Monday, May 22, 2006

It's Eh Miracule!

Anonymous said:

“The contrast between how Jesus carried out His ministry and how Hinn carries out his is stark.”

I’d really like to see an elaboration on this claim.

5/22/2006 7:55 AM

I’d like to turn this anonymous fellow’s attention to a comment made by Jon Unyan:

Jon Unyan said:

When the Lord healed someone, like the man with the withered hand, it was clear to all that a miracle had taken place. Even the Pharisees couldn’t deny this. When Benny Hinn heals someone, it’s an unknown person with a tumor, and bang! yer healed brother, only to drop dead 2 months later.

Jesus’ miracles were undeniable. So the Pharisees and “teachers of the law” who opposed Jesus were in desperate need of an ad hoc explanation. Thus, they claim that Jesus performs miracles by the power of the prince of demons. But Jesus refutes this illogical argument:

Matthew 12:25-28 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives our Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

Therefore, the Pharisees ask Jesus, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” (Matthew 12:10). Just stop and think about such a question: there is someone in your midst who, undeniably, can heal the sick. But the Pharisees didn’t like the fact that Jesus so often called them “hypocrites” and “whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones” (Matthew 23:27) and all. So, knowing well that he has the power to heal, their only option is to trick him into what is, in their minds, breaking the law. Yet not only does Jesus heal the man with the shriveled hand (12:13), but he refutes their claim with an example from their own lives (12:11), but he cites an Old Testament text (Hosea 6:6). So often we find Jesus telling the Pharisees to “go and learn what this means” (9:12).

Concerning Benny Hinn…

While I am sure many (or most) of the “healings” that are performed in his gatherings are fabricated, I wouldn’t necessarily claim that all of them are. God heals people today. But if he were to heal anyone in the midst of Benny Hinn, it would be on the basis of his grace and sovereign purpose alone, not on Hinn’s misguided and unorthodox faith.

…On a semi-related note, John Loftus always has to embarrass himself by adding his own foolish statements to the discussion:

John W. Loftus said:

Who investigated the stories written by the four evangelists?

Wasn’t it Clement More (?) who wrote “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” that described our present views about Santa Claus? Before he wrote people viewed Santa Claus differently. He created our views about Santa Claus.

And isn’t it likely that the four evangelists painted a picture of Jesus that, rather than acturately describing what this Jesus did, told stories like Clement More did?

I believe Jesus existed, but with all of the pseudepigraphal writings in the first few centuries, including the Gospel of Judas, how do you say with a straight face that Jesus’ reported miracles were ever investigated in the same way as Amazing Randi, or the Myth Busters or Mike Wallace or any investigative reporter today would do, reveals an ignorance based in blind faith.

That’s just my opinion.

Carry on…….
5/22/2006 7:14 AM

The combox certainly entitles Loftus to humiliate himself by expressing his asserted opinions. Likewise, it entitles me to have a good laugh.

Using a pseudepigraphal, post-apostolic, sub-biblical, self-contradictory Gnostic document such as the “gospel” of Judas to argue against the reliability of apostolic writings verified by eye-witnesses is like asserting that the Declaration of Independence is no longer reliable since the movie National Treasure hit theaters.

But, like I said, Loftus–who STUDIED UNDER WILLIAM LANE CRAIG (as he so often reminds us)–is certainly entitled to belch in public.

Evan May.


  1. Who ever admitted that the four Gospels were written by eyewitnesses?....not I. The analogy doesn't work, stupid, because there were many documents that were considered to be in the canon in 397 A.D. and some of the books you now have in the N.T. had been previously rejected.

    It would be like to determine the difference between Socrates and Plato's thoughts and also trying to determine whether the Donation of Constantine was a forgery at the same time. Good luck on that....but oh, think you know with regard to the NT, right? About everything? Hmmm. That's a slim reed to rest the weight of your faith on, isn't it?

    And laughter....I like it. That answers me doesn't it? But isn't that an informal fallacy? Boy you are sooooooo intelligent and I am sooooooo stupid, it just amazes myself sometimes. Teach me some more you idiot!

  2. I wonder if Loftus is still going to make the claim that supposedly, while all we ever present to him is ad hominem, he remains an angel in the discussion--an honest seeker asking genuine questions.

  3. Maybe Loftus 'ld like to comment on the gap between the time of Nicholas of Myra and 'The Night Before Christmas,' compared to the gap between the gospels and the life of Christ.

    Equally, would Loftus care to explain that second paragraph. I read it several times and I still can't make head nor tail of it. What does 'like to determine the difference between Socrates and Plato's thoughts' mean?

    Besides, surely the difference between the thoughts of Socrates and the thoughts of Plato is that Socrates thought the thoughts of Socrates and Plato thought the thoughts of Plato? Perhaps the church has been keeping this from the people(Yes, it's a cheap shot, but I couldn't resist it).

    As for the Donation of Constantine, is it a forgery? Well, Byzantine and early document sources indicate that the sentiments expressed are anachronistic. The expansion of the temporal power of the papacy dates to the decline of the Western Empire. Put another way, the claims of the Donation of Constantine are inherently improbable.

    Do I win the prize?

    Now, Mr. Loftus, why don't you try talking to Royal Mail's automated redelivery system while gargling with chip pan-oil at the same time?

    Or, if that seems unfair, why not try to master the Nanteos judgement, Liberal Election policy from 1929 and listen to the Jack Benny Programme?

  4. Frivolous, I'm talking about a new view of Santa Claus almost overnight with the poem. And I'm comparing that with Mark and then Matthew and then Luke and then John, each adding and embellishing certain items (this is undeniable, although what's disputed is how much was fictional).

    And you do realize, don't you, that we do not have anything written by Socrates? Scholars are trying to figure out when Plato is putting his views into the lips of Socrates and when he's not, and it's a daunting challenge such that we now have early, middle and late Platonic dialogues based upon how much scholars think Plato is speaking as Socrates (late) or whether Plato is telling us what Socrates thought (early).

    And the Donation of Constantine was believed accurate for a long time, wasn't it? Only later did people realize it was a forgery, and only later do we realize what the gospels may really have been.

    And as far as me being an angel goes...I don't believe in them! But go ahead and kick a puppy with all sorts of diatribes (kinda like Triablogues) and even a puppy can rouse up and bite, duffas. You don't treat me with respect, so you no longer deserve it, buffoon.

    You've raised my ire. Now go take a picture of me and plaster it on the internet for all to see that you have finally gotten under my skin. Just don't forget to also include the prior pictures of the total lack of respect you have shown me prior to me getting upset, dimwit. But you lack the integrity to do that, don't ya? Sounds like the Christian ethic to me, doesn't it to you?...numbnuts!

    Okay, now go out and play some more with your Triablogue friends in the sandbox for awhile longer...then you can all have a peanut butter sandwich before your mommy puts you to bed for a nap. When you wake, you can watch your favorite show: Wiggles! Nitwits.

    Or maybe instead, you'd like the usually calm reasonable discussion of ideas which I offer. Your choice.

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  6. And I'm comparing that with Mark and then Matthew and then Luke and then John, each adding and embellishing certain items (this is undeniable, although what's disputed is how much was fictional).

    Which items are embellished? This is an assertion with no argument.

    Sorry, your ideas are nothing more than ad hocery trying to be made to pass for burgeois intellectual discourse. The standard dating and ordering system to which you appear committed puts Mark first and John last. It further says that the stories accrete over time, particularly that the "miraculous" elements accrete over time. Big problem: the most such material is in Mark; the least is in John, exactly contrary to the theory offered.

    In addition, given even the late dating scheme, which I further deny, where exactly does Jesus discuss the items of greatest concern at the time? If the writers made up stories and put words in his mouth in order to support their views, where do we find Jesus discussing, say, circumcision or other issues highly relevant to the Christians of that time period?

    Where is the evidence that later versions of the stories were more detailed than the earlier ones? Sorry, form critical theory on this is pure ad hocery. Nice try.

    Who ever admitted that the four Gospels were written by eyewitnesses?....not I.

    Present your theory of authorship. Let's see you interact with the text of say, Guthrie.

    The analogy doesn't work, stupid, because there were many documents that were considered to be in the canon in 397 A.D. and some of the books you now have in the N.T. had been previously rejected.

    What you need, just in case you haven't figured it out, is evidence that the miracles stories were not, in point of fact, corroborated by external evidence. You keep demanding evidence for our beliefs, yet you don't bother to provide your own. There were witnesses to these events living into the late 1st century and perhaps into the next. Where are the records of disputes arising about the history of the events described in the gospels. Where is the record of the Jews, for example, denying the miraculous elements of the gospels?

    In the past, you retreat into more ad hocery by slandering the past and saying that they gullible. So what, even if the people were gullible, which has already been refuted by both the sacred and secular academic realms as it is, the issue is the particular people about these particular claims. All we have from you is your question-begging literary theory and your naturalistic operating premise from which we you work. You asked us for evidence, yet your provide a sum total of zero. This is hopelessly jejune, particularly for a former student of Craig.

    The analogy that doesn't work here is your own. Where is the record of Mark, Matthew, John, and Luke ever having a different title attributing them to authors other than the ones in the names? These titles have always been attached to the documents. Where is the record of the early church having rejected any of the gospels? You can call out other books of the NT, but the gospels in particular are the issue here, not 2 Peter or Revelation for example. We have records of the rejection of competing documents, but where is the record of rejecting these 4 gospels? Marcion perhaps? We know what his motive for his canon was.

  7. Loftus, calm down will you, calm down! It's not worth your getting upset. This is only a discussion on the internet.

    Oh, and I do realise we have nothing written by Socrates. You may have noted from my by-line that I was being silly, after a very silly weekend college reunion (no, I was not drunk).

    As for the silly suggestions, no disrespect was intended.

    As for the Donation of Constantine, Byzantine sources denied it from the beginning. Read Kinnamos' 'Deeds of John and Manuel Comnenus for this, or John Julius Norwich's History of Byzantium.

    Now, maybe you need to calm down and take yourself a lot less seriously.