Fifteen Reasons Why I am no Longer a Christian

1.  There is zero evidence for the claim that tens of thousands, if not millions, of Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt for hundreds of years, wandered the Sinai for 40 years, or launched a massive, bloody conquest of Canaan.  There is also zero evidence for the great kingdoms of David and Solomon as described in the Bible.  No trace of Solomon’s temple has ever been found.  The top archaeologists in Israel have confirmed:  these stories are fictional; they never happened; they are Iron Age fabrications.

2.  The god of the Old Testament was vindictive, quick tempered, and ever eager to shed blood.  If he exists, his hands are covered with the blood of millions of men, women, children, and babies.  The barbaric actions of this ancient middle-eastern god are not compatible with the loving, forgiving, compassionate character of Jesus of Nazareth.  They cannot be the same god.

3.  The “Jesus prophecies” in the Old Testament can easily be demonstrated to not be about Jesus but about Jacob, otherwise known as Israel—the Hebrew people.

4.  Writing analysis of the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch, decisively shows that Moses could not have written these books.  Jesus thought Moses did.  Jesus was wrong.

5.  There are numerous, irreconcilable discrepancies in details of particular events described in the Pentateuch that are also described in I and II Kings or in I and II Chronicles.

6.  The Creation story described in Genesis chapter 1 is very different from the description of Creation in the following chapters.

7.  Geologic evidence proves without any doubt that there was never a world wide flood.  Evidence shows that the Hebrew story of Noah is a plagiarism of the Babylonia story of Gilgamesh.

8.  Scientific evidence proves that the universe is billions of years older than what the Bible tells us.

9.  The book of Daniel can conclusively be proven to be a fraud.  It was written during the reign of the Greeks, not during the reign of the Babylonians or Persians.  Jesus quoted a book we now know is a fraud.  Therefore Jesus was mistaken.

10.  There is no mention of Hell in the first half to 2/3 of the Old Testament.  In fact, the concept of Hell, does not appear until the very end of the Old Testament (Daniel), which as stated above, was written during the Greek occupation of Palestine.  The Greeks did have a concept of Hell which they called Hades, which they had borrowed from the ancient Egyptians, who called their Hell…the Lake of Fire!  Strange coincidence, isn’t it?  Jesus believed in Hell because his Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, modified the Hebrew to create this concept of divine eternal punishment.  Jesus mistakenly believed that Hell/Hades was a Hebrew teaching from Yahweh.

11.  Jesus quoted from, and based his teachings on…a Greek translation of the Old Testament.  If he were really God, wouldn’t he know that the translators of this Greek translation deliberately modified the Hebrew to create this unheard of concept called Hell/Hades?  Why would the All-Mighty, All-Knowing Creator and Ruler of the Universe preach from a very poor translation of his original Word in Hebrew??

12.  Why didn’t Jesus write down his teachings himself?  Why leave the job to four anonymous writers writing decades after his death in a foreign language?  Why would the All-Mighty God of the Universe allow four Greek-speaking foreigners to completely bungle his resurrection story?

13.  Why would Jesus select Paul, a Pharisee, to be his missionary to the Gentiles when he already had the Eleven to do the job?  Why would Jesus give special, new revelations to a man who was not one of the original Eleven?  How do we know that Paul was selected by Jesus and not that Paul selected himself to be the “greatest of the Apostles”?  Why does Paul rarely mention any of the teachings of Jesus?  Why does Paul talk so much about himself?  Why do none of the other apostles refer in their epistles to Paul as an apostle?  Why did all the churches in Asia (that would include Ephesus, Galatia, Tarsus, Colossae, Laodecia, etc.) eventually reject Paul’s teachings? Paul doesn’t say that these churches rejected Jesus, just him.  The Apostle John mentions Jesus in the Book of Revelation praising these Asian churches for their faithful service to him, and for their rejection of false “apostles”.  Put those two statements together and what do we get:  Paul, who claimed to be the greatest and hardest working apostle,  was rejected by the Asian churches.  Jesus praised these same Asian churches for rejecting “false apostles”.  Not false prophets.  Not false teachers.  Not false brothers.  FALSE APOSTLES!  Jesus rejected and condemned Paul.  He was not an apostle.

14.  There is no record in the Old Testament or in the sayings of Jesus recorded in the Gospels that list the current books of the New Testament as the inerrant Word of God.  No where, even in the New Testament, do we have a list of which books God himself ordained to be his inspired Word.  The New Testament is simply and only a creation of the Catholic Church, the victors of the early Christian civil wars.

15.  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.  If I told you that I was abducted by green Martians in a Home Depot parking lot last year, to spend three days and nights on their home planet, I doubt that you would simply accept my word for it…by faith.  No, you would demand extraordinary evidence for this extraordinary claim.  So why do Christians demand that non-believers believe their fantastic, supernatural, 2,000 year old claim, simply by taking their word for it and the word of their ancient, middle-eastern holy book, by faith?

No. 

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and their isn’t ANY evidence for the extraordinary, first century, Christian claim that a dead man walked out of his tomb with the body of Superman, walked through locked doors, and levitated into the clouds, to reign in the farthest reaches of Outer Space, as the Almighty Ruler of the Universe.  None.

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23 thoughts on “Fifteen Reasons Why I am no Longer a Christian

  1. Dear Gary: I read your 15 reasons, and now if I may, I would like to post 15 reasons why I'm still a Jesus follower:

    #1. Have you surveyed all the evidence dear friend? Evidence alone does not persuade anyone to be a Christian, being that faith is a supernatural work of God. With that said, the faith to which I hold is a most reasonable faith that is every verified by various finds. The Stele of Tel Dan, discovered in 1993 along the medditerranean coast of Israel, features an Aramaic inscription detailing a series of battles and Kings. The kings listed are said to be of the “house of David” or “Dynasty of David”. This site has had extensive excavation and gives proof of David's historical existence outside the Bible, and thus Solomon's existence as well.

    According to H. Wayne House and Joseph W. Holden in their book “Apologetics of Christian Evidences”, 2006, an excavation at Tel es-Safi in 2005 unearthed a pottery shard with a proto-Canaanite inscription bearing a name of similar spelling to “Goliath”. The piece is dated to the 10th-9th centuries b.c, which corresponds to the days of King Saul's reign. Again, evidence alone does not persuade, however the two proofs here at least show how impossible it is to make an asbolute statement such as: “there is no evidence for David or Solomon outside the Bible”. The only question is: what then do you do with the evidence? As for me, the explanatory scope of Biblical Christianity better explains the existence of such evidence vs a worldview that asserts their non-existence and then attempts to pass them off as mere anomalies or forgeries. These two finds have been extensively confirmed by archaeologists of all stripes.

    #2 The issue of Joshua's conquests has been mistakenly assumed that God ordered the exermination of millions of innocent people to make room for a merauding people. It must be recalled that the Canaanites were the blood-thirsty, godless culture who had been given three centuries to repent and turn from their idolatry. God's forebearance held out appeal after appeal (we know they knew of the Exodus, had heard of the miracles). Abraham had an early encounter with the king of Sodom in Genesis 14. For those Canaanites who did repent of their sins (like Rahab the Harlot), judgment was spared. The God of the Bible is a Just and Loving God. If He were not just, how could He be loving, since then He could love anything, including injustice. Thus I am a Christian because God is a Just and loving God.

    #3. Dear friend, you would have to survey all 109 messianic prophecies to validate your claim that not a single one speaks of the Messiah, nor that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of them. Read passages from the Mishna that exegete those Messianic Prophecies, I promise you not all O.T prophecy is exclusively about Jacob or even Israel. Jesus and the N.T's teaching of His messianic claims occur within the Jewish Backdrop of the 1st century. I know you don't believe in the Gospels anymore, however your viewpoint will need to explain then why the early Jewish followers of Jesus so adamately proclaimed His messiahship.

    There were plenty of defeaters present: Jewish Hostility, Graeco-Roman Polytheism and the like. Nevertheless the Jesus' Messianic claims not only stuck but flourished in otherwise hostile soil. I am a Christian because only Biblical Christianity possesss the explanatory scope to handle the questions of Jesus' claims to messiahship, and their consequent perseverance.

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  2. #4 Dear friend, an analysis of the Hebrew text of the Pentateuch will reveal clues to its antiquity and Mosaic Authorship. Having read Hebrew for 20 years, I can testify first hand of such clues.

    First, the personal pronouns in Hebrew are spelled quite differently throughout the penteteuch than they are anywhere else in the Hebrew Bible. I won't go into all the technical minutiae, but suffice it to say the way the pronouns are spelled are found in only one other type of ancient literature, a sister language of the Hebrew, the Ugaritic. The Ugaritic language of which I speak flourished in and around the days of Moses (15th-13th century b.c). The phenomena cannot be explained by anachronism, but rather lends evidence to the antiquity of the Pentateuch (most notably Genesis). I had to learn these forms and when to spot them while learning Hebrew, so I can tell you, dear friend, there is no way the Pentateuch was written any later than the 13th century b.c. Secondly, Exodus 24:4 plainly states Moses wrote down the words of the Lord. So, as you can see, Jesus is right, and I trust Him, and thus this is why I am a Jesus follower.

    #5 I know you have posted numerous articles over the past few months in regards to the alleged discrepencies surrounding the books of Kings, Chronicles and the Pentateuch. Many other scholars have successfully answered such issues. The difficulties surrounding harmonizations of these books have been well documented over the centuries. I am not concerned in the least by them because where one part of scripture may seem obscure, another portion can shed light. I know this is a more vague counter-response, but, dear friend, you made a sweeping statement here as well.

    #6 Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are complementary records and are not in conflict. From my readng of them, it seems that Genesis 1 is giving a broad overview of the Creation week and Genesis 2 is giving a detailed focus, particularly upon the events of days five and six, with particular interest in the pre-fall lives of Adam and his wife.

    #7 What about the sea-shells found atop high mountains or the dozens of flood narratives found in virtually every culture scattered across the globe? What about the sub-terranean trenches that wrap around our earth some 2 1/2 times and run a nearly unbroken 46,000 miles? Those trenches could had been the source of the eruption of subterranean waters that were largely responsible for flooding our globe. What about the drifting the continents that if put together could had formed the proposed super continent of Pangea? These are all circumstantial and cumalative evidences. However to say these is no evidence whatsoever for a world-wide flood I think is a stretch.

    #8 I know you are not a big fan of Time-dilation models of cosmology, however why couldn' time dilation and the utilization of Einstein's theories of general relativity be used to explain why we receive measurements of billions of years while reconciling what the scripture teaches regarding a thousands of year old creation? In reading Brian Green's two books on Cosmology, I came to find out there are over one dozen variations on the current standard model of the Big Bang. Does not science consider all the candidates. Furthermore, the origins of the universe is a distinct discussion from science, and belongs more in the field of worldview studies or origins studies.

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  3. #9 The book of Daniel's age can be confirmed. The book itself was written in two languages – Hebrew and Aramaic. We know that the lingua franca of the land of Israel did not go to Aramaic until around the 5th century b.c. The Hebrew portions of Daniel were written in the language of the Jews who were getting introduced to babylonian culture following the fall of Jerusalem in 586 b.c. Likewise, Daniel 2-7 was written in the court language of Babylon, Aramaic (what is sometimes called Chaledean), which was at its zenith point in 605b.c-520 b.c. Jews who were becoming accustomed to the language of the Babylonians would need to have a document written in both languages. Any other theory cannot account as to why the book was written in two languages. Intertestamental Jews would not had known Hebrew (save the priests). Thus it only makes sense to conclude that Daniel was a book written in the time it claims.

    #10 I'll just point you, dear friend, to a blogpost I wrote on Hell, citing various scriptures that do show its teaching in the earlier portions of the Bible. http://pastormahlon.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-man-who-went-to-hell.html

    #11 There is no evidence that the LXX translators made up anything when they used the term “Hades” to translate the word “Sheol”. The word hades was used in an attempt to capture as closely as possible the Hebrew word “Sheol”. Dear friend, you say you will follow wherever the evidence leads and yet whenever you have such documentary evidence as the LXX, you won't admit that perhaps your worldview is inadequate on this point. The Bible is very clear on the subject of the after-life whether reading it in Hebrew, Greek or English.

    #12 My dear friend, I don't see how this point discredits Jesus. Just on a broad scale, Socarates did not write one word of his philosophy that we have in print. Everything we know of Socrates we have from his pupil Plato, yet no one disparages him. So why does Jesus not writing down his teachings discredit Him? You and I obviously disagree on the reliability of the Gospels, and I won't get into that here. Suffice it to say, I am a Christian because of the Gospels portrayal of Jesus Christ as King, Messiah, Savior, Lord and God in human flesh.

    #13 I've been following your posts on Paul and all I can say (I'm running out of time and have to go soon) is refer back to the comments I made in one of your posts this week. Let me say this: Paul's appointment as an Apostle does not take away the offices of the original twelve. They constituted the early leadership of the church in the first thirty years of its existence. Paul was appointed as an Apostle by Jesus due to the influx of Gentile converts. Paul, having been a skeptic, was dramatically converted to become the early church's greatest champion. You cannot explain his dramatic conversion nor the spread of the Gospel by him and planting of churches apart from the supernatural. Paul had enough eduacation equalling two PhD's. I just don't see the claims of his mental instability. I've read all his letters in the original Greek and they represent some of the finest, most well thoughtout Greek (that includes those portions where he clearly did not have an Amunuensis (secretary).

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  4. #14 Dear friend, for sake of space and time, I'll reference a post I wrote on this at: https://biblicalexegete.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/briefly-explaining-canonization-of-the-scriptures/

    #15 My dear friend, this final point is perhaps the most important: why am I a Christian and why are you (it seems for now) a Skeptic? Is it because of the lack of evidence or surplus of it? Again, evidence alone will not do the job of persuading anyone conclusively of one view over another. We could probably go at it all day, marshalling our repsecitive lines of evidences. I think you need to define what you mean by evidence, first of all.

    Secondly, in the words of the late Dr. Francis Shaeffer, any worldview must account for three primary philosophical issues: a). Why is there something rather than nothing b). Why is man so unique c). The intersection of the Bible with history.

    Thirdly, my contention is that the fact you and I can have rational discussion or prove anything demonstrates a relaity that is understandable designed and embedded with purpose. Unless the God of the Bible exists, there is no way anything can be proven. A materialistic concept of the universe cannot account for the laws of logic, language and mathematics, all of which have been used in my remarks and yours.

    I urge you dear friend, consider what I have written and return back to the faith you once professed. Know that I hold you in the highest respect and intend in any comment I make on your blog to never tear you down or anyone else. The truth can only thrive where there is clarity. I bid you blessings. Pastor Mahlon.

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  5. Thank you for your comments. Again, I always enjoy hearing from you as I know you will present well-thought out and interesting information which I enjoy discussing/debating. I will discuss each of your points in separate comments.

    The Tele Dan Stele:

    It is true that the Tele Dan Stele, discovered in the very north of present day Israel, makes the comment “the house of David”. However, what does this tell us? Does it tell us that there once was a shepherd boy, the son of Jesse, who slew a lion with his bare hands, killed a giant with a sling shot, killed thousands of Philistines (and cut off and collected thousands of Philistine foreskins as war trophys? Does it tell us that David was a great king who ruled a great kingdom stretching from Egypt in the south to the Euphrates in the North?

    The answer: no.

    So what does the Tel Dan Stelle tell us: There was a house of David somewhere in that area, mostly likely referring to a royal house.

    Imagine if today someone found an ancient relic in England that said this: “house of Arthur”. Would you jump to your feet in ecstasy and exclaim: Oh my gosh! We have found proof that King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table really did exist!!”

    Yes, there may have been a King Arthur in England's distant past, but that doesn't mean that the story of Knights and dragons is true.

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  6. I challenge you to give a citation that the Tel Dan Stelle lists David son of Jesse and Solomon as kings of Israel. It may mention later kings for whom we have extra-biblical evidence for their existence such as Ahab, but as far as I am aware, no one have ever found any relic that says, “David, son of Jesse, slayer of Goliath”, nor any mention at all of a king called Solomon…except in the fabricated stories of Israel and its holy book.

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  7. You said, “According to H. Wayne House and Joseph W. Holden in their book “Apologetics of Christian Evidences”, 2006, an excavation at Tel es-Safi in 2005 unearthed a pottery shard with a proto-Canaanite inscription bearing a name of similar spelling to “Goliath”. “

    “Bearing a name similar to “Goliath”???

    Dear pastor, how can you see this as evidence? Imagine if someone in upstate New York digs up a 200 year old stone that has “Meronee” on it, and every Mormon in the country bursts out in song: “It is “Moroni”…absolute proof that Joseph Smith's story is true!”

    The question has to be: How common a name is the name found on the pottery shard among the Philistines of that era? Let' say that the name on the pottery shard is similar to “Goliath” but is actually, “Goliathem”. If Goliathem was as common among the Philistines of that era as “John” is among Americans today, do you see how silly it would be to jump to the conclusion that you have found evidence of the great Philistine giant, slain by the shepherd boy, David?

    It would be like someone in 5014 finding a pot in Kansas made in 2014 with the name “John” on it, and believing that it is evidence of the existence of John Kerry. It is silly.

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  8. After discussing the Tel Dan Stele and the “Goliath pottery shard” you said: “Again, evidence alone does not persuade, however the two proofs here at least show how impossible it is to make an asbolute statement such as: “there is no evidence for David or Solomon outside the Bible”.”

    So maybe I should have made my statement a little better. I should have said, “there is no CREDIBLE evidence for the existence of the Biblical David and Solomon outside of the Hebrew Bible.”

    I hope you would agree that a 3,000 year old pot with the name John on it, found in the year 5014 in the middle of Kansas, is NOT credible evidence to support the existence of Secretary of State, John Kerry.

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  9. You said about the Tel Dan Stele and the Goliath pottery shard:

    “As for me, the explanatory scope of Biblical Christianity better explains the existence of such evidence vs a worldview that asserts their non-existence and then attempts to pass them off as mere anomalies or forgeries. These two finds have been extensively confirmed by archaeologists of all stripes.”

    I am in full agreement that most archaeologists, Christian believers and non-believers, agree that the Tel Dan Stele says “House of David”. But to then jump to the conclusion that scholars of “all stripes” agree this is proof of the existence of David the Giant killer is a wildly false assertion.

    I also do not doubt that a shard of pottery has been found that has a name on it similar to “Goliath”, and most likely there is no dispute on this finding. However, to say that scholars of all stripes view this pottery shard as proof of King David, son of Jesse, slayer of lions and giants, is an outrageous, silly, jump of faith.

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  10. You said, “The issue of Joshua's conquests has been mistakenly assumed that God ordered the exermination of millions of innocent people to make room for a merauding people. It must be recalled that the Canaanites were the blood-thirsty, godless culture who had been given three centuries to repent and turn from their idolatry. God's forebearance held out appeal after appeal (we know they knew of the Exodus, had heard of the miracles). Abraham had an early encounter with the king of Sodom in Genesis 14. For those Canaanites who did repent of their sins (like Rahab the Harlot), judgment was spared. The God of the Bible is a Just and Loving God. If He were not just, how could He be loving, since then He could love anything, including injustice. Thus I am a Christian because God is a Just and loving God.”

    Imagine Pastor Mahlon that you and I are interviewing the Muslim mullah/clergyman who heads ISIL/ISIS and he gives us the exact same reasoning as you do above to excuse his group's slaughter of non-Muslim (non-Sunni Muslim) men, women, and children for the reason that they have had over 1,400 years to convert to Islam and have stubbornly refused to do so.

    What would be your reaction? My guess would be: disgust, revulsion, horror, absolute disdain for the man and his superstitious, non-fact based excuses for murdering innocent people, including helpless babies and children.

    Today in civilized society we do NOT kill people for being “sinful non-believers”. EVER. Even if “sinful non-believers” are sacrificing their children, we would never slaughter the entire nation/people, including all the children, just to prevent some children from being sacrificed or to prevent these children from growing up to be “evil” themselves.

    You have been brainwashed, dear Pastor, to believe that your god is the very definition of what is good and what is evil, therefore, if your god commands something that every human being on the planet would find revoltingly evil, it is NOT evil, it is just and good just because your god has commanded.

    This evil, superstitious thinking is no different than the thinking of our Muslim mullah above. It is sick. It is sick thinking whether it comes from the mouth of a Muslim…or the mouth of a devout Christian.

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  11. Dear Gary: So why is Isis's actions evil, per the rationalist worldview? I hear what you are saying regarding the parallel you attempt to draw between the actions of Isis and the actions of Joshua, the ancient Hebrews and Yahweh's directives. However, the comparison is apples and oranges.

    The Canaanites had engaged in persistent, gross atrocities and practice religions wherein they sacrificed children. The folks being persecuted by Isis have not engaged in such gross, immoral behavior. Joshua and the Hebrews did exercise mercy and God granted such to those who evidenced faith in the God of Israel. Isis and its ideologies shows no mercy.

    Am I saying that Joshua and the Hebrews were a pure, perfect nation in the Book of Joshua? Hardly. They did a lot of dumb things. The fact that sacred scripture records such “warts and all” demonstrates its historicity. If the book of Joshua romanticized the Israelites, then it would be at best hagiographa. However it is true, real history.

    The ethical and moral failures and tensions we feel in the text of Joshua is the outcomes of human sin, and cannot be attributed to the Holy character of Yahweh.

    The parallels you attempt to draw, dear friend, are just not there. I anticipate we will not agree on this point. We must keep in mind the Biblical teaching of what is called “The Holy” vs what is called “the profane”. This ethical distinction is woven deep into the human psyche. For example, why is it we wear clothes? To cover those parts that are deemed “holy”, “sacred”, and “set apart”. The category of “profane” refers to those practices that are attached to our most base desires or which conflicts with the character of God.

    Whenever societies attempt to disregard this most fundamental binary ethic of “Holy” vs “Profane”, all that is left is “profane”. I think the bigger issue here is the fact you acknowledge the reality of an ethical category called “evil”. Why is that the big deal? Because to acknowledge the reality of “evil” is to admit there to be a universal infrastructure embedded in all reality.

    In other words, there is “a definite line” that is crossed by all peoples, of all ages, of all societies that is in plain and simple terms “evil”.
    The moral/ethical relativism that asserts that “societies determine what is right, and not God” cannot explain the across the board, universal sense of repulsion we all feel when injustice has been done.

    Why else does injustice bother the moral relativist? Because the moral relativist cannot escape the fact that we not only live in a physical universe, but an ethical/moral one. If anything, Joshua depicts what happens when human beings attempt to live life apart from the revelation of Yahweh in creation.

    Dear friend, the conflict of our worldviews is described by the scriptures, and in as much as I wish I could convince you otherwise, I know that outside the Spirit's working and your acquiesence to such a witness, the contrast of our worldviews will persist. In the words of the late apologist Dr. Greg Bahnsen: “there is no such thing as a position of neutrality when it comes to discussions between worldviews.”

    I freely admit that I'm not neutral, and I think the sooner you admit the same, the more freedom you will have to achieve the certainty of knowledge you long to attain. I bid you blessings, Gary. I pray you see the charitibility in my words.

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  12. Pastor,

    This disagreement can be resolved very easily by you answering this question:

    If God decided to teleport YOU back in time to the day that Saul and the Hebrews slaughtered every man, woman, and child of the Amalekites (although disobeying God's command and sparing the king and some of the animals), what would you say if a Hebrew soldier asked you for pastoral advice in this situation:

    He has just slaughtered an Amalekite man and his eleven year old son. The Amalekite man's wife and his two year old little girl are huddled in the corner of their home, wailing in terror, looking at the soldier and pleading for mercy. The Hebrew soldier turns to you, Pastor, and asks,

    “Pastor Mahlon, God has ordered us to kill every Amalekite man, woman, and child. I really don't want to kill this mother and her child. Should I obey God's command and chop this terrified, defenseless mother and her little girl to pieces with my sword, Pastor Mahlon?

    What would you tell him to do? You only have seconds to advise him.

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  13. If I were going to forge five books that I want to look as if George Washington wrote them in the late eighteenth century ( works of forgery), I would not use the slang and style of writing of the early twenty-first century. I would adopt the language and style, including the pronoun usage of the time period of which I am trying to create the forgery.

    Now, if the pronoun issue was the only issue regarding the Pentateuch, you might have some evidence to cling to, Pastor. The problem is that there are so many other literary “tells” that indicate that one man did not write these five books during the alleged 40 years of wandering in the Sinai.

    Read here:

    http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2014/11/did-moses-really-write-pentateuch.html

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  14. #5 You are an intelligent man, Pastor Mahlon. If I gave you any other collection of books allegedly describing real historical events, with the same massive number of discrepancies as contained in the Bible, you would throw it in the trash.

    The only reason you do not see any discrepancies in the Bible is for one simple reason: you don't want to see them.

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  15. Dear Pastor. You know how much I like you but you are embarrassing yourself. Your fantasy geology was disproved even before the Theory of Evolution was proposed to the world 150 years ago:

    Any time you read creationist attempts to claim Noah’s flood was real, they point to the Grand Canyon or cherry-pick a flood event in a local region and claim there was once a giant flood that could cover the entire earth. Such claims show that creationists not only don’t know much about real geology and have never looked at very many real outcrops, but also that they don’t know history.

    First of all, all geologists before 1800 were creationists and devout Christians who believed that the rocks they were studying were deposits of Noah’s flood. But by 1840, they had completely rejected the idea of a global flood because the rock record clearly didn’t support the idea. The Noah’s flood story was rejected by creationists based on the actual hard evidence over 170 years ago, and no geologist with legitimate training and any real experience in the real rock record has taken it seriously since then. The reason is simple: there are no flood deposits in most parts of the world that could reasonably be connected to Noah’s flood, and 99% of the rock record (including the Grand Canyon) are not flood deposits whatsoever. As I explained in my 2007 book, Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters (pp. 58–64):

    The first detailed attempt [to revive the “Noah’s flood geology” model] came from a Seventh-Day Adventist schoolteacher named George Macready Price, who published a series of books starting in 1902. Price had no formal training or experience in geology or paleontology, and in fact attended only a few college classes at a tiny Adventist college. But inspired by Ellen G. White, the prophetess and founder of the Seventh-Day Adventist movement, he dreamed up an explanation called “flood geology” and aggressively promoted it for more than sixty years until his death in 1963. According to Price, the Flood accounted for all of the fossil record, with the helpless invertebrates being buried first, and the larger land animals floating to the top to be buried in higher strata, or fleeing the floodwaters to higher ground.

    Ignorant of history or geology, Price was unaware of the fact that religious geologists had believed in a Noachian deluge explanation of the fossil record in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but abandoned it when their own work showed it to be impossible—long before evolution came on the scene. The most famous geological treatise of the seventeenth century, The Sacred Theory of the Earth, by Reverend Thomas Burnet, dealt with the problem of the Noachian Deluge explaining the rock record. Burnet, unlike the modern creationists, did not fall back on the supernatural. Although others urged him to resort to miracles, Burnet declared: “They say in short that God Almighty created waters on purpose to make the Deluge…. And this, in a few words, is the whole account of the business. This is to cut the knot when we cannot loose it.”

    In Price’s later years, his bizarre ideas about geology were generally ignored as embarrassments by most creationists (see Numbers, 1992, pp. 89–101). Most subscribed to the “day-age” idea of Genesis, where the “days” of scripture were geologic “ages,” and did not try to contort all the evidence of geology into a simplistic flood model. Some disciples of Price actually tried to test his ideas and look at the rocks for themselves, which Price apparently never bothered to do. In 1938, Price’s follower Harold W. Clark “at the invitation of one of his students visited the oil fields of Oklahoma and northern Texas and saw with his own eyes why geologists believed as they did. Observations of deep drilling and conversations with practical geologists gave him a ‘real shock’ that permanently erased any confidence in Price’s vision of a topsy-turvy fossil record” (Numbers, 1992, p. 125). Clark wrote to Price:

    Cont'd below

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  16. The rocks do lie in a much more definite sequence than we have ever allowed. The statements made in the New Geology [Price’s term for “flood geology”] do not harmonize with the conditions in the field… All over the Middle West the rocks lie in great sheets extending over hundreds of miles, in regular order. Thousands of well cores prove this. In East Texas alone are 25,000 deep wells. Probably well over 100,000 wells in the Midwest give data that have been studied and correlated. The science has become a very exact one, and millions of dollars are spent in drilling, with the paleontological findings of the company geologists taken as the basis for the work. The sequence of microscopic fossils in the strata is very remarkably uniform … The same sequence is found in America, Europe, and anywhere that detailed studies have been made. This oil geology has opened up the depths of the earth in a way that we never dreamed of twenty years ago. (quoted in Numbers, 1992, p. 125)

    Clark’s statement is a classic example of a reality check shattering the fantasy world of the flood geologists. Unfortunately, most creationists do not seek scientific reality. They prefer to speculate from their armchairs and read simplified popular books about fossils and rocks, rather than go out in the field and do the research themselves, or do the hard work of getting the necessary advanced training in geology and paleontology.

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  17. #8 Think of this, Pastor. Christians have believed in a literal six-day Creation and a 6,000-10,000 earth for almost 2,000 years, and now that the scientific evidence is becoming so overwhelming that these positions are silly, superstitious nonsense, now even conservative Christians are jumping the literalist camp on THIS issue (while still believing in a literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus).

    If Christians worship the Creator God, the Creator of even the Laws of Physics, then why the heck are Christians always late to the table of scientific fact? What excuse can Christians come up with this time to explain away why their God has once again left them in the scientific “dark”.

    It is superstition, Pastor. Plain and simple. Stop fighting the plain and obvious.

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  18. Regarding the Book of Daniel and the issue of Aramaic:

    The presence of Aramaic is one of the factors that contribute to the current consensus that Daniel was composed during the 2nd century BCE Maccabean period.(Book of Daniel – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). From the 7th century BCE, Aramaic became the lingua franca of the Middle East and the language of diplomacy and trade, but there is not evidence that it was used by the general Hebrew population until 3rd-2nd century BCE; by the 1st BCE Aramaic had became the dominant language of Judean. By the Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:26), king of Judah, demands to negotiate with Assyrian ambassadors in Aramaic rather than “Judean” (or “Judahite”) so that the common people would not understand. The two languages are related (both are Northwest Semtic languages) and eventually shared a script. Judeo-Aramaic language

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  19. The idea that the first half of the Hebrew Bible really does teach a literal, eternal Hell comes not from the Hebrew manuscripts but from the Septuagint, a GREEK translation of the OT, written while Jews were under Greek occupation.

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  20. You said, ” You cannot explain his (Paul's) dramatic conversion nor the spread of the Gospel by him and planting of churches apart from the supernatural.”

    Pastor, Pastor, Pastor. Have you heard of the Jewish settler/rabbi who converted to Islam in modern Israel and now denounces the Jews as occupiers? If not, I will post a link.

    Bizarre conversions DO happen. They do NOT prove that the convert's new religion is true…unless you have recently converted to Islam as the good (former) rabbi mentioned above. Converting from Orthodox Judaism to militant Islam is a much bigger change than an Orthodox Jew converting to a new Jewish sect, even if he has been persecuting the new sect. It was still a Jewish sect.

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  21. Your kind but straight-forward manner of debating is a wonderful example to believers and skeptics alike…even though I believe you to be very, very misled, dear Pastor. 🙂

    To address Francis Shaeffer's points:

    1. Why is there something rather than nothing?

    I fail to see how this supports your Christian theology. Just because we humans do not know something, is not evidence that an invisible deity holds the answer. Belief after belief have fallen with every advance of Science. The origin of the universe is simply a question for whose answer we must continue to study, research, and investigate; not knowing the answer yet or finding the search for the answer difficult, does not mean that we should just give up and believe that “a Ghost must have done it.”

    2. How are humans so unique. Watch a nature film regarding Orcas, killer whales. Even the Inuits marvel at their intelligence and hunting skills, maintaining communication silence when stalking prey and then skilled, coordinated communication when the prey is being attacked. Just because they can't tell us what they think doesn't mean they aren't intelligent.

    3. If Constantine hadn't elevated Christianity to the preferred religion, later the state religion, Christianity would be no more influential than any of the other early sects of the first century.

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