No Amount of Historical Evidence Will Convince an Evangelical that the Voice in his Head is Not Jesus

Still Small Voice | Precious Fool

No amount of evidence against the historicity of the biblical stories of Creation, the World Wide Flood, the Exodus, the Forty Years in the Sinai, the Conquest of Canaan, or the Great Empire and Temple of Solomon will convince a “true” believer that his faith is false—because his loving Savior, Jesus, the resurrected Christ, communicates with him in a still, small voice each and every day.

How do you convince an evangelical Christian that the voice he hears in his head (not his heart) is none other than…himself?

Is it okay to talk to yourself in public? - Quora

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Is the Entire Bible One Long Collection of Historical Fiction?

A sorcerer and his magic stick (wand):

How Did Moses Part the Red Sea? - WSJ

Think about this: Scientists have proven that the Creation and Great Flood stories in Genesis are fiction. Archaeologists are nearly unanimous in their belief that the Exodus, the Forty Years in the Sinai, and the Conquest of Canaan are fiction. In addition, modern historians and archaeologists are skeptical of the existence of the biblical kings David and Solomon, who the Bible claims ruled over a vast Israelite empire and built a magnificent temple (the remains of which has never been found).

And although historians believe that later kings of Israel and Judah are historical, we know that some of the stories told about these kings in the Bible are fictional. Hezekiah (and tricks performed by his god, Yahweh), did not defeat the Assyrians who had laid siege to Jerusalem as the Bible claims. Hezekiah paid a huge tribute to finally get the Assyrians to leave.

With all seemingly lost, the prophet Isaiah gave his reply to Sennacherib: Thus says the Lord to the king of Assyria: he shall not enter this city. He shall not shoot an arrow there, nor advance a shield in it, nor shall he heap up a siege-ramp.

According to 2 Kings 19:35-37, this prophecy was speedily fulfilled when a plague smote the Assyrian army, destroying it and leaving Sennacherib to slink back to Nineveh to meet a well-deserved death at the hands of his own sons. Here, the plague imagery symbolizes the divine wrath that in the biblical view drove Sennacherib away.

In fact, the Assyrians lived on. Certainly Jerusalem’s fate hung in the balance. Then word reached Sennacherib that Babylon had again risen in revolt. He abandoned the siege [of Jerusalem]. Before he left, he extracted from Hezekiah a far greater tribute and gifts of overlordship not listed in the books of Kings, a tribute he listed in detail in his annals, and which was delivered in full directly to Nineveh over a period of years.https://www.historynet.com/assyrian-march-against-judah.htm

Therefore, much of the Old Testament is either pure fiction or historical fiction (fiction with a few facts sprinkled in).

What if the stories about Jesus and the apostles, found in the Gospels and The Book of Acts, are just more of the same? What if the Bible is just one long collection of religious propaganda, filled with invented fables about temperamental deities, demi-gods, and magic working sorcerers (prophets and apostles)?

I wonder…

What Did The Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? What Archaeology Can Tell Us About The Reality Of Ancient Israel

author: William G. Dever (prominent American archaeologist)





































Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
4035 Park East Court SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546
Published 20016

ISBN 0 8028-2126-X

Thus a “patriarchal era,” an “exodus from Egypt,” and a panmilitary” conquest of Palestine,” as portrayed in the biblical narratives, have all now been shown to be essentially nonhistorical,”historicized fiction” at best. And the proof has come largely not from radical biblical scholars, attempting to undermine the historicity of the biblical texts. It has come from “secular” archaeologists, Israeli and American, who have no theological axes to grind. So apparently archaeology, even of the “new” variety, can write histories of ancient Israel, if not conventional ones. (Page 49)

Or take the Patriarchal narratives. After a century of exhaustive investigation, all respectable archaeologists have given up hope of recovering any context that would make Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob credible “historical figures.” Virtually the last archaeological word was written by me more than 20 years ago for a basic handbook of biblical studies, Israelite and Judean History. And, as we have seen, archaeological investigation of Moses and the Exodus has similarly been discarded as a fruitless pursuit. Indeed, the overwhelming archaeological evidence today of largely indigenous origins for early Israel leaves no room for an exodus from Egypt or a 40-year pilgrimage pursuit. Indeed, the overwhelming archaeological evidence today of largely indigenous origins for early Israel leaves no room for an exodus from Egypt or a 40-year pilgrimage through the Sinai wilderness. (Page 71)

Israel, we may be limited. We cannot make the Bible what it is not. Fortunately, the writers and editors of the Hebrew Bible, being far more sophisticated and better historians than some would have us believe, placed in their final edition another version, back-to-back with Joshua, the book of Judges. Many scholars, puzzled by the two often differing versions of events, have attempted to harmonize them, but the obvious contradictions are too great. Joshua, written largely to glorify a great hero of early Israel, credits him with sweeping rapid military victories over most of Canaan, vanquishing the whole land. Judges, however, begins its story with Joshua’s death in Judges. 1:1, then goes on to weave a 200-year-long tale of some 12 “judges,” or charismatic figures raised up by Yahweh to deal with the very threat that Joshua has disposed of, namely the continuing presence of Canaanites and of Canaanite culture. Then later in ch. 1 we find a “negative list” of the supposed “conquest,” cities that were not taken, some of them like Hazor the very same cities that Joshua was said to have utterly destroyed. To explain the continuous struggle and the chaos, the authors or editors of judges repeat the refrain: “In those days there was no king in Israel, and every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges. 21:25). (Page 91)

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Why Would a Good God Harden People’s Hearts?

Hardening Pharaoh's Heart | RayKLiu

Deuteronomy 20:10-11

“When you go near a city to fight against it, then proclaim an offer of peace to it. And it shall be that if they accept your offer of peace, and open to you, then all the people who are found in it shall be placed under tribute to you, and serve you.

However….

Joshua 11:20

For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.”

Why did God harden Pharaoh's Heart?

Gary: It appears that the Judeo-Christian god just had an itch to kill people sometimes. Why any Christian apologist would attempt to justify this sick, demented behavior is incomprehensible to me.

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Why Do Christians Trust Contested First Century Eyewitness Testimony?

Eyewitness testimony The problem is clear: the unreliability of eyewitness  identification evidence poses one of the most serious problems in the  administration. - ppt download

George Rahn, Lutheran pastor:

The bodily resurrection of Christ is a fact. Cephas saw Jesus as I see my wife from here. Not a vision, not a hallucination. Luke-Acts testifies to the bodily resurrection of Christ…not a spirit, not a subjectively-authored appearance. The language and grammar ( I am a Lutheran pastor who is also a Greek scholar) can settle the argument over whether the resurrection is a bodily resurrection. No need for outside sources to buttress up the statements in the New Testament as the internal witness via the language is convincing enough.

Gary:

Why do Christians place so much trust in alleged eyewitness testimony from the first century? Is that rational?

Conservative Christians may be very confident in their belief that the Gospels are eyewitness accounts, but the experts are divided. The authorship of the Gospels is contested. That is a fact! And it isn’t just liberal and agnostic/atheist scholars who hold this position. Most Roman Catholic NT scholars, who have no bias against the supernatural, concede that the Gospels were most likely not written by eyewitnesses or even the associates of eyewitnesses.

So conservative Christians must ask themselves: How good is contested eyewitness testimony? In particular, how good is two thousand year old contested eyewitness testimony?? Contested eyewitness testimony for an everyday claim like an auto accident is questionable evidence. So how much more questionable is contested eyewitness testimony, that is 2000 years old, for an incredibly extra-ordinary claim such as the reanimation/transformation (resurrection) of a three day brain dead corpse??

Christians are just not thinking rationally on this topic, Rev.

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Guidelines for Debating Evangelical Apologists like Dr. Randal Rauser

File:Debate Logo.svg - Wikipedia

Atheist apologist John Loftus has announced plans to debate evangelical Christian theologian and apologist, Randal Rauser, on the topic of violence in the Old Testament. I have some advice:

I followed Rauser on his blog for several months. He is a very prickly character. He does not handle criticism well. However, I eventually discovered his weakness; his “soft under belly”: his personal relationship with a first century peasant named Jesus of Nazareth.

Rauser hates to discuss his personal relationship with Jesus with skeptics! He will avoid discussing this topic at all cost, including banning you from his blog. He would much rather go off into the weeds of philosophy and logic; the existence of a generic Creator God; the basis of morality; etc.. If you debate Rauser on these topics, I guarantee you he will drown you in mind-numbing, sophisticated-sounding bs that he adeptly learned while obtaining his PhD in philosophy.

So don’t do it. You are wasting your time.

If you are going to debate him, I suggest that you insist that, at the very beginning of the debate, he provide evidence that he has a personal relationship with Jesus of Nazareth—and—how he knows that this god/man subverted the laws of physics to save his life when he was hit by a bus as a child at the age of 11. (Yes, this is why Rauser is a believer: Jesus saved his life when he was hit by a bus as a child.)

Sophisticated evangelical apologists such as Randal Rauser become very squeemish when you ask them how old they were when they first believed in virgin births and corpse reanimations.

Just how much study and research did Randall Rauser perform on these topics at the tender age of 11 before choosing to believe in their reality? Answer: None! Rauser’s Christian worldview is not based on his research and years of study. Nope. All of that came AFTER he had already believed—hook, line, and sinker—this ancient tall tale.

Just how rational and logical is thatDoctor Rauser?

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William Lane Craig’s Website Asks Me Why I Doubt Eyewitness Testimony

Eyewitness Testimony - Stidham Reconstruction

Ryan, assistant to William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith blog: Hi Gary,
I’m curious about your statement in your last paragraph. I agree with you that eyewitness testimony is not sufficient for Big Foot or aliens, but I’m curious what your reasons are. Why do you think eyewitness testimony is sufficient in some cases and not others? In your view, what changes to make it no longer sufficient?

Gary: Most educated westerners have a different standard of evidence for different types of claims. For very common claims, we require less evidence than for extra-ordinary claims. Let me give some examples:

Your neighbor claims that he saw a beautiful red Camaro on his drive to work this morning. Is his eyewitness testimony sufficient for you? I will bet that you will say, yes—unless your neighbor has a reputation for being a liar. You will most likely not demand photographs or video recordings to believe the claim that your neighbor saw a read Camaro this morning. It is a common claim. We all see automobiles every day.

Now, let’s say that your neighbor claims that he saw one hundred red Camaros on his drive to work this morning. Is his eyewitness testimony sufficient for you? Seeing one hundred red Camaros at one time and place would be a pretty unusual event. I don’t know about you, but I doubt I would believe this claim unless I could verify it by watching a news broadcast which confirms that a red Camaro Convention had occurred in my town today. I doubt I would take my neighbor’s word for this claim. I might if he had a solid reputation for honesty and I was certain he wasn’t pulling my leg, but still, probably not. I would demand more evidence for this unusual, but still possible claim.

Now, let’s say that your neighbor claims that he had breakfast with Elvis Presley this morning, who took him for a ride to Mars and back in his invisible rocket ship. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care how honest and respected my neighbor might be, nothing he says or shows me is going to convince me of this claim. For me, and I would bet for most educated people living in the West, eyewitness testimony is not sufficient for such a bizarre, laws-of-physics and common sense defying claim.

I will bet that the overwhelming majority of Americans would agree with me on the above scenarios…until you ask similar scenarios involving their religion. Then these same people will have very different standards. Why is that??

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Dear Doubting Evangelical: You do NOT Need to Be Born Again…Again!

The New Birth, John 3:1-7, You must be Born Again, free PowerPoint Sermons  by Pastor Jerry Shirley Message Bible Study Manuscripts Notes Helps

I grew up an evangelical Christian. I was taught since I could crawl that if you are not “saved” you will spend eternity suffering unspeakable torment in Hell! I don’t know about you, but when faced with eternal torture, I think I’ll get saved.

So I did…several times. Just to be sure. Why take a chance?

You see, as an evangelical I did not have the luxury of pulling out my baptismal certificate, as Martin Luther often did, to assure myself of my eternal salvation. No, sir, no ma’am. My only assurance of eternal salvation was the sincerity of my belief and the totality of my repentance at the moment I underwent a “born-again” experience.

If you don’t know what it means to be born-again, you can listen to this evangelical gentleman explain it to you:

So if my eternal salvation is not based on my actions but upon my state of mind, at one point in time months or even years ago, how can I be certain, today, that I truly believed (100%, without reservation) and truly repented (100%, without reservation)?

Answer: It’s impossible!

And that is why many evangelicals are born-again…again…and again…and again! One evangelical pastor in the South claimed on his website that during his teenage years he underwent the born-again experience FIVE THOUSAND times…just to be sure.

When I was a teenager and in my early 20’s, it really bothered me when other evangelicals around me spoke about how Jesus would speak to them, move them, and lead them. What was wrong with me?? I never heard Jesus or felt him move me or lead me. I must be a bad Christian. Or maybe…maybe I’m not really a Christian!

What?!! I need to be born-again…again…right now! Just to be sure.

But every time I repeated the born again experience (sincerely expressing my total belief in Jesus, repenting of every last sin I could think of, and dedicating my life to Jesus to do whatever he wanted me to do, even being a missionary to the deepest, darkest jungle on the planet) within a short period of time, the emotional high had evaporated and I was back to doubting my eternal salvation, my eternal security, again.

So what was wrong with me? Answer: NOTHING! I was the one not hearing voices in my head! I was the one who did not interpret strange perceptions within my brain as a spirit giving me life direction, leading me or moving me to do this or that!

I was the sane one! They were the nut jobs!

Dear doubting evangelical: You do NOT need to be born-again…again. What you need to do is realize that you are in a cult. You are in a cult that has convinced you that an executed first century peasant lives somewhere inside your body, secretly communicating with you and using magical powers to protect you and give you life guidance.

It is a lie. It is a tall tale.

Don’t get born-again…again. Wake up to the irrationality of your beliefs and LEAVE YOUR CULT!

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The Gospel of John is a Work of Fiction

Jesus is the Son of God. Proof From the Gospel of John | Josh Weidmann

An excerpt from Debunking Christianity, former Methodist minister David Madison, author:

It’s not hard to figure out that [the Story of the Raising of Lazarus] was contrived to advance John’s [the anonymous author of the Gospel of John] theological agenda; he invented this stunt to provide the occasion for Jesus’ famous claim, “I am the resurrection and the life.”  

Resurrection—other than for Jesus himself—is glimpsed in the earlier gospels. In Matthew 10:8, Jesus sends his disciples out to preach, and to “cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons; in Mark 5 Jesus raises the daughter of Jairus—with parallels in Matthew and Luke. Matthew also includes the bizarre tale of lots of dead people coming alive in their tombs and walking around Jerusalem on Easter morning. Which makes it all the more puzzling that the other gospel authors didn’t include the dramatic Lazarus story. How could they have missed it?

Because it wasn’t part of Christian lore when the earlier gospels were written. Richard Carrier explains how this later author operated: 

“John’s Gospel contains long, implausible, never-before-imagined speeches of Jesus (and yet, no Sermon on the Mount, or indeed hardly any moral instruction of any sort), and entirely new characters and events also never heard of before (Nicodemus, Lazarus, Cana). John also changes everything around, such as moving Jesus’ clearing of the temple to the beginning rather than the end of his ministry, expanding his ministry from one to three years (with multiple trips to Judea and Jerusalem rather than only one), and moving the date (and thus even the year) of Jesus’ execution to make Jesus’ death correspond exactly with the slaughter of the Passover lambs … John has thus run wild with authorial gluttony, freely changing everything and inventing whatever he wants. By modern standards, John is lying.”  (Richard Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, pp. 490-491)

Gary: How can modern, intelligent Christians not see that the author of the fourth Gospel was inventing his material??

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Dear Christian Apologists: Belief in Magic is Not Logical

PsBattle: His magic trick is to pull a rabbit out of his hat :  photoshopbattles

What drives Christian apologists nuts? Answer: Being told that their beliefs are nothing more than magic filled superstitions.

What drives sophisticated Christian apologists nuts (apologists who routinely use philosophy and logic to defend their magical beliefs)? Answer: Being told that their belief in the reality of magic is not rational or logical.

Dear fellow skeptics: Don’t allow Christian apologists to steer your debate into the weeds of philosophy and logic. Immediately redirect the conversation back to his (or her) superstitions. Make him defend his belief in ghost impregnations (of virgins), water-walking, and corpse reanimation. Repeatedly refer to these beliefs as magical thinking. Do not use the term “miracle”. Stick to your guns and your interlocuter will soon abandon the debate.

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Why Do Today’s Apologists Prefer Discussing Philosophy and Logic Over Jesus?

Thomas and the Resurrection of Jesus - Red Door Church

Ron, Christian apologist and blogger: Gary, it’s simply fallacious to appeal to scientists to deny God, especially when inductive inference presupposes that which atheism cannot account for, like the uniformity of nature and the universal, abstract laws of logic, which are invariant in nature. But aside from the obvious, we don’t need to begin with creation. We can begin with the concepts of necessity and contingency as they relate to the possibility of God and possible world semantics. Or, if you prefer, we can instead begin with propositional truth bearers and try to see how atheism can give an account of them. But since you mentioned creation, I’ll play along.

If time isn’t created, then it’s eternal. If time is eternal, then to arrive at any point in time would require an infinite amount of time to transpire. An infinite amount of time cannot transpire. Therefore, either time is created or else you don’t exist at any point in time. Gary, I’m not your fundamentalist dad.

Gary: Who said anything about scientists denying God? What I said was that no consensus exists among scientists as to the origin of the universe. I have never denied the existence of a Creator God. I have seen good arguments both for and against the existence of an intelligent designer, but since the experts are undecided, I remain undecided. Now, would you kindly present good evidence for the existence, at this very moment, of your god, Lord Jesus, the resurrected Christ?

Ron: ”I have never denied the existence of a Creator God.”.

Actually you have. You claim to be agnostic. The professing agnostic’s claim is not that God does not exist but that God’s existence is unknown or unknowable. Therefore, as a professing agnostic you presuppose a god who has at best concealed himself, which is an outright denial of the God who has revealed himself (and must be known if anything is to be known), making the professing agnostic a non-confessing “atheist.”

Gary: Questioning the existence of a Creator God and denying his/her/their existence are not the same. Now, would you kindly present good evidence for the existence, at this very moment, of your god, Lord Jesus, the resurrected Christ?

Ron: “Questioning the existence of a Creator God and denying his/her/their existence are not the same.”

You’re now operating under an esoteric definition of agnostic. It’s called special pleading. Agnostic doesn’t merely mean questioning God’s existence. But I’ll play along just the same because even questioning the existence of God cashes out as an outright denial of his existence if God has plainly revealed himself as a necessary precondition for rational inquiry. Think on that. You see, Gary, in your alleged pursuit of God you deny the existence of a God who makes intellectual pursuit possible. That’s atheism. It’s a denial of God.

As I’ve blogged: “By the nature of the case, the unbeliever imagines that if God exists, he must be discovered through autonomous reason that is capable of functioning apart from God. In doing so, the unbeliever not only rejects a God who must make reason possible – she actually is not even seeking such a God at all! The unbeliever is seeking a god who does not make knowledge possible and has not plainly revealed himself in creation, providence and grace. The unbeliever is seeking an idol of her own making.”

So, you’re a functional atheist. Yet in reality you do know God, though you suppress your knowledge of him in unrighteousness. You live on borrowed capital, Gary. Your worldview cannot account for this discussion. How do other minds, linguistic tokens, truth and rational interchange comport with the presuppositions of atheism?

Now, would you kindly present good evidence for the existence, at this very moment, of your god, Lord Jesus, the resurrected Christ?

If Jesus is the Son of God – one substance with the Father, equal in power, honor and glory, then any sound proof of God’s existence proves the substance of Christ. That’s simple transitive logic. What I suspect you’re after is proof of the resurrection of Christ, not proof for God. However, until you admit to yourself God’s existence, which too is provable, you’ll never receive proof for the resurrection. After all, apart from the existence of God the miracle of the resurrection is unintelligible (but so is ordinary providence apart from God!). The problem is not proof but rather what you’ll accept as authoritative. 

Gary: Do you or do you not have good evidence that Jesus of Nazareth is alive and well today? It is very clear that you would prefer to discuss philosophical theory, logic, and metaphysics, but I prefer to discuss Jesus of Nazareth. How about it, Ron?

Ron: Feel free to drop me a note through my blog when you have a response to God’s mind being the necessary precondition for the laws of logic.

If propositions exist, they exist in minds
The laws of logic are propositions
Therefore, the laws of logic exist in minds
True propositions exist
Necessarily, the laws of logic are true propositions.
Therefore, the laws of logic exist in all possible worlds
Not all possible worlds have human minds
Therefore, a necessary mind exists

Obviously, the form of the argument is valid. The argument is sound if none of the premises are false. If none of the premises are false, then God is the necessary precondition for logic: No God, then no logic. Logic, therefore, God.

Gary: Yes, Ron, I realize that you would very much prefer to discuss philosophy, metaphysics, logic, or any other topic—except the evidence that Jesus of Nazareth is alive and well at this very moment.

Dear Readers, Ron’s repeated dodge of this topic should tell us all something about the strength of the evidence for Ron’s belief that the hemorrhaged blood of an executed first century peasant grants him life after death in a fantastical Never Neverland located at the edge of the cosmos.

Ron’s very sincere but delusional belief is irrational and silly to anyone not raised in a Christian culture. Ron knows how ridiculous his core beliefs are to educated non-Christians, so to avoid discussing virgin births, water walking, and corpse reanimation, Ron repeatedly attempts to redirect the conversation away from these preposterous superstitious claims by creating elaborate smoke screens made of sophisticated sounding philosophical/logical/metaphysical arguments. But these arguments are nothing more than desperate, pathetic attempts to make his ancient superstitions more respectable to modern, educated people.

A sophisticated superstition is still a superstition, Ron. No philosophical or logic-based argument is going to convince us that virgins can birth man-gods or that brain-dead corpses can levitate into the clouds. Your beliefs are silly and preposterous, Ron. Open your eyes. Embrace reason, science, and rational thinking.

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