Pastor James Hein, WELS Lutheran
(Excerpt from Pastor Hein’s blog: here )
If you actually take the time to read through or listen to Bart Ehrman, you get the impression that, like many notable atheist voices, he’s comes off much less like an unbiased atheist and much more like a ticked-off theist. Don’t take my word for it. Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert has launched a couple of basic points that Erhman didn’t handle particularly well. Better yet, watch his debate with Dinesh D’Souza. It’s lengthy, but make sure you get to the point where Erhman basically exposes the cause of his unbelief – HINT: it’s NOT textual evidence. Supposed textual criticisms are merely his rationalization for his unbelief. Ehrman’s unbelief ultimately stems from the fact that he cannot reconcile the idea of suffering with a loving God who deserves worship. In other words, while Erhman holds some impressive degrees, he’s as biased as the rest of us, and his faith or lack thereof corrupts his objectivity.
5) Apparent Biblical Contradictions, Forgeries, and Inaccuracies?
Is the famous story of John 8, the woman caught in adultery, authentic? Is the end of Mark 16 authentic? Is 2 Peter authentic? What about doctrinal claims central to Christianity: Does the Bible really teach the Trinity? What about difficulties with biblical genealogies? Multiple and contradictory Creation accounts? What about the historical claims like the political corruption of the Council of Nicaea or Constantine’s forcing of books into the Bible? Honestly, in the world of Biblical defense, these are fairly Little League arguments that have been addressed countless times for centuries. None of it is new. The only thing that’s truly “new” about them in 2014 is, as the author pointed out, that we are now apparently biblically illiterate enough that they work on us. I didn’t find one single thing in Eichenwald’s article that I hadn’t heard, nor heard an explanation of, before. While I can’t work through every claim, I will point you to some sites that offer thorough explanations: carm.org; answersingenesis.org; leestrobel.com; apologeticspress.org; livingwaters.com. These are just a few of my favorites.
6) The “Man Without the Spirit”
Near the end of the article, Eichenwald says, “None of this is meant to demean the Bible, but all of it is fact.” Again, all this really exposes is that this is the best sense someone who doesn’t have faith can make of the Bible. He doesn’t understand that calling the Bible a corrupted Word of Man is demeaning to it or to Christians, and he is entirely blind to see the difference between facts and his personal opinions. I’m not sure we can hope for anything better. The Apostle Paul tells us Eichenwald simply CANNOT understand: “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” (1 Cor. 2:14)
Have you ever had a discussion with a Mormon clergyman regarding the “discrepancies” in the Book of Mormon? It is usually a very interesting conversation. The Mormon’s response is always something like this:
“The Book of Mormon is the inerrant Word of God. Any “apparent” discrepancy can be explained, therefore there are no discrepancies. The fact that there is no archaeological evidence of ancient sea-faring Jews in North America simply means that the evidence has not yet been found.
God tells us in our hearts/bosoms that the Book of Mormon is inerrant, therefore it is.”
How can you argue with that kind of mindset? If someone has already concluded that their holy book is inerrant, no amount of evidence to the contrary will convince them otherwise.