Friday, April 14, 2017

How to Interpret Matthew's Passage About The Resurrection of Old Saints?

        "I have an open mind . I am willing to be convinced but I have no firm opinion on it."  Notice how the audience does not go crazy because their apologist is willing to say he has his doubts about the passage and everyone (except those not given to critical thinking) does.


Michael said...

William Lane Craig admits:
"...were they kind of sitting around in the tombs waiting to come out? This seems bizarre... So this is a problem for everybody... This is not meant to be taken literally.."

And this is where you just have to wring your hands and give up.
If even a scholar like WLCraig (who is undeniably a scholar of the Bible) reads this very clear passage saying something happened (which is something that very clearly couldn't have happened, and he admits as much), but finds he has to pretend it's just metaphor in order to continue believing what he wants to believe, then it's simply time to give up trying to convince him or even debate him.

That this very smart man, when faced with such undeniable evidence that the Bible has made up stuff in it, has no other recourse than to arbitrarily claim it's just not literal..., then it just proves that nothing is going to change his mind. Nothing at all.

I understand why a lot of debaters refuse to debate him, he just proved in this video that it would be pointless.

Michael said...

I also think that the Bible has in many ways done more to foster human creativity than a whole host of other books ever have.

In order to justify one's steadfast belief one really has to concoct all sorts of clever devices, very convoluted and logically complex, to make some very obviously wrong things sound right.

Throughout history, St. Augustine, Anselmo, Aquinas... (fast-forward to present) Craig, they all did it.

DennisCDiehl said...

This is the first example, I have found of WC Craig expressing doubts as to something being not literally true in scripture. He's the golden boy of apologetics in many circles.

I don't have a problem with deferring to stories being symbolic. The writing style of Midrash allowed that and is something we don't understand today. We'd call it lying just as "pseudopigrapha" is really saying it is a forgery written as an author might write it and in someone's name (Peter, Paul etc) but not actually by them.

The stories of Jesus crucifixion, just as those of his birth, are made up mostly of OT scriptures and "types" with the authors not actually knowing much about what really happened, if it did. I know this must be a disturbing fact for anyone who grew up with the naive and sincere Sunday School version of the Bible. Few will actually go there. Some have gone there, took a look and turned right around.

Meaning is important to us all. What is life? Why am I here? What's it all about? But to come up with the wrong answers, such as too much religion is wont to do and the reason we come up with religion in the first place is ultimately not satisfying unless one is content to live in la la land.

I simply don't mind being one conscious hairless ape descended from a 200,000 year old line and the current top of the heap after the 6 million year journey to us. It's amazing, fascinating and simply true no matter the
reactions against it.

It's one of the lessons I get from my collection of 4.5 billion year old meteorites , stone and metal, that spent most of that time getting ripped apart into smaller pieces in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, as earth formed and before the moon came to be, and occasionally bumped into the inner solar system and into my pocket. It is made of what became everything else to follow. Holding in the hand is almost a spiritual experience :)

DennisCDiehl said...

If it helps those few of you who put folk who think as I do after my naive years as both member and minister of WCG or of any fundamentalist/literalist church, I still listen to and find the hymns of my youth, not WCG hymns, calming and beautiful expressions of what we as humans wonder about. I can get quietly calm and reflective with "How Great Thou Art" . I am just not willing to say the Thou who is Great is a cultic mountain god of a rancorous and small folk seeking a huge pedigree while in captivity and written by her priests or NT Apostles who say things like :

2 Corinthians 12

Paul’s Vision and His Thorn

1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, (THEN WHY DO IT?)I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.

2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. (ME) Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.

3And I know that this man (ME)—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—

4was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. (HOW CONVENIENT AND MANIULATIVE)

5I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself,(YOU ARE AND YOU KNOW IT) except about my weaknesses.

6Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. (SEE IT WAS YOU)But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say,

7or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, (TOLD YA) was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me."

This is "Paul's" Dave Pack moment. Or it is Dave who has Pauline moments and please don't take that as a compliment Dave. Why tell people that you had a vision but can't tell them what they also would love to know too. This is clearly manipulative of the audience to establish authority and specialness, IMHO.

Of course it never really happened and if someone, seeking your theological devotion, told you this today, you'd think them insane. Well except those in some of the COGs following the one man who speaks as if they know.

Anonymous said...

In reading through the comments made by DD I see that he believes he is is a better communtater that the Paul of the bible. From his comments I see what is classed as a critical judgement of those who chose the to included what is accepted as scripture and he believes what he is revealing will create a better human race than what has been written and read for thousands of years.
This is missing the whole point of the biblical writings. The major revelation of scripture is the fact that the human race is dealing with two opposing factors. One is defined as God and the other is defined as Opposed to God. God is defined as love, mercy, goodness, unity, etc. Those Opposed to God are defined as hatred, abusive, corruptive, divisive, etc.
The biblical writers were dealing with different cultures than those of today so their approach would be different, but those two factors still exist. The question is, which factor are we contributing to?

Anonymous said...

So this is really depressing.

DennisCDiehl said...

"The question is, which factor are we contributing to?"

As a kind, compassionate, easy going along with scientifically and theologically curious human being, I'd say knowledge and a proper understanding of that which actually is and not that which we would think or need it to be when it is not.

Your either/or perspective is to simplistic and narrow.

Michael said...

Dennis wrote:
"I don't have a problem with deferring to stories being symbolic. The writing style of Midrash allowed that and is something we don't understand today. We'd call it lying just as "pseudopigrapha" is really saying it is a forgery"

I might phrase it as: Symbolic stories are to bullcrap as pseudoepigrapha are to forgeries :)

In this case, WLC is clearly being completely arbitrary in taking it as metaphor. The text clearly says such and such *happened*, without any metaphoric qualifiers or context, as clearly as it says anything else happened (such as Jesus being flogged, crucified, resurrected, reappeared).

Naturally, by his logic, another scholar would then be just as justified in saying "The resurrection (of Jesus) is just... bizarre...and a big problem.. It cannot be taken literally".

Anonymous said...

DD said: "Your either/or perspective is to simplistic and narrow".
My either/or may be simplistic and narrow, but that is the way the biblical God is presented. You are either for Him or against Him. There are no in betweens. I am not talking about what a person believes.

DennisCDiehl said...

Sorry AB I can't be for something I can't prove and have plenty of evidence for being less than it is presented to be. The Book says "Prove me now herewith" and "Prove all things" I can't prove the Bible and there are excellent explanations for the problems with the texts, authorship and stories that exceed ability to "trust and obey for there is no other way..."

Hebrews 11 says in reality, "Now faith is the substance of what we hope is true, the evidence of that for which we have no evidence."

I just can't do that.

Questeruk said...

Maybe check out the following article:-

Obviously it doesn't conclusively 'prove' anything to those that reject scripture in general. However it does show that these verses were accepted by the early fathers and on down through the centuries.