Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Craig and Komarnitsky

William Lane Craig posted a video on youtube attempting to rebut Kris Komarnitsky's theory about cognitive dissonance the origin of Christianity, as he articulated it in his book Doubting Jesus' Resurrection: What Happened in the Black Box?

Komarnitsky responded to him. Boy oh boy. Craig brought up criticisms that Komarnitsky addressed in his book! And things get worse. Look at what Kevin Harris, the man interviewing Craig, had to say:

"I had no time to read Kris' book and was keying off an article on it. Bill hadn't read the book either; I rather threw it at him knowing he could address cognitive dissonance."

That's very revealing. Both of you think that you have the power to divine the contents of Kris' book, and on top of that, you demonstrate just what a sheep you are: You just know Craig will be able to address the issue at hand, even without knowing the facts yourself, and ironically not even realizing that Craig's fallacious rebuttals were addressed in Kris' book. Shame on you.

Addendum: Here's a real howler in Craig's video: About 7 minutes in Craig starts talking about how we need to put ourselves in the shoes of a first century Palestinian after his messiah has been killed. What would such a person do? They probably wouldn't say Jesus had been resurrected, they would probably get a new messiah or they would, in Craig's words from 8:05 to 8:15: "They could've spiritualized the messiah. Maybe they could've said, 'Well, Jesus is a spiritual king and his kingdom is a spiritual kingdom, despite his death, and therefore we can still believe in his messiahship in a spiritual sense.'

I know. And it's not as if there are any signs of that occurring in the New Testament. Oh. Except that there are; John 18:36: "My kingdom is not of this world..."

The rest Craig says is dead wrong, and if you don't know that already, I'm preparing a book which will deal with all of this in some detail.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Bible Geek Aug. 27

Here's a transcript of a question I sent in to the Bible Geek which Bob Price read and responded to in the August 27 podcast about 52 minutes in:

"In Dennis MacDonald's book The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark he puts forward the idea that as Mark wrote his gospel he imitated the epics of Homer but sometimes altered the story in such a way as to show how his values were different from Homer's. I think I've found an example in the gospel of Matthew where Buddhist scriptures (you read right!) are imitated with a twist in order to emphasize different theological values. Buddhism was alive and well in the Hellenistic world (Wikipedia has some good links and historical references on that) and there were apparently Buddhist missionaries in the Middle East/Mediterranean prior to the gospels. In the Buddhist scripture, (Jataka 190), there is a story about a disciple of the Buddha who begins walking on water but begins to sink after he loses his meditational trance. The point of the story is that you can do anything through focus. Contrast this with Matthew 14:22-33 in which a disciple of Jesus begins to walk on water but sinks when he loses faith. Point of the story: You can do anything through faith.

"I think the early Christians knew about the Buddhist story (it was likely present in the culture of the time) and imitated it but with their own change in order to show how their values differed from Buddhism. Though many others have noticed this similarity and Randel Helms has suggested borrowing, as far as I know I am the first one to recognize why it was borrowed. What sayest thou?"

By the way, you can now purchase Robert Price's Deconstructing Jesus and Incredible Shrinking Son of Man: How Reliable Is the Gospel Tradition? for your kindle for under ten bucks each. Fascinating books.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Why No Posts?

Yep, it's been a month since I've posted anything. But I have a good reason: I've been working on a new book. I would say it's about 15% complete. Progress has been slow, but it should be good. Stay tuned for updates.