I was looking over Evan May’s blog this morning when I ran across a link to some comments posted by John Loftus on the “Debunking Christianity” blog. I noted with some humor the presence of Dan Barker as one of the contributors to that blog. I will never forget the radio programs I did with Barker, both by phone and in person on the Tom Leykus show many, many years ago. Anyway, Loftus, allegedly a former “Christian” with an Th.M. from Trinity (I haven’t bothered to check out the claim, it’s fairly irrelevant given the nature of this material) posted a series of “questions your Pastor will hate.” I don’t have time today to tackle all of them (I believe someone over at Triablogue already did), but I wanted to quickly note one of them as it is being repeated so often people are starting to believe it merely due to repetition. Here is the question:
“Why does the Apostle Paul, who writes most of the New Testament, NEVER quote Jesus, tell a story of his life or death, discuss a miracle or teaching?” Answer…Where do you get this stuff?
Paul referred to the death of Jesus Christ constantly. Surely Mr. Loftus has read the NT at some point in his receiving a Th.M.? When Paul spoke to the Corinthians of having a commandment from the Lord, or not, he was referring to whether there was a specific teaching of the Lord contained in the apostolic teaching and preaching which was only at that time being put into written form in the gospels. But why on earth is this question even being asked, given the purposes for which Paul’s epistles were written? Is it not painfully obvious that Paul was fully aware of all of these things, as were those to whom he was writing, so that repeating that common body of knowledge (seen, for example, in the Carmen Christi at Phil. 2:5-11) would be a foolish act? The entire foundation of the question shows either gross ignorance of Paul’s writings, their context, and their purpose, or, more likely for apostates, a disregard for the facts and simple honesty. That has been my experience: “former” Christians, freed from the constraints of morality, express their hatred for the faith in the most outrageous ways, and rarely do you find a high regard for fairness or accuracy in their writings.
If time allows (I begin moving my office this week, which includes multiple thousands of volumes of books) I will respond to more of these alleged objections to the faith.
Finally, irony of irony, it is currently 83 degrees here in Auburn…and 50 back in Phoenix. Wouldn’t you know I’d be gone the one time winter shows up in Phoenix?