Shai Reads The Case for Christ
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08-03-2017, 07:56 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Chapter Four: The Corroborating Evidence or the part where we have the Romans talk about torturing people of my faith to death is actually the most refreshingly honest part of the chapter.

We start out with another crime story, involving a law abiding citizen and a mobster both giving stories to help put a guy away, but this guy ends up getting off due to a corrupt judge, who later kills himself when its discovered he was bribed. Strobel then reminds us that his previous expert has shown how the Gospels are perfect eyewitness testimony.

Our expert for this chapter has a very impressive pedigree, and Strobel sets us up with another blatantly false viewpoint of him by basically saying this expert could be biased, at least to his skeptical self, but we'll see. If this sounds familiar, it should, from our previous three chapters. Wait for this guy to be amazing and unable to be contradicted by any pesky facts or anything, and for this chapter to be another disingenuous adventure into half truths, lies, and substandard literary work on his part.

Page 81, "a good scholar knows you can never have too much data". Sort of like a poor writer is not a good scholar you mean; having too much data to find the thing you're seeking of substance is actually a major problem from a research perspective. In fact it often leads to p-hacking, trying to figure out what correlations exist for a number of variables, many of which will turn out to be spurious. So having a glut of data can indeed be a major issue Lee. You don't even want to know how much six months of Facebook memes took myself and a team of two other trained individuals to go through from two popular accounts relating to crime the other year and that was before we began to cross check each other's data and see where we concurred on thematic points before beginning anything else.

Why do we always do the "glint in his eyes" for every expert. Is it your hamfisted attempt, Lee, to try and make it seem like these guys are jonesing for a fight that they know they're going to win? Especially when you don't allow for conflicting viewpoints?

We hit up Josephus here, whom even Strobel's own expert remarks the writings of as being controversial, and even outlines how horribly convoluted it is and how some of what's attributed to Josephus doesn't match the writing style of the first century Jewish historian. Strobel block quotes what he wants us to focus on, but uses extraneous language and paragraph breaks and descriptions of his expert's body during the course of the time when expert is basically saying it's not that good of evidence, drawing our focus on the block quote. It's another cheap literary trick and is an insult to the intelligence of anyone reading this book. Also do you expect any discussion about scholars who think monks in the Middle Ages may have inserted stuff about Jesus? Of course you don't. Because it's not even mentioned.

We hit up Tacitus as proof somehow as an unsympathetic witness who acknowledges Christ's divinity? Yet, from the block quote, it seems like he's saying that Christians believe in "Christus" and the rising of the Lord from the grave.

Pliny the Younger's letters with Emperor Trajan are cited as well, and I found them to actually be refreshing in their honesty with Strobel's writing in that section...but that may be because it's almost 90% Pliny the Younger speaking, not Strobel or his expert. Plus they're just...historical, without an agenda. It's about torturing Christians for their belief and that they're willing to die for their faith. That's what this book is pushing me to, martyrdom is the "oh this is nice" point.

Now his expert is listing off seven points about outside sources about Jesus and Christianity, but they strike hollow. Unfortunately. Sure they are points brought up elsewhere, that is true. But they hardly paint the picture that Strobel and his expert claim, they're just highlights. Nice highlights even, but highlights.

We also use Paul as corroborating evidence...focusing not on miracles or the life of Jesus, but on Atonement. Again his final question is to ask the expert if his studies have strengthened his faith or not, and again the expert replies, with Strobel emphasizing how they're physically all about this answer. And of course the answer is how strengthened his faith is by these things.

Page 97 says, "As I emerged from Yamauchi's building into a sea of college students scurrying from place to place in order to make their next class. I reflected on how satisfying my drive to tiny Oxford, Ohio, had been. I came seeking corroboration for Jesus, and I walked away with a rich reservoir of material affirming every major aspect of his life, miracles, deity, and victory over death."

Umm...Lee, did you maybe forget some interviews you should have quoted? Because I do believe those things about Jesus, that He is the Christ, and a part of the Trinity, and died for the forgiveness of sins, and you utterly failed to convince me of anything except your own myopic bias. If anything, your weak case is harmful to anyone who genuinely is seeking and done anything remotely approaching serious scholarship.

End of chapter bears quoting as well in its extreme bias, page 97 again, "I saw the October sun illuminating the stone inscription I had first noticed when I walked onto the campus of this thoroughly secular university: 'Ye shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free'."

Same old, same old on the "Deliberations" and "Further evidence" things.

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09-03-2017, 08:06 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
I've never understood anyone thinks the "they were willing to die for what they believed, therefore there must be something to it" argument is a valid one. Have they not heard of the Heaven's Gate cult? The Branch Davidians? The hundreds of other examples readily furnished throughout history? Heck, by that standard, Strobel needs to write a whole book on why the Albigensians were probably correct. Rolleyes

He also leaves out that Tacitus makes it clear that Nero has the Christians killed not for their actual beliefs, but that Nero used their outsider status and social belligerence (as the Romans saw it) as an excuse to blame someone and thus cover up his own crimes... or the public belief that he committed those crimes, in any case... so he chose a group that was publicly disliked because they were a small and "weird" cult that refused to acknowledge the standard social/religious mores of the Roman culture.*

Being scapegoated by a murderous bigot in power is not really an indicator that your ideals are good, or true, or valid. If Trump somehow ordered the forceful expulsion (or imprisonment) of anyone who refused to renounce Islam, tomorrow, from the United States, it would not make the Muslim faith true because most of them would tell him to fuck off before renouncing it!

*(That was one of the notes I recall appending to my review of this book, 20 years ago. And now it's a movie in-the-making. FFS.)

"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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09-03-2017, 12:12 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(09-03-2017 08:06 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I've never understood anyone thinks the "they were willing to die for what they believed, therefore there must be something to it" argument is a valid one. Have they not heard of the Heaven's Gate cult? The Branch Davidians? The hundreds of other examples readily furnished throughout history? Heck, by that standard, Strobel needs to write a whole book on why the Albigensians were probably correct. Rolleyes

He also leaves out that Tacitus makes it clear that Nero has the Christians killed not for their actual beliefs, but that Nero used their outsider status and social belligerence (as the Romans saw it) as an excuse to blame someone and thus cover up his own crimes... or the public belief that he committed those crimes, in any case... so he chose a group that was publicly disliked because they were a small and "weird" cult that refused to acknowledge the standard social/religious mores of the Roman culture.*

Being scapegoated by a murderous bigot in power is not really an indicator that your ideals are good, or true, or valid. If Trump somehow ordered the forceful expulsion (or imprisonment) of anyone who refused to renounce Islam, tomorrow, from the United States, it would not make the Muslim faith true because most of them would tell him to fuck off before renouncing it!

*(That was one of the notes I recall appending to my review of this book, 20 years ago. And now it's a movie in-the-making. FFS.)

Hey, stop that making sense shit. Your argument is invalid because it refutes Mr. Prof. Dr. Sultan Maharajah Strobel. Since when do facts matter?

On a serious note, I have pointed this out to christians in the past and typically it is either shrugged off or ignored. I really don't think they see why the die for a lie apologetic is stupid if you point out that muslims do it too.

"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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10-03-2017, 06:10 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Also, at best, you're showing a person really believes something because they're willing to die for it. That doesn't make the belief true.

And it's not hard to imagine scenarios where someone would die for something they knew wasn't true, either. It's a bullshit argument.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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10-03-2017, 06:41 AM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(08-03-2017 07:56 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  Pliny the Younger's letters with Emperor Trajan are cited as well, and I found them to actually be refreshing in their honesty with Strobel's writing in that section...but that may be because it's almost 90% Pliny the Younger speaking, not Strobel or his expert. Plus they're just...historical, without an agenda. It's about torturing Christians for their belief and that they're willing to die for their faith. That's what this book is pushing me to, martyrdom is the "oh this is nice" point.

Have you read the exchange between Pliny and Trajan?

Italics mine.

Trajan did not persecute the xians because of their religion. Rome was all inclusive. Pliny gave the accused three chances to simply bow to the statue of the Emperor.

Not doing so was not a religious offence, is was seen as treason.

Only the most fanatical would be so foolish as not to go through the motions and then go home.

The problem the xians had was their religion was xenophobic. This went against Roman tradition. Conquered peoples were absorbed into the empire. Romans paid homage to the gods of other peoples.

This book sounds boring.

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10-03-2017, 12:42 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(10-03-2017 06:41 AM)Banjo Wrote:  This book sounds boring.

Boring would insinuate that somethings were put together in a way to illicit boredom. This book is an insult to literature.

"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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10-03-2017, 02:29 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
It is boring...it is. I need to finish 3 more chapters by Sunday, but may get an extension from my friend due to my now being sick. Next chapter is "The Scientific Evidence" and quite honestly, I feel like shit. And if I put the needed effort into reviewing that chapter tonight, I shan't be as kind as I have been.

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10-03-2017, 03:07 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
Too bad you couldn't have gotten it as an audio-book, Shai - you could at least rest your eyes.

Your health is more important than some book - just blow this guy off for the weekend. Rest & get well. Shy

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10-03-2017, 03:14 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(10-03-2017 02:29 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  It is boring...it is. I need to finish 3 more chapters by Sunday.

No you don't.

Shai, life's short mate.

You'll learn more about xianity by reading a good biography of Constantine.

I read the ancients. This author seems not to have. From what you've been reporting, he seems to either be lying or simply poorly educated.

Mate, I'm serious.

The letters of Pliny are on the net. Always go to the source.

The actual exchange. Pliny and the emperor, Trajan.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
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11-03-2017, 01:44 PM
RE: Shai Reads The Case for Christ
(19-02-2017 11:50 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(19-02-2017 08:48 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I then returned those books to the family, including my carefully-recorded notes (which I wish now that I had kept), and asked them to read the books themselves, in light of my notes.

Silly boy.... you were supposed to READ the books, not THINK about them.
Well, no, he was supposed to proclaim how silly he was to doubt Jesus, and come back into the family Christian fold, hugs and kisses all around, and perhaps the Odd "Praise Jesus" or "Hallelujah" shout outs.


It's really saddening how religion can tear families apart.
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