Shai Reads The Case for Christ
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21-04-2017, 07:51 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Confession moment? I tried to start the next chapter with Gary Habermas and Strobel was stroking his anti-academia boner so hard I just couldn't. He was going on and on about how smart Habermas is, but how he's also not one of those Ivory Tower types who aren't relateable to, etc.

(21-04-2017 12:07 AM)morondog Wrote:  Still don't get why you're a Christian Shai, you barmy weirdo. You're a great guy though Smile
Thanks Smile Try to be at least sometimes. Fail far too often, but hey, it's part of being human.
(21-04-2017 02:28 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I don't know either. He's a better atheist than most atheists Tongue

I have a feeling it may be in his future. But I agree, he's great, atheist or not.
Erm thanks? Tongue I take the compliment in the spirit it was intended. Also as a funny sneak peak at next chapter, he describes Habermas's office with its "threadbare carpet" to try and show how he's not one of those proud academic types and such. My first thought was, "Damn it, he gets carpeting?"

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22-04-2017, 12:10 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Yes it was entirely a compliment, I'm sorry if it came off as anything else.

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22-04-2017, 11:08 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(21-04-2017 02:28 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I don't know either. He's a better atheist than most atheists Tongue

I have a feeling it may be in his future. But I agree, he's great, atheist or not.

Oh no, don't apologize! I thought it was a compliment, it's just the part of me going "Hmm, should I take that as a compliment, as a Believer?" even though I totally do. Thank you Smile

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22-04-2017, 09:36 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Bribed self with hot food and Mass (because Lord knows I'll take anything I can get to remind self that I'm not secretly a closet anti-theist or something, given how much vitriol this book brings out in me), let's get ready to Habermas. Like really people, I mentioned this book in Confession this morning, "Sometimes Father, I think I'm too judgmental. I'm reading Case for Christ right now and..."

Chapter Thirteen: The Evidence for Appearances or we're so close...so very close...that text right there? That's lying to oneself. There's still a 14th Chapter, the "Conclusion" which is probably the money shot of his conversion, and then an interview with him.

Okay, next up, we're flying into Lynchburg, VA. It's funny, because it shows how dated this book is that Strobel talks about landing, renting a car, and driving to Habermas's university office. He does not mention what is now visible, from flying into Lynchburg, which is one of Jerry Falwell's last big projects before his death, a giant LU monogram on the mountainside for Liberty University.

Here's a photo of it (you can't see it in the photo I used, but there's a tiny sort of romantic gazebo at the upper middle part of it...which male and female students can't go to alone, because that would be against Liberty's "The Liberty Way" student honor code:
[Image: DynEdv8.jpg]

Anyhow, he goes into loving detail about Habermas crushing an atheist in a debate, but this time, unlike Craig, he provides adequate citations about the judges ruling on it. He also talks about Habermas actual good academic credentials. Also, in all fairness, I cited both Gary Habermas and atheist Peter Boghossian in my Master's Thesis around a decade ago. Moving on, Lee describes his office as no nonsense with a threadbare carpet, again eliciting my envy that he has a carpet instead of scuffed tile like two of the three offices I've ever worked in. Oh and let's not forget how Habermas is such an everyman, despite being smart. His office is, "Like it's occupant, free of pretension" in the closing words of page 247.

Page 248, "historians agree there's plenty of evidence Jesus was crucified". Take another shot if you're doing so for each time Mythicists don't exist. Oh...that was unintentionally punny.

Habermas starts off with pointing to 1 Corinthians, widely believed to have been written by Saint Paul, telling us how Jesus appeared to Cephas, and lastly to Paul himself. It's at this point where one may recall, we don't even keep up the pretense of the Bible not being an inerrant source any longer in the book, thus showing Strobel's conversion has already taken place, whether he recognizes such or not.

Next Habermas tells us that Paul uses the words "received and believed" which shows he's passing on holy teaching, as these words are used in rabbinical tradition. Now, since the Bible says that Saul of Tarsus, who would become Paul, was well versed in Jewish theology no one tell Aliza I said that..., couldn't he have just said that for that very reason? If you think Strobel asks that question being the 'investigative' journalist that he is, you would be sadly mistaken. His third point, one worth mentioning, is the use of Cephas instead of Peter, hinting towards an earlier time due to it being Aramaic instead of Greek...which I hate to say just doesn't bear out for me. We have other examples of preserved Aramaic in the Bible, when Jesus is calling out to God on the Cross, He says, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" Also when ordering a girl to rise from death He commands, "Talitha Koum".

Paul saying he met Jesus is good enough testimony to believe him according to Habermas on page 251. Plus he uses the word "historeo" in Ancient Greek to denote a proper investigation into something, a thing that he says is proven by citing Peter and James as witnesses in 1 Corinthians.

Strobel mentions 1 Corinthians 15 is the only place in Scripture that talks about Christ appearing to 500 witnesses, and how secular sources don't mention it. Since Lee is acknowledging the lack of secular historical sources, I'm sure we'll "disprove" this somehow. Habermas again reiterates Craig's sort of logic, that because it's old, it's true, when talking about the passage. He also says Paul wouldn't have mentioned witnesses were still alive if there weren't, because people would question it. Also any doubt of Paul's veracity is, to quote page 252, "plain silliness". Also it's apparently intellectually dishonest to want Paul's source, since he is the source, and only source. Josephus didn't report on the 500 witnesses because it was a local story that died out possibly by 60 years later, which seems to fly in the face of the fact we're talking about this roughly two millennia later. We're also again doing the 'women aren't competent witnesses in the ancient world' thing. And Peter isn't first in the creed we're discussing, his name only appears first, that's how we 'resolve' the contradiction between Peter and Mary Magdalene being first.

Strobel asks about how Mark doesn't actually contain the ending of Mark as we know it now. Habermas says it doesn't matter, essentially. Also not all scholars agree that Mark was written first (he has to reluctantly admit they're a minority) so just because as the Gospels progressively get written, we have more Jesus sightings, doesn't mean anything. Also 1 Corinthians predates the Gospels, so we have those 500 witnesses before the Gospels are written...something Habermas doesn't find problematic as he offers them as evidence. if it predates the Gospels, why not just base Gospel accounts off of them?

Strobel mentions that he's writing this book, to Habermas. Totally torpedoes the end of the CfC movie with him offering it as a newspaper article, getting shot down, and then his wife suggesting the book. Either way Lee, geeze this took a long time to get published then. From 1980 or so to 1997? Anyhow, hallucinations are comparatively rare, and often something individual in nature, not a mass hallucination, and can often be caused by bodily deprivation. Well if you're scared, not eating well, not sleeping, etc. because you think people could kill you at any minute, pretty sure that's possible. Granted I don't think it was hallucinations, but still. Also you are sort of discounting mass hallucinations caused by another thing; one of the theories behind some of the Salem Witchcraft Trials, for instance, was a type of mold causing hallucinations, at least at first.

So let's quote page 261 now, "Jesus was killed on the cross -- Alexander Metherell has made that graphically clear. His tomb was empty on Easter morning -- William Lane Craig left no doubt about that. His disciples and others saw him, touched him, and ate with him after the resurrection -- Gary Habermas has build that case with abundant evidence." We are getting so close to the money shot chapter where he admits conversion. We have to be.

Page 263 is a smoking gun to me, for Strobel "lying for Jesus" as Rocketsurgeon likes to put it. You see, according to Lee Strobel, his investigation took place in the late 70s to early 80s. A little googling shows that he accepted Jesus as Savior on November 8, 1981. Dr. Habermas brings up losing his wife to cancer and how it was the worst thing in his entire life, but says about the resurrection, "It was good for 30AD, it's good for 1995, it's good for 1998, and it's good beyond that." These 1990s dates, when this book was originally published in 1997, seem to not jive with the background timeline. Now either he's "lying for Jesus" directly, by inserting an interview that's citing dates in the 1990s, or this is part of the, "Years later, I wrote three books that retraced and expanded upon my original journey" as the link provided puts it. However if it's the latter, it's still seemingly, "lying for Jesus" by not admitting that it's a later interview, and instead positing it as part of his initial discernment/interview process.

Actually a quick reread of the two pages on Habermas's wife's death shows she passed away in 1995. Perhaps the reason Strobel seems like he's converted by this point is because he did...14 years prior, in 1981. He at no point mentions this, he continues these interviews as if they're part of his investigative story. He is, quite frankly, seeming to "lie for Jesus" by doing so. I had almost zero respect for him before, but he lost the shred of respect I did have for him.

Well...fuck that. Anyhow, Deliberations, let's see if anything's worth remarking on. Nope, not really, but question 4 tries to manipulate you emotionally in horrible ways.

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22-04-2017, 09:41 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
So... he's a mythicist mythicist Tongue

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22-04-2017, 09:52 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(22-04-2017 09:41 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  So... he's a mythicist mythicist Tongue

Thank you for that very much needed laugh! Tongue

...you're probably right though.

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22-04-2017, 11:04 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Big Grin

To clarify to those not familiar with the term what Strobel is failing grasp:

Do historians agree that there were apocalyptic preachers around that time? Yes.

Do they agree that the Romans would have crucified some of them? Yes.

If we could view the lives of every one of these people, could we reliably pick one of them out based on the evidence we have? This is where people disagree. I say no.

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23-04-2017, 08:04 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(20-04-2017 08:06 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  .....but I tried to take this [book] with me to the toilet ...

If there was ever a better pictoral summation for this book, I have never seen it.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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23-04-2017, 09:09 AM (This post was last modified: 23-04-2017 09:19 AM by Shai Hulud.)
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(22-04-2017 11:04 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Big Grin

To clarify to those not familiar with the term what Strobel is failing grasp:

Do historians agree that there were apocalyptic preachers around that time? Yes.

Do they agree that the Romans would have crucified some of them? Yes.

If we could view the lives of every one of these people, could we reliably pick one of them out based on the evidence we have? This is where people disagree. I say no.
+1. Nothing to add really, great summation!

(23-04-2017 08:04 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  
(20-04-2017 08:06 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  .....but I tried to take this [book] with me to the toilet ...

If there was ever a better pictoral summation for this book, I have never seen it.
Well...I'd not considered that before, but now you make me wonder, was I more full of shit, or is this book? Tongue

Edit: Btw, I did a bit more background digging. If we put this interview with Strobel and Habermas at some time between 1995 (the year Habermas's wife died) and 1997/1998 (the publication of Case for Christ), not only has Strobel been a convert for over a decade by the time of this interview, without acknowledging such in the book, but he would also be, at the time, a "teaching pastor" at Willow Creek Church in Chicago.

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23-04-2017, 09:59 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Here's my take on the case for Christ..... There isn't one.
The end.
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