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A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth



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Yesterday I posted a piece about the atheist propaganda machine know as Center for Inquiry, and particular their attempt to create a Jesus project to dispute the existence of Jesus in history. The  plug was pulled on the project by R.l Joseph Hoffmann who started the project. His reason was that the Jesus mythers were taking over and using it as a platform for their propaganda rather than doing real scholarly work. They only went two of their five years. Yet they have been so totally effective the Jesus myth thing has just exploded. It's everywhere where atheist talk. There are some instructive lessons in looking at the Jesus Project. It's a lesson in Propaganda.


from the website of the project, one would think it's still going. The thing was canceled in 2011 and yet not a  hint on the website that it is not still going.

TJP scholars--among the finest on the world-stage--recognize the status and influence of the New Testament as a resource for Christian believers. It is particularly because of that status and influence that the New Testament invites the scrutiny of scholars who can illuminate its background, trace the origins of the movement that brought the documents into existence, and reconstruct the story of its leading figure. [1]

Present tense, they recognize as though they are still in session. They have had more than enough time to take it down or make a note that it quite work. Here's how they justify their propaganda thing:
The Project is also new in opening this investigation to a much wider range of "experts": its scholar associates represent not only professionals in New Testament Studies, but specialists in the social sciences, including archaeology, legal history, intertestamental Judaism, educational studies, Near Eastern studies, philosophy and classics. The Project expresses the growing importance of interdisciplinary studies and the "interdependence of knowledge" in contemporary research. For that reason, TJP emphasizes its character as a scholarly collaboration, a voluntary association of scholar-teachers who believe in the power of conversation and correction. (Ibid)



They are going to open up a wider range of experts, meaning, Propaganda merchants distilling the party line. Note  the Orwellian aspects. As we go down the list we see more and more subtle changes from a scholarly endeavor to shameless propaganda. They do have some real scholars and even believers listed among their fellows. Yet they clearly stacked the deck to have Jesus mythers take over.
The Project will meet, on average, every nine months at academic venues throughout North America and Europe. Its meetings are open to the public, and in all sessions there is opportunity for free and open discussion. CSER, and the TJP, have traditionally maintained that scholarship is a public business--not simply a colloquy of the well-informed--and should be of public benefit. TJP will conduct its business accordingly. Prometheus Books will publish the essays and papers presented at its meetings on a regular basis. (Ibid)


What? Scholarship is not a colloquy of the well informed? Scholarship is not closed to the well informed. So one wonders how they use the term "Scholar" if it doesn't mean well informed. Let's open the seminar up to badly informed people just for the heck of it. Colloqqyy is a word they use in seminary to mean a discussion of scholars. "a gathering for discussion of theological questions." Webster defines it as "a high-level serious discussion :  conference." So we are going to have a high-level discussion with those who are well informed and the ignorant. "Prometheus Books will publish the essays and papers presented at its meetings on a regular basis." Prometheus primarily publishes atheist materials. I tried to get them to publish my book and that's how I found out they don't  publish much that is not of use to atheists. What they really mean is they are making a place for those who have no expertize in Bible and who are committed to Jesus mytherism. That's so people like Carrier who are not teaching at university can be on it.

fellows

 


Paul Kurtz listed as a fellow. What expertise does he have in Bible? As you might recall from yesterday's post he founded the Center for Inquiry and helped to start the New Atheist movement. He is a philosopher but not a historian or Bible scholar. He's bound to be biased. I am not saying they did not have good scholars. But they stacked the deck with mythers, atheists and people they knew would go there way. Richard Carrier is an obvious example. He has made his career as a professional atheist. His career is riding high on the Jesus myth fad he helped to create.

Center for Inquary lists Roland Boer as a fellow:
Roland Boer previously taught at the University of Sydney, McGill University, the University of New England, the United Theological College, Sydney and the University of Western Sydney. He is the author of the following books: Marxist Criticism of the Bible (2003), Last Stop Before Antarctica: The Bible and Postcolonialism in Australia (2001), Knockin' on Heaven's Door: The Bible and Popular Culture (1999), Novel Histories: The Fiction of Biblical Criticism (1997) and Jameson and Jeroboam (1996).[2]\
Doesn't say what he teaches. Doesn't say What his degrees are let's see if we can figure it out. Here is his blog: Roland Boer's Blog: Marxism, Religion, Politics, Bible, whatever …[3]

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His books are about the villainous church in oppressing the worker.
The economy ancient Israel. Call me reckless I am going to take a wild guess and say "Marxism." He teaches Marxism. I am not red baiting (I hate that) and I'm not saying he's a  Marxist he has to be wrong. But it is very likely he has biases that make him not ideal to be in a project studying the historical Jesus.

The next one takes the prize. This guy is a study in things seeming what they are not. He has impeccable scholarly credentials yet his bias is blatant.Robert M. Price is a real scholar who is also passionately committed atheist. He is a soldier.

"Drew University, a PhD in Systematic Theology (1981) and a second PhD in New Testament (1993). He has served as Professor of Religion at Mount Olive College, North Carolina, pastor of First Baptist Church, Montclair, NJ, and Director of the Metro NY Center for Inquiry."


This book is an exceptionally well-written, informed and witty smack down of Christian attempts to deny the fact of evolution or incorporate it into their faith. The authors show us in this masterful book, the likes of which I have never seen before, that the implications of evolution are devastating for the Bible and the doctrines based on it. Absolutely brilliant!John W. Loftus, author of Why I Became an Atheist and The Outsider

This is why I call Price a soldier, a soldier of atheism. He's got one of the most zealous atheist apologists, Loftus, hawking his books for him. Price is  real scholar and a good one, by both credential and skill but in my view he violates the basic code of the scholar. He is a soldier a combatant for atheism. That will become even more clear shortly. One of his booka:


The Amazing Colossal Apostle the search for the historical Pail

The story of Paul is one of irony, the New Testament depicting him at the martyrdom of Stephen holding the assassins' cloaks……The stories were didactic tales meant to keep us reverent and obedient. As adults reading the New Testament, we catch glimpses of a very different kind of disciple—a wild ascetic whom Tertullian dubbed “the second apostle of Marcion and the apostle of the heretics.” ...Robert M. Price, in this exciting journey of discovery, gives readers the background for a story we thought we knew.
He is merchandizing. You can buy a price T-shirt: Bible Geek Donation Store. "theology with a twist but without the spin" The twist his he hates religion and doesn't believe in God.[4]


bottom left corner of his home page a graphic with Sater looking guy Zerathustra speaks[5]


Zarathustra Speaks
Proclaiming the death of God and the dawn of the Superman
Bulletin of The Sect of Zarathustra (former member, Alliance of Secular Humanist Societies 1999 - 2001)
The Sect of ZarathustraSheep in Wolves’ Clothing
The Great NoonShe's Not Chinese!




Monthly Essays Zarathustra Speaks has since been resurrected as RMP's monthly essay's
available as a free subscription through this Web site.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

one of the essays Mausoleum of God. Accepts ossuaries found in Israel with names of Jesus, Joseph Mary and so on as authenthic with 600/1 odds. Holy Irony meter Batman he thinks if othyer bone box of James is reals it doesn't disprove this one biut disproves Jesus and thye Bible. zin otjer

But then, uh-oh!, this set of ossuaries would seem to prove too much! It would mean that, a la Dan Brown and The Da Vinci Code, Jesus survived or escaped crucifixion, got married, and fathered children—much as happens in Jesus’ dream-escape from the cross in The Last Temptation of Christ. No saving death, no resurrection. Yikes.

But it could just as easily mean the other one is fake, they are both fake, why can't he see that/? Here's the irony, the point of his essay: "Bible is no less victim to death by a thousand speculations than the blind gropings of unaided human reason. Because that’s all any of us have anyway, even if, like Bible preachers, you’d like to pretend otherwise."

Gee really ? Then what are his thousand speculations? They are truth and intellectual honesty like pretending  to be a  unbiased Bible scholar while fighting for atheism and making assertions as stupid as any the fundies make.

He has to admit Jesus existed to claim he has his bones. Ironic that he speaks of intellectual honesty because he doesn't have it. He uses his credentials to destroy faith by asserting that these are definitely Jesus' bones but he doesn't even hint that there is counter evidence. No this is totally a fact there's no getting out of it so Christian scholars are hypocrites. Here is what he does not tell you:

(1) The combo of names Jesus son of Joseph has been found on two other tombs this century,[7]

(2) Caruso said he was 95% sure that the “Lost Tomb” proponents had correctly interpreted the shin (Hebrew letter giving the “sh” sound in Yeshua), but could not be more than 10% certain of anything else other than “Jose 90.[8]

(3) Dr. Pfann said that the name is probably Hanun instead of Jesus. Dr. Pfann is the one who excavated the Nazareth farm. [9]

What does this say for prices honesty? For the scholarship of the Jesus project" of the new atheism. Of Bible Scholars in sheep's clothing? Shades of J.P. Holding but that's the Price of his credulity.

for more on the Orwellian nature of New Atheism see Atheistwatch


[1] Website of Jesus Project, Center for Inquiry, URL:
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/jesusproject  (aacessed) 2/2/2016

[2] Ibid. page lists Boer as Fellow
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/jesusproject/fellows/boer_roland/

[3] Roland Boer, Stalin's Mustache :Marxism, Religion, Politics, Bible, whatever blog
http://stalinsmoustache.org/

If I was J.P.Holding I would say he's a Boer.

[4] rmp, Rpbert Prices Hme Page URL:
http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/ (accessed 2/3/16)

[5] Zerat5hustra speaks, Prices more discrete hard to see website

http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/zara/index.htm

[6] Eobert Price, "Mausoleum of God." Zerathustra Speaks website by Robert Price URL
http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/zara/march__2007.htm  (accessed 2/4/16)

[7] Bauckham, “The Names on the Ossuaries,” 100.

[8] Steve Caruso, “The Jesus Son of Joseph Inscription Part 2,” The Aramaic Blog, March 29, 2007. Available at aramaicdesigns.blogspot.com/2007/03jesus-son-of-joseph-inscription-part-2.html. Accessed January 31, 2013

[9] Gary Habermas, The Secret of the Talpiot Tomb: Unravelling the Mystery of the Jesus Family Tomb (Nashville, TN: Holman Reference, 2007), 39





 

8 comments:

Wow. So much for "free thought," "rational inquiry" and the like. Interesting that they opened up the investigation to a "wider range" of expertise – not just atheist biblical scholars and atheist historians, but atheist philosophers and atheist sociologists. Such diversity! LOL

Kudos to Hoffman for terminating the project and daring to incur the wrath of his fellows.

yea really.

I am an atheist, and Bigfoot is nothing more than a hoax about as supernatural as a garbage can.

A valid argument against SN is that it is an illegitimate category. If God existed, no reason to think he is less natural than the moon.

Bigfoot, were he not an obvious hoax, would not be supernatural, but simply a cryptid, a real animal not yet classified by science.

You claim you can test the supernatural, I'd like to know what criteria you use for deciding whether a miracle-claim is likely true or likely false. Do you think the rules of evidence used in a court of law in the effort to get at the truth are a good idea? Or do you pretend to think they aren't good merely because you know your case goes right down the toilet if you use legal standards of evidence? Is hearsay generally inadmissible in court, solely because Court is an official proceeding? Or is it inadmissible because second-hand reports are more consistently unreliable than first-hand reports?

And you also don't seem to care that it is perfectly rational for the busy atheist parents of two kids to justify ignoring all miracle claims on the grounds that they could never provide for their kids or have a life if all they did was go around chasing down every miracle claim. Your liberal view that atheists will be saved too justifies dismissing Christian claims.

How much time have you ever devoted to disproving the Muslim concept of hell? NONE, right? If that's wrong, give the link to your article in which you address the question of whether the Muslim version of hell is real.

"the Genesis story of creation" would not have read to the originally intended Israelite audience as a case of the earth forming by reason of a giant explosion controlled by laws of physics. How the originally intended audience would have understood the text as 'grammar' and 'context', and has grave implications for modern people who are so utterly deaf to Jesus that they actually think he required his followers to prioritize bickering about apologetics more than their simple preaching of the word and doing the sort of good works that don't involve indulging their sinful lust to argue.

"the story of Adam and Eve" - the major signal for fable is when animals communicate in human language, or communicate to human beings in human language. So the serpent's discussion with Eve about eating the forbidden fruit assures us that the author never intended the story of Eden to be taken as literal history, and therefore, if Christianity interpreted it to be real history so as to necessitate a Savior from sin, then it's theological basis is incorrect.

"a 6,000-year-old earth" - It is reasonable for atheists to avoid this kind of stupidity given how easy it is to find bible believing Christians who are old-earth creationists. Not only do you people disagree about theology, you also disagree on geology.

"efficacy of intercessory prayer" - You mean that absurd Randolf Byrd prayer-test that you were trounced on at CARM back in 2001?

"as well as paranormal phenomena like near-death experiences, telepathy, and precognition." - Sure is funny how the fundamentalist Christian apologists, who obviously realize they stand to gain much by defending that stuff, never dare. What's next, Sherlock? Ron Wyatt's claim of finding Pharaoh's chariot wheel at the bottom of the Red Sea is true because skeptics cannot prove it false?

Apparently, why you believe what you believe is not even convincing to most Christians, when in fact their choice to believe biblical claims removes most of the presuppositions that otherwise prevent them from seeing things your way, and if they are saved, then salvation is supposed to give them a slight edge over atheists in detecting truth.

FAIL

Nice rhetoric, Greg. Some points:

1. Adam and Eve isn't a fable. It was written in poetic form:

Refutation of Infidels: Evolution and Extreme Genesis Literalism

2. There is a fundamental Christian that defends Near Death Experiences:

UK Apologetics: Near Death Experiences-Is It Time For a Christian Appraisal?

3. What does the Muslim concept of hell have to do with anything?

I am an atheist, and Bigfoot is nothing more than a hoax about as supernatural as a garbage can.

Me>>> bigfoot is not important. you don't seem to understand the issue involved.


A valid argument against SN is that it is an illegitimate category. If God existed, no reason to think he is less natural than the moon.


Me>>>No it's not, that's a totally invalid argument. First there is reason why it would be an Invalid category. what the hell are you thinking? Obviously God would not be natural because all things natural are contingent and God not contingent, The most important is because SN does not mean opposed to nature. you didn't read the article I advertised this morning.

Bigfoot, were he not an obvious hoax, would not be supernatural, but simply a cryptid, a real animal not yet classified by science.

Me>>> who said he was? In fact who talked about Bigfoot.

You claim you can test the supernatural, I'd like to know what criteria you use for deciding whether a miracle-claim is likely true or likely false.

Me>>> The criterion of the meaning of the term SN. It did not include miracles. Read the article The Original Christian Concept of The SN



Do you think the rules of evidence used in a court of law in the effort to get at the truth are a good idea? Or do you pretend to think they aren't good merely because you know your case goes right down the toilet if you use legal standards of evidence?

Me>>>Courtroom evidence is not suited to the issue of SN since it's not about transcendent reality.

Is hearsay generally inadmissible in court, solely because Court is an official proceeding? Or is it inadmissible because second-hand reports are more consistently unreliable than first-hand reports?


Me>>>I have no hearsay evidence. All my evidence is based upon empirical studies in academic journals.



Part 2

And you also don't seem to care that it is perfectly rational for the busy atheist parents of two kids to justify ignoring all miracle claims on the grounds that they could never provide for their kids or have a life if all they did was go around chasing down every miracle claim. Your liberal view that atheists will be saved too justifies dismissing Christian claims.


They don't have to. First of all no one is asking them to. Secondly I've done it for them Team of medical historians analyze Lourdes miracles and, Medical historian given access to Vatican Archives



How much time have you ever devoted to disproving the Muslim concept of hell? NONE, right? If that's wrong, give the link to your article in which you address the question of whether the Muslim version of hell is real.

how much time is needed I think it can be polished off pretty quickly:

(1) Disprove Islam disprove Muslim hell. Disproof of Islam: Isaac was given the promise not Essay. the promise was Messiah (Jesus) so no revelation supersedes that.,(2) I don't believe in Christian hell why should I believe in anyone else's?




"the Genesis story of creation" would not have read to the originally intended Israelite audience as a case of the earth forming by reason of a giant explosion controlled by laws of physics.


No creed and not Bible passage says we must accept Genesis creation story


How the originally intended audience would have understood the text as 'grammar' and 'context', and has grave implications for modern people who are so utterly deaf to Jesus that they actually think he required his followers to prioritize bickering about apologetics more than their simple preaching of the word and doing the sort of good works that don't involve indulging their sinful lust to argue.

yea what I've been trying to tell them. The only problem is atheists wont allow simple gospel they will mock and ridicule and make us take their arguments apart like I'm doing now.

"the story of Adam and Eve" - the major signal for fable is when animals communicate in human language, or communicate to human beings in human language. So the serpent's discussion with Eve about eating the forbidden fruit assures us that the author never intended the story of Eden to be taken as literal history, and therefore, if Christianity interpreted it to be real history so as to necessitate a Savior from sin, then it's theological basis is incorrect.

yea what I've been telling them

"a 6,000-year-old earth" - It is reasonable for atheists to avoid this kind of stupidity given how easy it is to find bible believing Christians who are old-earth creationists. Not only do you people disagree about theology, you also disagree on geology.

I'm NOT ANY KINMD OF CREATIONIST I'm AN EVOLUTIPNIST.




"efficacy of intercessory prayer" - You mean that absurd Randolf Byrd prayer-test that you were trounced on at CARM back in 2001?

that's total bull shit. I mean you silly understanding that Byrd was not good. He had a fine study. what those CARM idiots know about study method ology you should write large on the bum of a fly. Byrd is a funny example because illustrates the silliness of message board arguments I began arguing that we could control for outside prayer and that was the big objection the atheists argued that one could not. When some studies suggested prayer doesn't';t work they started saying you could contro9k for outside prayer and I said you could hot.

as soon as they had a motive they switched positions but so did I; In the end I discorded all such studies because I don't need them. A more direct empirical methods offers better evidence see the articles I linked above.

One of the worst spicules the most hilarious those morons on CARM trying to argue study methodology.




"as well as paranormal phenomena like near-death experiences, telepathy, and precognition." - Sure is funny how the fundamentalist Christian apologists, who obviously realize they stand to gain much by defending that stuff, never dare. What's next, Sherlock? Ron Wyatt's claim of finding Pharaoh's chariot wheel at the bottom of the Red Sea is true because skeptics cannot prove it false?

you don't think some little minor consideration like truth might get in the way?

Apparently, why you believe what you believe is not even convincing to most Christians, when in fact their choice to believe biblical claims removes most of the presuppositions that otherwise prevent them from seeing things your way, and if they are saved, then salvation is supposed to give them a slight edge over atheists in detecting truth.

I am only responsible for my own beliefs. all I can do is make reasons clear and if others don't ace[t that is between them and their maker.

Thanks for your input Greg. I hope you stick around to discuss further. Meantime here are a few counterpoints to consider:

I am an atheist, and Bigfoot is nothing more than a hoax about as supernatural as a garbage can.

A valid argument against SN is that it is an illegitimate category. If God existed, no reason to think he is less natural than the moon.

Bigfoot, were he not an obvious hoax, would not be supernatural, but simply a cryptid, a real animal not yet classified by science.


That argument sounds circular on its face, to wit: "The supernatural is an illegitimate category because all real entities are natural."

And you also don't seem to care that it is perfectly rational for the busy atheist parents of two kids to justify ignoring all miracle claims on the grounds that they could never provide for their kids or have a life if all they did was go around chasing down every miracle claim.

It doesn't make sense for anyone with an interest to ignore all miracle claims because they don't have the time to chase down every miracle claim. Why not just chase down the miracle claims that have withstood the most scrutiny – like the resurrection of Jesus, or some of miracles referenced by Joe at Lourdes, or by Craig Keener in his extensive study on miracles?

Not only do you people disagree about theology, you also disagree on geology.

It's true, Christians disagree about a lot of things. But be of good cheer: If we didn't, we would just be a bunch of brainwashed fundie sheeple, right?

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