XFiles: the Uninspired Canon

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

We are deep in Apologeticsland, where strange creatures skitter through the dense underbrush and where normal rules of logic no longer apply…

Isaiah 61 predicts that Messiah will perform healing miracles and preach “good news….to release the oppressed” by the “Spirit of the Lord.” In other words the Messiah will do exactly what Jesus did—provide new revelation and back it up with miracles. Of course, since the Messiah is to provide new revelation, someone has to write it down. That’s why Jesus promised his apostles that the Holy Spirit would bring to their remembrance all of  his words and guide them into “all truth” (John 14:26, 16:13).

Because everybody knows “to preach the good news to the poor” and “to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor” (as Isaiah originally said) is exactly the same thing as commissioning a bunch of other people to write a new collection of documents which must thereafter be accepted as official canon and used as the ultimate authority over everyone else’s life. Right?

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Bible vs Pro-life

Continuing on with yesterday’s theme, I’d like to look a little more closely at the contrast between the values and principles of the pro-life movement versus those of historic Christianity. The big question here, of course, is whether God Himself would be a pro-lifer. That is, if we imagine a scene outside an abortion clinic, with security guards escorting women into the clinic, and pro-life protesters trying to stop them, which side would God join if He were to show up in person? Would He pick up a protest sign and stand with the pro-lifers?

Based on the Old and New Testaments, the answer is an unmistakable “NO!” God may be a lot of things, but “pro-life” isn’t one of them, by a long shot.

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Posted in Atheistic Morality, Politics. 8 Comments »

The New Materialists

Yesterday was the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America, so inevitably the pro-lifers were out in force. Having been a pro-lifer once myself, I thought I’d take a moment to share my perspective. Back in the early 90′s I attended a pro-life protest rally with a busload of pro-lifers, and even though I was an ardent Christian at the time, there were some aspects of the protest that bothered me, even then.

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Posted in Atheistic Morality, Politics, Society, Unapologetics. 7 Comments »

XFiles Friday: Tiptoe through the minefield…

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

I have to admit that it’s getting harder and harder to write interesting blog posts about Geisler and Turek’s book when they keep making the same blissfully oblivious and ironic arguments, week after week, all boiling down to them believing whatever certain men say, just because they say it, no matter how inconsistent it may be with reality and with itself.

Jesus is promising his apostles that the Holy Spirit would lead them to author what we now know as the New Testament…

But did the apostles really get the message from the Holy Spirit as Jesus promised? They certainly claim as much.

Yep. How do we know the apostles were really inspired to write Scripture? Because they told us so themselves. Men said it, we believe it, and that settles it. Sigh.

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In Lieu of XFiles…

I am suspending the weekly XFiles feature this week due to more pressing concerns. Please, if you have not already done so, take the time you would ordinarily spend reading this blog, and use it to make an online donation for the relief efforts in Haiti.

Thank you.

 
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Pascal’s Wager

I was just thinking: suppose we made financial decisions the way some people would have us make decisions about our souls…

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Posted in Amusements, Unapologetics. 6 Comments »

XFiles: What about the New Testament?

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

So far, Geisler and Turek have spent chapter 14 trying to prove that Jesus thought the Old Testament was infallible and inerrant (even though it doesn’t quite match the facts of history and even though Christians themselves have largely abandoned the moral standards set by Moses and friends). But what about the New Testament? Can G&T show, from the Bible, that Jesus believed the authority of the New Testament was equal to that of the old?

Jesus taught that the Old Testament is inerrant, but what could he say about the New Testament? After all, it was not written until after the end of Christ’s earthly life.

While Jesus confirmed the Old Testament, he promised the New Testament. He said the New Testament would come through his apostles because the Holy Spirit would remind them what Jesus had said and would lead them into “all truth.”

Gotta love the way they tiptoe around the fact that “the end of Christ’s earthly life” pretty much ended his personal teaching and authority. It’s almost like he was, you know, dead or something. Pretty strange behavior for someone who allegedly loved us so much that he was willing to die for us so that we could be together forever (or until the end of 40 days, whichever came first).

But what about Jesus “promising” the New Testament? Does the Bible really say what Geisler and Turek say it says? And why would God send a Holy Spirit instead of a loving Savior, to be our leader and teacher?

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What does it take to pay for sin?

Here’s a quick thought that follows up on our previous discussion about morality: what does it take to pay for sin anyway? If you read the Bible you might say that it takes death. After all, in the Old Testament sins were paid for by the deaths of bulls and goats, and the New Testament says that these sacrifices were merely a foretaste of the real payment, which was effected in the death of Jesus. So the answer is, as the Bible specifically says, that the wages of sin is death.

Notice that suffering in Hell is not part of paying for your sins. Jesus did not suffer eternally or even for a mere few thousand years in the torments of Hell, according to the Bible, yet he allegedly paid for our sins in full on the cross. Not in Hell, mind you, but on earth, which is where he was when he died. And it was not his allegedly immortal soul that died, but only his physical, mortal body. This physical, mortal death, of his physical, mortal body, was sufficient to pay the penalty for ALL sins for all time.

Now, Jerry Falwell, like so many Christians before him, has died. That means he has met the same requirements for payment of sins that Jesus did. His physical body has perished and ceased to function—the same fate as awaits every other so-called sinner. Even though Jesus supposedly took Falwell’s sin and paid the penalty so that Falwell would not have to, Falwell still had to.

This leaves us with yet another inconsistency in the Christian Gospel. If mere physical death (and temporary “death” at that!) is sufficient to pay for sins, then there’s no need for a cross, since our sins are eventually going to be paid for when we die. And if mere physical death is not enough to pay for our sins, then Jesus’ physical death was not sufficient, and could not have purchased forgiveness for us. Plus of course it puts the Bible in the position of lying to us when it says that death is the penalty for sin.

Either way, it’s a problem, and it’s just the sort of thing you’d expect to find in a fictional Gospel invented by superstitious men.

 
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Posted in Unapologetics. 9 Comments »

XFiles: The Old One-Two

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

Today we look at a section entitled “Other Evidence Supporting the Old Testament.” I expect you won’t be too surprised to find out that it’s a very short section. In fact, you could sum up the whole thing by the last two sentences in the section:

Our friend Andy Stanley put it well: “My high school science teacher once told me that much of Genesis is false. But since my high school science teacher did not prove he was God by rising from the dead, I’m going to believe Jesus instead.” Wise move.

Just let me double check here… nope, didn’t pick up a different book by accident. This is the argument Geisler and Turek are making in the book they call I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST. Genesis can’t even pass a high school science test? No problem. Just ignore the scientific evidence and believe whatever Jesus told you was “truth.” Or at least, whatever people say that Jesus said. That’ll show those old atheists who the faith-based believers really are.

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Posted in IDHEFTBA, Unapologetics, XFiles. 5 Comments »