Debate with Reverend David Robertson, Part 2

Image result for image of david robertson, australian christian apologist
Rev. David Robertson


Continued from previous post.

David Robertson, Christian pastor and online apologist:

[Gary, you said] “once ‘the experts’ have reached a consensus on the origin of the universe, I will accept their consensus conclusion, whatever it is, even if it happens to be that the universe was created by a God”

– no you won’t. That is both a meaningless and dishonest statement….who are these self appointed ‘experts’? Why are you unable to think for yourself?!

Gary: David, most educated people in the western world accept consensus expert opinion regarding all issues about which they themselves are not an expert. As an educated person, I follow that habit. Respect for consensus expert opinion is fundamental to the success of any advanced industrialized nation. A nation in which every individual believes that he or she is the ultimate authority on every issue is a nation in chaos.

I trust consensus expert opinion on all issues about which I am not an expert. Since I am not an historian or a New Testament scholar…

–I trust expert consensus opinion that Jesus of Nazareth was a real historical person.

–I trust expert consensus opinion that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified by the Romans during the reign of Pontius Pilate.

–I trust expert consensus opinion that shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion, some of his followers came to believe that he had appeared to them in some fashion.

And, I trust consensus expert opinion that the Gospels were NOT written by eyewitnesses or the associates of eyewitnesses, but by non-eyewitnesses writing one or more generations removed from the (alleged) events they describe. Therefore, the detailed stories in the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John of people seeing a walking, talking, broiled fish eating, resurrected Jesus cannot be assumed to be eyewitness accounts.

And that is DEVASTATING for your belief that the bodily resurrection of Jesus was a real, historical event.




End of post.

3 thoughts on “Debate with Reverend David Robertson, Part 2

  1. The problem I have with accepting a consensus concerning theology, is that most scholars in this area are adherents to the religion they study. New Testament scholars are usually Christians, Old Testament scholars usually Jewish or Christian, Qur’an scholars are usually Muslim, Book of Mormon scholars usually Mormon, etc.

    Many of them must sign statements of faith as a term of their employment. Such statements determine what the conclusion of their research MUST be.

    I would prefer a consensus of historians rather than theologians. Unfortunately, historians have traditionally stayed away from Biblical Studies. That is changing slowly. And to the extent it does, traditional views fail to withstand scrutiny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe that there is a significant distinction between a NT scholar and a theologian. Yes, someone can be both but a good NT scholar does not allow his or her theology to affect his scholarship. This is why I tend to ignore the opinions of very liberal and very conservative scholars. I look at the scholars in the middle. In particular, I look at Roman Catholic scholars such as Raymond Brown. Theologically, Brown believed in miracles and the supernatural but as a scholar he did not allow his theology to sway his scholarship.

      FYI: Trusting scholarly consensus opinion is strategic in debating conservative Christians. When they use scholarly consensus for the historicity of Jesus, I hit them back with the scholarly consensus for the non-eyewitness/non-associate of eyewitness authorship of the Gospels.


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