Evidence and Faith

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An outstanding post on religion and evidence over at Roger Pearse’s blog, titled “Diversity of teaching and early Christianity”

Towards the end (well worth reading up to!) is this great line that I thought had a much broader area of application.

We can choose to ignore the evidence, but it is still there. Even if we do ignore the evidence, it is reasonably obvious that Jesus did not teach at one time that there was 1 god, at another that there were 30, at another that there were 365; and that there is not the slightest evidence that he did. It is, in a Jewish context, quite inconceivable. So why on earth are we treating the dafter claims of people who never knew him as in some way equivalent to the testimony of those who did?

(Click through to find out why I chose that image.)

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4 Comments

  1. Foxfier: I went to the site and read the blog. Very good! I was reminded of the great book by Dr. Brant Pitre, “The Case for Jesus,” in which he demolished the revisionist, grayed out, watered down portrayal of Jesus as just an advanced human being and good moral teacher. “The Case for Jesus” is one of my top five books of all time. I certainly haven’t read as widely as many in the TAC family but the book was terrific – I’ve read it four times, given it to family members, my daughter read it in two days and said she couldn’t put it down and was astounded by what she learned. This blog is in the same category of excellence…thanks for highlighting it!

  2. Ah, Bart Ehrman strikes again! A colleague of Dr. Pitre, Dr. John Bergsma, recently had this to say about the world’s biggest celebrity atheist Bible scholar:

    “Ehrman grew up in a conservative Christian environment and went to Moody Bible Institute, a bastion of traditional American Protestantism, whose approach to the Bible is a strong but inflexible combination of … the “Bible Alone” … as the source for faith and life; the divine inspiration of the words of Scripture; and a literalistic approach to interpretation. Ehrman … graduated from Moody to go on for a doctorate in Scripture at a major university. There while studying the ancient handwritten copies of Scripture … Ehrman encountered the messy side of biblical studies, like the fact that ancient scribes made errors and sometimes intentional changes to the texts. How could one trust the Bible if scribes sometimes made mistakes[?] Ehrman’s brittle approach to Scripture shattered under the pressure and he gave up on the faith altogether. [….] Since divesting himself of his faith, he’s made a name for himself —and doubtless a good bit of profit, too—writing popular books that undermine Christian faith in the Bible by pointing out apparent errors and inconsistencies.

    Which brings us to: “If you were [an ancient] philosopher, you earned your living by making a name for yourself, and then attracting paying pupils. You taught your distinctive teaching to them. That was how you made money.”

    The more things change….

    Thanks for introducing me to Pearce’s blog. I see his previous post takes a swipe at another nuisance.

  3. Bart Ehrman became an agnostic/atheist about the same time he got a divorce and probably realized that being a believing Christian would be a drag on his career in academia. I am sure that he would vigorously deny that either played any role in his putting aside of his Christianity, but it was all quite convenient for him. Believing Christian writes books on Bible! Yawn! Ex-Christian exposes the fraud that is the Bible! Bestseller!

    Let me hasten to add that I doubt if any of this was done cynically. Mr. Erhrman is merely one of myriads who find ways to make their beliefs conform to their life, rather than the other way around.

  4. Really is an enjoyable info-blog– SuburbanBanshee pointed me to him years ago, he does a lot of Mithras stuff. (the actual research, not the AncientAliens type stuff)


    Donald– yeah, social re-enforcement. You feel like crud, you question things, you get encouraged by those who are still around you, so you internally accept it as ‘good’ and go further.

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