrity.

=^skeptic cat^= said...

What's this "record it on your chart" business all about? Can anyone enlighten me?

tjonp said...

The comparison of Matthew to a country preacher who tries to find a text for everything is wonderfully apt. As a Christian, I could never make sense of the bizzare (and misattributed!) references to the Prophets in Matthew (Matthew 2 and 27:9-10, for just two examples). As an atheist, I've given up.

I should, perhaps, start reading some Spong.

Jim said...

O'Brien,

"Bishop" Spong is a pseudo-Christian and a noxious mediocrity.

You're projecting.

I've read through your posts on the last few threads--I can see why P.Z. Myers banned you from Pharyngula for insipid god-botting and repetitive tiresome unintellectual discourse.

Jim said...

Comments on Robert O'Brien by P.Z. Myers:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/plonk.php

Maybe he's learned something and we can look forward to insightful commentary . . .

O'Brien said...

"You're projecting."

No, I'm being properly descriptive.

Gandolf said...

1,

Nothing wrong with calling stupid,as stupid.We can try calling a dog as a duck ,but its still a dog just the same anyway.

I like John Shelby Spong too.I like all people who at least try to be honest.I realize people do make mistakes sometimes,but who doesnt.What counts most for me is that we try to not let it become habit we become happy with.

This video is excellent.I wonder if many Christians even step out of all the charismatic devotion long enough to be able to notice the bait and quick-switch that is made starting at about 2.37 on this video, by this Dr Albert Mohler ?.

He says something like:

Dr Albert Mohler quote: "What i say first and foremost is,this raises the question of whether we can trust.That God is mercyful and gracious and just and rightious,and the bottom line of all of this is that we are in no position to judge the charactor of God.He is the one instead who will judge us.And so when i look at those passages i have no problem with understanding it is not my job,it is not my responsibility,certainly not my place to judge God.It is God who will judge me." End quote.

At which time John Shelby Spong points out Dr Albert Mohler has turned what men have written down in the bible ,into being known as word of God.

And yet only seconds before this Dr Albert Einstein Mohler ,had been trying to argue ..Quote: "the bottom line of all of this is that we are in no position to judge the charactor of God .He is the one instead who will judge us" end quote

So what the deal ? .Are men in the position to judge the charactor of God or not?.

Over history they sure have tried doing so plenty of times.One such judgement of the supposed charactor of God,is recorded in a book known as the holy bible ....And as John Shelby Spong so aptly points out, this judgement of the charactor of God recorded in the holy bible sure looks like it often takes on a very human looking face .The face of very barbaric men of ancient times at that!, and why wouldnt we expect it when it was men who judged what they thought his charactor might be.

Dr Albert Mohler needs to realize he cant take a lottery ticket both ways, and one moment try suggesting man is in no position to judge the charactor of God ,then very next moment try pointing to the holy bible which is a recording of men who tried judging the charactor of God, in effect be going back on his very own words! and seeming to say man can judge.

This is what devotion to charisma does to people .It shuts down part of the devoted person brain that usually deals with sceptcism and ability of making decisions that are properly thought through.

This Dr Albert Einstein Mohler talks like a freaking riddler.Like he`s smoking crack or got high on some herbs.

About the only way i see left to wake these type of devoted folk up is to laugh at them, and call them out as being stupid, as stupid be.

If we dont, they will simply just keep rattling on, being none the wiser, thinking folks are swollowing this rubbish they waffle.

And besides who cares if they personally drop their bottom lip like a sad sack, and go into defence mode ...Others listening wont ..The youth sitting on the side line listening, will think about it and quietly ask themselves the questions about this double standard we expose that this faith is obviously built on.

How can they one moment say man is in no position to judge, and then in the very next breath start pointing towards the bible where men tried doing exactly that !?.Tried judging the charactor of God ,because thats what the bibles is all about

Talk about blatant use of deceit.Even if its blind through devotion on charisma ,its still blatant deceitful practice.

Gandolf said...

2,

Look at the expression on Mohlers face as Spong calls him out on what he did (about 3.10).He gives this childish look of ..laa laa laa not listening! ..not listening ! so there !

Mohler aint even interested in giving what Spong is saying, any depth of thought at all.His mind is shut down in devotion .He just dont care.

L.o.L...They start off the video with calling it as being Faith under Fire

Ohhh shucks .Dont it sound all dramatic like? ..Dont it maybe sound lots like the words coming from the mouth of a Jim Jones or David Koresh cult member? ...Boo hoo we is all under fire

You are right Lee missed the point that Shelby tried making .It cant be both ways .Folks cant say man is in no position to judge and next moment point to a book written by men and try suggesting maybe they can.

I just dont make any good sense.Its the double switch mentality of faith lunatics.

Gandolf said...

Im quite happy to agree with Dr Albert Mohler ,that man is in no position to judge the charactor of God-/s

So why did they do it ?.

Many people have paid the price for this type of guess work .There has been witch killings and still is in Africa .There has been families seperated and people driven to suicide .In the distant past they judged maybe God might expect sacrifice of live babies who were thrown into the flames of fire,in hope of producing more fertility.

This is all so very very wrong .Humans should try to be more responsible for their actions.

What good is trying to judge Gods to hope to please them, in hope of gaining eternal salvation etc .

If others must pay the price in this life? ,for such guess work

How can that be moral.

Steven Carr said...

Did Mohler really say 'That God is merciful and gracious and just and rightious,and the bottom line of all of this is that we are in no position to judge the charactor of God'?

No wonder these people can't spot contradictions in the Bible.

They can't even spot where one half of their own sentence contradicts the other half!

I could with Mohler's logic equally claim that Mohler has proved himself to be dumb, ignorant, stupid and idiotic but it is Mohler who will judge our intelligence, not we who will judge his.

That makes just as much sense as what Mohler said.

Samphire said...

I was taught that Man (as Adam) was made in God's image. Given God's later performance as discussed by Spong, what image was that?

Relying on God's fickle moral code as described in the OT how can we ever discern what is right or wrong? The answer surely lies within our own evolved culture.

This side of the Middle East we all know that cutting off a thief's hand or stoning someone for falling in love with another or having more than one wife at the same time (Mormons please note) is morally wrong. However, with respect to the last, we also know that according to Jesus' direct teaching it is morally wrong to become divorced and to remarry. Yet how many Southern Baptists ignore that proscription? I understand that the percentage of divorced SBs is over 35.

But would Mohler preach against the divorce laws as I assume he has preached against same-sex marriage? I doubt it.

The lesson of history shows that morality is not absolute but forever evolving. So will God judge us against our own moral culture or against Jesus' incomplete and simplistic teachings or, perhaps, against his own moral behaviour outlined in the OT?

I hope it will be the third choice as I will then be home and dry.

Samphire said...

On a second point, Mohler introduces himself as a theologian.

At 3.40 he says that “Jesus said of the OT that not one jot or tittle or punctuation mark would pass away”. Since when was the Christian Old Testament the “Law” spoken of by Jesus? And what punctuation marks were in ancient hebrew? Just two examples of bearing false witness. Tut tut.

As we don’t have any of the original documents Mohler’s claim is excessive but we do have copies of copies of….of Leviticus. It cannot have changed so radically over the years that we don’t still have a strong flavour of the ancient Law but how much of it does Mohler subscribe to? My guess would be pretty much zero. Conveniently, Mohler's hourly behaviour is not an "abomination" to God as it would be were he an ancient Israelite or even a modern Orthodox Jew. Morality is not absolute.

Mike said...

"This side of the Middle East we all know that cutting off a thief's hand or stoning someone for falling in love with another or having more than one wife at the same time (Mormons please note) is morally wrong. However, with respect to the last, we also know that according to Jesus' direct teaching it is morally wrong to become divorced and to remarry. Yet how many Southern Baptists ignore that proscription? I understand that the percentage of divorced SBs is over 35.

But would Mohler preach against the divorce laws as I assume he has preached against same-sex marriage? I doubt it."

Sampshire, wow! Right on! The divorce thing was pretty much the first thing that caused the blinders to come off my eyes and make the wheels start coming off. As a hard-core fundy, I was convinced that the Bible was the absolute inspired in-errant word of God. And I was proud to be part of a fundy Church with a fundy pastor that preached against "sin" which included everything from homosexuality to having a beer once in a while to seeing rated r movies. Well, I noticed that for all the preaching against sin that the pastor did, he sure seemed to ignore the clear words of the bible that remarriage after divorce is sin and he even officiated over a marriage of someone in the church who had been divorced 2 or 3 times! This was one of many things that made me realize just how inconsistent and flawed the Bible is and that no one, even the most conservative Bible believing Christian, really believes and follows the bible, no matter how much they claim to do so. And yes, a large number of evangelical Christians are divorced and remarried, but you don't hear a lot of preaching against that.

In conclusion, once I saw that the Bible had errors and inconsistencies, it was a slippery slope from there.

PTET said...

Fundamentalists read over and over and over apologetics which always concludes no matter what is being discussed that "traditional christian belief" is justified. Everything else is rejected as "biased" or "atheist" or "liberal".

I think at some level Mohler can process the insanity of this - hence his discomfort when put on the spot.

With Lee Strobel, I just don't know. He seems to be incapable of processing any information which contradicts "traditional christian belief". It just goes in one ear and out the other.

BobCMU76 said...

I can't listen to Christian apologists, for the most part, without coming away believing a little less in what they try to promote. Part of it is their mannerisms. A subjective revulsion to folks like the Mohler fellow, and that Strobel guy at the end. I can't put a finger on why they make my skin crawl -- they just do. OTOH, Spong doesn't inspire much confidence either, which his appeal to authority -- which is a clubbish parochial authority -- pretty much simply informing Holy Mohley "You ain't one of us"

What I took from Mohley is a simple declaration that he believes what he does, because he shudders to imagine the alternative. He's trying to protect something. I believe much of what I do for the same reason. And one way to profit from this insight is to try to discern what he/I are so anxious to protect.

That gets into the psychological. Perhaps the pathological. But in the practical -- the question is whether Christianity is a misunderstood reality (Spong), a compelling fantasy (Loftus), or an authoritative account of violent intrusion by ultimate power into the regularity of the clockwork universe in which I find such comfort.

myintellectualjourney said...

Strobel couldn't be more wrong. The idea that Spong's understanding of the New Testament only follows from an anti-supernatural bias is just plane wrong. A historical approach alone is enough to reveal the validity of Spong's viewing the gospels as at least partially theologically where clearly NOT historic.

The the timing of Jesus death is a key example. Mark and John give different days and times for when it happened. This is made clear by things explicitly said in each gospel that place it on a different day in relation to Passover (and we know historically that there was only one day that the Passover meal was eaten in Jerusalem.) Hence, we know from what the text say that only one gospel can be historically accurate on this "small matter" - if either. That alone means there is at least some non-historic content in the gospels.

Now, a historical rule of thumb prefers the earlier source (in this case Mark) as more reliable since closer to the actual events. John then would be more likely historically unreliable in his dating. Assuming for a moment that's true, then we might ask where John is getting his idea of when Jesus died from? Just plane misinformation? Well it just so happens we have a straightforward explanation for the day and time of day John gives for Jesus death in the theological idea that Jesus was the Passover lamb, since John has Jesus die precisely on the day and time of day the Passover lamb was slain.

This example alone is enough to show that there are firm reasons to think the gospels contain at least some non-historic theological content and there are several other clear examples like this where both historical unreliability plus a ready theological explanation show this to be the best explanation. In fact, there are clear examples of this in all 4 of the canonical gospels suggesting the best understanding is that this was an approach shared across the entire canonical gospel tradition. Beyond examples like this, such an understanding would explain an even greater amount of content with obvious theological explanations where historical problems are not clear showing substantial explanatory power for this theory / understanding.


Spong surveys this content quite well in his book Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes.

In the 21st century, Christians need to come to terms with these issues or if nothing else that in an information age, the type of information that Spong has helped popularize in his books just isn't going away.

myintellectualjourney said...

Strobel couldn't be more wrong. The idea that Spong's understanding of the New Testament only follows from an anti-supernatural bias is just plane wrong. A historical approach alone is enough to reveal the validity of Spong's viewing the gospels as at least partially theologically where clearly NOT historic.

The the timing of Jesus death is a key example. Mark and John give different days and times for when it happened. This is made clear by things explicitly said in each gospel that place it on a different day in relation to Passover (and we know historically that there was only one day that the Passover meal was eaten in Jerusalem.) Hence, we know from what the text say that only one gospel can be historically accurate on this "small matter" - if either. That alone means there is at least some non-historic content in the gospels.

Now, a historical rule of thumb prefers the earlier source (in this case Mark) as more reliable since closer to the actual events. John then would be more likely historically unreliable in his dating. Assuming for a moment that's true, then we might ask where John is getting his idea of when Jesus died from? Just plane misinformation? Well it just so happens we have a straightforward explanation for the day and time of day John gives for Jesus death in the theological idea that Jesus was the Passover lamb, since John has Jesus die precisely on the day and time of day the Passover lamb was slain.

This example alone is enough to show that there are firm reasons to think the gospels contain at least some non-historic theological content and there are several other clear examples like this where both historical unreliability plus a ready theological explanation show this to be the best explanation. In fact, there are clear examples of this in all 4 of the canonical gospels suggesting the best understanding is that this was an approach shared across the entire canonical gospel tradition. Beyond examples like this, such an understanding would explain an even greater amount of content with obvious theological explanations where historical problems are not clear showing substantial explanatory power for this theory / understanding.


Spong surveys this content quite well in his book Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes.

In the 21st century, Christians need to come to terms with these issues or if nothing else that in an information age, the type of information that Spong has helped popularize in his books just isn't going away.

myintellectualjourney said...

(A-1)

Strobel couldn't be more wrong. The idea that Spong's understanding of the New Testament only follows from an anti-su

pernatural bias is simply wrong. A historical approach alone is enough to reveal the validity of Spong's viewing the gospels as at least partially theologically where clearly NOT historic.

The timing of Jesus death is a key example of why this is the case. Mark and John give different days and times for when it happened. Hence, we know from what the text say that only one gospel can be historically accurate on this matter - if either. This means that there is at least some non-historic content in the gospels.

myintellectualjourney said...

(A-2)

Now, a historical rule of thumb prefers the earlier source (in this case Mark) as more reliable since written closer to the actual events. John then would be more likely historically unreliable in his dating of Jesus death since he is inconsistent with the earlier source Mark.

Assuming for a moment that's true, then we might ask where John is getting his idea of when Jesus died from? Perhaps just plain misinformation? It just so happens we have a straightforward explanation for the day and time of day John gives for Jesus death in the theological idea that Jesus was the Passover lamb, since John has Jesus die precisely on the day and time of day the Passover lamb was slain.

myintellectualjourney said...

(A-3)

This example is a small part of why it can be said that there are good reasons to think the gospels contain at least some non-historic content that is merely theological in origin. There are several other clear examples like the one mentioned here where the events are both historically very improbably and yet just so happen to have ready theological explanations.

There are in fact clear examples of this kind to be found in all 4 of the gospels suggesting that this sense of license to introduce non-historic content to make a nevertheless theologically true point (at least, in the eyes of the author) was an approach shared across the entire canonical gospel tradition.

When we move beyond examples like this, and consider the rest of the gospels in light of such an understanding, the explanatory power that can be demonstrated is compelling to say the least.

myintellectualjourney said...

(A-4)

Spong surveys the way this explains so much of the gospels to a great degree in his book Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes.

In the 21st century, Christians need to come to terms with this type of information or if nothing else the fact that in an information age, this type of information that Spong has helped popularize in his books just isn't going away.

Dan DeMura said...

I think at some level Mohler can process the insanity of this - hence his discomfort when put on the spot.

I had the same thoughts when watching... it was obvious that Mohler was uncomfortable and he never really addresses any of the questions that Spong brings up.

Besides the creative editing that I'm sure when on after the filming, there is one point where Lee interjects and cuts Spong off when he is talking about how the gospels record the "Prophecies of Jesus"... ridiculously the answer Mohler gives is that we wouldn't know anything about Jesus and why he came if we didn't have the Bible so therefore it must be true.

I think what made Lee and Mohler the most uncomfortable was that they couldn't just point to Spong and call him an Atheist and say "well of course he doesn't believe"... So perhaps that's a plus for the Liberal theologians.

Marcus McElhaney said...

Let's discuss just what "stupid" is. I keep hearing Loftus and others completely agree with some of the fallacies Bishop Spong kept bringing up and making it seem like all Christian Scholars agree with him and the minority who don't are either uneducated and biased for Christianity because of their faith. I disagree because I know of many well-educated and researched scholars who disagree with the conclusions reached by Loftus and Spong.

More