FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-29-2001, 11:27 PM   #1
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post The Case For Christ

Just curious if anyone has read The Case For Christ or The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel, a Christian apologist who claims to be a former atheist. I'm curious if these books are any different from the typical Christian apologetic works. Are they objective research or merely biased propaganda with intent to pursuade? On Amazon, you can read both favorable and unfavorable reviews of the book. Someone wrote this comment, which was sort of what I expected:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">As in his first book "The Case for Christ", he tries to portray himself as a skeptic and advocate of agnostics or "seekers". In fact, he is and was for both books a deeply religous man who had an obvious agenda for both books. Both books are strongly biased - the second book more so than the first. This would be OK if the author did not try to portray himself as balanced. Not one single person with an atheist or skeptics view is "interviewed".</font>
Does anyone know anything about this guy Lee Strobel or his books?
 
Old 03-30-2001, 12:10 AM   #2
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by SonOfBuddha:
Just curious if anyone has read The Case For Christ or The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel, a Christian apologist who claims to be a former atheist. I'm curious if these books are any different from the typical Christian apologetic works. Are they objective research or merely biased propaganda with intent to pursuade? On Amazon, you can read both favorable and unfavorable reviews of the book. Someone wrote this comment, which was sort of what I expected:

Does anyone know anything about this guy Lee Strobel or his books?
</font>
Yes, a little. I am assuming you aren't asking for a 'bio' on the guy, like the church he goes to now, etc.

I've read "God's Outrageous Claims", which was a good Christian book- ministerial rather than apologetic. Here's an interesting quote: "The truth is that a spiritual virus has been going around Christian circles for centuries, and it's called doubt. If you haven't caught it yet, you will. In fact, we could divide Christians into three groups. The first would consist of those who have doubted. The second would be those who haven't doubted yet but who will. The third group would be those who are brain-dead." It may be idiotic of me to post that quote here, since I know in-fidels could have a field day with it if they wanted to THis was in a chapter called, "A dose of doubt may strengthen your faith." Kind of like taking small doses of doubt-poison at II to build an immunity to it, so one's head doesn't explode if exposed to all the deadly radiation at once.

He really was an athiest- he, like a number of other famous apologists went the route to prove Christianity wrong and found themselves convinced the other way. I don't think he claims to be a skeptic now- but since he once was, I guess he figures the "I was convince and you will(should) be to" route is not dishonest.

If you have been convince of something, you automatically become the "purveyor of propaghanda" to the opposite side- "objectivity" is a myth in whatever terms you seek to qualify it. "Since I know the truth, only someone who agrees with me can be objective."- and a person tends to make a decision over an issue eventually- one cannot be on the "neutral" ground forever.
He believes he objectively looked at the evidence and became a Christian- but not everyone is convinced by the same evidence.

[This message has been edited by a_theistnotatheist (edited March 30, 2001).]
 
Old 03-30-2001, 12:28 AM   #3
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">He really was an athiest- he, like a number of other famous apologists went the route to prove Christianity wrong and found themselves convinced the other way.</font>
I could easily turn a popular Christian argument around to use against you here. If these guys were so easily pursuaded by Christianity, then they were never true atheists in the first place.
 
Old 03-30-2001, 01:59 AM   #4
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by a_theistnotatheist:
He really was an athiest- he, like a number of other famous apologists went the route to prove Christianity wrong and found themselves convinced the other way.</font>
If he claims this, then he is a liar. I know that Stroebel, Hank Hanegraaf, and even Josh McDowell claim this, and they are all liars.

Nobody has ever been convinced that Christianity is true based on objective evidence. If you say you have been, then you are a liar, because there is no evidence. And you know it.

People first believe, and then start to accumulate so-called "evidence" to support their beliefs. People may be persuaded, in a way, to believe in christianity, but it is not based on the evidence. It is based on fulfilling an emotional need.

Outside of the bible there is zero evidence for the following things:

1) That Jesus of Nazereth existed.

2) That Jesus of Nazereth rose from the dead.

So don't try to pretend that christians have ever been converted based on evidence. Without these two things there is no christianity.


I have read Stroebel's book "The Case for Faith." It is the standard apologetic nonsense that has been around since Augustine, although written by a white trash lawyer, in prose so terrible I actually felt sorry for the author.

It's best possible use would be in case of a toilet paper shortage.
 
Old 03-30-2001, 06:39 AM   #5
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Zoroaster:

...

Outside of the bible there is zero evidence for the following things:

1) That Jesus of Nazereth existed.

...
</font>
I have to take issue with this statement on semantic points. While many do not consider the non-Biblical evidence for Jesus' existance as compelling, there is some evidence. Weak evidence, but it's there.
 
Old 03-30-2001, 08:59 AM   #6
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post


Zoroaster, You have spoken very true words. In my opinion
Josh McDowell is a liar. His victims are fundies and I do not
consider fundies as being too bright. They are quite gullible.

You are right that Jesus of Nazareth never existed, that is,
if you are referring to the Nazareth adjoining to the sea of
Galilee. The location of Galilee in the gospels is a pseudo
location. Did Jesus raise from the dead? You have to define
what the word "dead" means. In the gospel language the word
"dead" referred to those not of your faith. Today, if you are
a Catholic you are "dead" in the eyes of a Protestant, and, vice
versa. Jesus died a spiritual death during the crucifixion.
He did not expire until some 35 years later in Ephesus (Turkey).

It is very hard for atheists and Christians to grasp the fact
that he was a living being. I have often challenged any biblical
scholar to tell me or show me, anywhere in the bible, where it
says that Jesus' feet were pierced. Find me one atheist or
Christian who realizes that his feet were not.

What I am saying is that the bible has a language of its own.
When Jesus turned water into wine he allowed others than the
Hebrew to accept tithes. The five thousand was one person
representing 5,000. The soldiers at the crucifixion was one
person. A leper was a Pharisee and if you converted a Pharisee
to your faith (Christianity) you rid him of his disease. The
world back then was a location on a map. If you did not live
in this area, then you were not of this world.

thanks, offa
 
Old 03-30-2001, 09:48 AM   #7
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

I think the reason an atheist might convert to Christianity isn't because of any evidence. Some people are incapable of handling life without a safety net, religion is perfect for providing someone with 'certainty.' Once you accept the Christian paradgim, the 'evidence' comes out of the woodwork as your brain reinteprets and reinvents your memories and perceptions.
 
Old 03-30-2001, 09:58 AM   #8
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up

I concur with Zoroaster. There's a cold wind blowing through cult land these days so to warm things up they do what they've always done: co-opt other peoples' stories as their own.

This is a perfect example. The secular web is loaded with stories of ex-cult members detailing how they went from lies to truth, so the cult sees the power of these "converts" and sees how rational and easily understood is their deprogramming as "testimonials" to atheism (though we would call it "free thinking"), so the cult steals the concept for their own propaganda, thereby using their enemy's "weapons" (as they perceive it) against them.

It's classic Christian cult modus operandi. Just look what they did with Judaism!

The difference is, of course, that the ex-cult members aren't stealing anything nor are they writing their accounts as any form of propaganda. In other words, they're not lying.

As with most secular vs. cult issues, we tell the truth and cultists tell carefully crafted lies so that they can pretend they're telling the truth.

If you don't think this is the case or that I'm being too hyperbolic, just ask yourself who is it here believes that a collection of two thousand year old myths is a literal certainty based on nothing other than personal "faith;" the theological opposite of "fact," deliberately concocted to exclude the basic requirement of verifiable evidence that we apply to every other aspect of our existence down to the simplest and most irrelevant points, but for some unfathomable reason, not religion?

It's not difficult to understand, either. A cult is necessarily made up of deliberate and continuously upgraded lies so that most cult members do not even think that they are telling lies.

Most thumpers (like Jim Mitchell) believe their indoctrination to be nothing more than the divine truth revealed personally to them--and why shouldn't they? That's what they want to think and, more importantly, what the cult wants them to think (from birth to grave, mind you) so, voila, that's what they think! It's not rocket science.

I've read Stroebel (and certainly McDowell) and they use almost the exact same kind of obvious approaches to "preaching to the choir" that it would be laughable if it weren't so detrimental.

I don't have direct quotes with me at work, unfortunately, but here's a paraphrased example of what I'm talking about regarding the typical "atheist" convert stories (which read more like the letters to Penthouse ):

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I was an atheist throughout most of my life not caring one way or another about anyone or anything, until one day I even considered suicide. After all, what's the point? Why not kill myself? Then a friend of mine gave me some Christian literature to read and it just hit me, "My God! It's the truth! Why was I so blind before?" And from then on I realized that Jesus had revealed himself to me personally and that I had a duty to tell others about this miracle. After all, if a sworn atheist like myself could see the light, then anyone can!

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rains descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall." Matthew 7:24-27</font>
See what I mean? No details, no logic, no clear reasoning provided and usually a lengthy quote from a reformed or "modern" version of the NT; in short, nothing to indicate this person was actually an atheist. Just read any of the posts here and you'll see pretty damn quickly that most atheists are extremely logical people who place a high value on reasoned analysis. Anyone applying reasoned analysis to the Bible simply could not possibly walk away a "convert."

Even cult members admit, it's all about faith, which is anathema to most atheists (if you'll pardon the pun ), so please don't think that I'm just making all this up on the spot. Atheists can always spot posers for either side (we call them "trolls" here); cult members, however, never seem to be able to. I wonder why...

Trust me, only a cult member already indoctrinated into the mindset could believe that Stroebel or McDowell were ever anything other than died in the wool snake oil salesmen. Within their first chapters you can readily see that neither one of them is actually part of the fold. They consider themselves to be shepherds not sheep.

And we all know what happens to sheep, don't we...?


(edited for lysdexia - Koy)



[This message has been edited by Koyaanisqatsi (edited March 30, 2001).]
 
Old 03-30-2001, 10:10 AM   #9
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Doesn't it cut both ways, though? I mean, if we are willing to claim that an atheist convert like Dan Barker was once a true Christian, shouldn't we also accept that ex-atheists were true atheists? It seems to me that either way, to say that the convert was "not a true whatever" is a bit disingenuous, and frankly demeans the whole concept of having an opinion, or having the right to alter it.
 
Old 03-30-2001, 10:20 AM   #10
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by gcameron:
Doesn't it cut both ways, though? I mean, if we are willing to claim that an atheist convert like Dan Barker was once a true Christian, shouldn't we also accept that ex-atheists were true atheists? It seems to me that either way, to say that the convert was "not a true whatever" is a bit disingenuous, and frankly demeans the whole concept of having an opinion, or having the right to alter it.</font>
No, absolutely not. It is a one way door. All atheist converts are genuine, all Christian converts are only emotional cripples.
 
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:30 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.