Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Bible-pounding atheists

Here is a typical argument used by many atheists, the argument against Scripture.


Is this just proof-texting and bad hermeneutics? Or is there some substance to this line of argumentation?

10 comments:

Mike Erich the Mad Theologian said...

That there are incidental problems in the Scripture is of course well known and individuals on both sides have argued them for a long time. That there are such problems in a book where the history and language are imperfectly known and where there is some though a fairly limited degree of textual corruption is not surprising. We of course need to deal with these problems. However while there are a few genuine problems in the list given, most are a result of often blatant ignoring of context and refusing to take passages in a reasonably straightforward way. For explain God in His character does not change, but He responds to human behavior. Also part of this is undoubtedly the result of trying to describe God in ways we can understand Him. Much of this seems to show the attitude of a prosecutor who has already decided whatever God says will be twisted into evidence against Him.

unkleE said...

The author of that piece, in their eagerness to identify as many "errors" as possible, made so many silly statements that I gave up trying to read them all. No-one could take many of them seriously.

I think there are indeed genuine problems for me as a christian, some not easily answered, but that silly list just obscures them.

But as an apologist, there is little to answer if (1) I don't interpret the Bible in a literal scientific way, and (2) I believe in progressive revelation, especially from the OT to the NT.

Shackleman said...

God is bigger than the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Yes, God is bigger than the Bible. Conservative christians just add to fodder to the atheists when they insist on inerantism.

Its too obvious to state: theism vs. atheism is not Fundamentalism vs. atheism.

Winston Smith said...

Victor, did you know Loftus is calling you a liar about the OUTSIDER TES on his website?

Anonymous said...

Bob Prokop writing:

Victor, to answer your question, there is no substance to this line of argumentation. The reasoning is so facile (definition 3: lacking in depth) that it cannot be taken seriously.It is the polite equivalent of kids on the playground yelling, "Yeah? Well so's your mother!" Not worth responding to.

Victor Reppert said...

Winston: I had an exchange with John about the outsider test awhile back, and I don't recall him calling me a liar. I didn't see any new posts about me over there, so I wonder what you are referring to.

Blue Devil Knight said...

I didn't see an argument at the site, just a list of putatively contradictory quotes from the Bible. I found it useful to have a pair in my back pocket for when I would encounter nutballs of the Christian variety at the state fair.

At the very least, they would admit that some of the words had to be used in a metaphorical sense. Also, some of the apparent contradictions are easy enough to patch up (e.g., say the statements apply to the world at different points in time or whatever). Some are very tricky, e.g., did Noah bring a single pair or seven pairs of animals on the ark?

What order were things created? You see two different orders of things.

That said, I never was one to read too much into such Bible scrubbing, except to whip out when certain nutballs would approach me when I was in college.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Note: I think with enough creativity, just about any apparent contradiction in the Bible can be explained away. The question is when such hermeneutical somersaults become epicycles.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Anonymous makes a good point. Unfortunately, Loftus often acts as if refuting fundamentalist inerrantism is sufficient to refute Christianity. This is madness.