Shai Reads The Case for Christ
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22-02-2017, 11:43 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(18-02-2017 06:32 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  Evenheathen, taking it apart doesn't seem like it will be...difficult. Trying not to read ahead on my friend, as we've not discussed it yet, but this thing is so low level in its writing that it wouldn't be inconceivable that a few hours in the bathtub would knock most of it out.

You know the most sad thing Shai? My wife read this before I did and when she suggested it, she shared with me that she really didn't understand it. I think I knocked this book out in a day or two with not much effort. At the time, I still believed in god. This book was terrible on so many levels. At the time, I really wanted it to be true, but the case Strobel put forth was so abysmal that after I looked into what he was writing, I thought christianity was more false than ever. I bet he didn't think it would have that effect.

"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."
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22-02-2017, 03:30 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(21-02-2017 11:48 PM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  Oh please PLEASE tell me you're gonna see the movie!!!





This book was SUCH a crock of shit. He claimed that he was going to lay both sided of the argument but forgot the part about the other side.

Edit: calling this book "literature" is a bit of an insult to the written word. What is even scarier is that there is a CFC for kids that is even worse. It's made out of straw. I know, my wife bought a copy.

Well, that trailer looked all unbiased and shit. not

These kind of movies are just embarrassing. They always play scary music when the atheist is in the scene.

I think even Goebbels would have rolled his eyes. Dodgy

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22-02-2017, 05:17 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(22-02-2017 08:31 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I'd like to say I respect a theist taking a serious look at some apologetics.

Thanks!

(22-02-2017 08:52 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  
(22-02-2017 08:26 AM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  On the bolded part...I am so sorry your kids are being exposed to that. No

And do intend to see the movie when it comes out and snark it!

They aren't. Evil_monster I masterminded a clandestine operation that managed to dispose of it after I read it.

Edit: If I was going to be your area in April, I would totally sneak out and go see that with you. (You actually live not too far from my in-laws).

Ohmy Sneaky Organic Chemist is sneaky. Not that I can necessarily blame you for erm, making it disappear as certainly as someone who ends up at a CIA black site. Ah drat, well if you find yourself in the area for an unexpected reason, feel free (and maybe in that case, we could maybe hit up Grasshopper an hour and a half away) and try! Also, for some reason I wonder if I'm at the same parish as your in-laws...

(22-02-2017 10:57 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  *snip*

Thanks, and you're right, I feel like not too many Christians would take a critical eye at it. You're good at pointing out, many of the people on this site are far more religious scholars than many ministers I've met; it's kind of interesting that Methodists and Catholics make people go through with a Masters after their seminary degrees for clergy, so that they have a sort of scholar model going on. However, a lot of the denominations sadly don't.

(22-02-2017 11:43 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  You know the most sad thing Shai? My wife read this before I did and when she suggested it, she shared with me that she really didn't understand it. I think I knocked this book out in a day or two with not much effort. At the time, I still believed in god. This book was terrible on so many levels. At the time, I really wanted it to be true, but the case Strobel put forth was so abysmal that after I looked into what he was writing, I thought christianity was more false than ever. I bet he didn't think it would have that effect.

I'm sorry man. Sad That said, I think that opposite effect of what he wanted could happen more often than one might think. You went in it with a critical eye and wanting to believe, but were let down. Likewise, what I've heard from so many atheists is "the Bible made me that way" from folks who said "I'm going to read this all the way through and help my faith."

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23-02-2017, 04:25 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Someone reading The Case For Christ?

Obligatory Steve Shives post incoming.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL...1FA8681B70





That was part one of sixteen. Buckle up folks.

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23-02-2017, 06:29 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(22-02-2017 10:57 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I'm really more appalled that they're still pushing this, "I was a skeptical atheist and then I researched The Truth™ and found Jayzus" line of propaganda.

It's easy for Shai to sit there and pick apart the dishonesty of this guy claiming to be performing an honest and neutral investigation into the facts, since in the end all it does is provide a curiosity, an insight into the fundamentalist past he (Shai) walked away from when he changed denominations.

But for us, it's outright slander-- it's propaganda designed to convince people such as my parents/siblings/etc. that any honest atheist who looks into the facts will discover that evangelical Christianity is The Truth™... and therefore any of us who do not come to the "I agree with my family that are pressing this book into my hands" conclusion are deluded, dishonest, and/or outright evil. These books literally destroy families because of the dishonest way they present their cases.

That's why I refer to these guys as the lowest level of scumbag. Watch that video again-- the whole thing is "I was an atheist until I looked into Christianity with an honest and open mind" propaganda. We can sit here all day with people who are actual religious scholars (even amateur ones who simply keep up with actual scholarship on the subject) and point out all the glaring errors, misrepresentations, and illogical nonsense that this book contains on almost literally every page... but in the end, the purpose of the book is to insulate credulous believers against honest inquiry, and inoculate them against listening to anyone who has refused to "drink the KoolAid".

Again, Kudos to you, Shai, for being honest and seeing what the rest of us see when we read these books. I really do appreciate that there are people like you out there.

But if there were very many of you out there, they wouldn't be making that movie. Undecided

That really does grind my gears. What a totally patronizing attitude.

I'm always left wondering how much of what apologists say is deliberate dishonesty, and how much is them really believing their own bullshit.

I don't at all doubt that most theists really do believe what they profess to believe (though perhaps not all of it), but I feel they must be aware of the completely broken nature of their rationalizations. You can forgive someone easily for presenting logical fallacies first time round, they may have never thought about them before. But once you go through it in detail and they just ignore you, it becomes willful dishonesty, surely. Or I guess their cognitive dissonance makes them feel they're being rational, even when they're not.

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24-02-2017, 11:27 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
You all are helping me procrastinate, and this is helping me stop watching Curling...

Chapter Two: Testing the Eyewitness Evidence or how Lee Strobel is going to make me pop a vein in my forehead before this book is over

You know what...fuck this guy. Is every chapter going to start with this sort of heartstrings tugging story for you to be made emotionally weak in some manner prior to him spouting off his stuff? We open up with ANOTHER crime story and oh no, this kid who was mugged for $2 in Chicago died after testifying. Also Strobel sets up his expert as being a confident defender of the faith who looks forward to intense questioning because he's so unable to be wrong. It's a cheap writing trick, almost as cheap as the heartstrings thing to bias you in favor of eyewitness testimony again.

"You don't find the outlandish flourishes and blatant mythologizing you do in other ancient writings." -page 43. For goodness sake "expert" guy. I'm technically on your side but calling BS on this. Our God takes human form, dies, and rises again from the dead. He casts out demons from people and heals them from injuries. Food becomes endless. What sort of other flourishes do you need?

His expert tries to dismiss those religious scholars who claim that early Christians didn't write things down because they kept thinking things would end any day, by saying since it came from Judaism, Judaism has lived with centuries prior to that of pronouncements about the "Day of the Lord". I realize I'm not an expert, but A) That's not how Judaism's history works. B)What about Jesus saying that this generation would not pass away before his Second Coming?

Also ending out the first test he describes, that of intention, is...that the early church argued about things? And thus that proves the Gospels, because otherwise they'd just cite the Gospels and everyone would just...get along. Or something like that. I'm like 5 pages into the chapter at this point. 5 pages. I'm genuinely no longer enjoying this little thought experiment of reading and writing out thoughts so that I can use them as notes later while discussing with my friend. I refuse to quit, but still...this isn't even apologetics, it's a feeble attempt at theological masturbation.

Ability Test. His answer to this being a game of telephone is to say that there were no computers or printing presses, and this was "an ancient time and foreign land" so people memorized better. Also that variation of 10% to 40% is a good thing, and thus the Gospels falling into this category means they're awesome. Also he says telephone doesn't work as an analogy, because first century communities would've called out any error on the part of the one telling the story.

And this is the point where I started asking Jewish friends how bullshit this all is. And the general consensus of three friends is somewhere between "bullshit", "that's not really...Jewishy...", and "why the fuck are you making me relive when my parents made me go to Hebrew School?" Anyhow, just thought I'd throw that in for the sake of "Shai apparently isn't insane and this expert seems to suck." Actually, one brought up an amazing set of points I didn't realize about what goes into the creation of a set of Torah scrolls, and how meticulous the process is, and how in the end they cost 20k-50k due to the amount of work and the effort that goes into it.

Character Test. 2 paragraphs of the "expert" saying the same thing twice. Which is basically, "we have no reason to distrust them."

Consistency Test. The important details are consistent. But everything else is filtered through what's previously discussed, so it's all good. Besides, if they were fully consistent, people would claim they plagiarized from each other. Actually...no...see the whole Torah copying process that exists to this day; you start with an original, copy every single letter and have your assistants double check it. If so much as a letter is wrong, the page is buried.

Contradictions aren't really contradictions, because we just don't get the ancient world. So when one Gospel says the Centurion went to Jesus and asked him to heal his servant, but another says the Elders went, it's totally like someone saying the President put out a statement, but really it's written by a speechwriter and sent out by his emissaries like the Press Secretary. Also the conflicting lineages of Jesus are because one was through Joseph as adoptive father, and one was through Mary's. The Corroboration Test, basically saying there's totally evidence to corroborate in history, but he doesn't cite any.

The Bias Test...which I'm thinking Strobel and Blomberg would fail horribly.Basically two paragraphs of "what would they gain by lying?" "oh okay, you're right" to paraphrase.

The Cover Up Test. yeah, I'm just not feeling the argument of how the authors, if writing propaganda, wouldn't provide "hard" comments. They'd make it squeaky clean. As someone who is a bit of a propaganda aficionado, that's...incorrect. You want to make things easier to swallow and the best way to do that is to make something seem less polished and more genuine. Never make things perfect, because people don't buy into perfection.

The Adverse Witness Test. If the Gospels are wrong, why didn't we see contradictory accounts at the same time? Well, for one thing, Blomberg's not got a firm grasp it seems on dates and times and the fact the Gospels were written so much later. Also he cites later Jewish texts that claim Jesus was a sorcerer, but never tells us where they are or how to find them, just that they prove his existence. I imagine Strobel will not include them in the suggested reading list at the end of the chapter, much like he didn't with Karen Armstrong's A History of God.

As an aside, posted a status about how disappointed I was in this book, and had a Youth Minister lay into me about never posting positive things about religion for someone who supposedly believes in Christ. I wrote him a novel back in full force Christianese that basically indicts American Pop Christianity and its persecution complex, down to how FFRF wanting one of Cecile B. DeMille's 10 Commandments monuments that were used as ads, removed from a courthouse is entirely not the same as those who are killed for Christ in some nations. As I told one TTAer in a rant, it's not Jesus, it's some of His followers which drive me nuts.

Questions are once again all very pro-this. Further readings are also once again one sided.

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25-02-2017, 12:22 AM (This post was last modified: 25-02-2017 12:42 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Nice commentary! Strobel deserved every bit of that.

Apologists seem to think that if they can establish someone as a "reliable source", then you can believe what they say, even if it includes things never before shown to be possible.

This is garbage. No one is an authority on reporting and correctly categorizing unprecedented events. We might feel comfortable believing some mundane facts a reliable person reports, but when they start going on about angels and miracles, any confidence in them drops right off. At least, it should.

I don't accept that anyone believes in Christianity on the strength of the "evidence" presented in the bible. They believe for altogether different reasons, and I respect people more when they just admit this rather than trying to cobble together a rational defense based on the bible. No one would ever pick up this book, without ever hearing about it, and go, "Seems legit, I'll believe all of this".

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25-02-2017, 03:19 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Oh, you think you're mad at this shit, now?

"Jus' you wait, 'enry 'iggins, jus' you wait!"





You're still in the early stuff. He's building the sand foundation upon which he will proceed to build the Leaning Tower of Bullshit. Wear a hat so you don't pull your hair out.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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25-02-2017, 09:32 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(24-02-2017 11:27 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  You know what...fuck this guy.

Yep. This should be on the front dust cover.

(24-02-2017 11:27 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  I'm genuinely no longer enjoying this little thought experiment of reading and writing out thoughts so that I can use them as notes later while discussing with my friend. I refuse to quit, but still...this isn't even apologetics, it's a feeble attempt at theological masturbation.

This is how I felt when I was reading "The Reason for God" By Tim Keller. (Commentary is in the lit section here if you're interested.) I finished the book but stopped writing commentary after chapter 4 because it was just so bad.

"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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25-02-2017, 11:13 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(25-02-2017 12:22 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  I don't accept that anyone believes in Christianity on the strength of the "evidence" presented in the bible. They believe for altogether different reasons, and I respect people more when they just admit this rather than trying to cobble together a rational defense based on the bible. No one would ever pick up this book, without ever hearing about it, and go, "Seems legit, I'll believe all of this".

*applause*

For a long time, my belief in Christianity hung on the thread of apologists I thought were reputable sources. "Well, belief is hard for me, but some people seem to have it figured out. I'll just follow along. baaaaa."
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