Re: Historical evidence for Jesus

From: Walter Hicks (
Date: Mon Dec 16 2002 - 19:11:57 EST

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    Robert Schneider wrote:

    > Walter Hicks writes:
    > >
    > > I think that Jim's point that his exiting Christianity "was not a choice"
    > is
    > > well taken. Such changes seldom are, but rather come about due to a series
    > of
    > > input data that conflicts with original beliefs. As Sondra Brasile
    > > said, much of
    > > the credit can be given to the posts on ASA list, which portray the bible
    > as an
    > > almost worthless document insofar as scientific or historical accuracy is
    > > concerned.
    > >
    > Two comments about this note:
    > (1) Jim's exiting Christianity certainly was a choice. No one has put a
    > gun to his head and forced him to leave, as far as I can tell from the notes
    > of his I have read since he announced his rejection of Christianity. If it
    > was like reaching a "red light," he still had the choice of turning right or
    > going through it, and red lights do turn green. Even if his change, as
    > Walter supposes, came about "due to a series of input data that conflicts
    > with original beliefs," the change is still a choice. So, I am puzzled that
    > they think no choice was involved. Surely Jim and Walter believe in free
    > will. Are we not responsible for entering on the paths we enter on to?

    Once upon a time I was a Roman Catholic. One day I woke up and no longer
    believed in God. It was not a choice at all but was a consequence of realizing
    that I believed what I was taught and had never explored anything
    else. In short
    I had no valid reason for believing what I had believed and it was
    just gone. In
    fact, I was sad about it and I prayed, that if their was a God, He
    would show me
    somehow. But frankly I could not imagine how that would be possible. You cannot
    just force yourself to believe whatever you want to believe. If you
    really think
    so, then try to force yourself to believe in something that you do not believe
    in -- say UFOs or Unicorns. Indeed, your own testimony below indicates that you
    have had the same experience that you say was a choice for Jim but was not for

    > (2) Walter may interpret many ASA postings to "portray the bible as an
    > almost worthless document insofar as scientific or historical accuracy is
    > concerned," but I think his statement is rhetorical overkill that does no
    > justice to the many discussions on questions of science and history in the
    > Bible carried out by people who are faithful to the Bible and to Christ. No
    > one, in my reading of notes since I joined the list last March, or in any I
    > contributed, has portrayed the Bible as a "worthless document" on ANY
    > matter.

    They don't say that it is worthless _spiritually_ but rather that it is not
    "true" in the _normal_ usage of the word "true". Perhaps I used some hyperbole,
    but many posts clearly indicate that Genesis chapter 1 is not at all
    scientifically valid and that it represents a mythical model of the world. For
    historical items, many posts claim that that Adam, the Flood, Babel,
    Jonah, Job,
    Peter walking on water, etc. are not historically valid.

    Call it "rhetorical overkill" if you you like but I think that my
    description is
    a valid one. Would you claim that the Bible is a good cookbook? Of course not!
    So why claim that is it is something that it is not (rhetorical question)?

    > Finally, a personal note:
    > I have been struck by the many list members who have sought--I believe
    > out of a sincere caring for Jim and a sensibility to his present spiritual
    > and intellectual crisis--to help Jim think through his situation. Christian
    > love, I believe, is at work here, and I also believe their efforts enjoy
    > God's blessing. Jim and I have scrapped in the past, but I want you to
    > know, Jim, that my heart and best wishes are with you. I also went through
    > a period many years ago, when I had in good conscience to give up cherished
    > beliefs, a decision that brought me to tears, but which intellectual honesty
    > demanded. When I returned to faith many years later, it was with that
    > maturity of age and life experiences that enhances a response to Grace's
    > call. I pray some such experience for you, Jim, but however you proceed you
    > must surely know that there are many on the list who care for your good;
    > and, I believe, God will always be with you on your journey.



    Walt Hicks <>

    In any consistent theory, there must exist true but not provable statements. (Godel's Theorem)

    You can only find the truth with logic If you have already found the truth without it. (G.K. Chesterton) ===================================

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