Community as Author

My argument "Community as author" postulates that if we don;t know the individual authors of the gospels we can still look to the communities that produced the gospels as the authors because they contained not only the actual authors/redactors but many eye witnesses, to the events of Jesus' life. That involves a discussion of the role or oral tradition in the making of the gospels because it was oral tradition that persevered the testimony of the  eye witnesses in the gap between the events and the writing of the gospels. Modern liberal theology has given the name "form criticism" to this discussion.

Form criticism is a philosophy and methodology of Biblical criticism, "Criticism" in relation to the Bible does not mean talking about how bad the Bible is (too long and hard to understand) but refers to a means of analysis in a systematic sense. Form criticism seeks to analyze the historical development of the New Testament by understanding the forms in w…

The Enemies Within: The Chatterboxers

My focus today is on people who have conversations with God. I allude there to a fad author of some years back named Neale Donald Walsch, who sold millions of copies of books in which he recorded his alleged interactions with divinity. Walsch was a New Age sort of crank, but Christians have cranks of similar tendencies among their own ranks. 

The variations within the ranks are legion. They range from the sublime (Charles Stanley saying that some vague "inner rustling" told him to not hire someone) to the ridiculous (Joyce Meyer saying that God told her to make fruit salad for her husband, smile in the shower, and keep her eyes open during sex). However, they all have this in common: They boldly claim to hear from God without any sort of evidence. Deuteronomy had some strict tests for those who claimed to hear God's voice. The penalty for being wrong was a shower of stones. I have asked whether Meyer would be so quick to claim God was giving her such messages if it meant …

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I am defending my experience argument against atheist philosopher Eric Sotnak

Examining Thomas Brodie's Myther Arguments

The last time I argued about the Jesus myth Idea I was told that there is now a serious renowned Bible Scholar who supports the Jesus myth idea, his name is Thomas Brodie. I have not been able to obtain his works as yet but I did cone across an article on a blog by someone named Tom Dystra, who argues for Brodie's work[1] .Dystra takes Brodie's side against Bart Ehrman, I will discuss his arguments about Brodie and Ehrman.
Ehrman’s key point was the existence of multiple independent witnesses to the historical Jesus.  He considered Mark, Q, L (Luke’s special material), and M (Matthew’s special material) all to be independent witnesses, and he even cited the Gospel of Thomas and later sources such as Papias, Ignatius, and 1 Clement. Brodie argues that none of these are genuinely independent witnesses.  All of the New Testament sources are actually dependent on Old Testament texts and each other, and later sources are dependent on the New Testament. As for the Gospel of Thomas, d…

The Enemies Within: Jack Chick

If you've been a Christian for any length of time, chances are you know someone for whom a Chick tract was instrumental in their conversion. The little things are everywhere: On bus station benches, inside public restrooms, and handed out on street corners. They are ubiquitous, and as the company's puffery states, they get read. That they do get read (and believed) is also one of the greater tragedies of the modern church.

No, I don't mean what can be extracted from them in terms of the salvation message, though there are countless more reliable and more beneficial sources that could have come from (like, um, the New Testament), and unless you are a very sort of strange Calvinist, you won't think that God could only have moved a person through a Chick tract. Jack Chick, however, once claimed to have been inspired by Chinese Communists who also used cartoon tracts to persuade people. That he thought of this as a good role model is in itself disturbing. He didn't only…