hotrodhell

CS Lewis said “I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but by it I see everything else.”

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Trinity on June 5, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Jesus followers fabricated his stories and sayings:

CS Lewis said “I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but by it I see everything else.”

Which of these make the most sense?

  1. The universe’s ex nihilo (out of nothing) origin: Is it uncaused (or self-caused) from nothing or caused by a powerful Being independent of the universe?
  2. The universe’s fine-tuning or bio-friendliness: Does it drive from mindless, deterministic causes or from an intelligent-Being?
  3. The emergence of life: Did it originate from nonliving matter or from living, active personal Being?
  4. The vast array of beauty: Is its source impersonal, deterministic causes or a creative, imaginative Being?
  5. Moral values/obligations, human dignity, and human rights: Is their foundation valueless material processes or a supremely valuable Being?
  6. Consciousness/ awareness: Did it emerge from mindless material processes or from a supremely self-aware Being?
  7. Free will/ moral responsibility: Are these accounted for by deterministic processes or by a freely creating Being?

Many have claimed Jesus didn’t really die on a cross!

What are your First century proofs against His death?

There are moral atheists and Buddhists does that mean they are Christian or that only Christianity is moral?

What is your answer for evil?

Jesus was born around 4 or 5 BC-Wait how did that happen? How can your Bible be true? Jesus was just a myth or at best a moral teacher. He can’t be the Son of God. The Jesus legends begin because like Buddha, Jesus was a moral teacher who was bent on the destruction of the Roman Empire. The orthodox Christian view of Jesus is the projection of imaginations run wild; individuals and communities “apotheosized “him – puffed him up to God-status –just like the historical Siddhartha Gautama eventually came to be divinized by some followers. Jesus’ “ambiguous” resurrection (however we are to understand it) may set him apart from Buddha, buy why think this would be any more special than that of Lazarus or Jairus’s daughter?

Though merely human, Jesus was “intensely and overwhelmingly conscious of the reality of God.” Jesus was “powerfully God-conscious”; his followers “could catch something of that consciousness by spiritual contagion.” The Jesus story grew over time and tradition it isn’t literally true but “merely invites a particular attitude in its hearers.” People are speaking confessionally, not metaphysically somewhat like we say to those we love in the superlative. “You’re absolutely the best” or “You’re the sweetest”.

After all the Bible has been corrupted over the centuries; we just can’t be sure we have anything resembling what was written down. It is contradicting and has irreconcilable discrepancies especially in the resurrection account. Power brokers in the early church arbitrarily excluded certain books from the New Testament canon and in the fourth century invented a divine Jesus. After all a central goal of the Gospel writers was to instill contempt, a loathing, against Judaism: Jews were the children of hell, their leaders a brood of vipers. And doesn’t John’s gospel speak disparagingly of the Jews? The conclusion the God of the metaphysical age is dead. There is not a personal god out there…God does not interfere with the laws of nature…Prayer is meaningless…Prayer should be understood principally as mediation.

The first response is a good stigma will beat a dogma every time in the short run. But if we take a good hard look at the evidence it might suggest otherwise. The truth is these things don’t just happen naturally; nature itself was produced a finite time ago an event that couldn’t be predicted by natural law. What we are actually describing is the un-caused cause, “something” outside the universe that brought it into existence. The problem is not with the historical evidence; it’s with very questionable philosophical assumptions like “Dead people just can’t come back to life!’ or “Universes just don’t pop into existence from nothing!” If God exists then we have the most reasonable evidence for all these and much more. We can infer with good evidences a supernaturally inspired Big Bang and a bodily resurrection on the first Easter.

As we take on the challenges that are brought against the Christian faith, we must be able to respond appropriately concerning the existence of God, the reliability of the Bible, The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As an example of the reliability of the Bible even if we didn’t have the Greek manuscripts, we could almost reconstruct the New Testament just from the citations of the early church fathers. This is very early in the primitive church’s life pre AD -325. According to Daniel B Wallace one of the foremost early manuscript scholars out of the 5600 Greek manuscripts, the10000 Latin and 5000 other language copies we have of the New Testament less that 1 percent of the variations are significant. Most involve word-order changes, articles with proper nouns, and slight spelling differences, not exactly the stuff of renouncing the Faith and vilifying the Faithful. As with other ancient historical documents, we should assume the New Testament is reliable unless otherwise shown. The Bible’s portrayal of an unsafe, untamable Jesus, who reaches out to the reader from its pages and asks the same question Pilate asked at His mock trial;

(Mat 27:22a ESV) Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”

The best understanding and most accepted historical evidence for the resurrection is found in 1st Corinthians chapter 15, based on this portion of Paul’s writings we find the most accepted letter in the New Testament, we find, the 12 apostles, Jesus’ brother, 500 eyewitnesses and last Paul himself who had persecuted the early church all claiming to have seen the risen Christ. Many other factors provide excellent proofs of the integrity and honesty of the New Testament writers, such as the “criterion of embarrassment” and the “criterion of authenticity”. If Jesus’ actions or sayings would have caused difficulty or embarrassment for the early church, then why include them in your narrative if you’re inventing them?

  1. Why include women as first witnesses of the resurrection, since they weren’t considered reliable witnesses (e.g., Matthew 28)?
  2. Why include “strange” events such as Jesus’ cursing a fig tree (Mark 11:12-14) or his allowing unclean spirits to enter swine, which destroyed them (Luke 8:32-33)?
  3. Why mention that Jesus’ family believed he was out of his mind (Mark 3:2 1)?
  4. Why insert sometimes “unimpressive” ministry results (Mark 6:5-6; John 6:66)?
  5. Why include what enemies said about Jesus—e.g., implications that he was illegitimate (Mark 6:3, “son of Mary”)? Why not paint a rosier picture?
  6. Why a shamed, humiliated, crucified Messiah—unless he rose from the dead? Martin Hengel (b. 1926) notes, “The discrepancy between the shameful death of a Jewish state criminal and the confession that depicts this executed man as the preexistent divine figure who becomes man and humbles himself to a slave’s death is, as far as I can see, without analogy in the ancient world.”
  7. Why record the blunders, disputes, selfishness, and misunderstandings of Jesus’ disciples? As Craig Evans says, this “is hardly the creation of the early church.”
  8. Why call Jesus “King of the Jews” when he didn’t physically rule in Israel?
  9. Why invent stories that don’t really help your case? Most Jews expected Messiah to come as a king, a political deliverer, a shepherd over Israel—not a miracle-worker. So why pile up signs and wonders?

10. Why present Jesus as not knowing the time of his return (Mark 13:32)

11. Why should Jesus submit to John’s baptism (Mark 1:4-11)?

Some last facts:

  • ·Writing with passion doesn’t entail unreliability.
  • ·The fabrication thesis doesn’t hold under scrutiny. If we can confirm historical claims where verifiable, we should then give the benefit of the doubt where we can’t verify.
  • ·The gospel writers are aware of (archaeologically confirmed) Jewish customs and places; use Aramaisms; and utilize credible eyewitness testimony.
  • ·Early Christian communities didn’t invent and project onto Jesus various sayings and deeds mentioned in the Gospels. Rather, their well-known controversies aren’t even addressed in the Gospels.
  • ·We have good reason for arguing that Acts was written before Paul’s death; so Luke was written earlier, and Mark before that.
  • ·In 1 Corinthians and Galatians (early, undisputedly Pauline), we can see the tradition Paul received from James/Jerusalem goes back to the earliest church’s preaching.
  • ·Why would the early church invent potentially negative and embarrassing Jesus-events/-sayings? These reinforce authenticity, not invention.

Faith in Christ isn’t necessarily about the facts, it’s about will! If you bend your knee and your will and utter “Thou will be done He says so be it! “ The same is true for your own will!

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  1. Before we begin, let it be noted that the sun DOES NOT ‘rise’. It hasn’t moved at all and so Lewis’ own claim dismisses his belief in Christianity.

    1. I’d go with uncaused and nobody can argue otherwise without falling into argument from composition fallacy. Of course utterly irrelevant to what I say, it does not mean that a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent entity COULD be responsible given that such attributes are largely incoherent and outrule the possibility.

    2. The universe is hardly fine tuned. The reality is that the mass majority of the universe doesn’t care less, in fact if anything it’s overly hostile. If one espouses that a god did it then he cannot use the fine tuned argument to begin with given that, by the existence of an omnipotent god, we could in exist in any form, any where. We don’t need oxygen or planets or metabolism. It all becomes inconsequential.

    3. It’s a lengthy answer and one that can’t be done justice in two sentences. But if we say that a god did it then we have no ability but to say that the same entity created streptococcus, bot flies and anything else we can think of which is decidedly anti-human and plain disgusting.

    4. I assume you don’t mean cancer, prosopagnosia or tsunamis? The reality is that ANY living organism would find things more ‘beautiful’ than other things. It goes with survival. It is of no surprise that we find waterfalls beautiful but we don’t find rotten apples beautiful. For some reason it seems to be the opposite for flies.

    5. That something is ‘material’ does not make it “valueless”. Your question is loaded. I will happily discuss morality but it will take more room.

    6. It emerges from an evolved brain. Presuming you can think because a god did it also means you can ONLY think what a god has made you capable of thinking. This causes serious problems. Again I need more space.

    7. Free will doesn’t work as a concept. Again I need more space.

    The rest of your post I would like to discuss providing I am given the space to do so. Would you care for a formal debate?

    Regards,

  2. Steve thanks for your comment and yes a debate would be interesting. I will contact you to set it up on another site I am putting together.

  3. I love that quote. Thanks for following FIGHTER FAITH. I look forward to exchanging posts! If you would like to receive future posts via e-mail, come on back and join my e-mail subscriber list to receive a free gift.

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