Tuesday, October 29, 2013

James Randi in sheep's clothing

I'm going to comment on this post:

In his haste to expose the imbalance of MacArthurites and provide Sid Roth with some much needed credibility, Steve makes some rather inaccurate and embarrassing assertions from the biblical text. Let’s consider three key points.
Maybe the shoe is on the other foot.
First off, the problem with the Corinthian Christians was not that they doubted the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. They most certainly believed that Christ rose from the dead, because the Resurrection is the centerpiece of the Gospel message itself. 
It's striking to see Fred vouch for the orthodoxy of Paul's theological opponents. But although they might appreciate his vote of confidence, I doubt Paul would second Fred's character witness on their behalf.
What in the world makes Fred assume that members of the Corinthian church held a monolithic view of the resurrection? What makes him assume that some members of the Corinthian church didn't espouse deficient, sub-Christian, or heretical views? After all, Paul is going out of his way to correct a grave theological error on the part of some Corinthian churchmembers.
What makes Fred presume that Paul's Corinthian adversaries weren't assimilating the resurrection of the interpretive categories of their pre-Christian, Greek philosophical or pagan mythological  socialization, viz. ghosts, apparitions, apotheosis, Hellenistic epiphanies, and/or the dead returning from Hades? 
We know better because we have the Gospel of Luke, the Gospel of John, and 1 Cor 15. They didn't have all that. Even 1 Cor 15 is new to them. 
In the same manner, it is not asking too much when someone claims some divine healing happened to thus and so a person. It is only wise and shrewd to ask about the person, their condition, and if the so-called healing can be verified by others.  I would even add, verified by unbelievers who knew the person before he or she was healed and now know of the person’s healing. Only someone naively gullible would believe such stories blindly especially when the vast majority of such stories are wild exaggerations or outright shams altogether.
i) Whose position does Fred imagine he's attacking? Supposedly he's responding to me, but he doesn't quote me saying that. 
ii) I'd also point out that gullibility is a two-way street. There's gullible skepticism as well as gullible credulity. 
iii) Why does Fred make verification by unbelievers a necessary criterion? That's how atheists routinely attack the NT. These were written by believers. Therefore, their testimony is biased. 
Once again, we have a MacArthurite who adopts the standards of the secular debunkers. 
Thus there is just no comparison between the hearsay modern day claims of the “miraculous” with the true and certain testimony preserved in the Word of God.
Fred's knowledge of the Resurrection is "hearsay." 

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