more texts validating the historicity of biblical Christianity.

SteveB

Well-known member
I was introduced to a Yale religious professor from the late 1800's a little bit ago.
HIs name is George Park Fisher.

George Park Fisher (August 10, 1827 – December 20, 1909) taught theology at Yale and was a noted historian. He was president of the American Historical Association while he also served as a pastor at the College Church at Yale.

He's written a number of books that deal with the bible, and christianity.

The first,
Manual on Christian Evidences

From the preface

PREFACE.​
The half-formed intention to write a short manual of Christian Evidences, which I had for some time entertained, took a definite form on account of requests coming to me from persons entitled to respect, some of whom were engaged in the practical work of teaching. It appeared to me that a brief book, confining itself to the Evidences of Revealed Religion, and set- ting forth in a connected form the principal topics of definition and proof, would be useful to readers and to pupils who have not time for the study of more extended treatises.*​
Paley's Evidences, which was so long the standard text-book on the subject, notwithstanding the signal merits which characterize it, has one striking fault. To the internal evidence a very subordinate place is assigned. The argument for miracles is deprived of......​


Next is:
The Grounds for Theistic and Christian Belief

From the preface.

PREFACE.​
THIS volume embraces a discussion of the evidences of both natural and revealed religion. Prominence is given to topics having special interest at present from their connection with modern theories and difficulties. With respect to the first division of the work, the grounds of the belief in God, it hardly need be said that theists are not all agreed as to the method to be pursued, and as to what arguments are of most weight, in the defence of this fundamental truth. I can only say of these introductory chapters, that they are the product of long study and reflection. The argument of design, and the bearing of evolutionary doctrine on its validity, are fully considered. It is made clear, I believe, that no theory of evolution which is not pushed to the extreme of materialism and fatalism dogmas which lack all scientific warrant weakens the proof from final causes. In dealing with anti- theistic theories, the agnostic philosophy, partly from the show of logic and of system which it presents, partly from the guise of humility which it wears, not to speak of the countenance given it by some naturalists of note, seemed to call for particular attention. One radical question in the conflict with atheism is whether man himself is really a personal being, whether he has a moral history distinct from......​



And

Faith and Rationalism.
From the preface

PREFACE.​
Having been invited to deliver an address at the Princeton Theological School, I found the theme which I had chosen so attractive, that I wrote much more than it was possible to read in the time proper for such a discourse. I wrote, also, several supplementary essays, — branches, as it were, of the main stem. It turns out, however, that the branches in the aggregate take up more room than the stem out of which they grew. Such is the origin of the present book. I hardly need add that the hospitality of my brethren at Princeton does not render them in the least answerable for its contents.​




Then,

Discussions in History and Theology.

From the preface

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As these books were published in the 1870's through the 1890's, they are over 120 years old.

Because they're outside the copyright period, they're freely available books, in all digital formats.
 

Hypatia_Alexandria

Active member
I was introduced to a Yale religious professor from the late 1800's a little bit ago.
How? By rapping on a table?
HIs name is George Park Fisher.

George Park Fisher (August 10, 1827 – December 20, 1909) taught theology at Yale and was a noted historian. He was president of the American Historical Association while he also served as a pastor at the College Church at Yale.

He's written a number of books that deal with the bible, and christianity.

The first,
Manual on Christian Evidences

From the preface




Next is:
The Grounds for Theistic and Christian Belief

From the preface.





And

Faith and Rationalism.
From the preface






Then,

Discussions in History and Theology.

From the preface



As these books were published in the 1870's through the 1890's, they are over 120 years old.

Because they're outside the copyright period, they're freely available books, in all digital formats.
This is out-of-date information. You are citing the views of someone who knew nothing of the last 130 years of archaeological and historical discoveries. I have no idea why you post links to these antiquated texts.
 
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Komodo

Active member
I was introduced to a Yale religious professor from the late 1800's a little bit ago.
HIs name is George Park Fisher.

George Park Fisher (August 10, 1827 – December 20, 1909) taught theology at Yale and was a noted historian. He was president of the American Historical Association while he also served as a pastor at the College Church at Yale.

He's written a number of books that deal with the bible, and christianity.

The first,
Manual on Christian Evidences

From the preface




Next is:
The Grounds for Theistic and Christian Belief

From the preface.





And

Faith and Rationalism.
From the preface






Then,

Discussions in History and Theology.

From the preface



As these books were published in the 1870's through the 1890's, they are over 120 years old.

Because they're outside the copyright period, they're freely available books, in all digital formats.
Early on in Christian Evidences Park attempts to meet Hume's objection on miracles. He agrees that the initial presumption should be that the uniformity of nature is unbroken, and thus,

"We give credit to what Tacitus relates about the wars of Vespasian, but when he tells the story of the healing of a blind man by that Emperor, we smile at the tale, or at most try to conjecture in what way the erroneous report had arisen."
He claims, however, that this presumption is overcome, in the case of Christianity:

"To set aside this presumption against the miraculous, it is requisite that we should discern the need of a Revelation and appreciate in some degree the intrinsic excellence of the Christian system. Then the way will be open to examine the evidence which shows that the miracles recorded in the New Testament were actually wrought.”

That is, the case for accepting the miracles of the New Testament rests on these propositions:
1) That mankind was in need of a Revelation, and therefore that God could be expected to provide one;
2) That God would also be expected to provide miracles in order to testify to that Revelation, and
3) That the Christian system was of such "intrinsic excellence" that it could not have been been produced by mere human efforts

Only if those are all true, then, may we dismiss Hume's argument. Therefore (by Park's own reasoning), if these propositions are not convincing, Hume's objections stand.

Well, these propositions are certainly not convincing to me. Setting the first two aside for the moment, the third seems to me entirely false. The Christian system of Special Creation - Fall - Original Sin - Law - Incarnation - Atonement - Salvation by Faith, in any of its variations, seems to me quite senseless.

So, whatever Park may have to say to those who regard that system with admiration (even if they don't believe it to be true), he apparently has nothing to say to me. Unless Steve can summarize some particularly good argument by Park which would be more convincing?
 

Komodo

Active member
Early on in Christian Evidences Park attempts to meet Hume's objection on miracles. He agrees that the initial presumption should be that the uniformity of nature is unbroken, and thus,


He claims, however, that this presumption is overcome, in the case of Christianity:



That is, the case for accepting the miracles of the New Testament rests on these propositions:
1) That mankind was in need of a Revelation, and therefore that God could be expected to provide one;
2) That God would also be expected to provide miracles in order to testify to that Revelation, and
3) That the Christian system was of such "intrinsic excellence" that it could not have been been produced by mere human efforts

Only if those are all true, then, may we dismiss Hume's argument. Therefore (by Park's own reasoning), if these propositions are not convincing, Hume's objections stand.

Well, these propositions are certainly not convincing to me. Setting the first two aside for the moment, the third seems to me entirely false. The Christian system of Special Creation - Fall - Original Sin - Law - Incarnation - Atonement - Salvation by Faith, in any of its variations, seems to me quite senseless.

So, whatever Park may have to say to those who regard that system with admiration (even if they don't believe it to be true), he apparently has nothing to say to me. Unless Steve can summarize some particularly good argument by Park which would be more convincing?
“Fisher attempts,” excuse me. For some reason the edit option doesn’t appear for me.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
How? By rapping on a table?
An article about a point he'd made.
This is out-of-date information. You are citing the views of someone who knew nothing of the last 130 years of archaeological and historical discoveries. I have no idea why you post links to these antiquated texts.
So, you think that what's been found has invalidated his points?
by all means, why don't you provide this information which has definitively demonstrated that Jesus isn't actually risen, that the bible never actually happened, and that there's proof there is no God.
We've been waiting for this evidence you have for millennia.
I'm pretty sure the untold billions of people who've since died would appreciate it too.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Early on in Christian Evidences Park attempts to meet Hume's objection on miracles. He agrees that the initial presumption should be that the uniformity of nature is unbroken, and thus,
Ok. early on..... where? It's a 200 plus page book, so please tell me where early on is located.


He claims, however, that this presumption is overcome, in the case of Christianity:
Where does he claim this?


That is, the case for accepting the miracles of the New Testament rests on these propositions:
1) That mankind was in need of a Revelation, and therefore that God could be expected to provide one;
2) That God would also be expected to provide miracles in order to testify to that Revelation, and
3) That the Christian system was of such "intrinsic excellence" that it could not have been been produced by mere human efforts

Only if those are all true, then, may we dismiss Hume's argument. Therefore (by Park's own reasoning), if these propositions are not convincing, Hume's objections stand.
Ok, and why can they not be true?
And convincing using whose reasoning?
I'm pretty confident that a cynical materialist, who rejects anything that doesn't fit their biases, nothing they don't like will pass muster, but could indeed be reasonably convincing to a reasonable person who doesn't need to avoid the truth.



Well, these propositions are certainly not convincing to me. Setting the first two aside for the moment, the third seems to me entirely false. The Christian system of Special Creation - Fall - Original Sin - Law - Incarnation - Atonement - Salvation by Faith, in any of its variations, seems to me quite senseless.
Taking the first two into account, the third is a gimme, so it you set the first two aside, that you toss the third is a no-brainer.
that you find what you toss out as senseless speaks more to your own biases, and refusal to consider ideas you don't want to know.

All this tells me is that you have biases that are not allowing you to learn some things you've never heard before. It's a rather curious point that it's noticed in scientists who've been introduced to new concepts in science.
As I recall, Einstein mocked Quantum Mechanics, yet here we are enjoying the fruits of the labors of early quantum physics researchers.


So, whatever Park may have to say to those who regard that system with admiration (even if they don't believe it to be true), he apparently has nothing to say to me. Unless Steve can summarize some particularly good argument by Park which would be more convincing?
I'm seeing a post rife with biases, and closed mindedness.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
“Fisher attempts,” excuse me. For some reason the edit option doesn’t appear for me.
I got it.
The option to edit your post drops out after 30 minutes. And by the looks of it, you didn't make the attempt until an hour and 24 minutes later.
 

Komodo

Active member
Ok. early on..... where? It's a 200 plus page book, so please tell me where early on is located.
Where does he claim this?
The quotes were from page 22 of the PDF version, sorry. https://ia802903.us.archive.org/3/items/manualofchristia01fish/manualofchristia01fish_bw.pdf

Ok, and why can they not be true?
And convincing using whose reasoning?
I'm pretty confident that a cynical materialist, who rejects anything that doesn't fit their biases, nothing they don't like will pass muster, but could indeed be reasonably convincing to a reasonable person who doesn't need to avoid the truth.

I'm not saying they "cannot" be true, but that (obviously) if Fisher's case rests on presuppositions, his case is only as strong as those presuppositions are. The one I challenged here -- that the Christian system was of such "intrinsic excellence" that it could not have been been produced by mere human efforts -- would be challenged, not only by cynical materialists, but by all devout theists who weren't Christian. It would even be challenged by some Christians, who have said that Christianity may seem absurd, but must be accepted on faith.

If you believe the Christian system is of such excellence it can only be of supernatural origin, how can you not believe that Christianity is true? So Fisher's argument is essentially circular: "I will argue that Christianity is true; but first, let us assume that Christianity is true."

Taking the first two into account, the third is a gimme, so it you set the first two aside, that you toss the third is a no-brainer.

No, because "all descendants of Adam will be born with a sin nature, making it impossible for them to avoid damnation without God's assistance" is not a logically necessary consequence of "Adam disobeyed God."

that you find what you toss out as senseless speaks more to your own biases, and refusal to consider ideas you don't want to know.

All this tells me is that you have biases that are not allowing you to learn some things you've never heard before.

If I say "I don't agree with that proposition" and you give me some good reason why I actually should agree with that proposition, I'll listen. If I say "I don't agree with that proposition" and you tell me "you must be biased and closed-minded," why should I listen? (Unless I knew you to be a good judge of such things.)

ETA: I'll have to figure out how to split quotes; it's not as easy as in the old system.
 
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Komodo

Active member
Taking the first two into account, the third is a gimme, so it you set the first two aside, that you toss the third is a no-brainer.

I think I misread you here; I thought you were referring to "the first two" in the summary I gave of the Christian system (i.e., Special Creation and Fall) but probably you meant the first two of the premises in Fisher, which were:

1) That mankind was in need of a Revelation, and therefore that God could be expected to provide one;
2) That God would also be expected to provide miracles in order to testify to that Revelation, and
3) That the Christian system was of such "intrinsic excellence" that it could not have been been produced by mere human efforts.

If that's true, then I don't see why you would call it a gimme. It could be that mankind is in need of a revelation, that God would provide miracles to bolster that revelation, but it just doesn't follow that Christianity must be that revelation. Perhaps some other "revealed religion" is true; perhaps the true revelation still awaits; perhaps Christianity has no particular excellence at all.
 

Hypatia_Alexandria

Active member
An article about a point he'd made.
He died in 1909.
So, you think that what's been found has invalidated his points?
by all means, why don't you provide this information which has definitively demonstrated that Jesus isn't actually risen, that the bible never actually happened, and that there's proof there is no God.
We've been waiting for this evidence you have for millennia.
I'm pretty sure the untold billions of people who've since died would appreciate it too.
He was a theologian and an academic but he died before major discoveries were made that have since dramatically improved our understanding of the early Hebrews within their contemporary surroundings, and late first century BCE early first century CE Judaism.

As for your theistic belief in the resurrection and a God there is not an iota of independent attested empirical evidence to support either.

Theistic religious belief such as yours rests of trust/faith not on observational and factual evidence.

And what on earth do you mean by "the bible never actually happened"? "the bible" is not an event. It is a literary collection of texts written at vastly different periods, covering a variety of genres, and which were brought together at a much later date.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Good morning.
No worries. Thank you.

https://ia802903.us.archive.org/3/items/manualofchristia01fish/manualofchristia01fish_bw.pdf
I'm not saying they "cannot" be true, but that (obviously) if Fisher's case rests on presuppositions, his case is only as strong as those presuppositions are. The one I challenged here -- that the Christian system was of such "intrinsic excellence" that it could not have been been produced by mere human efforts -- would be challenged, not only by cynical materialists, but by all devout theists who weren't Christian. It would even be challenged by some Christians, who have said that Christianity may seem absurd, but must be accepted on faith.
IF they rest on presuppositions.
Here's the problem with your presupposition......
We who follow Jesus..... we're not given the luxury of presupposing.
The bible is really clear---- test all things. Abhor that which is evil, and cling to that which is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.
Jesus said in John 7:17--- those who do his teachings can know for themselves whether he's speaking on his own authority, or God's.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7, that those who do his teachings will be like a wise man who built his home on a rock, and when life happens-- it'll stand, because he built it on a solid foundation. But those who do not do his teachings will be like a foolish man, who built his house on a foundation of sand. And when the storms of life come, his home will collapse because he built it on a poor foundation, and that collapse will be great.
We then read from James, Jesus' half brother, that we're to be doers, and not hearers only.

So, the point here is that it's not people who just hear, and don't do who who have a good understanding. They're the presuppositionalists.
The people who are actually doers--- they see the conflicts, where assumptions fail, and truth meets the rubber on the road.
We don't blindly, and blythely "accept" it. We've come to learn that Jesus is right. That when the sh88 hits the fan, and life goes sideways, he's there, with us, in the midst of the madness, chaos, pain, grief, sorrows, giving us more than just some blind hope. He himself IS our HOPE.
Our faith doesn't just sit on a chair. It is built on the God who spoke the cosmos into existence, and walks with us throughout our lives.

If you believe the Christian system is of such excellence it can only be of supernatural origin, how can you not believe that Christianity is true? So Fisher's argument is essentially circular: "I will argue that Christianity is true; but first, let us assume that Christianity is true."
We believe, because we've learned to do as Jesus said. We've learned to do as Paul, Jude, James, John, Peter, the prophets, Moses, and the other writers have said.
We've taken the time to learn, to apply, and in learning and applying, we've come to see that these things are true.
Not because they're conveniently, blythely, and blindly "accepted" as truth. But because each time we do what they say, and get the results of what they said, we come to realize that they're correct. So, we dig deeper, ask God himself more questions, and he shows us, in real life means, that this book, collection of books called the bible, which literally means--- the book--- we live out more, and see firsthand---- Biblical Christianity is in fact THE Truth. Jesus himself is THE Truth, just as he stated in John 14:6.


No, because "all descendants of Adam will be born with a sin nature, making it impossible for them to avoid damnation without God's assistance" is not a logically necessary consequence of "Adam disobeyed God."
Actually, it is.
You inherited your father's nature, his attributes, his biological characteristics. Some of your mother's too.
We were designed to inherit them. Sadly, this means we inherit the sin nature, which is nothing more than a dead spirit.
Adam was created as a living soul. Genesis 2:7.
When he ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he killed that living soul. The part of him that interacted with God, so freely, died that day, and like a plant uprooted from the ground, the death of his body followed.
It wasn't immediate, because God intervened, and provided a measure of covering, and a promise of redemption from death, and sin. But the consequence of being separated from God was immediate.
It's most obviously noted in the two sons--- Cain, and Abel.
Abel appears to have gotten it, and continued to offer animals to God. But Cain.... he decided to start his own religion, and tried offering the works of his hands. God called him on it, and warned him of the consequences/benefits. Cain ignored God, and in his attempt to start his own religion, killed his brother to silence the conflict.

So..... what we inherited from Adam was the dead soul. Separated from God, spiritually dead in sin and trespass (Romans 5, Ephesians 2:1). Cut off, isolated. Jesus deals with this, in dying in our place. But he did not stay dead. God raised him from the dead, to seal the success of Jesus' death, to overcome death, once and for all (Romans 4). As sin causes death, so the obedience of Jesus brings life, and by placing our trust in Jesus, we are made right with God, given a new heart, a new spirit, and God's own Spirit comes to dwell in us, giving us life where we once only knew death. This is the new birth Jesus spoke of, and is detailed in Ezekiel 36:25-27, as well as in Romans 5-8.



If I say "I don't agree with that proposition" and you give me some good reason why I actually should agree with that proposition, I'll listen. If I say "I don't agree with that proposition" and you tell me "you must be biased and closed-minded," why should I listen? (Unless I knew you to be a good judge of such things.)
Come to Jesus for yourself and find out. You're not being asked to blindly accept something without evidence from God.
We're being asked to engage him, on his terms, and he'll engage us.
This is an inner, spiritual regeneration that takes place. and it's not without merit, or validity.
The transformation is deep, and abiding, and requires a change in perspective to learn the truth.

Jesus said--- if you continue in my teachings, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.



ETA: I'll have to figure out how to split quotes; it's not as easy as in the old system.
I don't know which browser you're using, or if you're doing this on your tablet/smartphone, but in Firefox, on a computer, and on android galaxy, we no longer have to put in the old html block quote format. [ ...... ] [/ ....... ]
The forum's built in software handles that part for us. Although, noticing that you did a double quoting, I'm going to have to see how this works once I click post reply. I may end up with the same, even though I didn't add secondary quoting. ok. looks good.
 

Komodo

Active member
IF they rest on presuppositions.
But Fisher's argument very clearly does rest on presuppositions, which I quoted; or, if you think that word "presuppositions" is derogatory (which wasn't my intention), call them "premises." He lays them out quite explicitly, which is entirely proper if you are presenting an argument. I was not at all blaming him for that, only noting that an argument can't be stronger than the premises/presuppositions on which it rests. You aren't disputing that, are you?

Here's the problem with your presupposition......
We who follow Jesus..... we're not given the luxury of presupposing.
The bible is really clear---- test all things. Abhor that which is evil, and cling to that which is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.
Jesus said in John 7:17--- those who do his teachings can know for themselves whether he's speaking on his own authority, or God's.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7, that those who do his teachings will be like a wise man who built his home on a rock, and when life happens-- it'll stand, because he built it on a solid foundation. But those who do not do his teachings will be like a foolish man, who built his house on a foundation of sand. And when the storms of life come, his home will collapse because he built it on a poor foundation, and that collapse will be great.
We then read from James, Jesus' half brother, that we're to be doers, and not hearers only.

So, the point here is that it's not people who just hear, and don't do who who have a good understanding. They're the presuppositionalists.
The people who are actually doers--- they see the conflicts, where assumptions fail, and truth meets the rubber on the road.
We don't blindly, and blythely "accept" it. We've come to learn that Jesus is right. That when the sh88 hits the fan, and life goes sideways, he's there, with us, in the midst of the madness, chaos, pain, grief, sorrows, giving us more than just some blind hope. He himself IS our HOPE.
Our faith doesn't just sit on a chair. It is built on the God who spoke the cosmos into existence, and walks with us throughout our lives.


We believe, because we've learned to do as Jesus said. We've learned to do as Paul, Jude, James, John, Peter, the prophets, Moses, and the other writers have said.
We've taken the time to learn, to apply, and in learning and applying, we've come to see that these things are true.
Not because they're conveniently, blythely, and blindly "accepted" as truth. But because each time we do what they say, and get the results of what they said, we come to realize that they're correct. So, we dig deeper, ask God himself more questions, and he shows us, in real life means, that this book, collection of books called the bible, which literally means--- the book--- we live out more, and see firsthand---- Biblical Christianity is in fact THE Truth. Jesus himself is THE Truth, just as he stated in John 14:6.
All this is to say that practice and lived experience will bring you to Jesus. But that isn't at all what Fisher is writing about, and I'm responding to Fisher's book (which you recommended). He is offering an argument for Christianity based on history, not on personal experience. (Just a look at the Table of Contents shows this.) Do you think that argument is worth attending to? If so, it is also worth examining and criticizing ("testing," if you like). If not, it's hard to see why you recommended the book.
Actually, it is.
You inherited your father's nature, his attributes, his biological characteristics. Some of your mother's too.
Yes, but this is a fact of nature, not a logical necessity. For a theist, this is the way God made things work; that doesn't mean it is the only way that God could have made things work, that He had no choice but to make us inherit some of our parents' biological characteristics. Still less does it mean that God had no choice but to make us inherit our parents' spiritual characteristics.
We were designed to inherit them. Sadly, this means we inherit the sin nature, which is nothing more than a dead spirit.
Adam was created as a living soul. Genesis 2:7.
When he ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he killed that living soul. The part of him that interacted with God, so freely, died that day, and like a plant uprooted from the ground, the death of his body followed.
It wasn't immediate, because God intervened, and provided a measure of covering, and a promise of redemption from death, and sin. But the consequence of being separated from God was immediate.
It's most obviously noted in the two sons--- Cain, and Abel.
Abel appears to have gotten it, and continued to offer animals to God. But Cain.... he decided to start his own religion, and tried offering the works of his hands. God called him on it, and warned him of the consequences/benefits. Cain ignored God, and in his attempt to start his own religion, killed his brother to silence the conflict.

So..... what we inherited from Adam was the dead soul. Separated from God, spiritually dead in sin and trespass (Romans 5, Ephesians 2:1). Cut off, isolated. Jesus deals with this, in dying in our place. But he did not stay dead. God raised him from the dead, to seal the success of Jesus' death, to overcome death, once and for all (Romans 4). As sin causes death, so the obedience of Jesus brings life, and by placing our trust in Jesus, we are made right with God, given a new heart, a new spirit, and God's own Spirit comes to dwell in us, giving us life where we once only knew death. This is the new birth Jesus spoke of, and is detailed in Ezekiel 36:25-27, as well as in Romans 5-8.




Come to Jesus for yourself and find out. You're not being asked to blindly accept something without evidence from God.
We're being asked to engage him, on his terms, and he'll engage us.
This is an inner, spiritual regeneration that takes place. and it's not without merit, or validity.
The transformation is deep, and abiding, and requires a change in perspective to learn the truth.

Jesus said--- if you continue in my teachings, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
Fisher's argument was, basically, "Christianity is true, and we can know this by applying human reasoning to historical facts." Your claim seems to be, "Christianity is true, but we can only know this by engaging directly with Jesus." Obviously these are entirely different claims. If yours is true, then reading Fisher is quite pointless, isn't it?
 

SteveB

Well-known member
But Fisher's argument very clearly does rest on presuppositions, which I quoted; or, if you think that word "presuppositions" is derogatory (which wasn't my intention), call them "premises." He lays them out quite explicitly, which is entirely proper if you are presenting an argument. I was not at all blaming him for that, only noting that an argument can't be stronger than the premises/presuppositions on which it rests. You aren't disputing that, are you?
Ok. You're not treating presupposition as a derogatory idea....
As you mention below, what is a fact of nature, in this case I'm going to call a fact of history.
It simply is.
We however are being given the opportunity to engage God himself on his terms, and learn the truthfulness of this fact.


All this is to say that practice and lived experience will bring you to Jesus. But that isn't at all what Fisher is writing about, and I'm responding to Fisher's book (which you recommended). He is offering an argument for Christianity based on history, not on personal experience. (Just a look at the Table of Contents shows this.) Do you think that argument is worth attending to? If so, it is also worth examining and criticizing ("testing," if you like). If not, it's hard to see why you recommended the book.
Yes.
I'm stating that this book gives an historical basis to take the time to learn, so that you can know for yourself.

Biblical christianity is not something that is to remain an historical matter. Its historicity is a fact that is intended entirely to become a personal matter which impacts our lives and enjoins us to actually meet, and know God and Jesus in a Father/child, sibling-relationship with them.

The bible explicitly states that God is adopting us as children, and Jesus becomes the brother of all who practice the will of God.

Yes, but this is a fact of nature, not a logical necessity. For a theist, this is the way God made things work; that doesn't mean it is the only way that God could have made things work, that He had no choice but to make us inherit some of our parents' biological characteristics. Still less does it mean that God had no choice but to make us inherit our parents' spiritual characteristics.
Why should a fact of nature be so difficult to understand the importance of it, excluding you from logical necessity.
God deigned us to inherit our ancestry. Biologically speaking.
Had Adam eaten the fruit of the tree of life, we'd all be living in a paradise and we would have regular conversations with God, and would live in an entirely different world. And I'm pretty confident that nobody would be complaining about it.
So why is this a problem?


Fisher's argument was, basically, "Christianity is true, and we can know this by applying human reasoning to historical facts." Your claim seems to be, "Christianity is true, but we can only know this by engaging directly with Jesus." Obviously these are entirely different claims. If yours is true, then reading Fisher is quite pointless, isn't it?
Yes, and yes.

We can use human reasoning, and by doing so, we can engage God on God's terms and know him.

Let me state it this way.
It's two sides of the same coin.

Using human reasoning does not mean that you ignore history and the fact that God is real and knowable.
It means that you can examine history and learn that God is real and knowable.
Then you will have to decide whether or not you want to know God and Jesus.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
He died in 1909.
Why Yes! Yes he did.
And?
I read a blog article that deals with a topic within one of his books, by another author, who is alive today, or at least was alive at the time the blog article was written.
He was a theologian and an academic but he died before major discoveries were made that have since dramatically improved our understanding of the early Hebrews within their contemporary surroundings, and late first century BCE early first century CE Judaism.
So, do you have evidence that everything he's written about is false?
Did biblical history not happen?
Because I'm alive now, on December 5, 2020, and the pastors I've studied under, and the academics who've been teaching during my life have not found anything that would result in there being definitive proof that YHVH is not real and knowable, that Jesus did not exist, die, or not rise from the dead.

As for your theistic belief in the resurrection and a God there is not an iota of independent attested empirical evidence to support either.
You've been ignoring history.
I was watching a documentary a couple of years ago and the primary point made was that if you deny that Jesus was a real man who actually lived, you would be ignoring the past 2000 years of history.
So, you keep telling yourself that. I'm sure that if you repeat it often enough, you'll make it true.

Theistic religious belief such as yours rests of trust/faith not on observational and factual evidence.
That is your opinion.
As I said above, you keep telling yourself that. If you say it long enough I'm sure that you will believe it is true.

Thankfully, facts are independent of your opinions on this.

And what on earth do you mean by "the bible never actually happened"? "the bible" is not an event. It is a literary collection of texts written at vastly different periods, covering a variety of genres, and which were brought together at a much later date.
Why don't you pay closer attention to what I stated.
 

Komodo

Active member
Why should a fact of nature be so difficult to understand the importance of it, excluding you from logical necessity.
I'm afraid I don't understand what you're saying here.

God deigned us to inherit our ancestry. Biologically speaking.
Had Adam eaten the fruit of the tree of life, we'd all be living in a paradise and we would have regular conversations with God, and would live in an entirely different world. And I'm pretty confident that nobody would be complaining about it.
So why is this a problem?
I don't agree that, if it would be acceptable to receive a reward we did nothing to deserve, then it should be acceptable to be burdened with an obstacle we did nothing to deserve. I'd say the former is an example of generosity, which is a virtue, while the latter is an example of oppression, a moral evil. I see nothing wrong in giving or getting undeserved benefits; as Hamlet said, "use every man after his desert, and who would 'scape whipping?" But it is wrong to oppress others.
 
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Hypatia_Alexandria

Active member
I read a blog article that deals with a topic within one of his books, by another author, who is alive today, or at least was alive at the time the blog article was written.

So, do you have evidence that everything he's written about is false?
Did biblical history not happen?
What do you mean by "biblical history"?

The bible is not a collection of reference works that deal dispassionately, objectively, and critically with past events.
Because I'm alive now, on December 5, 2020, and the pastors I've studied under, and the academics who've been teaching during my life have not found anything that would result in there being definitive proof that YHVH is not real and knowable, that Jesus did not exist, die, or not rise from the dead.
All of which is nothing more than theological belief.
You've been ignoring history.
I was watching a documentary a couple of years ago and the primary point made was that if you deny that Jesus was a real man who actually lived, you would be ignoring the past 2000 years of history.
[sarcasm intended] Oh well if a documentary tells you so, it must be true. :rolleyes:

There are a range of views pertaining to the personage behind the characters of Jesus we find in the Synoptic gospels . The fact is that we have no contemporary attested evidence for such a figure. The earliest non Christian reference is from Josephus writing towards the end of the first century CE.

We do not know if these differing characters found in the Synoptic gospels are based on a one real man, several real men, or are nothing but literary creations.

For my own part, I think it extremely likely that there is a real first century Jew [or various individuals] somewhere behind those gospel characters. We know that Messianic sects had been springing up in the region from the late first century BCE and that within contemporary society there was seething with resentment and unrest along with a belief among many that the End Times were approaching. Hence an individual [or individuals] saying as much and telling their fellow Jews to repent and make ready for the Kingdom of God [i.e. a theocracy in Israel with a King at its head] would not be inconceivable.

You have also singularly failed to explain what you intended by your allegation directed at me that "the bible never actually happened".


 

SteveB

Well-known member
I'm afraid I don't understand what you're saying here.
You said that just because it's a fact of nature doesn't mean that you see the logical necessity of it.
I apparently didn't place the question mark on the end of it.

So,

Why should a fact of nature be so difficult to understand the importance of it, exclude you from understanding the logical necessity of it?
I.e., the fact of nature is what makes it necessary. So, just because you don't understand the logic and importance of it, does not mean that it isn't logically necessary.

I don't agree that, if it would be acceptable to receive a reward we did nothing to deserve, then it should be acceptable to be burdened with an obstacle we did nothing to deserve. I'd say the former is an example of generosity, which is a virtue, while the latter is an example of oppression, a moral evil. I see nothing wrong in giving or getting undeserved benefits; as Hamlet said, "use every man after his desert, and who would 'scape whipping?" But it is wrong to oppress others.
So, you don't think that the hard work your ancestors did allowed to enjoy the life you presently have?
It is wrong to oppress others, but that doesn't stop them from doing so!
Nor will it prevent them from receiving the judgment due their injustices.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
You said that just because it's a fact of nature doesn't mean that you see the logical necessity of it.
I apparently didn't place the question mark on the end of it.
So, Why should a fact of nature be so difficult to understand the importance of it, exclude you from understanding the logical necessity of it?
I.e., the fact of nature is what makes it necessary. So, just because you don't understand the logic and importance of it, does not mean that it isn't logically necessary.
This is where a little knowledge of logic and philosophy would be of benefit to you. Facts of nature are contingent while facts of logic are necessary. They are two distinct categories. Inheritance, whether genetic or spiritual, falls in the former category and is not a logical necessity. This is because it could have been otherwise without contradiction. And if it were logically necessary, which it is not, then it would no longer be a fact of nature. It would instead be a fact of logic.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
What do you mean by "biblical history"?
Let's see,
Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Esther, Nehemiah, Ruth, 1/2 Samuel, 1/2 Kings, 1/2 Chronicles, Job, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, the 4 gospels, Acts, are all documents of the bible which are historical narratives.
So.... biblical history. History which has been documented in the bible.

The bible is not a collection of reference works that deal dispassionately, objectively, and critically with past events.
I don't see where I said it was necessary to match your definition of historical documentation.

All of which is nothing more than theological belief.
Theological instruction which describes to us the experiences of historical characters, and the impact of God in their lives.
It further instructs us so that we may engage God for ourselves. As Paul says in Romans and 1 Corinthians

Rom 15:4 WEB For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that through perseverance and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.​
1Co 10:11 WEB Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.​

[sarcasm intended] Oh well if a documentary tells you so, it must be true. :rolleyes:
Ironically, your ignorance just excludes you from gaining the benefits provided by God to those who believe him.

There are a range of views pertaining to the personage behind the characters of Jesus we find in the Synoptic gospels . The fact is that we have no contemporary attested evidence for such a figure. The earliest non Christian reference is from Josephus writing towards the end of the first century CE.
And?
Is that supposed to mean that your opinions on this the final authority of history?

We do not know if these differing characters found in the Synoptic gospels are based on a one real man, several real men, or are nothing but literary creations.
This is why we study them.
From what I read, the various characters are consistently named in all 4 gospels, and aside from their having different perspectives, they're consistent.

For my own part, I think it extremely likely that there is a real first century Jew [or various individuals] somewhere behind those gospel characters. We know that Messianic sects had been springing up in the region from the late first century BCE and that within contemporary society there was seething with resentment and unrest along with a belief among many that the End Times were approaching. Hence an individual [or individuals] saying as much and telling their fellow Jews to repent and make ready for the Kingdom of God [i.e. a theocracy in Israel with a King at its head] would not be inconceivable.
For your own part.
Then you should learn that your own part is part of the problem here.

You have also singularly failed to explain what you intended by your allegation directed at me that "the bible never actually happened".
As I said, you should learn how to read.
 
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