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Thread: Jesus Mythers and YECs

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Jesus Mythers and YECs

    How do the two measure up?

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    Why compare the two? Letís plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Letís start things out with being clear. My wife is a YEC and my ministry partner is a YEC. Nothing I say here is to insult them. However, a YEC friend did message me and say that sometimes when I am engaging with mythicists, I tend to bring up YECs as a comparison point. He thought this was a way of insulting YECs. Itís a good concern to have and I wanted to address it.

    I refer to mythicism as a conspiracy theory for atheists. It is a joke in the academy, even among atheists there, at least in New Testament and historical Jesus scholarship, and yet mythicists cling to it and consistently cite Richard Carrier as their prophet. No matter who you cite, Carrier is the answer.

    However, Carrier would also admit his position is definitely in the minority here. Most atheists have no idea. I have heard them tell me point blank that scholars donít even know if Jesus existed. Not only is that false, most of them know a lot of things about the historical Jesus.

    But hereís something else most mythicists would have in common. Most of them are atheists. Most of them canít stand fundamentalist Christians. Most of them especially canít stand YECs. YECs are to them those big anti-science people who not only deny evolution, but deny simple facts of cosmology. Please keep in mind I am not speaking from my position as I am not a scientist. I am speaking from how I see mythicists seeing YECs.

    So if I want to shame a mythicist, and I do, I compare them to being like what they really canít stand. Their position is quite similar. Oh wait. There are some differences. Letís look at them.

    The big one is God. Many YECs can also make a good case for the resurrection and the reliability of Scripture and the existence of God. Now if you think your book is inerrant and infallible and that you have a message from God that tells you that the Earth is young, it makes sense to believe the Earth is young. I donít hold to that interpretation, but I at least understand it. Mythicists have no such source unless they want to count Richard Carrier

    Also, there are more PhDs in the field who are YECs than there are in the field who are mythicists. If we play the numbers game then, mythicism is in a worse case than YEC is in the academy. If we go beyond YECs and include all who question evolution, then the number greatly increases.

    James McGrath at Exploring Our Matrix has a great quote that illustrates this.

    creationistsmythicists.jpg

    So if a mythicist wants to be consistent, then they need to avoid mocking YECs because if YECs are seen as a joke because of their position among the educated, then mythicists should be in a worse camp as the numbers are lower for them across the board. If not, then we get into a thing of parodying Ricky Gervais. ďEveryone elseís conspiracy theory is false, but not yours. Yours is true.Ē

    Nothing here said then is meant to mock YECs, but it is meant to go after mythicists. If mythicists canít stand YECs, then the worst thing they would want is to be compared to them. The goal is to embarrass mythicism, which doesnít take much, and not YECs.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

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    tWebber Boxing Pythagoras's Avatar
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    In general, I feel your concern, here. I used to be a Young Earth Creationist and many of my loved ones still are Young Earth Creationists. Even when dealing with someone I don't know and love who happens to be a Young Earth Creationist, I try very hard not to insult that person. However, I absolutely will not pretend that their beliefs are at all reasonable. Unfortunately, quite often when attacking someone's problematic beliefs, that person will take personal offense even where none was intended.

    Interestingly, I find that the same thing is true for Mythicists. I try not to insult any Mythicist with whom I interact; however, they quite often seem to think that any attack on their ludicrous position is a personal attack on them. They often reply to criticism of their views with the same sort of vitriol and fervor that one sees in the Young Earth community, the Geocentrist community, the Flat Earth community, and numerous other such positions. You have no idea how many times Mythicists have said to me, "You only believe Jesus actually existed because you're a Christian!" At which point I simply laugh and ask them if they've actually read anything I've written in the past 10 years.
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    I just glanced at the title and thought, "Oh, Lord, what has Joyce Meyers done now!"
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

  4. Amen mossrose amen'd this post.
  5. #4
    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    In general, I feel your concern, here. I used to be a Young Earth Creationist and many of my loved ones still are Young Earth Creationists. Even when dealing with someone I don't know and love who happens to be a Young Earth Creationist, I try very hard not to insult that person. However, I absolutely will not pretend that their beliefs are at all reasonable. Unfortunately, quite often when attacking someone's problematic beliefs, that person will take personal offense even where none was intended.

    Interestingly, I find that the same thing is true for Mythicists. I try not to insult any Mythicist with whom I interact; however, they quite often seem to think that any attack on their ludicrous position is a personal attack on them. They often reply to criticism of their views with the same sort of vitriol and fervor that one sees in the Young Earth community, the Geocentrist community, the Flat Earth community, and numerous other such positions. You have no idea how many times Mythicists have said to me, "You only believe Jesus actually existed because you're a Christian!" At which point I simply laugh and ask them if they've actually read anything I've written in the past 10 years.
    Good to see you again, BP. I changed my username since you were here last, but I'm still the radical strawberry.

    The only place I've encountered either of these was in a classroom. In my experience, students are reluctant to respond with vitriol or fervor when speaking to the professor, no matter how strongly they feel about a particular subject.

    I had a student bring up Jesus mythicism in a class, once. That's far away from anything on the curriculum, and I can't recall how it came up. If it ever happens again, and I hope it won't, I expect my reaction will be more measured. I'm afraid my instant reaction was, "That's nuts." The student didn't really defend it other than to say that's what others say, even after I mentioned Paul speaking to James, describing him as Jesus' brother.

    I've had a lot more young earthers, and because I likewise grew up in that tradition, I know how to disagree gently by pointing out the Jewish apologetic that separates theological time from lived time. Only the latter needs to agree with our measurements. Still, the look on one young man's face was simply tragic. It's like their pastors simply don't think about how dating is bound to come up in any introduction to exponential growth and decay.

    But when it comes to young earthers, the real issue is student reaction. I've learned I have to preface any discussion on the topic with a caution to be considerate of their beliefs because otherwise half the class will break out in mocking laughter. In Miami, better than half of these kids went through Catholic schools, and it simply doesn't occur to them that that's a Christian belief.

    Still, the two most fervid examples of students and crazy were the anti-vaxxer gal in one class and the moon hoaxer dude in another. I bent over backwards to be kind in both of those cases, but they both dropped before the next lecture.

    Putting the point that it doesn't matter how many hoaxes you put to rest, there's always another one lining up to take its place.

  6. Amen Boxing Pythagoras amen'd this post.
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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post


    creationistsmythicists.jpg

    So if a mythicist wants to be consistent, then they need to avoid mocking YECs because if YECs are seen as a joke because of their position among the educated, then mythicists should be in a worse camp as the numbers are lower for them across the board. If not, then we get into a thing of parodying Ricky Gervais. ďEveryone elseís conspiracy theory is false, but not yours. Yours is true.Ē
    Good point.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

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    tWebber Boxing Pythagoras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juvenal View Post
    Good to see you again, BP. I changed my username since you were here last, but I'm still the radical strawberry.
    It's good to be back!

    It's like their pastors simply don't think about how dating is bound to come up in any introduction to exponential growth and decay.
    That definitely made me chuckle...
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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