Saturday, January 24, 2009

A response to godless Christianity

Where does the information about Christ come from? From a source that says he walked on water, taught on his own authority (even exalting his authority over that of the Law of Moses), claimed the authority to forgive sin on his own authority, multiplied food miraculously, healed the sick, raised the dead, was crucified on the cross, died, was buried, and resurrected from the dead, and predicted that he would return at the end of time. None of this stuff makes any sense if God does not exist.If the sources are wrong about all this, is there anything we can have any assurance of that the sources got right? And if we have no reliable sources on Jesus, isn't this going to make following Jesus just a little bit difficult?


Jim Jordan said...

From the Jesus Seminar
The Jesus Seminar (and virtually all New Testament scholars who are not fundamentalists) maintains that early Christians made Jesus into the spokesman for their own beliefs about him.

JS deems the NT is fiction (based on supernatural events being imnpossible), then travels around and does mini-seminars in churches and are welcomed with open arms. Here's a great example, a senior pastor at a Presbyterian church, no less.

If I were an employee and said that my business is a fraud, I'd be asked, "Why are you still working here then?"

Gordon Knight said...


I am not a fan of "godless Christianity" But you need to consider the case of Herodotus. H was the first historian, a chief source regarding the Persian War. Yet we do not accept everything he says to be true. He is a good source, but not infallible. Furthermore it is the more extravagent claims of Herodous that are usuall thought to be in error.

Why could not one also say the same of the gospels? Especially if one accepted Hume's critique of the rationality of the belief in miracles.

Jim Jordan said...

Much of Herodotus histoories are about an era before he was born. Wikipedia has this disclaimer: "Although some of his stories are not completely accurate, he states that he is only reporting what has been told to him."

Jesus Seminarians discard the fact that the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were firsthand/eyewitness accounts, as were the writings of Peter, John, and James (with the possible exception of II Peter). Add to that the Christians stood up for what they believed in, many choosing a violent death over renouncing what they testified to.

The Jesus Seminar's voting system using colored beads to note their impression of whether an NT datum is true or not is simply bad history, and pure arrogance. Two thousand years later we are voting to determine what really happened in the lives of eyewitnesses? And even if they settle on something Jesus said: "Red beads – indicated the voter believed Jesus did say the passage quoted, or something very much like the passage". In other words, they can not be certain even if they all the scholars turn in red beads.

I agree we should be suspicious of miracles unless we see one. But how are miracles going to convince someone who can't see the miracle in existence itself?

Jesus preached that it is God who ultimately convinces us anyway(Matt 16:17). Perhaps that verse didn't get a red bead.

Matthew said...

Are all presbyterians atheists or what is going on here?

Blue Devil Knight said...

If I like his teaching I don't care if a lot of the stories are literally true or if there is a God. I don't have to think someone was literally swallowed by a whale to get something out of the OT either. I know many nontheists who try to live by Christ's moral teachings. I think it is sort of silly to restrict themselves to one set of such teachings, given their atheism (or pantheism in some cases, but they are pretty much the same), but they seem to get along just fine.