How To End Christianity By Dinner Time

If you want to rid the world of Christianity, here’s what you should do:

Prove Jesus didn’t rise from the dead after he was crucified.

That’s it!

Christianity without the resurrection is like an omelet without eggs.

Like a racehorse without legs.

Without the resurrection, Christianity is done.

Disproving the resurrection is tricky, though.

There’s just so much freaking evidence to negate.

It won’t work to do this:

No.

And no again.

Suppose “The Podunk Daily Beacon” featured this headline:

“Local Hunter Shoots 300-Pound Duck!”

That’s a pretty big duck.

Skepticism is justified.

You look for sources other than The Podunk Daily Beacon.

You are frustrated to learn that PDB is the only newspaper publishing the story.

But wait!

Stop the presses!

The 300-Pound Duck story is a collaboration!

Turns out, 3 separate reporters submitted the story to the PDB.

Let’s call them…Mark, John and Matthew.

The newspaper compiled the independent sources into one place.

Try to understand.

The Bible is a collection of information from different sources.

The sources are compiled into a single book.

Have I lost you?

This isn’t super-hard to understand.

Just because the PDB is the only paper with the story, it doesn’t mean the story is untrue.

The Podunk Daily Beacon has a pretty good track record so far.

Like the PDB, the Bible has proven to be a reliable source of information in the past.

You need to explain why you “have no confidence in the authenticity of the bible”.

And your explanation must include historical facts…not religious speculation.

(That’s really important.)

You have the right to say, “I don’t believe in 300-pound ducks”…

…but that doesn’t prove that a hunter hasn’t shot one.

You have the right to say, “I don’t believe people come back to life”…

…but that doesn’t prove the resurrection didn’t happen.

178 thoughts on “How To End Christianity By Dinner Time

  1. Mike Doyle says:

    There are outside sources that mention the resurrection of Jesus. The Jewish/Roman historian Josephus wrote about it. He was no friend of Christ, so there is no reason for him to lie.

      • Mike says:

        It is found in the “Antiquities of the Jews”, specifically the 18th book in the 3rd chapter section 3.

        He was the Christ and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day

          • Mike says:

            You are free to believe what you want. No one has any way to prove whether he wrote it or not. You asked me to give you the quote and I did that very thing.

          • gary says:

            “He was the Christ”

            As the linked article explains, Josephus was a Jew, not a Christian. Jews do not believe that Jesus was the “Christ”, the Greek word for the Hebrew messiah.

            This is only one of several reasons why many scholars doubt that Josephus made this statement.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            I’ve noticed all of the scholars questioning the authenticity are writing several thousand years after the events. 😉

            So, to paraphrase our friend Dan, upthread, “Even if 30 people say Josephus didn’t write it, I will need different evidence.”

          • gary says:

            Dear Mrs.

            What you are suggesting is that scholars today cannot analyze ancient texts and detect interpolations and anachronisms. The overwhelming majority of educated experts in the field say you are wrong.

            Such expert opinion can never be assumed to be inerrant, but its accuracy has proven to be much better than the literal reading of any ancient holy text, including the Jewish Bible, the Koran, and the Christian Old and New Testaments.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            I would never suggest that scholars today can’t have opinions. I only question WHICH scholars you trust, and why.
            Well, actually, I also question whether those who deny the resurrection of Jesus as a historical event are turning their “skepticism meter” up and down, as it suits them…

            Here’s a debate between David Wood and John Loftis. (If you’ve seen it before, please forgive me.) But the argument from the Atheist side–literally the ONLY argument–is “That’s not enough evidence. Give me more.” They could make the same argument for every other historical event, but it’s only with things pertaining to Jesus that people like Loftis apply THIS level of scrutiny. It’s a pretty flimsy position.

          • John Branyan says:

            Gary believes Humanist subjective morality is more consistent than Christian morality.
            I haven’t been able to reason him through the error as of yet.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Yeah–any time someone tries to skip the discussion by jumping straight to, “Well, bottom line, the ancient interpretation of events has definitely been proven less accurate!” I have a pretty good idea what sort of thinker we’re dealing with…

            (Side note: For some reason, every time you comment, then Ark’s comment comes back from the spam folder. Are you approving them by mistake?)

          • John Branyan says:

            The Wood/Loftis debate makes me cringe. I can’t watch it.
            Loftis performance is painful to behold.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            The first time I saw it (over a year ago), my husband walked into the room and asked, “Is Loftis drunk?”

            Very, very awkward. 🙂

          • John Branyan says:

            I’m imagining what it was like to listen to Loftus preach a sermon. I wonder how many people left his church saying, “Gosh…Christians are nitwits.”

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            It makes me want to attend a debate between a Theist and Atheist just to ask some challenging questions OF THE THEIST.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Like, “Do you ever get tired of all the softball questions?!?!”

            No, maybe more like, “How does the free will question affect your Theology?” or “What’s the strongest argument you’ve ever heard AGAINST God’s existence?” (Or “What are some things that still puzzle you about God?”) Or something DIFFERENT for a change…

          • John Branyan says:

            Those are terrible questions.
            Think of a tough question to ask a theist about the existence of God.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            All of my unanswered questions fall into the category of “can’t possibly know.” (In other words, they are questions FOR GOD, if He exists, and not issues a Theist can tackle apart from theorizing and guessing).

            The “hardest” one is probably, “How can humans ever escape the infinite philosophical loop of ‘How do I know that I know that I know?'” But I think I have an idea of what most intellectual Theists would say already…

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            I mostly want to know what their current frustrations are…

            Do they wonder about the link between mental illness and spiritual depravity, like we do? Do they think God changes his mind? Do they think it’s possible for people to find God (and “be saved”) even if they’ve never heard the name of Jesus? That kind of stuff.

            It’s almost always questions about God’s character, rather than about God’s existence, because the idea that the Universe created itself is so absurd.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            …but they can’t possibly give concrete answers to those questions…

            So, maybe another question would be, “Does it bother you that most of a human’s questions can’t be answered concretely?” 😉

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            I’m not sure. He mostly focuses on Islam. But I would LOVE to hear his perspective on why illnesses are on the rise, despite widespread access to psych meds.

            I think people are quickly finding, to their dismay, that Prozac doesn’t answer their toughest questions.

  2. Dan B. says:

    Even if thirty publishers said there was a 300 pound duck, simple logic would lead me to not believe it until empirical evidence is shown. Same applies to the bible. Even if they are separate accounts, they were compliled by the same dudes some 1700 years ago. It’s like having 30 sources from the same news site saying the same thing. Not so believable.

    • mrsmcmommy says:

      That’s not how historians evaluate ANCIENT “news.”
      You’re trying to hold ANCIENT history, to today’s insta-news, social-media standards. Everybody has a cellphone and/or a blog and/or a Facebook and Twitter account. But, back then? Having three sources saying the same thing was a LOT. The general population was illiterate, and those who actually bothered to write down current events were limited by very small areas.

      The sources were compiled into the same volume (i.e. the Bible) because the multiple testimonies were a big deal. If there were more testimonies, the Bible would be bigger. 🙂 But it still wouldn’t give Atheists a good reason for rejecting “the Bible” as a whole. Even Atheist and Agnostic historians don’t just toss it out.

    • Mike says:

      What empirical evidence would be proof?
      We have first hand eyewitness testimony written within 30 to 60 years of the event. That is unheard of in historical writing. We accept Homer’s account of the Trojan war as historically accuarate even though it was written 400 years after the event. The Biblical account from a historical point of view is much more reliable.
      You mentioned logic, so let’s explore logic. Let’s ask some logical questions about the disciples.
      Why make up the story about Jesus being risen?
      Not for monitary gain – they gave up everything to follow Jesus.
      Not for social gain – they were considered outcasts by their own people.
      Not for political gain – they were viewed as enemies of Rome and with the exception of John they all died horrible deaths because of their faith in Jesus as the Christ.
      From a logical perspective these men had nothing to gain by lying about the risen Jesus.
      Logic would also argue that these men would not willingly die for something they know is a lie.
      Here is another question from a logical point of view.
      Why wouldn’t the Jewish leaders at the time simply take the people who were believing in the risen Jesus to his tomb and show them the body? I would say they couldn’t because he was no longer in the grave.
      Why is there no Jewish writing or historical document that refutes or contradicts the Biblical account of the risen Jesus?
      I would suggest because there were too many witnesses to to risen Jesus.
      At the end of the day it takes faith at some level because none of us were there in person, but for me the evidence is so strong that it makes my faith easy. My logic points to faith in Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God. To paraphrase CS Lewis You can discount Jesus as a crazy person or liar, but not simply a good man. He left no room for that. He is either a liar, a lunatic or He is Lord. We all get to decide for ourselves.

        • Mike says:

          Well, since Jesus ascended to Heaven, again witnessed by several people and then recorded in the book of Acts, written by Luke. It is going to be tough to see him right now, but Ron some day you will see him. The choice is whether you will call Him Lord now or later. I promise you will see Him. It is my hope your eyes will be opened to the truth of who He is.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            I’m skeptical that today’s Naturalists/Atheists would be convinced by Jesus in the flesh. (At least, not if they met him 2000 years ago and applied the same professional-level “Make Me Believe” tactics they use today.) 🙂 We can ALWAYS come up with theories about smoke and mirrors or camera tricks…or, if that fails, we can assume hallucination or mental illness.

            I’ve always appreciated the honesty of the late Australian philosopher John Smart: “someone who has naturalistic preconceptions will always in fact find some naturalistic explanation more plausible than a supernatural one… Suppose that I woke up in the night and saw the stars arranged in shapes that spelt out the Apostle’s Creed. I would know that astronomically it is impossible that stars should have changed their positions. I don’t know what I would think. Perhaps I would think that I was dreaming or that I had gone mad. What if everyone else seemed to me to be telling me that the same thing had happened? Then I might not only think that I had gone mad – I WOULD probably go mad.”

          • Ron says:

            I thought with God all things are possible? If Jesus could appear to doubting Thomas, then why not to doubting Ron? Am I unworthy?

          • John Branyan says:

            Another good point!
            I’ll add this to your evidence list.
            3. “Jesus has yet to appear to Ron personally.”

            Of course, if a dude with holes in his hands walked up and introduced himself as Jesus, your reaction would be different from Thomas.

            But, we’ll count it anyway.
            Anything else?

          • Ron says:

            lol . . .

            Imagine that. An all-powerful, all-knowing supreme entity that’s incapable of convincing me to adopt acceptance of its own existence.

          • John Branyan says:

            That’s pretty weak, but I’ll add it to your list of evidence.
            4. “Ron isn’t convinced that God exists so God can’t be all powerful.”

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Oh, I thought his point was, “The evidence doesn’t seem to be pointing toward ‘a made up story.'”

            My bad. 😉

          • John Branyan says:

            So far, the evidence is essentially, “Ron is infinitely skeptical” but I’m certain he will soon offer something more substantial.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Jesus never existed…
            But, if he did, he was not the same one who is described in the Bible…
            …and, if he was, he was injured but not killed completely…
            …and, if he was killed, then he never appeared to anyone alive after that…
            …and, if people thought they saw him, then it was mass hallucination.

            Hey, look at me, I’m a skeptic! *takes a bow*

          • Mike says:

            That’s actually the beauty of it all. God gives you the choice to believe. He even gives you a measure of faith and makes Himself known by His creation. However, He lets you choose. You can believe or not and it is totally up to you.

  3. BbBennett says:

    I’m with you, Dan! I’m not buying climate change OR evolution either… until I see some empirical evidence and some solid, repeatable and falsifiable experimentation.

    • gary says:

      If everyone followed that line of thinking we would be back in the Dark Ages.

      Embrace science and reason, my friend, abandon ancient, scientifically-ignorant superstitions.

    • Burlesconga says:

      Except, there kind of is evidence of it, observable evidence. How do you think Darwin thought of his idea? Finches didn’t just grow difference beaks because they like to accessorize.

      • Mike says:

        That is adaptation within a species. That has been observed, however one species becoming another species has NEVER been observed.

        How can a single felled organism that has no need of a pulmonary system create it within itself? Or a heart? Logically why would that happen?

  4. mrsmcmommy says:

    If anyone sees a comment from “Arkenaten,” please notify me.

    As far as I know, he is a cluster of cells randomly generated by the Universe, with no meaning or order to his existence.

    Unless he can convince me that his comments are meaningful and ordered, I will send his comments to spam. (Where all the other comments generated by artificial intelligence get sent.)

      • mrsmcmommy says:

        Artificial intelligence is kind of a misnomer, huh? It’s actually INTELLIGENCE, that was put into a piece of technology by an intelligent creator…

        Anyway, my point is that we can tell when something was written by an Intelligence or when it was written by a machine that was created by something intelligent.

        I’m just as interested in Ark’s comments as all the comments sent automatically by spam robots. (Thanks, Universe, for Spam Robots!)

        • mrsmcmommy says:

          (Related: I’m glad a few intelligent people have written the code for comment moderation. I’ve finally figured out how to use it, so that Ark’s disordered and meaningless comments go straight to spam without me having to do anything further.)

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            If an intelligent person wanted to keep commenting, they might try using a different name, to skirt the spam filter… Maybe the name “Array?”

            (We’ll see if I–an intelligent person–was able to preempt that move.) 🙂

  5. Ron says:

    You forgot to mention that the Jewish Daily Beacon’s “reports” were culled from anonymous writers citing anonymous sources decades after this alleged event took place. Strange that no one outside the circle of faith felt compelled to write about the wonders of this Jewish miracle man.

    • John Branyan says:

      Good points!
      I’ll add them to the list of compelling evidences against the New Testament.

      1. “We don’t know the names of the reporters.”
      2. “Ron finds it strange that we haven’t found more written reports.”

      Anything else?

        • John Branyan says:

          Evidence. You need to give historical evidence to back up your superstitions. Something written around the time of the New Testament that contradicts the New Testament accounts.
          Maybe Cuba Gooding Jr. has something you can use.

          • Ron says:

            The burden of proof lies with those asserting a man who died a gruesome death arose from the grave without benefit of modern medical aid. Also, keep in mind that no one claims to having been present during this purported resurrection event. They only claim to having met up with a resurrected Jesus.

            The evidence for points three to five is contained within the texts themselves and has be thoroughly catalogued by others. Search Google … and ye shall find.

          • John Branyan says:

            Nope.
            I’m not doing your research for you.

            If you have evidence that contradicts the New Testament account, lay it out. Start with whatever convinced you that the resurrection never happened. You have something other than your personal skepticism, right?

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            An excellent point, Ron…

            You’d think, if someone were making up a story about a resurrection, they would have put SOME CHARACTER at the scene, to witness it… You’d also think they would name some important people (rather than women and fishermen), to lend credibility. It seems they weren’t very good at writing fiction.

          • Ron says:

            I’ve done the research, Mr. Branyan. And I encourage you to do likewise. You can start by comparing the gospel birth and death naratives side-by-side. They don’t mesh with each other, or historical reality.

            @mrsmcmommy

            Yes. It’s too bad that an all-knowing, all-powerful God failed to anticipate that later generations would hold to more exacting standards of evidence than just simple word-of-mouth accounts. Bummer.

          • John Branyan says:

            I have done a side-by-side comparison, Ron, and I encourage you to do likewise. Compelling, isn’t it?

            You are supposed to provide a historical narrative that contradicts the New Testament narrative. You are not supposed to assign me homework!
            Your personal incredulity is not historical evidence.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Well, you have to admit: “exacting” standards is a good way to describe Ron!

            You can’t get much more “exact” than, “I personally am unconvinced, and I will remain unconvinced until I see…something that convinces me.”

          • John Branyan says:

            Sure!
            He’s an impenetrable fortress of doubt. It’s good to have such a fortress when your goal is protecting your personal biases.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Oh, no, no, no… he’s not an impenetrable fortress. It seems that, if Jesus had poofed some papyrus into existence and written the Bible himself, THEN Ron would have been more easily convinced! At least, I think that’s what he was suggesting?

            LOL!!!

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Exacting standards are fine.

            SHIFTING standards are not.

            You don’t have to be all-knowing to see that’s what you’ve done with history. You change the level of skepticism you apply, based on whether you want to believe something or not.

          • Mike says:

            Actually the fact that the accounts vary gives them credibility. If they were word for word the same people would be skeptical and say they were all written by the same person. Think about eye witness testimony of a crime or accident. Everybody picks out different things that stand out to them, but the big things they all agree on. The same is true of the different accounts of Jesus’ life. Each writer focuses on different important events, but the main things all agree.

          • John Branyan says:

            My suspicion is that Ron’s comments are not based on a thorough examination of the evidences. I think he’s plagiarizing talking points from atheist websites. If he had actual evidence that opposes the resurrection, I would think he’d be eager to post it.
            Instead, he’s telling me that if I do research, I’ll see that his position is correct.

      • mrsmcmommy says:

        I noticed you didn’t count his point that reports came “decades after the supposed event.” I assume that’s because the oldest manuscript is dated to within 2-3 years of the resurrection. 🙂 That’s actually a point in the New Testament’s FAVOR. lol!

        The fact that the entire New Testament was written within 35-40 years after Jesus lived (and died and lived again) is pretty remarkable. No other event in ancient history is as well-documented… The only thing left for an Atheist to do is complain about WHO did the documenting. (And Ron is doing a fabulous job with that.)

    • Mike says:

      Ron your statement makes it pretty clear you have no real understanding ofancient historical writing and are viewing it from a modern western cultural point of view. The fact that the accounts of Jesus life, death and resurrection were written within one generation of the events taking place is remarkable in the ancient world. This actually gives tremendous credibility to its accuracy and authenticity in a academic historical setting. Most historical writings happen hundreds of years after the event. At that time things were passed down by the spoken word. There wasn’t paper and pen available to everyone since most could not read or write.

      • Ron says:

        You’re argument is there were no scribes around in Roman Judea? or quills? or ink? or papyrus? Really? Ok, then, for the sake of argument let’s say that’s true. What about your miracle man, Jesus? Couldn’t he have magically conjoured up the requisite materials? Or just written down the intstructions himself — you know, for posterity — to preserve the message so that future followers don’t misinterpret the message and create endless schisms over what he really said and meant? Seems like a terrible oversight for an all-knowing being.

        • mrsmcmommy says:

          Yeah, THAT would have convinced people… LOL!

          Ron, stop pretending you don’t know exactly what your “exacting standards” would demand, if Jesus conjured up some paper and wrote his own story.

          The rest of us know what you Atheists would say–2000 years later! Come on and show some skepticism! Are you honest enough to admit that wouldn’t convince you, either?

          • John Branyan says:

            Are you going to keep saying “exacting standards” in every comment? I hope not…It’s starting to bug me.

          • Ron says:

            For the record, I’m not arguing to the ‘Jesus was a mythological historical figure’ proposition. I’l grant your historical Jesus right up to the point where he screams, “Eli Eli lama sabachthani?”.

            But no credible, non-biblical historian grants credence to the supernatural elements attributed to other historical figures. So you have a choice: provide empirical evidence for the extaordinary claims within the biblical narratives; fully embrace the supernatural elements contained within other historical works; or accept the fact that the supernatural elements within the biblical narratives will treated with the same degree of skepticism as those contained within every other historical record.

            That’s what I mean by “exacting” standards. The ball is now in your court.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            “No credible, non-biblical historian.”

            Bahaha! What the hell does that even mean???

            I understand your position, Ron. You have raised the bar too high for me to meet, I admit it. Congratulations! I cannot provide evidence to meet your personal standards!
            (But unless you can provide a credible counter-testimony from the same era as the testimony of those who walked with Jesus after he appeared alive to them, I’ll just keep laughing at you.)

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Pretend you’re a NON-believer during Jesus’ time for just a minute…

            Wouldn’t you befriend at least one of the disciples and try to get them to confess it was all bogus? Shouldn’t there be at least ONE testimony from someone who infiltrated the early church and discovered their hidden agenda and wrote a report about it?

            I mean, that’s what I would expect, so it’s only fair for Ron to provide it.

          • John Branyan says:

            Yes! That is undeniable evidence right there!
            No doubt there were many damning testimonies from the Christian hoax perpetrators but the non-believers couldn’t write them down without quills and papyrus.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            We’ve probably lost thousands of testimonies from people like Paul’s neighbor or Timothy’s ex-girlfriend…

            “He’s crazy! He thinks a dude came back to life!” They would have said. “But I’ve seen PILES OF MONEY under his bed, so maybe he’s not so crazy… He’s profiting off the gullible!”

            Yeah. I can’t wait for Archeologists to uncover those fragments.

          • John Branyan says:

            Yep. First century Christians made mad bank off the gospel. Those Jews were throwing money the the apostles!
            “Shut up, take my money and preach more blasphemy!”

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Maybe the testimonies against Christians were lost in a great fire… Maybe the Great Fire of London! (I mean, IF that really happened. I can’t find any credible, non-British testimonies that it did.)

          • Mike says:

            Simply because evidence is found in the Bible does not mean it has less historical credibility that any other piece of historical document.

            I think the ball is really in your court Ron. I have given you credible sources.
            Please provide me with historical documents that specifically refute the eye witness accounts we find in the Bible. You would think that some Jewish religious leader would have noted down something to refute the disciples accounts and yet there is none. Hmmm

          • Ron says:

            mrsmcmommy

            I don’t think you grasp the who holds the burden of proof. It’s up to those making extraordinary claims to furnish evidence in support of their claims; not the other way around.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            No, Ron. I don’t think YOU grasp that nobody can prove something to a person who doesn’t want to be convinced…

            I think all of you Atheists enjoy sitting in the judges seat with your arms folded, like Simon Cowell, as people dance on stage trying to impress you. But I’m not interested in convincing you of anything. I don’t care if you think there’s enough evidence or not.

            If you’d like to take a shot at convincing ME that your standards for historic events are consistent, I’ll accept your evidence now. Otherwise, congratulations on staying unconvinced! Good job!

          • Ron says:

            Given your low standards of evidence you’ll have to accept similar arguments made in defense of the supernatural claims attributed to Mohamed. And especially the Mormons, because: they can actually produce sworn affidavits from the people who claim to have seen those golden plates. 🙂

          • John Branyan says:

            Glad you brought those up, Ron!
            Lots of historical evidence disproves the claims of the Book of Mormon. 🙂

            …but you don’t really care about that.

          • Ron says:

            Who said anything about Mo (PB&J Upon Him) rising from the dead? I explicitly said ,a href=”(PB&J Upon Him)”>supernatural claims attributed to Mo (PB&J Upon Him).

            @John Branyan

            Prove to me that those Mormon witnesses did not in fact see those golden plates.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            I’m open to being convinced that Mohammed performed some miracles. (That’s because I haven’t decided, ahead of time, that miracles are impossible…like some people have…) The reason I haven’t done much research on it, though, is because my understanding is Mohammed never claimed to be God, and that his followers never claimed he rose from the dead to prove he was God. Correct me if I’m wrong.

            If Mohammed made the same claims Jesus made, then I would require the same number of testimonies that Jesus was given. How many people saw the risen Mohammed after he died?

        • Mike says:

          He did, it’s called the gospels. The disciples were going around the known world proclaiming that Jesus was the Messiah. That is what Jesus told them to do. These were letters written to the churches they had set up around the world. It isn’t like these accounts weren’t known until they showed up in the Bible we have today.
          I am sure you know that most information was passed down by word of mouth and that is why these written accounts of Jesus life being written within one generation is so amazing. It is also a reason to give them credibility in the academic world.

          • Ron says:

            Pretend for a moment that you’re an allmighty god and want things done right. Woud you leave such an important undertaking to fallable mortals, or would you choose to do it yourself?

          • John Branyan says:

            Boom! Another excellent evidence! I’ll add that to the list:

            5. “Ron doesn’t approve of God’s methods of communication.”

          • John Branyan says:

            “If God would concede me His omnipotence for 24 hours, you would see how many changes I would make in the world. But if He gave me His wisdom too, I would leave things as they are.”
            ― J.M.L. Monsabre

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            I’ve heard that before. It’s thought-provoking.

            But even a not-very-thoughtful person could come up with reasons why a god “might” choose to use humans for various things. Ron’s attempt to cast doubt on God’s choices (purely because he thinks they might be different from his own) is so weak I almost can’t believe he pressed “send.”

            But then I remember this isn’t the first Atheist I’ve ever talked to, and all of them have nothing better than “make me believe!” So, it’s not surprising.

    • Ron says:

      Tell me, then, which of the thousands of denominations has the ‘Holy Spirit’ within them? Because they can’t quite seem eye-to-eye on that matter.

      • John Branyan says:

        LOL!
        You don’t have the vaguest idea what denominations see eye-to-eye on!

        Evidence, man! How many times do I need to ask?

          • John Branyan says:

            LOLOL!
            Now you’re using Christianity to argue against Christianity! Brilliant!!
            Keep going. Maybe I’ll forget that you’re supposed to be justifying your skepticism for the resurrection.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Uh…did Ron have a stroke?

            Why is he bringing up Muslims and Mormons and Catholics now? Does he think he’s making a good point for why his double-standards are okay?

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            They think if they refuse to say “There’s not enough evidence” in those words, that they haven’t made any claims. 🙂

            Poor things.

            I just don’t know why certain Christians feel like they have to dance for these judges. You’ll NEVER impress Simon Cowell if he’s already convinced “there is no such thing as good singers.”

          • John Branyan says:

            The guy just posted Jeremiah 8:8 as proof text that the Scripture is corrupt. You ever heard anyone do that before? Use scripture to prove scripture is untrustworthy?

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Yes–I’ve heard Atheists use the Old Testament in attempts to discredit things written in the New Testament MANY TIMES.
            But I’m not sure I’ve ever heard someone use Jeremiah 8, specifically. So points for originality there!

          • John Branyan says:

            So…how does one reject Christian doctrine on the basis of other Christian doctrine and arrive at atheism?

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Selective skepticism. As I’ve been saying all along. Pick and choose what to question very thoroughly and what to not think about at all.

          • Ron says:

            Yes. You asked for evidence that Christians don’t see eye-to-eye and I delivered. Now your being naughty and moving the goal posts. Remember, Santa’s making a list and checking it twice. Do you want a lump of coal in your stocking?

          • John Branyan says:

            Focus, Ron.
            Evidence that contradicts the New Testament account of the resurrection. That’s what you are supposed to provide.
            Ask Santa for that.

          • Ron says:

            I already told you. A close side-by-side reading of the four gospel naratives provides the very evidence of contradictions you seek. Do you really want me to post walls of text? or can I trust you to find a Bible and read it for yourself. Here’s a start:

            – the birth narrative (Mt 2 vs. Lk 2)
            – genealogies (Mt 1:1-17 vs. Lk 3:23-38)
            – John the Baptist’s knowledge of Jesus (Mt 3:13-14 vs. Mt 11:2-3)
            – Judas death (Mt 27:3-10 vs. Acts 1:18-19)
            – postmortem events (Mt 28 vs. Mk 16 vs. Lk 24 vs. Jn 20-21 vs. Acts 1)
            – Mt 27:9 cites the wrong prophet — Jeremiah s/b Zechariah (Zec 11:12-13)

            Ironically, the prophet even predicted that the scriptures would be corrupted:

            “How can you say, ‘We are wise,
            And the law of the Lord is with us’?
            But behold, the lying pen of the scribes
            Has made it into a lie.”
            Jeremiah 8:8

          • John Branyan says:

            LOL!
            You have claimed the gospels are not trustworthy. So you can’t use the gospels to disprove each other! LOL!

            The Gospels don’t contradict each other in regards to the resurrection anyway. Is this the first time you’ve ever had to do this?

            We’re talking about the resurrection. Remember that. The resurrection is all that matters. Without the resurrection, Christianity collapses.

            I’m starting to suspect that you don’t actually have any evidence…

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            (The Gospels don’t “contradict” each other in regards to anything at all… clearly, Ron knows as much about interrogating eye-witnesses as he does about textual criticism.)

          • Mike says:

            Nope you can’t use verses in the Bible out of context to try and prove a point that you have yet to prove. I already countered your narratives contradicting claim, so move on. On top of that I asked you for evidence outside the Bible which contradicts the eye witness account and you have yet to prove anything except the same old atheist argument about how 4 different people didn’t tell the exact same story. That logic is faulty so please give me the evidence that you have to support your unbelief.

          • Ron says:

            What do you mean I can’t use the gospels to disprove each other? They’re the only written source materials you have describing the sequence of events you claim to believe in. And when those sources don’t match, it kind of casts doubt on their authenticity — don’t you think?

            And again, Christians proclaim a risen Christ. So what are you waiting for? Bring him out for all the world to see and put us skeptics to shame. Those same gospels state that Jesus promised, “I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” This should be as easy as saying a simple prayer.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Yeah…that part where Luke claims Jesus rose, but Matthew says he’s still dead is really awkward…

            Wait, that didn’t happen. The fact that they “don’t match” (as in, their accounts aren’t word-for-word the same) actually LENDS CREDIBILITY to people who interrogate witnesses for a living.

            But let’s ignore that.

            Also–you’re back to demanding to see Christ in the flesh again! BAHAHAHAHA! Still not enough honesty to admit that wouldn’t convince you either. What a shame.

          • John Branyan says:

            “What do you mean I can’t use this gospel that I don’t believe is reliable to prove this other gospel isn’t reliable?!!”

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            I heard once that no perfect circles exist anywhere in the Universe.
            Don’t know if that’s true…but Ron’s arguments are pretty close.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            One eyewitness said Judas hung himself…another said his intestines spilled out! How in the WORLD can I trust these guys?!?!
            Both of them are obviously lying!!!!

          • John Branyan says:

            “They’re the only written source materials you have describing the sequence of events you claim to believe in. ”

            KABOOOOOOOM! That is exactly your criticism is it not? The gospels are the only source. And that source is unreliable. You are supposed to demonstrate WHY THE GOSPELS ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED.

            (BTW: The fact that nobody produced Jesus body after the crucifixion is just one of the evidences FOR the resurrection.)

            You should consider doing the honorable thing and just admit that you have no evidence that demonstrates the gospels are unreliable.

          • Mike says:

            All denominations agree that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah, who came and died and rose again to take away sin and give mankind eternal life.

            Whatever they think of each other is truest irrelevant. People will always be people, which means they won’t agree on the minor things but cause everyone thinks they are right.
            Ron what denominations think of each other does not change the truth of the gospel.
            I am still waiting for your evidecd that contradicts the eye witness accounts of the risen Jesus.

          • Ron says:

            The gospels are inconsistent with reality and against each other. That’s all the evidence you need to deem them as unreliable.

            You don’t know that someone didn’t produce the body but the diistraught follwers continued on in denial. And after a few days, the facial decomposition would be so severe you wouldn’t be able to identify whose body it was, anyway. Moreover, the gospels were written long after the fact, so later skeptics would have no way to prove what happened to the corpse.

            The missing corpse is not evidence — it’s your Achilles’ heel. Either produce the man you say came back from the dead, or admit you have no evidence.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Hey, that’s a new one! I’ve never heard an Atheist argue before that people who talked and ate with Jesus simply didn’t recognize his zombie-face!

            Very creative!

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            It wasn’t really Jesus, like they thought…. it was ANOTHER dead guy who had risen from the grave, but he was just really decomposed…

            LOL!

          • John Branyan says:

            “The gospels are inconsistent with reality…”

            The gospels are the reality that I’m proposing.
            Your job…for the millionth time…is to present a reality that contradicts the resurrection.

            We understand your speculative point of view. Now, we would love to see historical evidence!

          • Mike says:

            Ron, Ron, Ron my dear fellow please show me some writing that disputes the eye witness accounts that are in the Bible. That is your task!! You keep getting lost in Theresa of documents you don’t believe anyway. Show me the documents that show a contradictory account. Surely the Jewish leaders, who hated Jesus and His followers, wrote something down that says we showed everyone the body and that settled the lies that these men were telling. By the way contradiction means the opposite not just a little different. For example He is dead…He is alive

          • Mike says:

            In my last post I meant to say you are getting lost in the weeds not Theresa.

            Since it appears you like speculation instead of facts please explain to me why the disciples went from being afraid and in hiding to boldly proclaiming Jesus as the risen Messiah?

            The gospel of Mark was probably written 2 or 3 years after the resurrection not long after.

          • Ron says:

            Ah. So that’s why those two followers on the road to Emmaus didn’t recognize Big J Mary Magdalene mistook him as a gardener.

            Sequence of events:

            Mark’s Original Theatrical Release

            Mary Magdalene (aka “The Demoniac”), Mary the mother of James, and Salome visit tomb, see the stone already rolled away, and find a young man wearng a white robe sitting inside. He tells them “Big J’s up and gone, ladies. Go rustle up the boys and tell them to mosey on out for that meet-up in Galilee he talked about before he died.” They run off and tell no one. — The End

            Marky Mark – Directors Cut (Believers’ bonus features: exorcism, glossolalia, snake charming, Kool-Aid antidote, faith healing)

            Mary Magdalene sees Big J and runs off to tell the disciples, who don’t believe her. Two followers meet Big J while walking out to the country from Jerusalem and rush back to tell the disciples, who refuse to believe them. Later, Big J shows up for dinner and reams them out for being such stubborn skeptics, then delivers his “great commission” and lifts off to heaven. — The End

            Mat’s “Jesus Rebooted” Edition

            Mary Magdalene and the ‘other’ Mary visit tomb. There’s a ‘YUGE’ earthquake, Roma Downey rolls away the stone, and after the guards faint, she tells the women to summon the disciples to Galilee. They run off and meet Big J who says, “Yo! s’up! Chill, sistas! Go tell mah brothas ta leave fo’ Galilee, n’ they’ll peep me there.” JC’s Eleven leave to Galilee and meet Big J on a mountain where he tells them to go out and recruit new members to the Brotherhood of Jah. — The End.

            Luke’s “Return of the Rabbi” Edition

            Mary “Who you callin’ a Ho?” Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women find the stone already rolled away and the tomb empty. *POOF* Two men in shiny clothes belt out, “He ain’t dead. He’s risen.” The women tell the disciples, who respond, “Quit your crazy talk and go make us a sandwich!” Petey’s spidey senses begin to tingle, so he runs to tomb, finds mummy wrap, and goes back home perplexed. Meanwhile Big J meets up with some followers on the road to (the now lost village of) Emmaus, but they don’t recognize him. They invite him in for a sleepover. When he breaks bread for dinner they yell, “Jesus Christ! It’s you!” and make a mad dash back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples when *POOF* Big J appears and says, “Chill, bros! What’s up? You all look like you’ve just seen a ghost. And pass me some fish — I haven’t eaten since the last supper!” After a short stroll out to Bethany he shouts, “Peace out, my peeps!” and then he’s up, up and away! — The End

            John’s “Tales From the Crypt” Edition

            Mary Magdalene runs to tomb, finds stone already rolled away, runs back to inform Petey and the disciple “whom Jesus loved” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more). Petey loses a footrace to the tomb but goes in first to discover empty linens. Meanwhile Mary’s outside sobbing and as she turns to leave *POOF* Big J appears and asks, “Why you be cryin, babe?” At first she thinks he’s the gardener, but when he says her name, she cries out “Teacher” and gets all clingy. So Big J says, “Yo! Girl! Keep it together! I ain’t flying out just yet. Go tell my posse Big J’s back in town.” She runs to deliver the message, and they decide to lay low because they’re afraid of the Hebrew Five-O when *POOF* Big J appears and says, “Hey guys! Check out my scars.” Next scene, Thomas (aka “The Twin” and “Doubting T”) says “Show me that scarred savior or GTFO!!” Eight days later *POOF* Big J appears behind locked doors again, and — unlike his 21st century followers — actually shows Thomas the requested evidence without reservation. More appearances, a fishing trip, a big catch, breakfast on the beach, loyalty pledges, bromance, jealousy, rumours, surprise reveal, and exagerated miracle claims. — The End

            Acts 1 – Behind the Scenes

            JC hangs with his crew for 40 days after his first ascension, tells them to wait for the Holy Spook, and then goes up into a cloud.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            (I only skimmed this–because they’re the same old, non-contradictory differences that Atheists have been bringing up for years… but, please let me know if I missed the part where Luke said Jesus rose and Mark said he didn’t. THAT would be interesting evidence!)

          • Ron says:

            Mike, They’re are nor eyewitness accounts. The anonymous gospel authors are relaying what they’ve been told by others. Luke stipulates this outright in the very first chapter. And hearsay does not constitute evidence.

          • Mike says:

            John was an eyewitness, Matthew was an eyewitness, Mark was most likely an eyewitness and even if he wasn’t he recorded what the eyewitnesses saw (most likely Peter). The only one that wasn’t an actual eyewitness was Luke and he simply recorded what the eyewitnesses told him. I get that you don’t except this proof and that is your choice.

            I am still waiting for your evidence that contradicts the eye witness accounts. Trying to convince me the eye witness accounts aren’t real is just your opinion and not fact or proof.

          • Ron says:

            mrsmcmommy

            You’re special pleading and moving the goal posts. If the accounts can’t even agree to the material facts (who, what, when, where), there is little reason to give credence to the miracle claims. It’s your claim a man rose from the dead, so the onus is on you to support that claim; and hearsay is NOT evidence. Be a mensch and own your claim.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Oh, you’re going to respond to me this time?

            You didn’t respond when I told you that people who make their living comparing testimonies disagree with everything you just said… Stories that match exactly are suspect. Stories that have slight variations demonstrate they are told by humans with faulty memories. 🙂

            (But you’re totally right about special pleading! I learned that from you! I’m demanding the type of evidence I would require. Do you have it?)

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            And…wait a second… they “can’t agree on the who what when where” ???

            What are you talking about?

            You mean “Jesus, was walking and talking with various people, three days after being crucified, in Jerusalem?”

          • Ron says:

            Mike,

            The oldest extent gospel fragments are written in Greek. So who wrote them? Given that a few comments earlier you stated most people couldn’t read or write it’s highly unlikely they were written by a bunch of unschooled, ordinary (fisher)men (aka Jesus disciples).

            So you are left with some unknown entities compiling the hearsay of others — which is not exactly what I consider convincing evidence. How do you know that people centuries removed from you were telling the truth?

          • John Branyan says:

            “How do you know that people centuries removed from you were telling the truth?”

            Excellent point!
            You have nailed it, Ron!

            Now, how do we know that you’re telling the truth?

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            All joking aside, maybe Atheists have trust issues because they’re absolutely surrounded by liars (and, perhaps, are skilled liars themselves)? Why else would you go to such great lengths to doubt what people have been willing to die to defend?

            They do the same with people still living TODAY who claim to have witnessed something miraculous: assume they’re lying until sufficient “evidence” can be provided. And, since no evidence is enough, and word-of-mouth isn’t evidence, then they just ALWAYS assume they’re lying. How sad.

          • John Branyan says:

            He used a trillion words trying to convince us not to believe the gospel story of the resurrection.
            Then he used a paragraph to convince me that I shouldn’t believe the previous trillion words.

            And atheists are the ‘rational’ people, right?

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Good news: the “Russian Bot” comment was Ron’s hundredth one he made here!

            What a milestone!

            Glad he made it a good one.

          • Ron says:

            How do we know that I’m telling the truth?

            You don’t. For all you know, I could be a Russian bot sent to undermine the fabric of western society. . . . or Satan incarnate. Ask Jesus for help in deciding which one it might be.

          • Ron says:

            Absolutely. The lyrics of the song written by Raymond Mcguire & Brian Smith from the Canadian rock band Trooper are the soundtrack of my life:

            We’re here for a good time
            Not a long time
            So have a good time
            The sun can’t shine every day.

          • John Branyan says:

            I was going to ask for historical evidence of Raymond Mcguire & Brian Smith, but frankly I’m bored with Ron’s tripe.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            They’re still alive! Theoretically you could go talk to them personally!

            But once they’re dead, you’ll have to ask God to raise them and make an appearance to me, or I will disbelieve everything that was written yesterday or today on the subject… (Also, if God raises them, I will not recognize their decomposed forms. So nevermind.)

          • Ron says:

            @mrsmcmommy

            Congratulations! You’ve finally latched on to what I’m saying. Second-hand accounts have no evidential standing unless they can be verified by the person receiving them. The closest we can ever come to discovering the “truth” is through our own physical senses. And even then we’re obliged to consider that we may not always perceive or interpret the incoming data correctly.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Congratulations! You’ve finally latched on to what I’m saying. There’s no way to convince you. NO evidence would be enough because to have chosen already what you will believe (or not believe).

            Glad we agree… And, anytime you need me to tell you “good job” for being an unwavering skeptic, I’d be happy to! 🙂

            Curious, though: do you believe humans have walked on the moon?

          • Ron says:

            The level of evidence required is dependent on the probability of an event having taken place.

            For instance: If I said I had dinner with my parents at Red Lobster last night, it’s doubtful anyone would question me further, because millions of people go out for dinner with their families on a daily basis. The only time I’d be asked for evidence is if I were using that as an alibi to distance myself from a crime scene.

            However, if I told you that I had dinner with President Trump at the White House last night you’d probably be skeptical and demand further proof. Why? Because few people have unfettered access to the POTUS. Nonetheless, it still remains within the realm of possibility that I do have such access.

            Now let’s pretend I told you that my friends and I met JFK in late 1965. Here are our accounts:

            Me: We met a cemetery worker at the empty gravesite who told us JFK was alive. We left thinking he was nuts, but ran into JFK on the way to the Washington Monument.

            First Friend: As I recall it, a security guard told us JFK was alive just outside the McClellan Gate and as we turned to leave … there was JFK, standing right in front of us.

            Second Friend: To my recollection, two marines outside the McClellan Gate informed us that JFK was alive. We left in total disbelief, but to our surprise, JFK showed up at our family barbeque later that night.

            Third Friend: I wasn’t actually present for any of those events, but heard about it a few days later. Naturally, I dismissed it as utter nonsense unless I could meet JFK and examine the gunshot wounds to his head. Boy was I shocked when he appeared out of nowhere at our private get-together later that week to do just that.

            Now, be honest: assuming that you’re not a complete dullard, I doubt you’ll be saying our discrepancies in retelling the chain of events makes the likelihood of that story being true all the more authentic.

            As to the moon landings…

            Only those involved can state with absolute certainty that these events took place. The rest of must accept it on good faith. But I believe the video evidence corroborates the testimony of those who witnessed the event live. Can I prove it wasn’t an elaborate Hollywood stage production? No. But susequent space missions lend credence to the probability that such an event could have taken place within my lifetime.

          • Mike says:

            I am not sure if you are just ignoring my posts or what, but the accounts in the Bible are from people who were literally with Jesus before and after He rose from the dead and written in one car within a few years of the event (book of Mark)

            You do a lot of talking in circles and you never answer direct questions.

            Where is your written evidence that contradicts the eye witness accounts of a risen Jesus?

            Why would disciples want to make up the story? It only led to hardship in their lives

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Let me help you out, Mike:
            Something about a security guard and a marine, seeing someone outside or at a barbeque.

            I’m not sure what that has to do with an entire group of people who walked and talked with Jesus after he had been dead, but I hope that clears it up.

            😉

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            I’m Amanda, John’s daughter.
            But, yes, if you get a straight answer, it will be a miracle. The original post said something like, “Just admit you don’t WANT to believe in God!”
            That would be fine!

            But, no… We can’t have that kind of honesty, I guess.

          • Mike says:

            Amanda I am familiar with your work. I listen to the podcast every week. I don’t know how you two do this all the time. It makes me crazy, but I can’t get away from it.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Thanks for listening, Carl! Happy to have you mixing it up with us here!

            Maybe when you REALLY start craving punishment, you can join my dad when he visits the Atheists on their blogs. It’s a trip. 😉

          • Ron says:

            Mike

            I’ve addressed your questions and provided reasons for why I find your “eyewitness” testimonies unconvincing — not the least of which is that eyewitness testimony is often unreliable. Thus far, no one has chosen to engage those points.

            However, in light of Mr. Branyan’s expressed boredom, I will voluntarily withdraw from this conversation.

          • John Branyan says:

            We’ve all engaged your “points” which amount to nothing more than, “I don’t want to believe.”
            Certainly you should disengage because you have no reason to keep talking.
            Understand, however, that you are not leaving as a courtesy to me because I am bored with you. Everyone knows the real reason you are disengaging.

          • Mike says:

            Ron the fact is you NEVER addressed any of my questions. You NEVER offered any written claims that contradict the eye witness testimony. (Which is what I asked for)

            You never answered my question of why the eye witnesses would make it up or the fact that the earliest writing was within months of the resurrection and would have been easy to disprove and yet no one did.

            All you have done was give me your reasons for not believing the eye witness testimony as illogical as it is.

            You are free to believe what you want but don’t hide behind logic, because logic is on my side when looking honestly at the evidence.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            Well, eye-witness accounts are always unreliable (including Ron’s). That’s why he suggested that he needs to see Jesus in the flesh. 🙂

            Again, he suggested–and I’m totally sure this is true–that if Jesus showed up and introduced himself, THEN he would have the evidence he needs! lol! (I’m sure Ron would know better if/when he saw Jesus than the people who were friends with him before the crucifixion.)

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