Salvation Came Through Richard Dawkins

Whilst in Australia I have been meeting a lot of people who have read The Dawkins Letters    I was sent this testimony of Richard Morgan, who was converted through reading it.   He gives a lovely talk in this video…

 

You can hear the Unbelievable programme he mentions here –

We added this chapter to The Dawkins Letters

SALVATION CAME THROUGH RICHARD DAWKINS

What a relief it was to become an atheist.
I had become worn out and frustrated by my fruitless search for God. I had studied holy writings from three different continents. No God there. I had tried prayer and ‘positive thinking’ as if they were the same thing. I had wrestled with the problems of theodicy without even knowing that the word existed. I felt that I had sought God everywhere – in the cosmos, in my neurones, in my bank account. Everywhere. Or so I thought.

Then I read The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins. What an immense relief it was to discover that my search for God and Meaning was bound to be frustrating and disappointing, could only lead me up blind alleys, because God simply didn’t exist. How obvious. Evolution explained everything.

The notion of God (the supreme alpha-male) was a side-effect of the evolution of the human brain. Attributing ‘agency’ was an effective survival strategy. The God that you attributed agency to was uniquely dependent on the culture into which you had been born. Religion was an exercise in social manipulation and power. Believing information received from non-verifiable sources (revelation) opened the door to all kinds of horrendous excesses from Inquisitions and witch-burning to flying planes into towers and fathers committing ‘honour killings’ and a president lying to bomb and massacre innocent people in Iraq. Man had invented God in his own image. God was the ultimate comfort blanket. Science was leaving no space for the ‘God of the gaps’. Talk of Eternal Life was in fact just a morbid obsession with death. Even monkeys had invented The Golden Rule. Science and Reason alone revealed Truth.

An ‘Omnipotent God’ was an impossible notion anyway. Religion was ‘the opium of the people.’ Love, self-sacrifice and charity were just the misfiring of evolutionarily selected survival mechanisms. Everything could be explained. There was just simply no need for the God delusion any more. Hallelujah!

Many years later, in November 2006, I discovered the internet site RichardDawkins.Net, and my very first internet Forum/Discussion group. What a joyous experience that was for me at the beginning! Discovering other people’s ideas on atheism, being able to interact with them, making friends of some of them, and from time to time being presented with some scientific discovery or irrefutable philosophical reasoning – this was what life was all about .

downloadOne of the favourite sports on RDNet was insulting and mocking Christian authors who had the gall to write books refuting Dawkins’ The God Delusion. One thread on the site was devoted mainly to David Robertson’s The Dawkins Letters. I mention this, because it was this same David Robertson who spoiled all the fun for me. He replied at great length, with considerable politeness and restraint to a very long ‘review’ of his book The Dawkins Letters. My first reaction was, ‘Poor guy, why is he wasting all his time doing this?’ My RDNet friends had the answer for me, ‘Attention- seeking’. (Ironically, I was to discover that they weren’t entirely wrong. Except that DR wasn’t seeking to draw attention to himself…) I

n spite of the abuse, DR kept coming back. He kept answering the criticisms. Several of us started wondering, ‘What is wrong with this guy?’ The ‘royal decree’ on DR was that he was a ‘dishonest, unpleasant, unbalanced; un-Christian fruitcake’, so why did we all persist in engaging him in discussion? Not only did he argue with us, from time to time he wished us well and quoted Scripture! But (and it’s a big ‘but’) many RDnetters accused David Robertson of being a liar. This surprised me, but I didn’t dare say so on the site. I couldn’t risk being excommunicated as a troll. ‘Get over thyself.’
‘Get thyself a life.’
Those were our commandments.
I read and re-read DR’s lengthy comments. I found all the evidence I needed to prove that he was probably a deluded fruitcake, but none to substantiate the accusations of being ‘mean’ or ‘evil’ or best of all ‘a liar.’

The poor deluded ‘WeeFlea’ asked in all humility for someone to point out precisely where and how he had lied. I got brave and posted, saying, ‘Whatever else we may think about DR, I’m sure he does not wilfully and knowingly tell lies.’ My friends, of course, shot me down in flames. So I tried to accept that the lies were there, but that I was intellectually incapable of perceiving them.

Then came that terrible moment, when the site administrator published an article about some deluded Russian prophet who had tried to commit suicide in a particularly clownish way when his prediction for the date of the end of the world failed to come true. Even as I was reading the article, I started having forebodings about the kind of comments that I was likely to find afterwards. And my worst suspicions were confirmed. Much laughter. Considerable mocking and jeering. And there were even a couple of posters who regretted that the fallen prophet had failed in his ‘attempt’ to put an end to his life. They made a joke of wishing somebody dead. I expressed my shock and disappointment in a couple of posts.

And then I went too far. I wrote and signed my own RDNet death sentence when I said: ‘…and apart from all that, don’t you guys realise that you are giving David Robertson and his ilk stuff to use against us as atheists? Already they accuse us of being soulless and unfeeling! I am sure that David Robertson would never, ever laugh and gloat over a suicide attempt by an atheist. Can you imagine him saying “Serve him right, dumb atheist! That’s where rejecting Jesus gets you! He deserves nothing better. Psychotic, godless fruitcake!”’

Now there are many fine and highly intelligent, articulate members of RDNet. A small number of them timidly came out and defended me. But one of the most respected of them, a doctor, contented herself with quoting me and adding ‘LOL’. After a few faltering attempts to justify my position I decided that RDNet was not where I wanted, or needed, to be. The cognitive and affective dissonance was just too much for me. So there I was. Alone again. No God. Rejected by atheists.

Now I have another confession to make here. Whenever David Robertson posted a long comment on RDNet, I had developed the guilty habit of printing it out, and sneaking onto the balcony to read it with my morning coffee. So one morning, I took out my copies of his posts and re-read them. What did I have to lose? I found nothing of apparent interest. DR was clearly stubborn, persistent, polite, but still deluded.

As I was reading, my thoughts turned to the honey bee and the invisible, ultra-violet landing pads on the petals of certain flowers that guide the bee to the pollen and the delicious nectar that awaits the happy apidae. The fact that I can’t see these landing pads doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. Just as the fact that the bee can’t see the colour red doesn’t mean that he can fly through a tomato. I have my five senses and a brain that works in a particular way to process what my five senses pick up. But that doesn’t prove that anything that can’t be captured by my five senses doesn’t exist. If ever, in a science fiction journey, I came across a universe where living beings had ten senses, well, I could only have half as much fun as they did.

The wonderful philosophical explanations and arguments that I read on RDNet had fascinated me, filled me with awe and admiration, and I even understood some of them. But they always left me with the uneasy feeling of, ‘Well, yes, that’s what brains do. Ducks quack; the French complain, and the human brain processes information. However sophisticated my reasoning processes, they will still be limited to the capacity of my brain. But does that mean that anything that cannot be perceived by my senses and processed by my brain, therefore, doesn’t exist?’ I started ruminating about all this during that fateful weekend.

But ruminating is not all that I did. I committed the unforgivable sin: I started posting on the FCoS Forum. The Free Church of Scotland. A verit- able den of theists. I defected. I spoke about being a sad atheist, about my desire to be able to believe. Then, on Saturday, April 12th 2008, in reaction to my posts, FCoS’s ‘resident fruitcake’ asked me two questions which were to change me life: ‘Why don’t you believe in God?’ and
‘What could make you believe in God?’

My knee-jerk reaction to the first question was, ‘That’s a dumb question.’ And to the second, I had two instinctive and spontaneous answers: 1. I don’t know. 
 2. Certainly not proof and evidence. 
 At that moment, the words that I had learned many years previously and that had always provoked a terrible sensation of longing in me, came into my mind: ‘We can love Him, because He loved us first.’ And my universe exploded. Lights came on, prison doors opened, and scales fell off my eyes, the whole ‘Amazing Grace’ thing. As I considered my perception of life, the universe and everything, it was literally as if I had been looking at a two- dimensional image in black and white, and in an instant everything became three dimensional and Technicolor!

A short time later, I went back to my DR documents and was amazed to discover that the words that almost leapt out at me from the pages were the Biblical references that had so embarrassed me before. Not David Robertson’s words – the Word of God. The ensuing 48 hours were very intense, as my brain started processing tons of previously stocked information in a different way. The Bible, that I had previously studied so much that I couldn’t read an ‘And it came to pass…’ without having a migraine, became exciting. Meaningful.

Today, I feel no resentment towards my RDNet correspondents. After all, it was among the atheists that I found salvation. An insistent, obtuse Scottish clergyman kept ‘coming back for more’. Not only defending his arguments, but boldly confronting atheists with the Word of God. A voice crying in the wilderness? Perhaps. But even in the wilderness, perhaps somebody is hiding behind a rock, listening. I was. ‘For the word of God is living and full of power’
(Hebrews 4:12)

It is so good to be loved without having done anything to deserve it. It is so good to raise my eyes from the science laboratories and the books of philosophy and start to behold the glory of God. Science and philosophy are wonderful manifestations of the enormous capacities of the human mind. But the Word of God is Truth, and truth is what it took to set me free. My journey in faith begins. Watch this space.

97 thoughts on “Salvation Came Through Richard Dawkins

  1. Ditto , I too am welling up ! What a wonderful articulate testimony . Blessings in Jesus , to Richard Morgan and a very “dogged wee Flea”

    Like

  2. Brilliant. What a wonderful encouragement and commendation to patient persuasive evangelistic engaging conversation and the power of God to bring new life even to convinced atheists.

    Like

  3. ‘Why don’t you believe in God?’ and
‘What could make you believe in God?’/blockquote>

    Aside from the fact there has never been any form of verifiable evidence for any gods, it is perfectly reasonable to expect that an omnipotent deity would have no trouble at all convincing all the non-believers of his existence in an instant. Whether worship followed after this is a matter of individual choice, but at least denial of existence would have been removed from the argument.

    The re-conversion testimony in this post is little different from most conversion stories/testimonies: which seem to be bound up in emotional trauma/guilt of one kind or another.

    And of course the god in question is the Christian god.
    What is one supposed to say to the billions of people who are are equally as vehement in defense of he god/s they believe in?

    Also it is well known what is claimed will happen to all those who do not believe in the Christian god, damned to Hell, and no matter how one wants to try to swing it, such an act is not indicative of a loving god of any description.

    Taking all of the above into consideration, being a non-believer is the much better option.
    However, anytime you feel you have a strong enough case for your god and the benefits of belief, feel free to present it.

    Ark.

    Like

    1. ‘There has never been any form of verifiable evidence for any gods” is a statement of your blind faith not a fact.

      The omnipotent God has presented plenty evidence – you seem to be working on the rather strange assumption that humans are so reasonable that if they were presented with evidence we would believe!

      If hell is real then being a non-believer is about the dumbest position possible!

      I am more than happy to present the case for God – when you are ready to listen!

      Like

      1. Really? And may I ask if this evidence is verifiable?
        The reason I ask is that NT Wright, for example, has never managed such a feat and neither a bloke such as Tim Keller, CS Lewis, Strobel, Wallace or any other Christian, theologian or layman, I am aware of.
        Perhaps you might be feeling magnanimous enough to share a little here before I shed out any shekels on your books?
        After all, it would be for a good cause I suppose: converting an atheist such as me.
        What say you David?

        Like

      2. Of course its verifiable…but I suspect not by you…Tim Keller and NT Wright have offered substantial evidence. But in your arrogance and ignorance you just simply reject it out of hand. To your blinded mind you just know that there can be no evidence – so you automatically dismiss any offered. You are like the man standing in front of the Mona Lisa yelling ‘it doesn’t exist – I can’t see it’ – as he keeps his eyes firmly shut. Perhaps you could tell us what evidence you would actually accept? Also I find that if people are serious enough they are prepared to buy their own books – I have hundreds of atheists, history, science and religious books that are not from my perspective. I like to find out other points of view…I would suggest you try the same…

        Like

      3. With due respect, David, if it is verifiable why then do you believe formerly devout Christians deconvert? Why does an organisation such as the Clergy Project, currently have upwards of 700 members?

        How is one to rationally explain this? And these are people who were as vehement in the defense of such belief for years.

        Yes, I am a skeptic, but then so was Thomas.
        If you have this evidence then simply present it. It will stand or fall on its own merits, surely and should not require such a vociferous defense that includes the threat factor for non belief?

        Why are you so hesitant to present the verifiable evidence you have at hand?
        Seriously, how hard could it be?

        Only an absolute ingrate would reject such evidence.

        Like

      4. This is a rather special post – probably one of the most irrational and illogical I have seen on this blog. Let me offer you the chance to redeem yourself and work out why….if not then I suspect your last sentence is truer than you realise!

        Like

      5. Only an absolute ingrate would reject such evidence.

        Then present the verifiable evidence and there is every chance I shall be very grateful.
        Again … if you have it, how hard could it be?

        Like

      6. I’ve already said that I’ve written two books of evidence. If you are serious you get them cheap of Amazon. I’ll let you have the weekend to work out what was wrong with your last post. Take your time. If you can’t I suspect that you are well beyond the reach of reason or evidence.

        Like

      7. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the previous post.
        A promise of eternal life sounds pretty good – if one is of this frame of mind.
        I have read thousands and thousands of words where Christian writers claim they have evidence of what you are also proclaiming.
        Nothing I have read to date has ever come close to verifiable evidence.
        I am not worried about the expense of a book, I read a lot, and I do not expect you to offer your book for free.
        However, you are commanded to spread the word are you not, so while not wishing to deprive you of royalties, a little insight to this verifiable evidence would very likely induce me to purchase both of your books rather than simply offer sarcastic replies..

        Like

      8. Ok – let me spell it out for you. You stated that if something was proved people would believe it. Which is demonstrably false…it is provable that the earth is round yet there are still people who don’t believe that. Please don’t confuse your inability to see with the idea that there is nothing there! In terms of royalties you clearly know nothing about Christian publishing – I doubt I get 10p per book. But I’m not going to buy a book for someone who I don’t believe has any real interest in the evidence. You could of course prove me wrong by actually buying it yourself.

        Like

      9. Ok – let me spell it out for you. You stated that if something was proved people would believe it.

        Actually, David I wrote this:

        Aside from the fact there has never been any form of verifiable evidence for any gods, it is perfectly reasonable to expect that an omnipotent deity would have no trouble at all convincing all the non-believers of his existence in an instant. Whether worship followed after this is a matter of individual choice, but at least denial of existence would have been removed from the argument.

        …you clearly know nothing about Christian publishing –

        Well, as I am atheist , it is unlikely I would, don’t you think?
        And as the royalties are, unfortunately, such a pittance, it would hardly be much of a hardship for you to at least offer just one piece of verifiable evidence I could heck, surely?

        Like

      10. The evidence for Jesus is, as Dawkins says about the evidence for evolution, – cumulative – climbing Mount Improbable. I have gone to the bother of producing two books on the evidence for Christianity and Jesus…you are welcome to read them!

        Like

      11. From what I can gather by reading the reviews there seems to be a large difference of opinion in this regard.
        And the question I asked was for you to please offer a single piece of verifiable evidence for Yahweh – your god, not Jesus. The historicity of Jesus’ existence is not being questioned in our discussion.

        Like

      12. But the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth is also claimed to be Yahweh – and we all know – certainly a professional theologian such as yourself – the history behind Yahweh. So I am afraid the answer is, no, there is absolutely no verifiable evidence for the divinity of the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth being the christian god. None whatsoever.
        Sorry, David, all you have is the bible, and faith.

        Like

      13. Again – too many presumptions and presuppositions on your part. Have you ever noticed how those who demand evidence never seem to provide evidence for their own assertions? As I said – I’ve provided two books of evidence. We believe because of what we see, not because of what we do not see. As for faith – you seem to have an incredible faith in your own abilities! Any evidence?

        Like

      14. Again – too many presumptions and presuppositions on your part.

        Narrow it down to two or three and I’ll do my level best to answer them for you.

        Have you ever noticed how those who demand evidence never seem to provide evidence for their own assertions?

        Any that bother you in particular? Name it/them and I will answer, of this you have my word.

        We believe because of what we see, not because of what we do not see.

        If you are referring to verifiable evidence then please can you be specific.

        As for faith – you seem to have an incredible faith in your own abilities! Any evidence?

        Faith only in the sense of what I trust myself being able to do, based on evidence. Which of my abilities are you referring to, David?

        Like

      15. As I now say for the umpteenth time – I have written two full books of evidence. Feel free to read them. I’m not going to type them all out for you! Yes you do have enormous faith in your own abilities to make sense of and analyse the evidence. You also trust yourself…all I’m asking is if you have any reason for your faith or any evidence!

        Like

      16. Trust not faith in my abilities, David. And trust based on evidence
        I afford no faith regarding things unknown or unseen.
        What other reasons are there?
        And if you still insist on applying the word faith to me then the most we could concede is simply in a cultural or colloquial sense.
        It would be foolish for me to say I have faith that Liverpool will win the league this year, or even to make such a statement regarding Champions League.
        The latter is a possibility, based on previous evidence,(their form) though how much that will help I am not sure.
        The former is simply wishful thinking – especially as City have already taken the title.
        You have faith based on things unevidenced and unseen – your god for example.

        Twain said it best and I have faith(sic) you know the quote, yes?

        Like

    2. Welcome back Ark,
      Do you really want to know the Triune God of Christianity ? From the totality of your contributions on David’s blog. I suspect not as mostly, not all, they have been vexatious, with a hardness of heart, rather than seeking or searching.
      Among the books that have been mentioned, there are others, such as New Evidence that demands a verdict and He walked among us, both by Josh McDowell: Beyond Opinion and many other books by Ravi Zacharias.
      If you, or anyone, doesn’t want God and a relationship with, in Union with Christ, how can you be chagrined when He accedes to your desire by giving you a life and consequent death and eternity without him?
      Your eyes can only be opened, your ears unblocked, your mind be opened, renewed, your heart softened by and through Holy Spirit.
      I’d suggest reading Ephesians Chapter 1 &2. Why wouldn’t you, or indeed anyone, want all that is written.
      Of course, mockery has been the way down the ages, and if Christ has not been raised and the Holy Spirit poured out there would be no conversion testimonies of lives transformed, of being surprised by joy, peace and love of God.
      I write this from a Bed and Breakfast holiday in Yorkshire Dales and I’m delighted to find a Bible placed by the Gideons. Such a Bible God used from Hospital bedside table, to bring me to him, particularly at the last John 21, after reading the many Gideons suggested Bible readings.
      So, just as the testimony of conversion mentions scripture, I’d also suggest you look to the Bible.
      Again, I don’t have to be prophet, to anticipate reasonably foreseeable responses from you.

      Like

      1. Sadly, Geoff, communication on such blogs is very difficult as David moderates comments – well mine at any rate – and this makes for a very stilted conversation.
        I have a challenge for you, if I may?
        I will consider your arguments a little deeper if you can provide answers for these questions.
        1) What happened to the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth between the approximate ages of 12 and 30 ? Ask a qualified theologian or pastor if you need to.
        2) Fully explain the Trinity (without using the term ”Mystery”) and point to the bible passages that offer divine authority.

        Like

      2. Because I don’t spend my life on the internet! I don’t allow random posting because I was fed up of the internet abuse and spamming. I usually check and approve the posts once a day…and respond to any that I think need to be responded to…

        Like

      3. I really cannot understand why you are so obviously defensive and on the face of it , aggressive?

        Why do consider my posting to be any more ”random” than others who post here?

        Like

      4. My comment is neither defensive or aggressive – I’m just explaining the policy and why posts take some time to appear. Don’t be such a sensitive atheist snowflake! Everyone’s posts are random!

        Like

      5. Ark,
        Not sure where this will be posted in the chain of comments.
        Agreed, format of blog comments, is not one I find conducive to good communication, particularly when I’m all thumbs on my oldish phone.
        Please bear with me, as I’d like to give some semblance of an answer when I return home, later this week, but in the meantime, I’d suggest two popular level books, on the Trinity by Mike Reeves: The Good God: Our Life in Christ. I don’t know whether they have other titles outside the UK.
        Blessings in Christ.

        Like

    3. Ark, the biblical narrative has always been verifiable. In particular the claims of Jesus.
      “Hear what I say, and do, and you will be like,….. Hear what I say and do not do, you will be like…….”
      It’s verifiable!

      Like

  4. David,

    Thank you for sharing Mr. Morgan’s testimony. It brings hope to me for my husband and many family and friends who believe that science holds all the answers and, therefore, cannot believe in God. You are still drawing attention to God!

    Praying on. Isla

    Like

  5. You may be familiar with these words, David.

    8. The Church. I mentioned earlier that there are things in the Church that more than anything else have caused me to doubt. When you see Christians behaving in a way which would shame Satanists, when you see preachers being pompous, hypocritical, money and glory-grabbers, then it is enough to put you off Christianity for life. But I have also seen the other side. I have seen the most beautiful people (some of whom had been quite frankly ugly before their conversion) behave in the most wonderful, inexplicable ways. Inexplicable that is except for the grace and love of God. The Church at its best is glorious, beautiful and one of the best reasons to believe.

    Like

    1. I don’t need to provide you with evidence to support Jesus claim. I am already convinced by it.

      The claim is made by Jesus himself. Not me. And it’s not about historic events.
      And it is for each one to discover for ourselves. You life. My life. Today.

      He set the gauntlet. What will you do about it?

      ‘Hear and do, and you will be like a man who built a house upon rock, …..
      hear and don’t do, you will be like a man who built on sand…….’

      Don’t hide behind the claims of others, or the faults of others, Jesus gives each of us the opportunity to verify what he claims, today. The problem is, too many duck the challenge and try to avoid it, by highlighting where others fall short, or disputing the past.

      That won’t alter his claim. Verify it for yourself.

      Like

  6. Hi Ark,
    it is good to hear from you again and not just because you inadvertently reveal to those of us who thought that Atheist thinking would be more robust, so much about the self-deceptions of desperate unbelief.
    Here are a couple of these self-deceptions, waiting to be gleaned in this correspondance:
    You said:The re-conversion testimony in this post is little different from most conversion stories/testimonies: which seem to be bound up in emotional trauma/guilt of one kind or another. but you say it as though that means you have to dismiss it as valid experience. You see the almost ubiquitous experience of crisis, trauma and guilt as sufficient reason to dismiss testimony rather than something basically human to be investigated. That’s desperation.
    It begers believe that you — who have more than once expressed the desire to direct our reading towards certain books — should come on to an author’s blog demanding that that author cannot present his own books as an answer to your assertion.
    You said: there is absolutely no verifiable evidence for the divinity of the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth being the christian god. None whatsoever. Sorry, David, all you have is the bible, and faith. Since you don’t believe in God, all you can mean by that is that there is no verifiable evidence that the early Christians believed Jesus to be God. You will argue that that is not what you meant but I don’t think it’s unkind to say that you should — if you can — ask questions that actually present a challenge. It is desperate unbelief to insist on one verifiable piece of evidence when any fool knows that the word ‘verifiable’ can be made so restrictive that nothing can be established as the truth. Of course this is much harder to do with the cumulative argument of a book.

    However, let me offer you a bone, so to speak. You know that it is verifiable beyond reasonable doubt that early Christians believed Jesus to be God. It is also evident that this belief spread because of accepted testimony about the Resurrection. Now the possibility that some conspirators could have concocted all the putative eyewitness stories late on in the second Century for whatever purpose means that the New Testament documents are capable of falsification. Falsifiability means that something is open to be proved false, so one black swan found and the knowledge that all swans are white was proved false. So, go ahead, demonstrate to be false what can be so demonstrated about the Resurrection testimony. If the putative eyewitnesses really did encounter the Risen Christ then you have to take their testimony seriously, so demonstrate why nobody needs to do that. The catch is, of course, that should you find any reason why the New Testament accounts were not based on what the authors believed to be ungainsayable eyewitness testimony, you then have to explain why generations of readers have staked their lives on those accounts. It’s a very ill-founded article of faith to dismiss us all as idiots, but perhaps you know a trap?

    There are books of course

    Yours,
    John/.

    Like

    1. Hi John.

      The re-conversion testimony in this post is little different from most conversion stories/testimonies: which seem to be bound up in emotional trauma/guilt of one kind or another.

      I merely point out that so many conversion stories ( that I have encountered) seem to follow a well worn path.
      And of course, we are talking conversion to Christianity. It would seem ridiculous to have explain the reason why such folk do not, in the main , convert to Islam or Hindu.
      You don’t need me to explain why I hope?

      Besides, much of what I write about I glean from those former Christians who went through the deconversion process.
      I can offer links to several testimonies right here in blogland if you are interested?
      You could always read some of the testimonies on the Clergy Project website if you want to check for yourself?

      You know that it is verifiable beyond reasonable doubt that early Christians believed Jesus to be God.

      They did? How early? How many? What evidence s there for this statement?

      … were not based on what the authors …

      Do you think it might be prudent to identify these authors first? Especially in light of the fact the gospels contain interpolation, (forgery) and much of what came after the Gospel of Mark is simply the same story just fleshed out? Matthew, for example, contains 600 verses that were lifted – some almost verbatim – from Mark. ( you know this of course, I am sure)

      It’s a very ill-founded article of faith to dismiss us all as idiots, but perhaps you know a trap?

      I haven’t got around to calling you all idiots yet. I think it only fair you give me a decent chance to do so, John, don’t you?

      Like

      1. Thanks for the reply, Ark,
        and thanks for taking the falsification suggestion seriously.
        Actually, I’m ready to throw prudence to the wind here. You can start with whatever assumptions you like. Assume that the documents are as late as you like; have been rehashed and copied badly by incompetents; and even that they are totally fictional. Assume that the authors were committees writing under pseudonames; assume that they were mere plagerists; and assume that they made things up to cover the gaps in their knowledge of what ‘obviously’ never happened anyway. It’s falsification that we’re interested in, so finding a fault ought to be much easier if the documents are themselves false.
        Here’s the challenge: That the New Testament accounts were based on what the authors believed to be ungainsayable eyewitness testimony is a falsifiable notion. So go ahead if you dare.

        I nearly forgot. You asked for evidence that the early church believed that Jesus is God. Estimate them to be as few as you like and place the composition of Romans as late as you like, Rom. 10:9 is evidence: ‘because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.’

        Yours,
        John/.

        Like

      2. The New Testament accounts were based on what the authors believed to be ungainsayable eyewitness testimony

        Were they? How do you know this for a fact?

        Yes, thank you for illustrating the point perfectly. Your quote from Romans indicates two characters , Jesus and God (Yahweh).

        There are several Christian sects that believe the same thing.
        Some may have believed the character was divine. None thought he was Yahweh.

        Like

      3. The point about it being falsifiable, Ark,
        is that we have the right to hold it as fact until you or anyone else shows it to be false. You can decline the challenge for it would after all involve a bit of work and — you will have noted — I am arrogantly confident that you will not find a shred of evidence that the New Testament accounts were not based on what the authors believed to be ungainsayable eyewitness testimony.

        Of course, your dismissal of the Rom. 10:9 evidence does call into question your competence to spot falsification’s proverbial black swan. If Christians now appreciate the paradox — I don’t say that we can comprehend it — then there is no reason to think that they didn’t appreciate it then.
        {‘Jesus’ = ‘Joshua’ = ‘YHWH saves’} is {‘Lord’ = YHWH.}
        {‘God’ = ‘YHWH’} has raised {‘him’ = ‘Jesus’} from the dead.

        Yours,
        John/.

        Like

      4. Actually the point is, John, that YOU stated:
        The New Testament accounts were based on what the authors believed to be ungainsayable eyewitness testimony

        You have to demonstrate that this is what they believed and not what you say they believed.

        No, my dismissal is based on a) the simplest of readings of the verse., of which it is obvious there are two characters in play – Jesus and Yahweh and b) the fact that at least one christian sect – the Christadelphians – believe this also.

        Like

      5. Fair enough, Ark,
        But thank you for repeating my outrageous claim once more: The New Testament accounts were based on what the authors believed to be ungainsayable eyewitness testimony
        Someone who wonders at you shying away from trying to falsify it might have a go; convince themself of the simple veracity of the claim; and be converted. That is — IMHO — far more likely than that someone will stop me here in Liverpool and ask me what I mean, much as I’d love that to happen.

        —0—

        Rom. 10:9 ‘because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.’

        I’d have to argue with you that what you are imposing onto the text is a simplistic (and deliberate) misreading rather than the simple reading. But that is only so that you might escape Peter’s condemnation:

        2 Pet. 3:15f. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

        But there again, if the cap fits, wear it.

        Yours,
        John/.

        Like

      6. @John
        I really wonder why you have to continue with this asinine approach?
        Be that as i
        t may ….

        As 2 Peter is psudeoepigraphical – fraud if you prefer, then there is no reason to consider such a text and one wonders why a fraudulent piece of writing would be used other than a desire to con others.

        which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

        As you seem to enjoy quoting fallacious text then, as you noted … if the cap fits.

        Ark

        Like

      7. I can tell you why I have continued with my asinine approach, Ark:

        1. (This is the facetious answer but I wonder if it’s just serendipity. Anyway I’ve put it first to get it out of the way) Because an asinine answer is sometimes the last answer a person gets: [2 Pet. 2:15f.] Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
        2. Because I was asked to write down the names of three friends and pray about getting an opportunity to testify to them and your name was one I immediately settled on. You are an answer to prayer, Ark.
        3. Because it was appropriate, when saying that your reading of Rom. 10:9 was simplistic, to point out that an independent witness from antiquity thought that There are some things in [Paul’s letters] that are hard to understand. I wanted say that yours would not have been the simple reading of the text for a Greek-speaking Jew living in Rome and I wanted to do so, ‘so that you might escape Peter’s condemnation’ should you choose to do so.
        4. Because you continually walk into traps that have not been intentionally set for you. You fulminate against my quoting 2 Peter: pseudepigraphical – fraud – falacious – a con. However this is an admission that Paul’s writings (or Romans, at least) have a greater authority than I would have thought you’d have been prepared to grant them. That’s one ‘fortified village’ you won’t get back.
        5. Because I know that you have online friends who admire your bating of Christians and I think you want them to see you wipe the floor with an ‘ass’. As I say, I thought Atheists would have better arguments but if I can get you to pass on the actual words of Rom. 10:9 for example, even in mockery then that is a cause for rejoicing in my book. [cf. Phil. 1:15-18].
        6. Because I don’t think it is asinine, just as I don’t think 2 Peter is pseudepigraphal and there is no reason why I’d want to con you.
        7. I don’t get out much.

        Sorry if I seemed to be forcing Peter’s cap onto your head. I have no desire to label you as either ignorant or unstable I wanted you to consider whether your reading of Rom. 10:9 was not after all, the straightforward reading, despite what Christadelphians may think.

        Yours,
        John/.

        Like

      8. Good grief!
        Well, in my experience one always knows when a fundamentalist is beginning to slip into the Indoctrinated Mode and kick the (barely) honest mode into the ditch – reams of scripture laced text/ scripture.

        Give one good reason why you would honestly think I should wade through all that?

        Why don’t you back it up a but, buddy, stop the grandstanding ( you’re not very good at it John) and think a little?

        Like

      9. Ark – I have been very patient with you but I think you are about done….if you refuse to engage with people and just resort to mockery and abuse you can do and do that on your own blog. You seem to have a habit of making assertions and not being able to back them up with any evidence. John has been very patient and through with you and yet you don’t seem to have the intellectual capacity to engage with him…so don’t.

        Like

      10. A short comment! How nice.
        Now, do you have anything really worthwhile you would like to discuss?
        I am at least trying to answer your last comment regarding the veracity of the gospels. Perhaps we should condense comments to one thread , say this one?
        I am going to assume for the moment that David will allow me to comment as he had tacitly suggested he might not allow me.

        Would you prefer I answer solely on this thread?

        Like

      11. Substantially, yes, Ark,
        I believe that Moses ought to be honoured as author of the Pentateuch.

        Yours,
        John/.

        Like

      12. Regarding my ”deliberate” misreading …
        You will recognise this, I am sure?

        Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my
        Father.”

        Like

      13. Yes, Ark,
        I really messed up in my efforts to avoid accusing you of ignorance and/or instability and you have run with it quite a bit. I’ll say it again, I’m sorry.

        And again, you’re right: the correct thing to have done would have been to give other examples of short-statement paradox in the NT to show that paradox was a familiar and appreciated way of making a point, even among hoi polloi.
        The text you quote [Matt. 20:23] could be on that list and what I believe you are putting forward as a paradox is fully thought out, indeed, fought out in John 10:22-39. Yes, I’m familiar with ‘Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”’ but if the point you’re making isn’t dealt with in John 10 (particularly in v. 30) you’ll have to be more explicit.

        Further to my embarrassment, I messed up the punctuation when I inserted ‘deliberate’ before ‘misreading’. What I meant to write was ‘deliberate(?)’. I hope that helps.

        In amelioration, let me return to Rom. 10:9 — ‘because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.’ — to make two further points about what is the simple reading.

        1. Because parononomasia is a somewhat despised thing in English — we even define it as ‘a play on words’ ‘a pun’ — we are liable to miss its serious use, particularly in Hebrew and Aramaic. Given that we are reading an English translation of a Greek text — not to mention that ‘Lord’ refers to the Massoretic practice of writing the vowels of the Hebrew word for ‘lord’ under YWHW — the implication that Jesus is his name is rather lost to us in translation, or if you like, we don’t get the joke.

        2. The ‘two characters’ paradox — to incorporate your expression — is only the supporting act in the drama. What is truly paradoxical is to require both confession with the mouth — a relatively easy thing to do — and the impossible belief in one’s heart. Which brings us back to Richard Morgan’s testimony!

        Yours,
        John/.

        Like

      14. There is no deliberate misreading, with or without the question mark.
        The notion of the Triune god is entirely a church construct.
        And if no theologian or any other Christian has ever explained it without simply inserting ”mystery” into the equation then I feel fairly confident that you aren’t able to either.

        That there are such Christian sects as the Christadelphian is one of the reasons the correct interpretation is the one you claim I misread.
        We could also cite the Cathars and the Crusade specifically organised to annihilate them.

        Anything else you’d like to offer?

        By the way ,out of curiosity, what is your thesis is about?
        And what was t that caused you to become a Christian in the first place?
        Were you raised Christian or did you convert for some reason along the way?

        Like

      15. My thesis title, Ark,
        was The Doctrine of Adoption in the Writings of Thomas Boston. I gave you my childhood conversion story some time ago and you quipped that it sounded like a good example of child abuse!

        I have no intention of trying to explain the ineffable to you or to anyone else, Ark, but I am impressed by the way the OT is full of what might be called Trinitarian expressions; e.g. Ex. 34:6.

        Yours,
        John/.

        Like

      16. I gave you my childhood conversion story some time ago and you quipped that it sounded like a good example of child abuse!

        Where? I do not remember. Memory going out the window these days.

        There is nowhere in the bible the Trinity is mentioned.
        That is simply the voice of the indoctrinated speaking.

        Like

      17. You are at it again…making statements without evidence and then congratulating yourself on your own statements! The Trinity is mentioned several times in the Bible. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirt.

        Like

      18. If there is no doubt the Trinity is included in the bible why do you think it had to be written into church law and why do you think that, even today, there are a number of christian sects that are non-Trinitarian?

        Do you think you could provide an answer that was not apologetic and not filled with ginormous hubris for a change?

        Like

      19. Again not the most logical or knowledable approach. Where is the Trinity written into Church law? if you mean the creeds – then they disprove your point because they are written to summarise basic biblical teaching. As for ‘Christian sects’ who deny the Trinity – they are not in any sense of the word Christian, because they do not follow the Christ who is God.

        Like

      20. Ah .. semantics!
        I love it when the religious are forced to split hairs and nit-pit.
        The Inquisition used to behave in a similar matter so I understand.

        As for ‘Christian sects’ who deny the Trinity – they are not in any sense of the word Christian, because they do not follow the Christ who is God.

        Yes … so you say. And it must be so because ”it is written” to paraphrase Life of Brian.”

        And how long did it take before they resolved this particular church crisis?
        (well, it has never been fully resolved, of course, but you know what I mean)

        Like

      21. The meaning of words is not ‘semantics’. Its the truth. Have you noticed how whenever your accusations are shown to be baseless you change the meaning and then resort to insult?

        The question of the Trinity was resolved with Jesus and the Apostles and reaffirmed in the Apostles, Nicean and Athanasian creeds.

        Like

      22. Bit of history for you, David …
        Lest you forget.

        History testifies that up until the latter part of the fourth century, the preponderant belief of the true followers was not in a Triune God but in what is generally now termed as Arianism. It was only when a Roman Emperor issued a series of edicts enforced by threats and punishment that Trinitarianism began to take hold within Christianity. The migration from Arianism to Trinitarianism took time and ultimately resulted in the extinction of three kingdoms before it was established.

        And of course you are familiar with what happened to the Cathars as well, yes?
        Need a link?

        I thought they taught you these things?

        Like

      23. Oh dear – another ‘cut ‘n’ paste’ quote about something you know little about. Just a wee hint to help you – because its written on the internet doesn’t make it true!

        What do the Cathars (12th-14th Century) have to do with the Trinity in the early church?).

        History does not testify anything of the sort re Arianism. Arianism came into being at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th century (when the church had been going for 250 years) – the clue is in the name. The priest Arius brought this heresy into the church and he was remarkably successful (heresies often thrive within the Church but the pure Gospel always eventually gets through).

        I think to be honest Ark – you are becoming really boring so your posts will be limited – until you actually provide some evidence and make some sense. Rant away to your hearts content on your own blog…My time is done.

        Like

      24. I meant to add, do you truly believe that what Theodosius laid out after Constantinople, and the sweeping edicts that followed was merely a ”summary”?

        You’re kidding, right?

        Like

      25. A little knowledge (especially gleaned from Google) is a dangerous thing. Neither the Christian church nor the Trinity came into being with the reign of one Roman emperor. The trinity was a standard belief of the church (see the NT and the Apostles creed) from the beginning.

        Like

      26. It was back in November, Ark:

        Arkenaten
        November 22, 2017 at 4:52 pm

        I take it that you are referencing Hugo Chávez on the subject of the greatest genocide, Ark,

        I was referring to the genocide of the Native Americans in the USA.

        On your ”salvation” (sic)

        Yep, as good an example of religious child abuse as one is likely to hear.

        (Sorry, I don’t know how to do a quote in WordPress-speak)

        Yours,
        John/.

        Like

      27. Re : Falsifiable.
        It has been demonstrated that YEC is impossible, yet plenty of your fellow Christians believe it.
        I read a couple of blogs whose authors are convinced dinosaurs existed with humans.
        Maybe you know a few of these rather strange pathetic people as well?
        So proving something to Christians is never a guarantee they will accept the truth in any case.
        I once had a professional Pastor named Christopher tell me he had seen a video of archaeological evidence that there were chariot wheels on the bottom of the Red Sea, thus proving that Moses had to have been real! I’m serious, a Pastor, for goodness sake!
        When I informed him the archaeologist was none other than the late Ron Wyatt, he didn’t even know who this was!
        You see, John, if your best argument is to try to point-score using clever arguments then this is all you will ever have – clever arguments.

        Why not simply provide the evidence of all your claims and clear up any misunderstanding?

        How hard could this be?

        Like

      28. Points scoring, Ark?
        Listen to yourself:
        ‘these rather strange pathetic people’
        ‘a professional Pastor named Christopher’
        ‘he didn’t even know who [Ron Wyatt] was!’
        Forgive me while I paraphrase your platitude and direct it back at you:
        You see, [Ark], if your best argument is to try to point-score using [ad hominem diversions] then this is all you will ever have –[red herrings at the bottom of the Red Sea].

        Suppose you focus on the challenge of this rather strange pathetic person while replying to it? How hard could that be?

        (Your charge that proving something to Christians is never a guarantee they will accept the truth in any case is a valid point and a far better reason for declining the challenge that your rather tiresome diversions. In which case: read the book, please.)

        Yours,
        John/.

        Like

      29. Something was niggling me about the falsifiability thing so I’ve just re-read this part of the exchange and the only area I can see where I actually introduced the term was on another thread and science was included in the post/comment.
        You introduced it with regard the resurrection I believe?
        I stand to be corrected here, so be my guest.
        Why you seem intent on this somewhat smug Gotcha move – as is obvious to any who are reading along – strikes me as odd.
        With regard the gospel texts, I can only work with what the best scholars have deduced from studying them.
        I rely on those who do that sort of thing for a living and distill as much fact as I’m able from the evidence.
        I am sure I don’t need to trot out all the well worn conclusions regarding forgery and interpolation etc etc do I?

        So, in truth, the gospels could just as easily be complete works of fiction as anything else.
        After all, the Pentateuch is nothing more than historical fiction as I am sure you know full well.
        In your pursuit of truth why don’t you ditch the faith angle and all the supernatural I-am-a-sinner nonsense and conduct some hard-core historical study?
        Put your obvious intelligence to some genuine and meaningful purpose in this arena, rather than trying to sell some sort of metaphysical panacea by guilt tripping yourself and others?

        Just a thought

        Ark.

        Like

      30. You’re quite right, Ark,
        you didn’t come up with falsification. I did. You’re also quite right to link it to science because I don’t suppose any of us would have heard about falsification if it hadn’t been for The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

        I apologise for being smug — if that’s what it is — but if I am, it’s because I’ve got you talking about Scripture. Believe me; that’s not an easy thing to do.

        You claim: I can only work with what the best scholars have deduced from studying [the gospel texts]; which is incredibly fastidious of you. But go ahead; nobody is preventing you from consulting the academy. Moreover, if the gospels are complete works of fiction it should be easy to find the fictionality out. All you are being asked to do is to attempt to falsify a statement deliberately concocted to be falsifiable.

        Thank you for the compliment about my intelligence and the advice about historical research. My master’s thesis is unpublished but available from TREN. I was quite genuine and purposeful in writing it and though I doubt whether you’d deem it hardcore, it was, at least, historical.

        Yours,
        John/.

        Like

  7. Interesting debate, although perhaps a bit too personal at times. Depends what you mean by ‘verifiable’. If you mean absolutely solid *objective* proof, then no, we cannot prove God’s existence. But in science ‘evidence’ is very rarely equated with absolute proof. In terms of evidence, there are a lot of data that support the idea of deliberate design. Not in biology admittedly, but in the physical sciences; above all in the ‘fine tuning’, which against all probability allowed life to come into being and to evolve, on our planet and perhaps on others. The existence of God is a logical explanation for that evidence. Nothing else explains it. Many atheists believe in ‘M’ Theory, some even get misty-eyed about it, although there is not the slightest verifiable evidence to support it. Many atheists believe in multiple universes, although there is not the slightest verifiable evidence to support them. We all believe things that we cannot ‘prove’.

    Like

    1. In terms of evidence, there are a lot of data that support the idea of deliberate design.

      Nope, not according to secular science there isn’t.

      but in the physical sciences; above all in the ‘fine tuning’, which against all probability allowed life to come into being and to evolve, on our planet and perhaps on others.

      Again, no. Only theist/christian cosmologists adopt this view as far as I am aware.

      We all believe things that we cannot ‘prove’.

      Possibly. But scientific claims are eventually subject to falsification are they not? Those that pass muster are accepted as fact. Such as evolution
      The guardians of religion generally are unhappy to follow similar methodology. Hence the command to have faith, as who can ‘test’ supernatural claims?
      And yet, even where certain aspects of all religions have been shown to be nonsense, YEC is a good Christian example, global floods and floating wooden boats – or flying horses if you want an Islamic one, the guardians and proponents of such texts will sometimes defend their relevance, often to the death.

      Rather silly of them, don’t you agree?

      Like

  8. Ark,
    Thanks for providing the evidence that was clearly foreseeable, in your impressive lack of full engagement with John. You have some serious avoidance issues in your life, to deal with.
    1 You clearly have not read:” He walked among us ” By Josh McDowell and Brian Wilson, that answers your diverging scattergun questions.
    It is freely downloadable as a PDF here:
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/jmm.us/Books-Downloadable/He+Walked+Among+Us.pdf
    At over 370 pages it may be to much for you.
    1.1 Jesus as Yahweh is answered. The “I am” sayings of Jesus are significant and substantial, but there is more.
    1.2 Origins of scripture including the NT and reliability.
    1. 3 Trinity is referred to
    2 You do not seem to grasp that the Court System , Justice system in England and Wales operates largely without science, what people has seen and heard. It has laws and rules of evidence based on reliability, including law on eyewitness.
    3 Trinity explanation. Once again, I refer you to Mike Reeves books, which you may be able to understand
    4 Pentateuch:
    4.1New Evidence that Demands a Verdict (over 900 pages) deal substantially with authorship and more.
    4.2 Deeper than that, the Pentateuch is all about Jesus, “Moses wrote about me”, as is the whole of the OT (Jesus on road to Emmaus)
    5 No mention of the life of Jesus between the ages of 12 -30. So what? What is your question/point?
    The Gospels are Gospels, not a family photo album.
    But this may enlighten you over the significance of the age of Jesus at 30.
    5.1 Priest begin their ministry at the age of 30
    5.2 The baptism of Jesus is in effect a prophetic initiation, linked more particularly with the initiation of Ezekiel at the age of 30
    Jesus fulfils all of the OT themes, systems and offices, prophet, priest and king, temple, God’s presence, exoduses from death to life and so, so much more.
    6 The Dawkins, atheist trope about Christians, is unsettled and wrong-footed by adult converts to Christ, which seems to stick in your craw, and brings you onto this site, hooked by the title of of this particular blog post by David.
    7. There is a story about an exchange between a Law Lord (LL)in Court and a QC . LL, “how long do we have to hear from you Mr X?” QC, “If it please you my Lord, I have one pearl remaining.” (Alluding to the throwing of pearls to…)
    8. Here is the remaining pearl, same as ealier one. I repeat the first comment made to you and ask rhetorically, why wouldn’t you want what written in Ephesians 1-2?
    9. I do appreciate your visits here, as they strengthen faith in and worship of Jesus Christ. And you may be able to take some credit, as the totality of your contributions may have some significant causal effect, in turning someone to Christ, echoing the original testimony of Richard Morgan, as you join as an inheritor of mockers down the ages, on the wrong side of history.
    10 Now is the time, however, for me to draw a line under this exchange, to take the advice of Jesus, to shake the dust from my feet.
    Bye, bye
    He has risen. Christ has risen indeed
    Not sure if this has been sent, due to world time lines. But if it has, apologies for the duplication, David, though you delete, one or both.

    Like

    1. Geoff
      I will try to answer each of your points as best as I am able and will assume that David allows the comment through moderation. ~

      1. I have read enough fundamentalist Christians to have a pretty good understanding of their approach to the complete lack of verifiable evidence and while not having read McDowell’s book/s I have certainly read excerpts and reviews of his work featured on several other blogs I read that tells me he has yet to produce a single scrap of relevant verifiable evidence, and he offers nothing but apologetic arguments. And please understand, an argument, no matter how cleverly constructed is not evidence.
      From what I gather McDowell’s writes much in a similar vein as Strobel and Wallace and such like.
      At 370 pages this actually slots right into my wheelhouse as I love reading fantasy novels of such length and longer. But I suspect authors such as Donaldson and Piers Anthony would oust McDowell if I was forced to make a choice. Sorry. Although your not quite thinly veiled sarcasm was duly noted and I did have a little wry smile. Thanks.

      Reading through the rest of your comment however, it appears that you fit into the fundamentalist category I have mentioned in 1. Therefore, discussing all your other points might be a tad difficult under the circumstances.
      I hope you don’t have too much trouble with the dust on your feet. If you live in the UK then perhaps a chemist such as Boots may have some decent foot powder?

      In parting – for now- I would ask: are you a biblical literalist? Insofar as you consider the Pentateuch to be history?
      To be more succinct do you believe Noah and Moses to have been actual historical figures and their stories to be actual historical events?
      Regards
      Ark.

      Like

  9. Actually I will respond to this

    5 No mention of the life of Jesus between the ages of 12 -30. So what? What is your question/point?

    If Jesus was born a god then why do you think no one recognized him,( or so it seems) yet the Baptists mum was aware as were the three kings and the shepherds and Herod also heard. This presupposes that a great many people knew of the coming of the lord and we can be pretty sure most knew where Nazareth was and most certainly those that lived there and quite likely many of those just 6 kms up the road in Sephoris.
    Certainly, even if he and his immediate family managed to go unnoticed upon their supposed return from Egypt the rest of the family would have known the tale and that God had returned and was in their midst as would the rest of the village.
    What’s your take on this apparent anomaly, Geoff?

    Like

    1. No anomaly, Ark,
      it always was a secret even when on full view and still is:
      [1 Cor. 2:7f.] But we impart a secret and hidden wisdon of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.
      Yours,
      John/.

      Like

      1. Sorry, John, quoting scripture in this way holds no water.
        And as I mentioned, there were plenty of people who knew he was supposed to be the new messiah.
        To now suggest there was an almighty memory lapse is disingenuous.

        Like

  10. Yes, Ark,
    to suggest that there was a memory lapse would have been disingenuous. What I actually said was that there is no anomaly. Be that as it may and strange as it may seem I do have a day job that has just taken me into looking at the early of chapters of Matthew and Luke so forgive me if I miss out lots of relevant details; I’m now trying to deal with your ‘plenty of people knew’ jibe in short but fair order.
    Bethlehem: Yes, it was known that a special child had been born to a couple of strangers in the town, because two sets of ‘watchers’ made it known: the shepherds locally and the wise men from the east in Jerusalem. Herod seems to have believed that his atrocious act of mass infanticide had successfully eliminated the infant Jesus because his son — Herod the Tetrarch — didn’t even consider the messianic possibility when wondering who Jesus was.
    Nazareth: Yes it was a tiny place in those days and all the relatives seem to have lived there at first. As far as we can tell from the archeology, Nazareth was a new town and not named after any previous use of the site. Now, given the Jewish habit of going up to Jerusalem en masse three times a year, it is inconceivable that news of the Bethlehem massacre would not have reached Galilee, so no wonder if as little fuss as possible was made over a couple of returnees from exile and their young son. They knew that any member of the Herod family was capable of atrocity.
    Jerusalem: Always, the most probable place for a premature exposure of Jesus as Messiah was in Jerusalem. We are told what happened when Jesus was inadvertently left in Jerusalem after a feast day and his parents frantically sought for him for three days. We might complain bitterly about the silencing of women in antiquity but we can well imagine what happened when a distraught mother spoke up in a place where women were barely tolerated to be seen and certainly not heard. It certainly wouldn’t have been publicised.
    The Gospel is not just that Jesus is Lord. If you would be saved you must indeed confess Jesus as Lord but also, believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead. There was a great deal of obedience to be learned before Jesus was crucified.

    Yours,
    John/.

    Like

  11. David (Robertson) ,
    Thanks! You’re too kind! Had to laugh a smidgen, inappropriately, really. Who knows… maybe …perhaps …the gestation of patience, the nearness of distance?

    Like

  12. What has Dawkins actually done, besides sling sh*t at religion? I mean, what positive things has he actually contributed?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.