Feedback from Christian reader of this blog:
Hey Gary, I appreciate you looking out for me by sending me one of your blog articles on how the Catholic Church doesn’t believe that the gospels were written by eyewitnesses.
It’s funny because I think we are on the same side of wanting people to be rational and diligent about finding the truth. There are very few who are more naturally skeptical or curious than I am, and I have landed on Jesus as truth through much exploration. (I know you hardly will believe me since, if you’re anything like me, you assume that anyone who doesn’t think like you must have not done enough research. Guilty).
But here’s the thing. The blog post that you sent me in the mail is a bit of a shocker. I would think that someone who is after truth would know that everything that you mentioned in the blog about Matthew and Mark and Q and M and L is taught day one at the top Baptist seminaries in the world. It’s called the Synoptic Problem. And while most scholars (even conservative, evangelical scholars) believe in Markan priority, there has been a large exodus of scholars of all stripes from the postulation of Q. This is not settled science. And I’m sure you have a list of “contradictions” in the gospels that you could show me, and I’ve heard them all.
I took New Testament from Bart Ehrman before I went to seminary, and trust me, Dr. Ehrman seemed to have a lot more to hide than my seminary professors. He only taught what he thought; my seminary professors taught all sorts of different views on everything. All this to say, I’ve found that true intellectual honesty and humility leads me to radical skepticism.
But we can’t live that way. Can I be sure that when I wake up in the morning there is not an assassin who’s job it is to slit my throat as soon as I open my eyes. No. But I open them anyway. We all do. There are just certain things that we must do in faith if we are to survive.
After I’ve weighed the evidence (and, of course, your personal experience knows that I have to add the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit), I have decided to hang my hat on the truth of the testimony of Scripture. We all will die, but it’s a tragedy when people die for nothing. I will die for the one who loved me and gave himself for me… oh, and on the third day rose again. I pray you’ll return. I just hope that in your journey for truth, you will be truly rational and understand the weaknesses of ALL scholarship whether conservative or liberal.
Gary: So… don’t trust experts and their research. Trust your subjective perception that a first century peasant loves you, gave himself for you, and magically back from the dead three days after his public execution?
Nope. No thanks. I’ll stick with science and reason.
End of post.