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So is the earth new?  Is it old?   Just what is meant by new and old?

Please explain which you think and why.   Show why you think it can be supported by doctrine.

 

What is the big deal?

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Harris,
Let's say that I am wrong about the existence of God and what He has revealed about Himself to me. The way I see it, I still have my bases covered, the worst thing that could happen to me would be to go into an eternal coma. But what if "Dr. Ehrman and a broad consensus of biblical historians and scholars" are wrong. Is their apostasy worth spending eternity in Hell over?

Harris Tweed said:
Steve Belttari said:
Harris,
You almost sound like Bart Ehrman, I recall that you mentioned his name earlier in the thread. Last fall I read his most recent book: Jesus Interrupted. I have to admit that I was baffled by some of his assertions concerning the divine inspiration of the new testament. In response to this, I did wind up using the resourses of the Michigan Theological Seminary to gain more insight into how the new testament canon came to be. Bart's forgery theory is convincing, but not true. Ultimately, God's Word is a person: Jesus Christ. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". So we do not need the original manuscripts for this to be true. God in His wisdom saw fit not to preserve the original manuscripts, because no doubt, if we had them men would worship them instead of worshipping the creator.

Note to Zdenny, Steve's reply is a classic example of begging the question.

Steve, your entire reply relies on the assertion first that God exists and second that God is just as you believe him to be. Without any reasonable evidence to support those notions, the only rational conclusion is the historical, scientific, and/or otherwise naturalistic conclusion represented by Dr. Ehrman and a broad consensus of biblical historians and scholars.
Pascals Wager, you might want to look it up.

Steve Belttari said:
Harris,
Let's say that I am wrong about the existence of God and what He has revealed about Himself to me. The way I see it, I still have my bases covered, the worst thing that could happen to me would be to go into an eternal coma. But what if "Dr. Ehrman and a broad consensus of biblical historians and scholars" are wrong. Is their apostasy worth spending eternity in Hell over?

Harris Tweed said:
Steve Belttari said:
Harris,
You almost sound like Bart Ehrman, I recall that you mentioned his name earlier in the thread. Last fall I read his most recent book: Jesus Interrupted. I have to admit that I was baffled by some of his assertions concerning the divine inspiration of the new testament. In response to this, I did wind up using the resourses of the Michigan Theological Seminary to gain more insight into how the new testament canon came to be. Bart's forgery theory is convincing, but not true. Ultimately, God's Word is a person: Jesus Christ. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". So we do not need the original manuscripts for this to be true. God in His wisdom saw fit not to preserve the original manuscripts, because no doubt, if we had them men would worship them instead of worshipping the creator.

Note to Zdenny, Steve's reply is a classic example of begging the question.

Steve, your entire reply relies on the assertion first that God exists and second that God is just as you believe him to be. Without any reasonable evidence to support those notions, the only rational conclusion is the historical, scientific, and/or otherwise naturalistic conclusion represented by Dr. Ehrman and a broad consensus of biblical historians and scholars.
If you studied Greek Mythology you could understand the various stories and characters without ever believing that they exist.

Rob said:
You can read all about how to ride a bike but that does not mean upon reading and studying and learning everything there is to know about riding a bike that you can ride a bike. That is knowing. Understanding would be actually learning how to ride a bike by getting on a bike and riding a bike. Then you understand what it is to ride a bike. If you did not believe that bikes existed in the first place you could never possibly understand them. That is what I mean by "knowing" and "understanding". In that context.

Rob said:
Not know...understand. Different word.
Harris,

There is some basic things in common in most religions, like treat others like you would want to be treated. If I was on my way to Hell I would want someone to warn me of this fact, this would be the way that I would want to be treated. I think that you would also want to be treated that way. Jesus made exclusive claims about Himself, such as, no one has access to God except through Him. Either he was a delusional liar or the savior of the world.

Harris Tweed said:
Steve Belttari said:
Harris,
Let's say that I am wrong about the existence of God and what He has revealed about Himself to me. The way I see it, I still have my bases covered, the worst thing that could happen to me would be to go into an eternal coma. But what if "Dr. Ehrman and a broad consensus of biblical historians and scholars" are wrong. Is their apostasy worth spending eternity in Hell over?

Pascal's Wager? Really? Even if we knew that one of the world's religions was absolutely, perfectly true, everyone should expect damnation purely as a matter of probability.

Pascal's Wager. It's incredible that you'd even bring that to the table. Pascal's wager works equally well for every religion ever imagined and an infinite number of religions that could be imagined. An argument that works equally well in all situations does not work at all.
Harris stated, "Yet you, I'm guessing, would refuse to believe in Sathya Sai Baba who proclaims that he is a living God, was the result of a miraculous conception, has thousands and thousands of followers that will attest to witnessing him perform miracles"

My goodness...how can you even make a comparison. We are talking about a person rising from the dead and the explosion of the church that resulted based on the eyewitness testimonies who then died holding their testimony.

Sathya Sai Baba does nice little tricks like make chocolate appear and coins appear. Jesus on the other hand walked on water, raised the dead, healed the blind and rose from the dead.

There is no comparison...

Atheists are extremely biased and have closed their minds to all explanations. Even if Jesus appeared to you at this time and showed you the holes in his hand, you wouldn't believe because you have a prior biased against the supernatural no matter how strong the evidence.

We call this blind dogma on your part and characteristic a cult. How can you curse the God who gave you a mind to think with? Your mind is absolute proof of a designer and a Creator, you just deny all the evidence because of your bias. No amount of evidence will help you because you have rejected the reality of love and think hopelessness is a virtue. A clear sign and evidence of being irrational on your part.

God Bless..
Harris,
I'm a preacher not a debater. If you choose to reject what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross, that ones on you. Since the vast majority of Christendom believes that the Bible teaches that the earth was created 6000 years ago, you were probably taught the truth for the 1st time. However, like I said in another thread, for the most part it doesn't matter if the atheist is informed of the truth, he or she will reject it.

Harris Tweed said:
Steve Belttari said:
Harris,

There is some basic things in common in most religions, like treat others like you would want to be treated. If I was on my way to Hell I would want someone to warn me of this fact, this would be the way that I would want to be treated. I think that you would also want to be treated that way. Jesus made exclusive claims about Himself, such as, no one has access to God except through Him. Either he was a delusional liar or the savior of the world.

And you choose to believe he is the savior of the world. Yet you, I'm guessing, would refuse to believe in Sathya Sai Baba who proclaims that he is a living God, was the result of a miraculous conception, has thousands and thousands of followers that will attest to witnessing him perform miracles, and has amassed a gigantic following, well over a million people attended his 80th birthday in 2006 is actually God incarnate. Surely eyewitnesses from things happening right now, today, must be more compelling than anonymous accounts from 2000 years ago. Either Sathya Sai Baba is Lord, Lunatic, or Liar. Millions believe he is Lord, and if that is true, then Jesus could not have been.

Frankly, I think it's foolish not to believe in and worship Sathya Sai Baba because what if you're wrong and Sai Baba's followers are right?

Do I really believe that you should follow Sathya Sai Baba? Of course not. I'm simply showing you that arguments used to support your faith can be used and are being used to support other faiths. You have no more evidence than Sathya Sai Baba's followers. In fact, you have far less evidence for who Jesus was than we have for who Sathya Sai Baba is. Sai Baba is real, he is living, we have his words and we have the testimonies of thousands and thousands of people who claim to be eyewitnesses to miracles performed by Sai Baba. So if you're playing the "what if" game of Pascal's, then the only intellectually honest choice is to follow the one who has more evidence to support his claims, and that is obviously Sathya Sai Baba.

If Pascal's wager and your notion that it is imperative to warn people of their impending damnation were a clever or convincing argument, you'd consider converting. But I'm guessing that the idea of conversion hasn't crossed your mind after all of that. So you are not even convinced by your own arguments. So why bother posing them in the first place?
Surely anyone is a debater, all you need as an opinion. Who cares what the vast majority of Christendom believes? Apart from it being an argumentum ad populum, it's not the way the evidence points. I find it very ironic that you try to portray Atheists as irrational people (by saying that they'll reject the truth), yet if we were actually presented with some evidence for your claims we would no doubt change our opinions! You have no reason for thinking that what you are preaching is "the truth", and to be honest with you, even if you could prove that your god exists then I would never worship such an immoral being who threatens me with eternal torture unless I thank him for murdering his son; no I will not worship your celestial dictator.

Steve Belttari said:
Harris,
I'm a preacher not a debater. If you choose to reject what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross, that ones on you. Since the vast majority of Christendom believes that the Bible teaches that the earth was created 6000 years ago, you were probably taught the truth for the 1st time. However, like I said in another thread, for the most part it doesn't matter if the atheist is informed of the truth, he or she will reject it.

Harris Tweed said:
Steve Belttari said:
Harris,

There is some basic things in common in most religions, like treat others like you would want to be treated. If I was on my way to Hell I would want someone to warn me of this fact, this would be the way that I would want to be treated. I think that you would also want to be treated that way. Jesus made exclusive claims about Himself, such as, no one has access to God except through Him. Either he was a delusional liar or the savior of the world.

And you choose to believe he is the savior of the world. Yet you, I'm guessing, would refuse to believe in Sathya Sai Baba who proclaims that he is a living God, was the result of a miraculous conception, has thousands and thousands of followers that will attest to witnessing him perform miracles, and has amassed a gigantic following, well over a million people attended his 80th birthday in 2006 is actually God incarnate. Surely eyewitnesses from things happening right now, today, must be more compelling than anonymous accounts from 2000 years ago. Either Sathya Sai Baba is Lord, Lunatic, or Liar. Millions believe he is Lord, and if that is true, then Jesus could not have been.

Frankly, I think it's foolish not to believe in and worship Sathya Sai Baba because what if you're wrong and Sai Baba's followers are right?

Do I really believe that you should follow Sathya Sai Baba? Of course not. I'm simply showing you that arguments used to support your faith can be used and are being used to support other faiths. You have no more evidence than Sathya Sai Baba's followers. In fact, you have far less evidence for who Jesus was than we have for who Sathya Sai Baba is. Sai Baba is real, he is living, we have his words and we have the testimonies of thousands and thousands of people who claim to be eyewitnesses to miracles performed by Sai Baba. So if you're playing the "what if" game of Pascal's, then the only intellectually honest choice is to follow the one who has more evidence to support his claims, and that is obviously Sathya Sai Baba.

If Pascal's wager and your notion that it is imperative to warn people of their impending damnation were a clever or convincing argument, you'd consider converting. But I'm guessing that the idea of conversion hasn't crossed your mind after all of that. So you are not even convinced by your own arguments. So why bother posing them in the first place?
Harris stated, "An atheist will reject those things that do not have evidence to support it. You can call your beliefs the "truth" but if you have no rational reason to believe that "truth" then it doesn't make sense to believe it. In other words, no, I absolutely do not reject the truth about anything. I've made it clear plenty of times that I am more than happy to believe in whatever the evidence suggests is the truth. And quite frankly, all the atheists I know are more than happy to do the same thing."

Actually, you won't accept any evidence because you limit evidence to that which fits your ideology. The evidence for the resurrection is overwhelming having been confirmed by multiple minds; however, the evidence isn't good enough. You have even stated that even if you had seen the risen Lord yourself, you would have to deny your own experience. The only evidence you accept is what another atheist tells you to think. Of course, who tells that other atheist what to think, another atheist...ad infinitum...

You are funny and your arguments are always a good laugh...
I'm stunned ZDENNY, I really am. How can you, out of anyone, criticise someone for limiting evidence which fits their ideology? That is just a ridiculous claim.

ZDENNY said:
Harris stated, "An atheist will reject those things that do not have evidence to support it. You can call your beliefs the "truth" but if you have no rational reason to believe that "truth" then it doesn't make sense to believe it. In other words, no, I absolutely do not reject the truth about anything. I've made it clear plenty of times that I am more than happy to believe in whatever the evidence suggests is the truth. And quite frankly, all the atheists I know are more than happy to do the same thing."

Actually, you won't accept any evidence because you limit evidence to that which fits your ideology. The evidence for the resurrection is overwhelming having been confirmed by multiple minds; however, the evidence isn't good enough. You have even stated that even if you had seen the risen Lord yourself, you would have to deny your own experience. The only evidence you accept is what another atheist tells you to think. Of course, who tells that other atheist what to think, another atheist...ad infinitum...

You are funny and your arguments are always a good laugh...
Harris stated, "learned that what I desire to be true about the world has little consequence and I should simply strive to accept the evidence we have as the basis for my worldview"

Good, you are on your way to being a Christian then. It is a scientific fact... Your skeptism is unjustified. You would have to provide justification for your skeptism as well as falsification of the evidence which you have failed to do. You would have to falsify the entire New Testament as well as all the secular sources that also speak to this historical fact.

Atheist always think they can be skeptical without evidence; however, skepticism has to be based on evidence (countervailing evidence) of which you have none! Once again, my belief is based on undisputed evidence! Your belief is based on the imagination which fails to justify your skeptism.

GOOD LUCK!! LOL
That is another thing...historians are not experts about the NT. The experts are the NT scholars and over 75% of them believe the disciples saw Jesus after he was crucified.

You simply don't have an argument. If you ever want a good laugh, just read some higher criticism. They are all over the place because they have no facts to justify their skepticism. It is a lot of fun to read for certain.

We now have Christians offering hundreds of thousands of dollars for any evidence that will falsify the resurrection. No such evidence has come forward. Even your skeptism is based on the imagination and you provide no evidence that falsifies the resurrection.

The evidence is all there for everyone to see and the experts agree that the resurrection is a scientific fact.

God Bless...
Harris stated, "My only contention is that the miraculous resurrection of Jesus by God is not the most likely explanation for this vision of Jesus"

On what basis? Do you have any evidence to support what other minds have confirmed. You don't. You just have a wild imagination.

Christians are extremely bold in our defense of the evidence and for good reason. There is no other explanation that can explain the evidence. You have to go and engage your own wild imagination to divert from the evidence because you don't have any evidence that is contrary to the evidence we have the resurrection.

Dr. Gary Habermas elucidated the problem very effectively. He recently asked a group of atheist to explain the facts of the resurrection on a naturalistic basis.

These historical facts are: (1) Jesus was killed by crucifixion; (2) Jesus’ disciples believed that he rose and appeared to them; (3) The conversion of the church persecutor Saul, who became the Apostle Paul; (4) the conversion of the skeptic James, Jesus’ half-brother; (5) The empty tomb of Jesus. These “minimal facts” are strongly evidenced and are regarded as historical by the vast majority of scholars, including skeptics, who have written about the resurrection in French, German, and English since 1975. While the fifth fact doesn’t have quite the same virtual universal consensus, it nevertheless is conceded by 75 percent of the scholars and is well supported by the historical data if assessed without preconceptions.

The challenge presented by Habermas was the exact same conclusion I reached while in college. A argument cannot be made to explain the facts on a naturalistic basis. I read vociferously trying to find a good argument. I came to the conclusion that a good reasonable argument does not exist!

Habermas then continues by showing that peer reviewed material is demonstrating that over 75% of NT scholars believe that the evidence overwhelmingly supports the resurrection.

John Loftus who is an Atheist recently was promoting a book by Kris Komarnitsky that claims to provide a response to the challenge of Habermas.

Kris Komarnitsky concludes that cognitive dissonance solution is the best naturalistic explanation of the resurrection of Christ. The cognitive dissonance solution says that the followers of Christ made something up in order to overcome their grief over the loss of their friend Jesus. In other words, the disciples were in a state of denial and overcame that denial by believing a lie.

The best atheist argument falls flat because it does not explain the conversion of James who is the half brother of Jesus or the empty tomb.

If you read the material in detail, you will discover that atheist have to go through a great deal of mental gymnastics in order discount the resurrection. How is it possible that first century uneducated people were able to make such powerful argument? The ironic thing is that the above facts are casually included without concern for their implications meaning their was no clear intent to make the argument; rather, they are simply telling us what happened.

It was amazing to me since every legend I read from the ancient world could easily be explained away without a second thought.

Based on the evidence, the only possible conclusion is that Christianity is true and that Christ rose from the dead.

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