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Thread: Comment Thread for The Resurrection of Jesus - Apologiaphoenix vs Gary

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Here's something I keep in mind when reading your posts: You deconverted because your pastor didn't live up to your LMCS purity standards, and then walked off in a snit when he used words too big for you to understand in response to your questions.

    Good day, sir.
    I think he even said he wanted his pastor to refute some matters within a time frame or he'd deconvert.

    If so, he's still avoiding his intellectual responsibility.

    Everyone needs to interact with his sources. He doesn't have to interact with anyone.

    I often have the mind that I'm interacting with a small child.

    And yes, the whole "Why did God make a book so hard to understand. Couldn't God do better?" is just another example. He's played through the playbook so well.

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Here's a response to Asher Norman as well: http://messiahfactor.com/page4.html

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    oh boy. OBP. Check this one out. This says enough.

    http://messiahfactor.com/page46.html

    Asher Norman questions whether Jesus actually existed and says that if he did exist he was a minor first century anti-Roman zealot about whom very little was really known. Christianity invented a mythical Jesus figure in the 2nd century and somehow the Christians managed to persuade a sceptical and hostile Roman world to believe in their creation.

    Basically his thesis is that we only have the Christians’ word for it that Jesus existed, they wrote highly unreliable accounts of his life a long time after it happened and there is little or nothing of real significance in contemporary writings about Jesus.

    Asher Norman uses some highly selective and hostile sources to back up his claims. One is John Remsberg (1848–1919), author of ‘The Christ’. Remsberg was an ardent religious sceptic and member of the American Secular Society. As a rationalist Remsberg would have been equally dismissive of Asher Norman’s view that God gave the Torah to Moses as he was of the claims of Jesus to be the Messiah. However, consistent with his general approach, Asher is happy to use atheists and rationalists to attack the New Testament and Christianity, but would never accept such an approach to the Torah.

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    I think he even said he wanted his pastor to refute some matters within a time frame or he'd deconvert.

    If so, he's still avoiding his intellectual responsibility.

    Everyone needs to interact with his sources. He doesn't have to interact with anyone.

    I often have the mind that I'm interacting with a small child.

    And yes, the whole "Why did God make a book so hard to understand. Couldn't God do better?" is just another example. He's played through the playbook so well.
    If said child could read, they would do better research than Gary! I was reading medical encyclopedias circa age 8! And the Bible was great for padding those reading time lists in 4th grade. Though, as a child, the prophet books would scare me some because I didn't keep in mind that God was angry at the ancient Israelites for breaking their covenant.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    oh boy. OBP. Check this one out. This says enough.

    http://messiahfactor.com/page46.html

    Asher Norman questions whether Jesus actually existed and says that if he did exist he was a minor first century anti-Roman zealot about whom very little was really known. Christianity invented a mythical Jesus figure in the 2nd century and somehow the Christians managed to persuade a sceptical and hostile Roman world to believe in their creation.

    Basically his thesis is that we only have the Christians’ word for it that Jesus existed, they wrote highly unreliable accounts of his life a long time after it happened and there is little or nothing of real significance in contemporary writings about Jesus.

    Asher Norman uses some highly selective and hostile sources to back up his claims. One is John Remsberg (1848–1919), author of ‘The Christ’. Remsberg was an ardent religious sceptic and member of the American Secular Society. As a rationalist Remsberg would have been equally dismissive of Asher Norman’s view that God gave the Torah to Moses as he was of the claims of Jesus to be the Messiah. However, consistent with his general approach, Asher is happy to use atheists and rationalists to attack the New Testament and Christianity, but would never accept such an approach to the Torah.
    Yep. More than enough.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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    Yes, I get it, dear Christians. I am an idiot.

    However, your worship attendance numbers, annual baptism numbers, and continued membership declines in all Christian denominations in North America and Europe tell the true story: Your ancient, superstitious, supernatural belief system is just not believable anymore, at least to most educated people in western civilization.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    I think he even said he wanted his pastor to refute some matters within a time frame or he'd deconvert.

    If so, he's still avoiding his intellectual responsibility.

    Everyone needs to interact with his sources. He doesn't have to interact with anyone.

    I often have the mind that I'm interacting with a small child.

    And yes, the whole "Why did God make a book so hard to understand. Couldn't God do better?" is just another example. He's played through the playbook so well.
    Not true.

    I notified my pastor that I was quickly losing my faith due to the evidence presented to me by several online atheists. I asked for his help. He agreed to do so, but became busy with several emergencies in the church. I never threatened him that I would deconvert if he did not immediately do what I asked him to do within a specific time frame. He had very legitimate reasons for not being able to help me. I never blamed him for not coming to my aid quickly enough. However, while waiting for him to have the time to come to my assistance, my faith died. It was NOT my pastor's fault.

    The reason that I am angry with my former pastor is that he repeatedly lied to me.

    Imagine being a new convert to evangelical Christianity, coming from another Christian tradition. You have no idea about the doctrines of evangelicalism, so you go to your pastor to learn, you sign up for classes to learn from someone whom you completely trust. Your evangelical pastor tells you that one very important evangelical doctrine is that one can lose your salvation if you do not go to church enough times in a year. You believe him, and start telling others about your new evangelical Christian faith and that evangelicals believe that one can lose his salvation for not going to church enough times in a year.

    My LCMS pastor did the equivalent to me. He told me that "Once Baptized, Always Saved" was a Lutheran teaching. It is not, in fact, no Christian denomination on the planet teaches this doctrine. It is a doctrine of his own invention, which he finally admitted to me after lying to me several times about it. He never apologized for lying. He said that the Lutheran position that a believer CAN lose his salvation, and CAN go to hell, was very difficult for him to accept (He had previously been a Presbyterian pastor who believed in Election of the Saints). He asked me not to report him to the denomination. He promised he would not teach or preach on that issue again. But no apology.

    I then found out that he was teaching other non-Lutheran teachings in our church, such as that the children of baptized Christians have a "covenantal birth right" to baptism, a Reformed doctrine, definitely not Lutheran. He again promised me it was Lutheran. And he taught other topics which contradicted the Doctrinal Statements of the LCMS, whose leaders my pastor referred to as "backward Midwestern hicks".

    I placed my complete faith in my pastor, in return, he repeatedly lied to me, refused to apologize when caught, but asked me to keep it quiet to save his skin and to continue teaching HIS own doctrines in an LCMS church.
    Last edited by Gary; 08-04-2015 at 10:27 PM.

  8. #938
    tWebber Pentecost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    Not true.

    I notified my pastor that I was quickly losing my faith due to the evidence presented to me by several online atheists. I asked for his help. He agreed to do so, but became busy with several emergencies in the church. I never threatened him that I would deconvert if he did not immediately do what I asked him to do within a specific time frame. He had very legitimate reasons for not being able to help me. I never blamed him for not coming to my aid quickly enough. However, while waiting for him to have the time to come to my assistance, my faith died. It was NOT my pastor's fault.

    The reason that I am angry with my former pastor is that he repeatedly lied to me.

    Imagine being a new convert to evangelical Christianity, coming from another Christian tradition. You have no idea about the doctrines of evangelicalism, so you go to your pastor to learn, you sign up for classes to learn from someone whom you completely trust. Your evangelical pastor tells you that one very important evangelical doctrine is that one can lose your salvation if you do not go to church enough times in a year. You believe him, and start telling others about your new evangelical Christian faith and that evangelicals believe that one can lose his salvation for not going to church enough times in a year.

    My LCMS pastor did the equivalent to me. He told me that "Once Baptized, Always Saved" was a Lutheran teaching. It is not, in fact, no Christian denomination on the planet teaches this doctrine. It is a doctrine of his own invention, which he finally admitted to me after lying to me several times about it. He never apologized for lying. He said that the Lutheran position that a believer CAN lose his salvation, and CAN go to hell, was very difficult for him to accept (He had previously been a Presbyterian pastor who believed in Election of the Saints). He asked me not to report him to the denomination. He promised he would not teach or preach on that issue again. But no apology.

    I then found out that he was teaching other non-Lutheran teachings in our church, such as that the children of baptized Christians have a "covenantal birth right" to baptism, a Reformed doctrine, definitely not Lutheran. He again promised me it was Lutheran. And he taught other topics which contradicted the Doctrinal Statements of the LCMS, whose leaders my pastor referred to as "backward Midwestern hicks".

    I placed my complete faith in my pastor, in return, he repeatedly lied to me, refused to apologize when caught, but asked me to keep it quiet to save his skin and to continue teaching HIS own doctrines in an LCMS church.
    I want to take this as an opportunity to speak to you as an equal. I am very sorry that you have experienced a bad pastor, which even if he was a brilliant preacher, and excellent at counseling, and produced great church growth, it is by these fruits that I know of him, and he is severely lacking. I find it interesting that you say you placed your complete faith in him, because, as I'm sure you know, in all forms of Christianity, the faith cannot be in any mortal man, yourself or another, it doesn't matter, we all fall short. It is in God alone that our faith belongs.
    Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

  9. Amen Adrift, Cerebrum123, Christianbookworm amen'd this post.
  10. #939
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    Yes, I get it, dear Christians. I am an idiot.
    Gary, I don't think you're an idiot because you deconverted. I think that most people deconvert for reasons rather more emotional than intellectual, then search for post hoc intellectual rationalizations for their deconversion, and your story is a witness to that.
    However, your worship attendance numbers, annual baptism numbers, and continued membership declines in all Christian denominations in North America and Europe tell the true story: Your ancient, superstitious, supernatural belief system is just not believable anymore, at least to most educated people in western civilization.
    Not all denominations are in decline; the only denominations in precipitous decline are precisely those which are trying to make themselves most acceptable to outsiders. It is also not certain that Christianity was ever a majority in Europe. Historian Rodney Stark believes that Christianity never really took root in the countryside. Your smug assumption of the superiority of western civilization (and anti-theism) is duly noted.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Gary. The thing is you're not really listening to what other people are saying. There are many times in this thread you've raised an objection and I've answered and you've moved on to something else immediately. You've jumped all over Asher Norman's book saying we should all read it but when real NT scholars on both sides are recommended for reading, there's silence. You keep saying that your position is becoming popular with reasonable and educated people. Well geez. college students go and get educated by people who share the exact same viewpoint as them and then consider themselves educated. The reality is while we have more knowledge today and more access to knowledge, I consider people today in general to be far less educated and reasonable than they were in the past. We can consider this by looking at how this has been called The Dumbest Generation. I meet people regularly on both sides of the religious debate who believe stupid stupid things. I find it amusing that atheists who so quickly condemn YEC (Which I am not at all) by saying how few scientists hold to it today quickly jump on the idea that Jesus never existed, despite that idea being even more of a joke.

    I find that atheists and skeptics on their side think that they are champions of reason and because of this, they see through the theistic nonsense of the past, but the reality is that science has not really taught us something that those ancients did not know. Oh it has taught us several things, but nothing relevant. They knew virgins don't give birth. They knew dead people stay dead. They knew people don't walk on water. This was not news to them. On the other hand, Christians can too often be of the mindset of "I have the Word of God on my side and I know God is real in my life because of how I feel every day." These people are often just as impervious to reading any scholarship. After all, why do you have to read anything if you have God the Holy Spirit telling you what everything means? In both sides, the problem is both parties think that their position is just right by virtue of their holding it and there is no need to interact.

    I disagree entirely. I am quite certain of my position of course, but it is not because of any internal feeling whatsoever, but because of years of reading and thinking on various topics and reading both sides. When I read a book I disagree with, I tend to immediately write up a blog post on the topic and share some of my concerns about the book. However, I can give good praise to a book I disagree with because it is written well and the author makes decent arguments and because of how he handles the opposition. (Sagan's Demon-Haunted World got four stars from me on Amazon.) I can quite easily lambaste a book that I agree with its conclusion. (Consider McDowell and McDowell's The Unshakable Truth which I found to leave out important subjects, have bad interpretations of Biblical passages, and even used Wikipedia for research,) or Richard Simmons's Reliable Truth, which if you checked the notes, it was pretty much him quoting from Case for Christ without giving any primary resources. Case for Christ is a fine start since Strobel introduces the reader to the scholars in the field, but the next step is to read those scholars yourself.

    If you want to blog for skepticism, blog for skepticism, but at least do some real research on the topic. Read both sides. Really look at the arguments. If you never read anything that you disagree with that makes you pause, you're not reading it right. Until then, yes, I see in my mind a small child making a rant but perhaps it would be more prone to say a teenager instead since many teenagers today are convinced they already know everything and don't need to study and those who know better are watching and thinking "Seriously?"

    No one is saying you are an idiot for deconverting or even being a skeptic. We have plenty around here we really enjoy having around. What is being said is instead the mindset. It's the mindset that is believing anything because it argues the position you want it to argue. What I tell people often is that if you want to argue against a position, you'd better be capable of putting on a hat as it were and being capable of making a strong and convincing argument for that position. In fact, when I meet Christians who I think are impervious to any learning and think they know it all, I will warn them a few times and then if they keep going on, I will put on an atheist hat. I'd rather have them be embarrassed and shamed now than go out trying to spread the Gospel further and provide embarrassment to Jesus Christ.

    Take some time. Go to the library. Read the best books by scholars on both sides that you can find. You might be surprised what you learn. In fact, the reason you don't see me here as often is I am working to devote more of my time to that reading and study. It is far more beneficial and I know there are several people here who can argue on my behalf and are very well-read themselves while I'm gone. It doesn't all hinge on me.

  12. Amen Christianbookworm, Chrawnus amen'd this post.

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