XFiles: Some things never change.

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 14.)

We continue with Geisler and Turek’s attempt to validate the authority and reliability of the Bible through the testimony of Jesus, whose own authority and reliability is derived from that of the Scriptures. As we saw last time, these attempts actually raise some serious problems for the claim that Jesus is God Incarnate, and the next two points on G&T’s list only dig the hole deeper. According to the good doctors, Jesus taught that the Old Testament is the Word of God (despite being written by men) because it:

2. Is Imperishable—In the Sermon on the Mount, a passage loved by conservatives and liberals alike, Jesus claimed that not even the smallest little mark in the Scriptures—the equivalent of a dot on an “i” or a cross on a “t”—will ever perish: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets,” he declared. “I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law until all is fulfilled” (Matt. 5:17, NKJV). Jesus could not express the imperishability of the Scriptures more forcefully.

3. Is Infallible—In John 10, Jesus was about to be stoned for blasphemy. To get himself out of this jam, Jesus cited the Old Testament and declared, “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35, NKJV). In other words, when his life was on the line, Jesus referred to an infallible authority that cannot be broken—the Scripture. Furthermore, he later affirmed the truth of the Scriptures when he prayed for the disciples, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).

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XFiles: Plan B

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 14.)

Next up on Geisler and Turek’s agenda, the Seven Things Jesus taught about the Bible (i.e. the Old Testament). As I said before, they’ve strayed pretty far from their thematic declaration that it takes more faith to be an atheist: this section could have been preached from any conservative Christian pulpit on any given Sunday morning without even mentioning apologetics.

Let’s begin with the first Thing or two. According to G&T, Jesus taught that the Old Testament:

1. Is Divinely Authoritative—When tempted by Satan, Jesus corrected him by quoting from the Old Testament… Why would Jesus so confidently quote from the Old Testament if the Old Testament was not authoritative? He must have considered the Old Testament to be a source of truth in order to dismiss his most powerful enemy with it.

In fact, on ninety-two occasions Jesus and his apostles supported their position by saying, “it is written” (or the equivalent) and then quoting the Old Testament. Why? Because Jesus and his apostles considered the Old Testament Scriptures to be the written word of God, and thus the ultimate authority for life.

For once, I agree with Geisler and Turek. Jesus did indeed teach that the Old Testament was the ultimate authority for life. What Geisler and Turek fail to realize, however, is that this is not a good thing.

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XFiles ++Friday: Jesus at the NAE

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 14.)

It’s been a long time since Geisler and Turek have even attempted to pretend they’re proving that atheists have more faith than Christians, and by Chapter 14 they seem to have forgotten their theme completely. We’re in full-on Sunday sermon mode now as they devote an entire chapter to telling us that we should take their word for it that we should take the Bible’s word for it that we should take Jesus’ word for it that we should take the Bible’s word for it. There’s not the slightest tinge of any consciousness of the circular reasoning involved in using Biblical accounts of Jesus’ alleged endorsement of Scripture as the basis for claiming the reliability and authority of the Bible. God said it, they believe it, that settles it—and therefore it takes more faith to be an atheist. QED.

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XFiles Friday: Simplicity or consistency

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 13.)

One of the tricks that trinitarians use to try and mask the flaws in their theology is to claim that the doctrine is so mind-bogglingly complex that we shouldn’t even try to understand it, let alone reconcile it with itself. As Geisler and Turek were saying about the Trinity last week,

It may be beyond reason, but it’s not against reason.

That doesn’t mean the Trinity can be completely understood. After all, no finite being can completely comprehend an infinite God. But we can apprehend the Trinity just like we apprehend but do not completely comprehend the ocean. When we’re standing on the beach, we can apprehend that there’s an ocean in front of us, even though we  can’t completely comprehend its vast magnitude.

Some Muslims charge that the Trinity is too complex. But who said that truth must always be simple?

I personally have not heard any Muslim arguments alleging that the Trinity is too complex to understand, but Geisler and Turek certainly are trying to make that allegation. And it’s false. The problems with the Trinity are not due to complexity, but due to the fact that the doctrine makes several simple statements that are supposedly all true even though they plainly contradict one another.

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