If you were following the intense conversation in the previous post on this blog, you read the following comment by Pastor Baxter, of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, my former Christian denomination:
“It would be an interesting thing if Gary took a sabbatical from his practice, and took 18 months of classes at the Fort (Fort Wayne—an LCMS Lutheran seminary). If he intends to be actively critical as he states, it would seem rational that he would take an objective view, and learn and understand that which he so cavalierly trashes. My guess is he knows his lack of objectivity, and the blow to his ego that finding out most of what he spouts is twaddle, he (doesn’t)…dare expose his psyche to such trauma.”
Pastor B. is a good guy. I didn’t used to think so, but I do now. I truly believe he cares about my well-being, he is just more blunt in his attempt to bring me back into “the fold” than other Christians. He means well.
But what is it that I would learn by going to seminary that would convince me that a first century man really did come back from the dead with a “heavenly” (supernatural) body? Would I learn that there really were eyewitnesses to this event? Would I learn that there are secret documents known only to the clergy that contain eyewitness evidence from multiple sources, including non-Christian sources, which support the supernatural claims of the Bible?
If this evidence existed it would be on the Internet. It is not. There is no secret evidence that can only be learned by going to seminary and earning a PhD in theology!
This again is another tactic of cults: “You, dear cult member, do not have the training and education to understand all the complex aspects of the Truth. Only someone who has intensely studied our belief system and our holy book can intelligently discuss and debate the Truth. Therefore, trust the leaders of the group to tell you the real truth. DO NOT CHALLENGE THE LEADERSHIP. If you do, you are an ignorant know-it-all and should keep your stupid mouth shut.”
Dear Reader: There is no such thing as an expert in “resurrections” or “resurrected bodies”. There is no such thing as an expert in the Supernatural. Going to seminary is not going to teach you ONE damn thing about the reality of the supernatural. You can only determine the reality of supernatural claims by using prior probability and good ol’ common sense!
My advice: Take all the emotion out of the discussion. Ignore the pleas about how wonderful and loving the (invisible) Jesus is and about all the wonderful happiness you are missing out on by rejecting him. Ignore the threats and innuendos that (the invisible) Jesus is going to torture you forever in his eternal torture pit for rejecting him. Look at the evidence. Look at the facts. Is there really good evidence for the claim that a never-heard-of-before-or-since resurrection of a dead body occurred in first century Palestine?