________________________________________ 97 Beyond Born Again Section III– Can Evangelical Theology be Born Again? Chapter 8: Biblical Ventriloquism ________________________________________ 98 “Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be….” — I John 3:2a “Watch what you say They’ll be calling you a radical, A liberal, oh fanatical, […]
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________________________________________ 109 Beyond Born Again Section III– Can Evangelical Theology be Born Again? Chapter 9: Theological Rhetoric In the last chapter we saw the ineffectiveness of the Evangelical attempt to disqualify Liberal theology as “unscriptural.” We noted that, contra J. I. Packer and company, it is not self-evident that the only way to take scripture […]
________________________________________ 143 Beyond Born Again Footnote References Introduction Malcolm Boyd, Christian, Its Meanings in an Age of Future Shock (New York: Hawthorn Bokos, 1975), p. 70. Clark H. Pinnock, Biblical Revelation– The Foundation of Christian Theology (Chicago: Moody Press, 1976), p. 14. Carl F. H. Henry, Frontiers in Modern Theology (Chicago: Moody Press, 1968), pp. […]
________________________________________ 9 Beyond Born Again Section I– The Born Again Experience: A Brave New World? ________________________________________ 10 Chapter 1: A Might Fortress Is Our Mentality “Hey, wouldn’t you like to be born again Live a new life that’s free Without sin, no ties to philosophy.” — Anne Herring and Matthew Ward, “Learn a Curtsey” “You’ll […]
________________________________________ 1 Beyond Born Again Introduction: Testimony Time “Wishes and hopes can also mature with men. They can lose their infantile form… and their youthful enthusiasm without being given up.” — Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God “I know you better now And I don’t fall for all your tricks And you’ve lost the one advantage […]
________________________________________ 127 Beyond Born Again Section III– Can Evangelical Theology be Born Again? Chapter 10: Toward Evangelical Maturity Never has Evangelical biblical scholarship been so mercilessly run through the wringers as it was in James Barr’s Fundamentalism (1977). Many of his reviewers criticized Barr for not offering any alternative to what he tore down. This […]
________________________________________ 33 Beyond Born Again Section I– The Born Again Experience: A Brave New World? Chapter 2: The Evangelical Subculture In the last chapter, I tried to explain and critique some important aspects of the way Evangelicals interpret and cope with their experiences. Now I want to turn to a slightly different aspect of Evangelical […]
________________________________________ 48 Beyond Born Again Section I– The Born Again Experience: A Brave New World? Chapter 3: Devil’s Advocates In Chapter 1, I had occasion to mention the common Evangelical belief in the reality of Satan and his demons. I showed how this belief fit into the set of “combat” coping mechanisms that are part […]
________________________________________ 53 Beyond Born Again Section I– The Born Again Experience: A Brave New World? Chapter 4: The Personal Savior “I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” If you are an Evangelical Christian you can remember saying these words probably more times than you can count. If on the other hand you are not […]
________________________________________ 62 Beyond Born Again Section II– The Evangelical Apologists: Are They Reliable? Chapter 5: Evidences That Demands A Mistrial “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest of man’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” — […]
________________________________________ 75 Beyond Born Again Section II– The Evangelical Apologists: Are They Reliable? Chapter 6: Guarding An Empty Tomb In Chapter 5, I dealt with the most common arguments for the reliability of the gospels. Now I want to discuss a special case, the arguments advanced for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. At the outset […]
________________________________________ 89 Beyond Born Again Section II– The Evangelical Apologists: Are They Reliable? Chapter 7: A False Trilemma Once Evangelical apologists feel they have practically proven the resurrection, they attempt to get all the mileage out of it they can. The resurrection itself must be defended anyway. But wouldn’t it be helpful to be able […]
How can we know that Christianity, and particularly the alleged Resurrection, are true if Craig and other Christian apologists cannot show that they are true? For anyone to ask us to accept such on faith would be like a vacuum-cleaner salesman demonstrating his product in your living room: when the machine fails to suck up any dust, he asks you not to think ill of the vacuum; it's just that he, the salesman, can't get straight how to operate it properly--but he tells you that you ought to buy it anyway!
Carrier discusses several Jewish laws regarding burial in first century Palestine that illuminate the Gospel stories, revealing that perhaps, by law, Jesus had to be taken down Friday night, and had to be buried in a special graveyard reserved for criminals Saturday night. Also discussed are some examples of the "third day" motif in Jewish law and tradition.
Check out Edouard Tahmizian's roughly hour-and-fifteen-minute interview with legendary biblical scholar Robert M. Price about Price's ongoing participation in Bishop Ray Taylor's Wise as a Serpent! podcast and his forthcoming The Heresy of Paraphrase and Houses of the Holy: A Higher-Critical Survey of World Religions before the interlocutors turn to Price's view on how much (or how little) we can know about what Old Testament books would have been considered part of the Old Testament canon to Jews living during the period in which Jesus would've lived, how the apocrypha were never intended to be understood as disavowed books, the non-Old-Testament origin of the exorcism tradition from contemporaneous faith healers and magicians, whether Jesus was asked to perform miracles (provide signs from God) on demand by nonbelievers to embarrass him in an instance of nonbelievers' confirmation bias, whether there was really a hypothesized oral tradition connecting the time of Jesus to the much later time when the Gospels were written, and more! Tune in for an enlightening discussion of the bewildering relationship between sacred texts and the "history" that is supposed to ground them!
Tune in for about an hour as host Edouard Tahmizian queries biblical scholar and Jesus mythicist Robert M. Price about topics ranging from how the Trinity doctrine's identification of Jesus and the Holy Spirit with God sits with the New Testament corpus, to whether or not Erasmus' Textus Receptus—or the 1611 King James Version of the Bible based on it—comes closest to the original biblical writings in light of subsequent historical discoveries. The discussion canvasses a number of different issues, such as Price's take on whether the story of Samson in the Book of Judges merely copies and recontextualizes the myth of Hercules for a Jewish audience, why the Gospel of Mark has four different endings (and whether any of these are faithful to the original Mark), the reasons for the contradictions in the different accounts of the death of Judas, why Matthew says that no one (apart from God) knows the day or hour of Jesus' second coming, and whether the author of Acts intentionally made a memetic parallel between a demon and the spirit of divination within the ancient Greek oracle at Delphi. Check out this wide-ranging interview with an long-time synthesizer of biblical scholarship!
Tune in to this roughly hour-long discussion between host Edouard Tahmizian and biblical scholar Robert M. Price as they discuss Robyn Faith Walsh's suggestion that the Gospels were written by elite cultural producers working within a dynamic cadre of literate specialists, specialists who may not even have been Christians, in light of Richard Carrier's response that the Gospel authors were clearly concerned missionaries. The discussion then turns to why the Gospel authors would do mimesis (mythologizing Jesus) if a significant proportion of their non-literary audience would not pick up on what they were doing, whether Price finds it plausible that early Christians believed (as Carrier maintains) that Jesus was crucified by sky demons in other realms (or that Jesus was a celestial mythical being that was eventually historicized for polemical purposes, as perhaps suggested in the Book of Revelation), whether Church Father Irenaeus was correct that the Book of Revelation was written circa 90-100 CE, whether Papias' account can be trusted as a historically accurate account of the early Gospel authors, whether first-century Israelites would've needed permission from Roman authorities to kill a suspected false prophet (typically by stoning, not Roman crucifixion), and why Gospel miracle accounts would be done in private among people who knew Jesus rather than out in public for everyone to see. Check out this novel overview of some of these debates with a seasoned biblical scholar!
Check out this roughly 45-minute talk between host Edouard Tahmizian and long-time biblical scholar Robert M. Price on Price's take on Dennis R. MacDonald's view that it's a misunderstanding to characterize the Book of Luke as a history (as Richard Carrier does in his 2006 Secular Web online book Was Christianity Too Improbable to be False?), the conflation of what some Jesus mythicists have said with what Carrier, Price, and others specifically have said, how mainstream biblical scholarship might become more open to mythicism in the future (as Thomas L. Thompson's stance that Moses and Abraham were not historical persons eventually became the consensus view), and the reality of the Q source. The discussion then turns to the mythical personage of Judas and Peter, what we can know about how long an oral tradition inventing a mythical Jesus would need to develop, ancient Jesus mythicists like Celsus, Robyn Faith Walsh's view that the empty tomb story was a legendary trope borrowed from pagan works, Dennis R. MacDonald's view that none of the Gospels were written to evangelize/convert people to Christianity, and much more! Tune in for a wide-ranging interview with a legendary biblical scholar!
Tune in to this roughly one-hour discussion between host Edouard Tahmizian and esteemed biblical scholar Robert M. Price as they discuss how biblical inerrantists try to deal with textual evidence of New Testament contradictions. The interlocutors canvas how inerrantists deal with an apparent misquote of Jeremiah by supposedly God-inspired Matthew in Matthew 27:7-10 (whose actual source seems to be Zacharias)—with Calvinists attributing it to copyist error, and others sometimes claiming that it refers to an unwritten prophecy by Jeremiah and so is not erroneous—solid evidence that the longer ending of Mark after Mark 16:1-8 was interpolated by someone other than Mark (someone who wanted to compile details from other Gospels about the risen Jesus to avoid an awkward ending to Mark's empty tomb narrative and give more "evidence" of the resurrected Christ via his resurrection appearances), and Price's take on whether Robyn Faith Walsh's reasons for thinking that Jesus mythicism is implausible stand up to scrutiny. Check out this novel interview with an indefatigable biblical scholar!
In a June 2022 interview with Edouard Tahmizian, New Testament scholar Dennis R. MacDonald admonished Richard Carrier for misappropriating his work in the service of Jesus mythicism. In a responding interview on August 1, Carrier disputed MacDonald's characterization, and published a longer missive titled "Dennis MacDonald's Change of Position" on his website on August 23. In this 40-minute interview with esteemed biblical scholar Robert M. Price on the same day, Price argues that while MacDonald himself is certainly no mythicist, nevertheless MacDonald's work is not merely compatible with Jesus mythicism, but suggestive of it. The discussion then turns to whether Jesus' disciples really had any understanding that Jesus would be resurrected from the dead on the third day, and if not, whether there could be any historicity to the account of guards being stationed to look after Jesus' tomb (as argued by D. A. Carson). Further issues concern the evolution of the understanding of whether Jesus is said to have had a spiritual or physical resurrection, how mythicists explain 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 (in part by interpreting to the archons of this age to refer to spiritual entities, not human leaders), and what central point Justin Martyr is trying to drive home, among other things. Tune in for this wide-ranging interview with a scholar of scholars!
Pick up where you left off at the end of Part I and return to host Edouard Tahmizian in the second 20-minute part of his two-part follow-up interview with esteemed biblical scholar Robert M. Price. The interlocutors go on to discuss whether the earliest Christians also believed in something like Calvinist predestination and which New Testament typologies (correspondences between Old Testament figures and New Testament one), if any, Price prefers. The discussion then turns to Price's forthcoming book The Gospels Behind the Gospels, his response to C. S. Lewis titled Merely Christianity, his When Gospels Collide on contradictions between the Gospel accounts, his Judaizing Jesus, his forthcoming Not Peace, But a Sword, his dabbling in writing fiction, and much more!
In this first half-hour of a two-part follow-up interview with esteemed biblical scholar Robert M. Price, host Edouard Tahmizian queries Price about his recent anthology edited with John W. Loftus, Varieties of Jesus Mythicism: Did He Even Exist? They canvass the role of Jungian mythical archetypes as a kind of script for rituals/rites of passage, Price's take on the scholarship of Robyn Faith Walsh and the historical plausibility of her thesis that educated Hellenistic writers composed the New Testament, whether there were pre-Gospel narratives that were more consistent than the canonical Gospels and exploited by them (in themes like Jesus as the returned Elijah, Jesus as the new Moses, Jesus as a magician, and so on, and by portraying competitors to Jesus as servants of him), and the Gnostic understanding of salvation. Tune in to this animated conversation about fascinating ideas, and then be sure to tune in to Part II, too!
Join host Edouard Tahmizian in this hour-long interview with esteemed biblical scholar Robert M. Price as they discuss Price's early realization that the amount of effort needed to fill in the gaps between the ancient concerns of the biblical writers and the unaddressed modern concerns of today would not be expected of a straightforward revelation from God. Their discussion goes on to consider how the Haggadic midrash, a way to interpret the Old Testament used in the parables attributed to Jesus, undermines the historicity of any Gospel story (as virtually all of them just repurpose an Old Testament story), before finally turning to the ahistoricity of the New Testament characterization of Paul (even if the literary Paul had been inspired by the historical person Simon Magus), the case for Jesus mythicism and the absence of contemporaneous references to Jesus, the implausibility of the penal substitutionary model of atonement, and much more. Check out this fascinating interview with a biblical scholar who became a legend himself!