Messianic Prophecies- The Case for Jesus (Part 2)

awaypoint-nativity-scene

Enjoy the Podcast:

https://anchor.fm/skeptics-and-seekers/episodes/Episode-21-Messianic-Prophecies–The-Case-for-Jesus-Part-2-e2kpi1

 

Seeker’s View

As many of our regular listeners/readers will no doubt already know, this is Part 2 in our series on the circumstantial argument from Messianic prophecy for the truth of Christianity.  In Part 1, we first looked at a couple prophecies related to the birth of the Messiah, we saw that at minimum the Messiah would be born to a young women (possibly one that was a virgin) and whose birth would serve, minimally, as a “momentous” and/or “supernatural” sign to the House of David that God is with them (Immanuel- God with us).  So far, so good the claims about Jesus plausibly fits the bill here.  However, before moving on to our next series of Messianic prophecies, I think it should be necessary to quickly re-clarify what exactly the argument is for the listeners/readers.

RE-CLARIFYING THE ARGUMENT

Having read some of the comments I’ve received on last week’s episode on the “Birth” prophecies, a couple people raised some issues that I would like to quickly clarify as I think there is a slight misunderstanding in what I’m attempting to argue.  This is a circumstantial argument based on the circumstances that I can show the prophets made certain minimal predictions about the Messiah and that Jesus is the only candidate who can make a “plausible”or rather “unfalsified” claim to have fulfilled these; hence, it is literally Jesus or bust (i.e. either Jesus or there are bible errors in the Messianic prophecies in the OT).  Whether you want to take the option that the Bible has errors or not is irrelevant, this odd or “extraordinary” circumstance that the only other unfalsified option is to say Jesus is the Messiah and no other is what we are evaluating here.  This is not a conceptual argument, it is a circumstantial one and courts use this type of evidence all the time in reality; all that remains is for someone to evaluate the nature of the circumstantial evidence to determine if is significant or not.  Furthermore, this is a cumulative case and so while the prophecies presented last week alone may or may not be enough to establish the Jesus or bust claim, I’m claiming that the cumulative case can do this.

To illustrate, if you accept that my minimal case of the Messianic birth prophecies was correct- a son would be born to a young women in the line of David and his birth would serve as a “supernatural/momentous” sign that God is with the House of David.  One could argue well, lots of people were born of young women, great then there are lots of candidates then.  What about the whole being in the line of King David aspect (one skeptical listener pointed out genetically speaking we know that most if not all Jews would have had some distant relation to David and thus could be said to fulfill this prophecy)?  Well, not so fast Mr. or Miss. Skeptic, in the first place the genetic evidence is completely meaningless to my argument, ancient Jews didn’t know about this at all and thus couldn’t have used this evidence to adjudicate on who was a son of David or not (remember the sign was meant to be a sign to them not for us today).

Furthermore, historically we know that the ancient Jews in Jesus day did have ways of “knowing” which Jews were descendants of David or not- records were kept until the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D- this is why they didn’t accept the Maccabees or the subsequent Hasmonean dynasty as being a restoration of the Davidic dynasty.  Now, today we might claim that such records are complete garbage historically speaking, but again that’s not relevant for the ancient Jews for which this “sign” birth was prophesied the records were good.  Finally, perhaps this could still leave many Jewish candidates for being the Messiah, even if some can be eliminated; well, how many of those Jews made unfalsified claims that they had births that served as a momentous/supernatural sign that God was with the House of David, my guess is not many of them.

For example, I’m not Jewish or somehow related to David genetically but even if I were, my birth can hardly be pointed to as constituting a momentous/supernatural “sign” that God was/is with the House of David- my dad was so nervous he put his underwear on backwards when he was going to the hospital- I hardly think this is what Isaiah has in mind when he offers Ahaz and the House of David a “sign from the depths of Sheol to the heights of heaven”.  So, the prophecies mentioned last week alone are helpful in eliminating various potential candidates and lead us closer to establishing that Jesus is the only unfalsified Messianic candidate left in the running but feel free to point out any other specific examples if you can!

One last point, I mentioned my argument doesn’t care about proving the fulfillment of the prophecy (it doesn’t matter whether Jesus was born of a Virgin or not), all that matters is that he and/or Christianity makes that claim.  However, some of you have criticized me in that claims alone are insufficient since one can just make all the claims Jesus does today and Voila!  Actually, I was happy to see that my interlocutor saw the flawed assumption in these attacks, my argument isn’t technically about claims alone but about unfalsified claims.  No one can falsify or prove Jesus wasn’t born of a virgin or fulfilled the prophecies I outlined last week, perhaps this can be said of others as well at this point, but not everyone can as I illustrated with the comic story about my own birth above.  So, my argument hinges upon using unfalsified claims not just any claims (unqualified).

ESTABLISHING THE ARGUMENT- JESUS OR BUST PART 2

Here is a discussion of some Messianic prophecies related to the Messiah’s divine mission.

Messianic Prophecy #1- The New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34);

This one is relatively straightforward, Jeremiah 31 says the following:

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

In context, Jeremiah has been prophesying about the Babylonian exile and the eventual restoration of Israel; he makes several prophecies which have a clear and provable fulfillment (as per the biblical account such as the 70-year captivity for example), but once again not everything predicted seems to come to pass.  Jeremiah gets some things correct but then on others we are left hanging; no fulfillment (i.e. no swords beaten into plows or no world peace as Israel was again destroyed by the Romans later on), what is going on?  Well, the Branch (Jeremiah 23) is referring to the Messiah and it is through the Messiah that a New Covenant (i.e. New Testament) would be inaugurated, one in which God would put his law within their hearts and will remember their sins no more- if this doesn’t refer to Jesus, I don’t know who it does refer to!

Now, there are some elements in Jeremiah that have yet to be fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament, yet scholars recognize the “Already but not Yet” aspect of Jesus mission where fulfills some aspects partially and the rest later- this is called “Realized Eschatology” by biblical scholars.  Thus, whatever you make of the 2nd coming of Jesus (the two phases of Jesus), whether you think this is true or just some made up excuse to get Jesus “off-the-hook” so to speak, regardless it is claim of Christianity that keeps Jesus as an equally possible/probable candidate for fulfilling this Messianic prophecy.  What other Messianic claimants even claimed to usher in a New Covenant like Jesus?- Not too many I would imagine, instead most of them only ever claimed to be simply reaffirming the Old Covenant and thus I suspect this can be used to rule out even more Messianic candidates.

RECOMMENDED SOURCES: Dr. Michael L. Brown gives a lecture on “Messianic Insights from the Book of Jeremiah”, see here = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AJFnqj33s .

Messianic Prophecy #2- Light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 49:6);

Isaiah 49:6:

“It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant, To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth”.

The prophet Isaiah is famous for his Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 53 (technically that song starts from Isaiah 52:13-53:12), but few realize that this particular Servant Song is part of a larger context of 4 Servant Songs in total, starting back in Isaiah 40 with the songs themselves being found in Isaiah 42:1–9; Isaiah 49:1–13; Isaiah 50:4–11; and Isaiah 52:13—53:12.  Now, fuller discussion of these songs and their associated Messianic prophecies culminating with Isaiah 53 will have to wait for the next blog but for now, I just wanted to highlight one aspect in Isaiah 49, the Messiah’s mission would entail being a “light to the Gentiles” (meaning “nations” in Hebrew) and bringing “God’s salvation to the ends of the Earth”.  The application to the Christian Jesus is obvious!

Now, there are other interpretations of this verse where some say the Servant is not an individual (as in the Jewish Messiah) but the nation of Israel as a whole or others see it as referring to a righteous remnant within Israel specifically.  However, I can assure you that the Servant described in both Isaiah 49:6 and Isaiah 52:13-53:12 does in fact refer to an individual; the Jewish Messiah.  For the sake of time and length, I will refrain from making a full case from that this time, but it will be tackled head on in Part 3 coming up next week.

RECOMMENDED SOURCES:

Brief description of the 4 Servant Songs in Isaiah = https://www.gotquestions.org/Servant-Songs.html .

Messianic Prophecy #3- (Zechariah 12:10);

Christians claim that this prophesies the crucifixion of Jesus as the Jewish Messiah.  Zechariah 12:9-12 reads as follows,

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. 11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon”.

The overall context of this prophecy includes Zechariah 12-13:1 and very clearly speaks about a time of national mourning in Israel over one slain resulting in the spiritual cleansing of the nation.  Christians claim this verse refers to Jesus second coming, when the Jewish people finally realize their mistake, that Jesus, the one they crucified or pierced, was in fact the Jewish Messiah and they will mourn for what their rejection of God’s Messiah when he first came to them.  Seems pretty clear cut to me.  What’s more, throughout Zechariah 12, it is clear that it is God himself that is being referred to until the sudden and abrupt change to “him”- could this be a subtle hint that the Messiah that was pierced might be divine, certainly in Zechariah 14:1-5 we find that it is the Lord Himself who will come to Earth “on that day” and have his feet stand on the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem and split it in two.  Wow, this certainly coheres with what we find with Jesus in Luke 19:41-44 and Matthew 23:37-39 which respectively say,

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

And,

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”.

Do you see it, this is saying Jesus claimed that his second coming will not happen until the Jewish people look to Jesus and mourn over the one the Messiah who was pierced and bless Jesus, only then will make his second coming and put his feet on the Mount of Olives, etc.

Now, Modern Jewish translations like the Stone edition or the New Jewish Publication Society of America Tanakh (NJPSV for short) mistranslated the Hebrew to make it sound plural, as though the Jews in Jerusalem will be mourning over multiple people that have been pierced (or slain) but the Hebrew context makes it clear that this translation is mistaken and instead it refers to a single individual and/or thing at least.

The Skeptic challenged me to back up some of statements with ancient Jewish sources, OK here is an ancient interpretation of this verse backing up the Messianic understanding of this verse in the Talmud in b. Sukkah 55a. where they provide two different possible interpretations of this verse; either, i) it refers in the singular to the sinful inclination of man being pierced or slain/done away with or ii) it refers to the Messiah ben Joseph who would be pierced/slain in the last great war before the Messiah son of David would raise this figure from the dead.  Thus, the ancient Jewish authorities who wrote the Talmud recognized that this verse spoke of an individual person or thing not a plural subject like modern Jewish versions say and one such interpretation was that a Messianic figure would die and raise from the dead- incredible!  The Rabbi’s only mistake it would seem was not recognizing that Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David were one and the same person, Jesus and that the Messiah’s mission was composed of two distinct phases (in which some prophecies would be fulfilled with his First Coming and others at the Second Coming) not two distinct Messiahs.

RECOMMENDED SOURCES:

For the Jewish side (Rabbi Tovia Singer) on Zechariah 12:10, see here  = https://outreachjudaism.org/lets-get-biblical-audio-series/ (see Lecture #18- approx. 20 mins).  Also, for the Christian side (Dr. Michael L. Brown), see here = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZQ2QNnw3o8 .  As an aside, see Brown tackle the one prophecy that Jewish anti-missionaries do attribute to Jesus (Zechariah 13:6- Jesus as the false prophet), see here = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9ZrUuUkxHk .

CONCLUSION

Originally, I had planned to include Isaiah 53 in this Part 2 blog in order to finish off the main prophecies I wish  to use to  establish my case/argument, but given the length of this blog (which is supposed to be 800-1000 words in length and is already far beyond that) and the sheer volume of information on the famous Isaiah prophecy, I have opted to exclude it here and to focus on it exclusively in Part 3.  Part 4 then will deal with the timing of the Messiah and finally Part 5 will be David’s chance to provide 3-4 Counter Messianic prophecies which might falsify Jesus as a Jewish Messianic claimant.

To summarize, we have thus far seen that minimally, the Jewish Messiah must be;

Messianic Qualifications Discussed in Part 1:

1) CONFIRMED: A Jewish descendant in the line of King David (Micah 5:2).

2) CONFIRMED: Born of a young woman of marriageable age (possibly also a virgin) (Isaiah 7:14).

3) CONFIRMED: Their birth would serve either as a “momentous” (non-mundane yet natural) and/or “supernatural” sign for the House of David/Israel that God is with them (Immanuel = “God with us”) (Isaiah 7:14).

  1. POSSIBLE:  The Messiah would possibly be born in Bethlehem and/or at least be said to “come out of” Bethlehem- the latter interpretation is tantamount to saying he would be a descendant of David though, so not persuasive but yet possible if the former Christian understanding is correct) (Micah 5:2).
  2. POSSIBLE:  The Messiah would have his origins in the days of olam – meaning the days of “eternity”.  This hints at the Messiah’s possible divinity and/or pre-existence (prior to the birth of King David himself) (Micah 5:2).

Messianic Qualifications Discussed in Part 2:

  1. CONFIRMED:  The Messiah would establish a new covenant with Israel not like the covenant that He made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, instead this time He will put His law within them and write it on their hearts.  A covenant whereby He would forgive their iniquities and remember their sins no more- (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
  2. CONFIRMED (PARTIALLY PENDING ASSESSMENT IN PART 3):  The Messiah would not just come for the people of Israel but would also be a “light to the Gentiles” and would bring about “salvation to the ends of the Earth” (Isaiah 49:6).
  3. CONFIRMED:  The Messiah would be “pierced” (i.e. slain perhaps via crucifixion), and the Jews will mourn over Him (implying a Resurrection) before He would come back to save Israel from its enemies (Zechariah 12:10).

Since this is a cumulative case argument, there is yet more to come but to my mind this is really starting to be suggestive that Jesus is the Messiah these prophecies in the Old Testament has in mind here!

Let the Jews speak for themselves Skeptics View

The funny thing is when I have talked to Jews in the past on messianic prophecy, they didn’t see Jesus anywhere hinted at in their scriptures. Either they are wrong about their scriptures, or Dale is. Now Dale likes to cite the isolated Jew to make his case. But like the technical of Gary Habermas of citing atheist scholars to reach the minimal facts, his champions ultimately do not agree with his conclusions.

So don’t let Dale confuse you with regard to what actual Jews find in their own scriptures. I will stand aside for much of this week and let a Jew talk Jewish scripture.

Why Jews Don’t Believe In Jesus

by Rabbi Shraga Simmons

Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies

What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? One of the central themes of biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)

Specifically, the Bible says he will:

A Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

B Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).

C Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)

D Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world – on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).

If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be the Messiah.

I could stop there. But he doesn’t. So neither will I.

Jesus did not embody the personal qualities of the Messiah

His first point is that the Messiah would be the greatest prophet, but that Jesus would not be considered a prophet by the Jews because he was not “in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE.”

Partly, this is a closed canon issue. All religions with holy books believe the canon was closed after their guy was done speaking prophetically. Mainstream Christians find it hard to accept new prophets with a new religion because their canon is closed. And a legitimate prophet could potentially open it again and change everything. The Jews feel the same way about their prophets and their canon.

The second point is easier to grasp. Jesus was not a descendant of David from the male branch. It is really that simple. And I have to agree with the rabbi’s assessment. Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus.

There is also the matter of Torah observance. Jesus played fast and loose with the Torah.

Throughout the Christian “New Testament,” Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), “He does not observe Shabbat!”

He next raises the point that I have made about mistranslating Jewish scriptures to make room for Jesus before making his last point.

Jewish belief is based on national, not private revelation

This point gets a little involved. But it can be boiled down this way: Jesus was revealed to only a handful of people. not to the Jewish people as a whole. I have also opined in similar fashion.

The people Jesus chose were not particularly credible. And he seemed to purposely present himself in ways that would alienate the Jewish leaders, ensuring he would never be generally accepted by the Jews. That is not the way of Jewish messiahs before him.

Conclusion: Written on the heart

The first passage Dale cited is one that I have based a few sermons on. It is one of my favorites in the bible. And as the Rabbi points out, it is proof that Jesus is not the one in view. It speaks of a time when…

And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord.

That time clearly has not come. The passage is repeated in the New Testament. It ends with the following:

“For I will be merciful toward their evil deeds, and their sins I will remember no longer.”

This almost rings of a kind of universalism. That was certainly not the message of Jesus. The Jewish messiah sounds more like the kind of person I could get behind. And as a utopianist, I, too, long for a time when we all live in peace and harmony, and old grievances can be forgotten.

But that time is not here yet. Like the Jews, I don’t believe that any one person is going to come along and bring it on a magic carpet. We all have to work for it. There is no magic. It is just really hard work.

I am happy to play the game of quote-mining Jewish scholarship because I will win. There are far more of them who agree with me than who agree with him. Dale is ultimately trying to make the case that the Jewish messiah has to be Jesus. So far, the case has been made stronger that it couldn’t be Jesus.

And that’s the view from the skeptic.

David Johnson

 

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55 thoughts on “Messianic Prophecies- The Case for Jesus (Part 2)

  1. “So, my argument hinges upon using unfalsified claims not just any claims (unqualified).”

    Ah, argument from ignorance, it is so nice to see you poking your head around the forums again. All things are true if they aren’t falsified.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well that’s not totally accurate there Darren, remember I’m not saying its true because there is an unfalsified claim, technically I’m arguing that since I can show that it is either Jesus or bust, then this odd circumstance makes it “extraordinary” and hence fulfills Criterion B. of my argument.

      So, the argument from ignorance has to be applied to all my criteria as a whole and not just Criterion B. alone- which is what I think you and Bryan are saying with regard to my Shroud series. So, my arguments are based on what we can know not based on what we don’t, which is what an argument from ignorance is.

      That’s my take but I respect that you feel this way about it- fair enough.

      Dale

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      1. “So, my arguments are based on what we can know not based on what we don’t, which is what an argument from ignorance is.”

        Except this isn’t really accurate. You are saying that Jesus fulfilled these prophesies because the fulfillment can’t be falsified. You don’t know that the prophecies were fulfilled. So you aren’t basing anything on what is known. You are basing it on stories that were written down that you can’t demonstrate actually happened, and defending those by saying that because they haven’t been falsified, they actually happened and were fulfilled.

        The problem is that you can’t demonstrate that any of the stories about Jesus are actually true. And combine that with your defense, ‘well you can’t show that they are false’, that is what makes it an argument from ignorance.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Other things we need to believe is true because it hasn’t been falsified.

    Gaius Julius Caesar a descendant of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas who was the son of the goddess Venus. It hasn’t been falsified so it must be true.

    Nabu-kuder-user, a king of Babylon apparently was created by the god Bel. It hasn’t been falsified, so therefor it must be true.

    Hercules was the son of Jupiter. We know that Hercules was a real person because Josephus (yes that Josephus) wrote about him. Man was Hera so very pissed off with Zeus when he slept around. She took it out on poor Hercules. After all it is true because it hasn’t been falsified.

    Did you know that if you perform the correct spells you can help guide the dead through the underworld? Says so right in the book of the dead. Must be true because it hasn’t been falsified.

    Also if you perform a blood sacrifice, take out the heart and burn it, then the blood feeds the gods so that the earth will last a bit longer and not be destroyed. Aztecs believed it, it was written down and hasn’t been falsified. Must be true.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thing is, I don’t think any of the god stories in history can be falsified. With all the loopholes, we can never say that any prophecy is false either. It just hasn’t been completely fulfilled yet.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I guess it depend on how tortured you are going to make the interpretation of the prophecy. There are a few in the bible that just flat out didn’t happen as described by the prophecy, but apologetics comes around and starts changing all the meanings of the words to keep it alive. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Sure, that’s why each of us need to try and tackle the text and see if the elements I’m using can be established or if I’m just using apologetics to torture the texts (eisegesis vs. exegesis).

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      2. Huh, this is a good point actually. If you could provide an example of some other religious figure where there are prior prophecies and a religious figure makes unfalsified claims to have fulfilled them- then this is another way you can defeat my circumstantial argument. This would mean that my argument from Jesus or bust would fail to fulfill the “Uniqueness Falsification Criterion” and hence this is another way to defeat my argument for sure.

        Point him out, Buddha, Krishna, love to see who you might have in mind and let’s see what you find.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “If you could provide an example of some other religious figure where there are prior prophecies and a religious figure makes unfalsified claims to have fulfilled them- then this is another way you can defeat my circumstantial argument.”

          Why does it have to be a religious figure? Wouldn’t any figure make it a failed “Uniqueness Falsification Criterion”?

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          1. Technically, yeah I guess that’s right but then it wouldn’t be a G-Belief Authenticating Event, right- you claimed to have read my entire 11 – Premise argument, including all the criteria in include in Premise #8 I assume, so it would fail Criterion C. then.

            Nevertheless, if any figure religious or otherwise could be found to be comparable to Jesus then this would fail the Uniqueness falsification criterion under Criterion B and it would therefore not be an “Extraordinary event”- so yeah I will give you that one.

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            1. “Nevertheless, if any figure religious or otherwise could be found to be comparable to Jesus then this would fail the Uniqueness falsification criterion under Criterion B and it would therefore not be an “Extraordinary event”- so yeah I will give you that one.”

              Sounds good. Find people that have had prophesies made about them and that have been claimed to have been fulfilled. I don’t have to show that the claims are actually accurate or true or that any miraculous event actually took place, just that they claims have been made.

              “….all I will say is this, the prophecies to which you refer have to be of the same quality as the Messianic prophecies which I’m using.”

              What criteria are you using to determine if they have the same qualities?

              From what I have seen so far, the criteria seems to be that they are vague, easily interpreted in lots of different ways, lots of different people could actually be the one to fulfill it, they don’t have to be shown to actually have come true (just claimed to have been fulfilled) and don’t actually have to have been fulfilled yet (the telescope arguments)

              But I’ll throw a few out and see if you feel they meet your criteria.

              There are the horoscopes you can find in newspapers and now online. Thousands of people have had prophecies of how their day would go and you can find lots of claims of people having those prophesies about them come true.

              You can probably find an Astrologer/Numerologist living in your town, and you could get lots of first person accounts of how that astrologer prophesied what was to come for lots of people. You can probably find a lot of those testimonials online.

              Nostradamus is easy. He made several prophecies that came true about specific people.

              (https://www.indy100.com/article/nostradamus-predictions-2017-2018-truth-hitler-911-donald-trump-8128816)
              Death of Henry II, The rise of Hitler, Donald Trump.

              Also, The rises of Napoleon, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.

              Napoleon moving to the island was Prophesied by Robert Nixon “The weary eagle shall to an island in the sun retire, where leaves and herbs grow fresh and green. There shall he meet a lady fair”

              The Greek Oracles were fond of making Prophecies about people that came true.

              Croesus consulted the oracles at Delphi and Thebes to see if he should go to war. Both said: “If Croesus goes to war he will destroy a great empire.” Another prophecy that came out later from Delphi said that Croesus would reign as king until a mule became king of the Medes.

              Croesus went to war against Cyrus, destroying his own empire in the process. Turns out Cyrus was half-Mede and half-Persian. (A mule is half-horse and half-donkey).

              Saint Malachy predicted the last 10 popes. The current one is supposed to be the last one according to Malachy, and given the catholic church is nothing but a criminal organization and we are seeing more and more Catholics reject the church because of it, hopefully Malachy is right.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Good question and examples- I need to go back and find my notes from years ago when I studied prophecies in the Bible; some of the ones I remember just off the top of my head are;

                1. The prophecy has to be proven to have been written prior to the fulfillment.

                2. The prophesy has to be as clear or unambiguous as possible in what it predicts (this is why I’m trying to rest my case on the elements that I think are clearer such as a momentous birth sign rather than a virgin birth specifically). This is where the use of various prophetic interpretational devices can be used as aids to understanding what is predicted (such as double fulfillment or prophetic telescoping, etc.)- obviously the use of such techniques does come with a trade-off in that it makes them more ambiguous or less clear than we would prefer- however in my circumstantial argument so long as my interpretation can’t be ruled out as improbable on a balance of probabilities than that is good enough.

                3. The prediction and/or fulfillment must entail elements that are unlikely to be explained via ordinary natural explanations such as simple coincidence or self-fulfillment, etc.

                3. The fulfillment of the prophecy must be proven to have occurred (obviously this has changed in my new argument to is an unfalsified claim).

                That’s what I remember off the top of my head.

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        2. How much do you know about the Hopi?

          https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends-americas/hopi-prophecy-and-end-fourth-world-part-1-002280

          “We must remember that Hopi prophecies are not contemporary readings of world events, but statements made centuries or perhaps millennia ago. These disturbing commentaries on our current state of global affairs were simply relayed through the generations to the present via the Hopi oral tradition, with very few alterations made in the process.”

          http://www.alamongordo.com/9-signs-of-the-Hopi-Indians/

          1. This is the First Sign

          We are told of the coming of the white-skinned men, like Pahana, but not living like Pahana men who 7 took the land that was not theirs. And men who struck their enemies with thunder.
          2. This is the Second Sign

          Our lands will see the coming of spinning wheels filled with voices. In his youth, my father saw this prophecy come true with his eyes — the white men bringing their families in wagons across the prairies.
          3. This is the Third Sign

          A strange beast like a buffalo but with great long horns, will overrun the land in large numbers. These White Feather saw with his eyes — the coming of the white men’s cattle.
          4. This is the Fourth Sign

          The land will be crossed by snakes of iron.
          5. This is the Fifth Sign

          The land shall be criss-crossed by a giant spider’s web. (The Internet).
          6. This is the Sixth sign

          The land shall be criss-crossed with rivers of stone that make pictures in the sun.
          7. This is the Seventh Sign

          You will hear of the sea turning black, and many living things dying because of it. (Oil-spils)
          8. This is the Eight Sign

          You will see many youth, who wear their hair long like my people, come and join the tribal nations, to learn their ways and wisdom.
          9. And this is the Ninth and Last Sign…

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I know of them obviously and was aware of some of the prophecies to which you mention about the “white man” prophecy, some think this is a preserved memory of encounters with the vikings which traveled to them or other interpretations historically as to what is meant.

            Anyways, yeah I think this is a good avenue to try and defeat my argument- all I will say is this, the prophecies to which you refer have to be of the same quality as the Messianic prophecies which I’m using. So this is an example of where I’m needing to adapt and craft my argument as I go since I’m making it in real time. Hence, as much as I wanted to keep my circumstantial argument seperate from an argument from fulfilled prophecy- it seems that at least some (but not all) of the criteria by which I judge prophecy in general does need to be used to help adjudicate any differences/similarities between the alleged comparable prophecies and the Messianic prophecies I’m using to establish my case.

            On that front, I’m not sure if these prophecies you mention are in fact comparable, but that is something I would need to evaluate for sure in establishing my argument along with others as well- obviously that task while necessary to establish my argument is outside the scope of what I can do in my 5 Part series (unless you want to raise it in Part 5 or something)- so yeah, good team work Darren and David, you are helping me to refine my argument here as I construct it in real-time 🙂

            Are you sure you guys aren’t undercover Christians lol 😛

            Dale

            Like

  3. Hey everyone,

    Some clarifications;

    1. As to what the momentous sign might have been- doesn’t have to be the star either- angels appeared to the shepherds and announced Jesus’ birth- this is an unfalsified supernatural or momentous claim.

    2. I mentioned a source by Gary Habermas- see his main website here (many free books, articles, audio and video sources by him) here = http://www.garyhabermas.com/ and as for the Free Ebook called the “Uniqueness of Jesus Christ Amoung the Major World Religions” which I mentioned about Christianity/Jesus being unique amoung the other religions see here = http://www.garyhabermas.com/Evidence2/Habermas-Uniqueness-of-Jesus-Christ-2016.pdf .

    3. David’s claim about kingship can only be passed through males- Dr. Michael Brown refutes that in this 4 min video via the 1 Chronicles 2 = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuwY1H9pDQc .

    4. Also, Jesus implied a new covenant according to the Gospels when he said I did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it (fulfill means bring to completion).

    Enjoy 🙂

    Dale

    Like

    1. I consider that explanation a bit of a stretch. Remind me to talk about it on the next podcast. Beyond the details, you have already admitted that biblical genealogies cannot be trusted as literal testaments of lineage. So I can’t imagine why anyone would put any weight behind a genealogy argument unless they were pretty desperate.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OK, but I wanted to provide that source for people’s consideration- I will try to remember.

        Like

    2. “1. As to what the momentous sign might have been- doesn’t have to be the star either- angels appeared to the shepherds and announced Jesus’ birth- this is an unfalsified supernatural or momentous claim.”

      So in am I reading this right? Because the claim hasn’t been falsified, the claim actually is true and happened?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not directly but indirectly yes. Because the claim along with the others haven’t been falsified and Jesus is the only one whose claims remain unfalsified in this regard, this means they are true and happened probably- that’s the argument I’m trying to make.

        Naturally, if there was nothing to it, then I would expect at least one other person to have achieved the same unfalsified claims that Jesus did here- as you say making unfalsified claims is easy, so why not have 4-5 others who also meet this argument and not just Jesus uniquely.

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        1. “Because the claim along with the others haven’t been falsified and Jesus is the only one whose claims remain unfalsified in this regard, this means they are true and happened probably- that’s the argument I’m trying to make”

          Ok, then you need to, in all honesty and sincerity, research the argument from ignorance fallacy. This is a textbook case. Even if you already think you know what it is, you need to actually read what the philosophers say about it.

          Like

          1. OK agree to disagree.

            Like

            1. “OK agree to disagree.”

              Lol, ok.

              For anyone else that is reading this.

              This is Dale’s argument:

              “Because the claim along with the others haven’t been falsified and Jesus is the only one whose claims remain unfalsified in this regard, this means they are true and happened probably- that’s the argument I’m trying to make.”

              This is the logical structure of the argument from ignorance fallacy.

              X is true because you cannot prove that X is false.
              X is false because you cannot prove that X is true.

              If anyone would like to learn more about the fallacy with clear examples and an understandable explanation, you can go here: https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/56/Argument-from-Ignorance

              If you don’t like that resource, you can pretty much go anywhere else and get the same information.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. As I said, I’m familiar with the argument from ignorance and what I’m doing is not it in my opinion, you disagree, that is fine. One thing I will say we can agree on here is this, Darren does good to recommend people actually look up for themselves what it is and how it works, and then deide for yourselves if that is what I’m doing or not. Don’t just listen to either Darren saying Yay or Dale saying Nay- decide for yourselves.

                Like

                1. “As I said, I’m familiar with the argument from ignorance and what I’m doing is not it in my opinion, you disagree, that is fine.”

                  Sure, I disagree because i can, and did, show that the structure of your argument is identical to the logical structure of the argument from ignorance fallacy. I’m baffled that you refuse to recognize it.

                  Like

  4. Howdy
    Can someone next show answer my question as to how some random peasant girl in the year zero had access to genealogies going back 1000 years. Who was carefully documenting this? Surely the very notion they say they had this info to hand should serve as a clue it’s legend.

    Then ref this
    1) CONFIRMED: A Jewish descendant in the line of King David (Micah 5:2).

    Pretty much everyone was related to David 1000 years later. The impressive thing to have done would be to find someone who wasn’t! I linked to the article calculating this the other week. What say ye?

    2) CONFIRMED: Born of a young woman of marriageable age (possibly also a virgin) (Isaiah 7:14).

    This is hardly narrowing the odds is it? Anyone know of someone in those days who wasn’t born of a young woman?! Maybe God should have impregnated a 90 year old like Abe’s wife to pop out the messiah. That would have been more impressive. ‘And the wrinkly hag shall be with child. A she who is long in the tooth shall bring forth the bread of life’

    3) CONFIRMED: Their birth would serve either as a “momentous” (non-mundane yet natural) and/or “supernatural” sign for the House of David/Israel that God is with them (Immanuel = “God with us”) (Isaiah 7:14

    I don’t think you demonstrated this. Nothing very momentous is corroborated -No evidence for the star, the slaughter of the innocents, the census and therefore why J&M are in bethleham and general reliability of the gospels. Or how anyone would have known Mary was a virgin. There are no eye witness accounts from her first night with Joe…. Or were there. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Sarah,

      No need to wait, I am responding on here now (not frequently though) since there is a lot less people to contend with and that way less chance I will start to get defensive.

      1. Zero access to genealogical records is not true historically Sarah- they did have records up until the destruction of the Second Temple at least- now were these records complete nonsense- probably but that is irrelevant just as your point about everyone being a descendant of King David.

      Why?

      Because ancient Jews knew nothing about genetics so this modern evidence would be entirely meaningless if the sign was for Jews living in Jesus day. They very clearly did have a way to discern between descendants of King David and other Jews (hence why they rejected the Hasmonean dynasty as not being a restoration of the David dynasty). The sign was for Jews/House of David at the time of the birth, so perhaps for us today we know its hard to tell the difference genetically, back then they knew how to tell the difference regardless of whether we can laugh at their adjudication procedures as nonesense or not in modern times.

      2. Young Women of Marriageable age- actually yes this does eliminate some people born to older women which did happen in history- what are you even saying here Sarah??? This alone is not the only element so who cares that many kids were popped out by young women.

      3. Actually, well perhaps there is some historical evidence for some of the things you mention there- you’ll have to wait for our Christmas Round Table as I’m recruiting David J. as a Christian to defend this notion of the historicity of the birth narratives. I’m doing a tag team type deal whereby each of the skeptics gets tagged to join the Christian side and argue with me against the skeptics on various Christmas related topics (my own idea so if its BSC then I guess I get the blame on that lol).

      Anyways, you entirely miss the point and I don’t understand how this is happening as I explicitly explained the concept twice- once in Part 1 and again in Part 2. Pretend I can’t prove none of this stuff- who cares??? Can you prove it didn’t happen (aka. falsify it on a balance of probabilities), that is the way to defeat my argument in this way not saying I haven’t proven the fulfillment.

      4. Also, yeah in your feedback on the Shroud, I ended the convo as I want to get to my break from commenting but yes I did read your Bart Ehrman thing and I was unimpressed- not because I totally disagree with everything he said there, indeed it is much the same that NT Wright said from what I remember, its just the relevance had no impact since it was stuff I mostly already knew about. I also listened to both of the two recommended Podcasts you sent me as well (with Karen and some other guy) as well. I have tried to take the time to go over many of the sources skeptics provide me even when it hurts.

      I wish you could do the same to whatever degree you are able; for example I get that your time is limited but why not select one thing on the Shroud and look into a source and give me your feedback on what you think based on that. For example, take the Memo of 1389 on the Shroud- I’m baffled as to how you would be convinced by this historical evidence as proof the Shroud is medieval in light of everything we know of it- there is no proof for an inquiry whereby an artist confessed to painting it- that is a lie by D’Arcis. Why not do this just as something- I gave a link to a source- it has both a Shroud skeptic historian named Gary Vikan who writes an article called “Debunking The Shroud
      Made by Human Hands” (Alan approves of his work as the only historian he could quote when I asked him) and there is also a counter article by historians in the same source called “Deconstructing the “Debunking” of the Shroud” by various historians and experts on the Pro-Shroud side. Both articles are short, why not give them both a read and let me know what you think based on these two articles alone (one from the skeptic and a response by Pro-Shroud side)?

      Also, on Bart Ehrman, I didn’t realize I had to report to you what I thought about it, I thought it was just for my own info- I have since deleted it along with all my old emails from S&S gmail (I don’t like it getting cluttered up), but if you need a thorough critique feel free to send it to me again and I will try to find the time to write something up when I get a chance.

      Dale

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  5. I think people fall for arguments from ignorance because they don’t differentiate the fact in reality from one’s belief about that fact. Take the claim: I will eat pasta for dinner tomorrow night. The actual event is binary, I either will or won’t. But here today, I can believe I will, I won’t or remain unsure.

    And there’s a continuum of how strongly I hold belief either way. I can find it likely, unlikely, probable etc. If we’re going to accurately execute our epistemic faculties, we need to resist the urge to collapse the unknown into one of the binary states, as well as not collapse various levels of confidence of belief into a yes/no proposition. I find that Dale does the latter often, as he crows with pride about “proving” something to a 50.1% probability.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “If we’re going to accurately execute our epistemic faculties, we need to resist the urge to collapse the unknown into one of the binary states, as well as not collapse various levels of confidence of belief into a yes/no proposition. I find that Dale does the latter often, as he crows with pride about “proving” something to a 50.1% probability.”

      I agree. merging the false dichotomy in with argument from ignorance seems to be the go to logical structures in almost all the arguments for the supernatural and god that people put forth.

      What baffles me the most is that they refuse to see the obvious, even when it is blatantly shown to be the case.

      Maybe it is because this is how they were taught to reason by Craig and some of the other theologians that put out apologetic courses so they don’t recognize the obvious?

      I don’t know. But I find it completely baffling.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes I know this is your opinion (mistaken in my view as I don’t think its a nuanced understanding of my arguments). But yeah happy to let you have the last say here as I know that nothing I say will convince you of the truth on this and vice-versa- I don’t recognize the accusations you make against me here because to me its as meaningless as when I’m accused of special pleading every time by skeptics every time I mention Molonism or why I reject the Memo.

        That’s why Dr. Craig and I don’t accept wild and fallacious (from how I see it) claims about our arguments.

        Hope that clarifies and as I said I will let you have the last word after this to end the convo amicably 🙂

        Dale

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        1. “Yes I know this is your opinion (mistaken in my view as I don’t think its a nuanced understanding of my arguments).”

          Sure, it is my opinion because i was able to demonstrate it is true. I’ve shown how your argument and the argument from ignorance are exactly structured the same way.

          “I don’t recognize the accusations you make against me here because to me its as meaningless as when I’m accused of special pleading every time by skeptics every time I mention Molonism or why I reject the Memo.”

          It may be meaningless to you, but that doesn’t mean you are being rational to reject the criticism. Especially when I can show empirically that my criticisms are accurate.

          “Hope that clarifies ….”

          Not really. I still have no clue why you refuse to accept the reality of your argument. I’m not just making a wild claim, I actually demonstrated that my claim was accurate. The only thing you have done in return is say “nu-huh”.

          But Craig is the same way, so I suppose if you are modeling your epistemology after Craig, then I suppose it is to be expected.

          Like

    2. “Crows with pride”, very good Bryan, thanks for your informed psycho-analysis of me and how I came to faith there.

      Will let you have the last word to end the convo amicably 🙂

      Dale

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      1. Not psycho-analysis. Don’t you think you’re doing something important to advance the argument when you make a claim that is 50.1% probable? That’s how I’ve read those statements. I’m contending that your assessment of what you’ve accomplished is over-inflated versus what you’ve actually done.

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        1. No Bryan, I don’t think its over-inflated at all, I’ve already explained how I arrive at my probability values many times. I think its presumptuous of you to accuse my own assessment of the normative probabilities to be over-inflated when you have yet to even hear my reasons in full.

          Maybe, its you deflating my research that is responsible for your contention. If we just make unsubstantiated contentions then I might as well just throw back on to you skeptics then- problem solved.

          But yeah, I promised you the last word, so OK will just say that I appreciate your feedback and understand where you are coming from.

          Like

  6. .

    Glory Hallelujah…happy days. The toast has all been eaten and we are back to the usual ‘SS Comedy Skits.’ Dandbj is Dean Martin and Dale is Jerry Lewis. I guess I’m dating myself…. whatever.

    All said with hugs and kisses Dag.

    And in January, some indepth discussions with equal sparring partners entering the ring. My bet is on David. I love a good debate, glad to know there will be some up and coming ones.

    Keep up the good work. Stay off the sauce Dean….. and Jerry watch out for banana peels. xoxo

    Love and Light
    Tara

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    1. Tara,

      I’m sorry, no David is not on Gary or Mike’s level- just keeping it real here. Now, yeah I would have to admit neither am I, and there is some truth for sure in that I’m not on David’s level in many matters as well- but guess what even though you are too biased to notice David is likewise not on my level in some areas as well.

      We all have strengths and weaknesses and I grow weary of your constant belittling and condescending comments about me and all the hard work I do for the show- if it wasn’t for me neither Mike nor Gary would be coming on- I was the one who made that happen and not David, yet you constantly attribute all the hard work and credit for the show to him- its truly sickening and only shows me that despite your claims to the contrary, you in fact hate and despise me and all other Christians- I can see it no other way at this point, sorry to say but that is how I feel.

      I don’t say this lightly as I tried to defend you at first but the more I’ve seen from your unrepentant behaviour toward me, I just can’t believe that you have any love or light in your heart for me. If you ask for forgiveness and/or just make the gesture of deleting my comment from the Unbelievable Boards that I asked you to a few days back and/or stop trying to derail my Shroud series that then maybe I will reconsider that you might actually be telling the truth that you care about me.

      Like

      1. .

        “unrepentant behaviour ”

        Are you frick’n kidding me? You have yet to apologize for telling me that not only would you slaughter defenseless women, elderly, children, babies but that you would kill me, if you were commanded to do so. So please pause, look within, and consider whom here needs to be feeling guilty. It’s not me buddy!

        And as your ‘forum mother’ I would not have rewarded your horrendous behaviour by letting you make piles of toast and jam week after week after week.

        Meanwhile….

        Dandbj is a damn smart cookie, he could have been far more ‘cutting’ to you or to me, but chose not to do so. Why? Because he’s a nice guy. Nevertheless he may be ‘crazy like a fox.’ He has sharpened his debating skills on you , and now you have led two more sheep to the Skeptic Slaughter. Ha ha ha. Bravo! He’s all primed up for theological apologetic weaving and dodging.

        Gary and Mike are religious dimwits. They are emotionally immoral children that David will have fun spanking.

        Btw, I know the real reason you are a Christian ….

        1) You were raised in a Christian Country
        2) You were raised in the Christian Family
        3) You have had 4 spirtual experiences that you are keeping silent about!

        Until you look closely at those 3 points, you will cling to your God that commands or commits genocide, ethnic cleansing, infanticide, marital rape, the murder of pregnant women, and the taking of pre-teen girls as war prizes.. etc ? You have a whole lot of repenting to do my son, I don’t.

        As always…. Love Love Love ya….. no matter how badly you behave. xoxo

        Love and Light
        Tara

        .

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        1. You are simply impossible Tara. You know what I do apologize for saying that I would kill you only if God commanded me to, I’m no longer so sure I would even need the divine commission at this point lol (just kidding).

          Anyways in the spirit of not getting defensive, I respect and understand your position but I disagree and think you have a lot of growing up to do both intellectually and morally.

          I may find it hard to love you, but Jesus doesn’t- he loves you Tara…. no matter how badly you behave.

          Dale

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      2. .

        My apologies Dale.

        Ohhhh…..I don’t listen to all the hilarious SS podcasts, especially when I have 6 other more interesting podcasts in my feed to listen to. But I now reached the half way mark of this one now. I just wanted to say Tara does appreciate you at least mentioning your Spiritual Experiences

        49′- Witness of the Holy Spirit.
        That’s why you are a Christian.

        You are much like the ‘toddler in the playroom’ seeing the red dot of your reflection in the mirror. Unfortunately you can’t grasp that it’s your own reflection yet. That immaturity level does not mean you can race around the playroom bashing all your playmates over the head with your Jesus books.

        Apologize and put the book down please.
        David hasn’t seen or understood the dot either, but he’s not being cruel to his playmates. lol lol lol.

        Love and Light
        Tara

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        1. Alright well I suppose that is some progress in appreciating my efforts on the show, it wasn’t along the lines that I had requested but I can accommodate your appreciation on this at least- even if it is an appreciation that only comes because I chose to play your game as opposed to you acknowledging my terms.

          I can tentatively forgive you then and move on 🙂

          Dale

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  7. Just thought this might be interesting for you skeptics, as David mentioned that my ideas surrounding an “honest/real seeker” and always actively seeking the truth to the best of our ability- I was told my notions were whacky.

    Not according to Dr. Craig (on the active seeking aspect at least)- thought some of you might find it interesting that I’m in the mainstream Christian line of thought here = http://content.blubrry.com/reasonable_faith/RF_Podcast_When_Do_I_Stop_Seeking_2018.mp3 .

    Like

    1. and always actively seeking the truth to the best of our ability- I was told my notions were whacky.

      Maybe not whacky, but impractical and a double standard for Christian vs non-Christian.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm Bryan, I’m not sure what you mean by double standard or impractical. Taking the impractical aspect first, I’ve always said that my criteria for being a real seeker is qualified by having to be meet relative to what one is practically able to do.

        As to the double standard- this applies to Christians, Muslims, Atheists and everyone, so no double standard at all.

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        1. Impractical because you need to assume the existence of the God commanding you to be an honest seeker in order to follow the command and honestly seek…God. Plus all these complex and nuanced philosophical arguments for God are not easily accessible to the majority of people.

          Double standard because didn’t you say that you take someone’s non-belief in God as evidence they aren’t an honest seeker? Because they didn’t come to the “right” conclusion. If so, case rested.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. OK, its true that it assumes that God exists and will reveal Himself to such people before the “point of no-return” but then this shouldn’t be an issue at all given you are truly open to the evidence as most Atheists like to claim, right? All were saying is that you need to be open minded and try your best to discover and follow the truth once discovered- how can you fault me for demanding that skeptics and Christians do this.

            Double standard;- OK that’s not what I understood you to mean, but I would just say I think you are wrong about people not being able to assess arguments for God’s existence- that’s not true I think with a little effort people can get a basic understanding of the arguments involved- I was amazed to find that even average little kids (7-8 years old) understood the Ontological argument much better than many adults (one of the more complex arguments are understood by little children) and thus I do think people can get it if communicated effectively (not my strength apparently) and there is the willingness and effort from the other side to try and get it.

            Let’s take Sarah and the Shroud for example, she has often mentioned that she is open-minded and agnostic on the Shroud but just doesn’t know the truth (she seems to be swayed by the most recent and/or more persuasive statements. I have tried to say well, that’s not how we decide the truth and she should look into the sources I provided. To this, she provides a perfectly reasonable excuse as to why she can’t- i) she doesn’t have the time to look into everything (acceptable practical limitation) and she claims she is not intelligent enough to understand many of the scientific or technical aspects involved (again I think she undersells herself somewhat here as I am no scientist either and thus had to take the time and effort to understand some of the things I present in my series- but anyways I will admit people have differing levels of intelligence and this can be a valid excuse). However, there are some things that Sarah can understand if she chose and as for timing she could easily take 1-2 hours some day to read/watch a short source on a single topic (for example I mentioned one source that addresses the Memo of 1389- it has articles from historians on both sides and is a short one-page or less article on both fronts- this could easily be read in less than 1-hour. Am I employing a double standard to expect that much effort on the part of you skeptics??? – I don’t think so as it isn’t rocket science and I’m not demanding vast amounts of time or effort all at once. Maybe one could select the areas of most important to them in deciding on the Shroud and take a couple hours some weekend to do a little reading.

            No one said you are not an honest seeker because you came to the wrong conclusion- that is you begging the question in favour of skepticism. My belief is that God will not allow any “real seeker” to pass the point of no return and fail to achieve their ultimate purpose in creation- I am warrant for why I say this based on my argument from God not allowing any “undue confusion”. If you claim this belief of mine is wrong because there are “real seekers” that do pass the point of no return- than OK prove it! If you cannot then you have no right to question my faith.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. “I was amazed to find that even average little kids (7-8 years old) understood the Ontological argument much better than many adults (one of the more complex arguments are understood by little children) and thus I do think people can get it if communicated effectively (not my strength apparently) and there is the willingness and effort from the other side to try and get it.”

              It isn’t a communication problem. Plantinga knows the argument better than you do. He created the methodology you are using to assess the argument and also knows those tools better than you do. Yet he doesn’t give the argument any weight. So obviously it isn’t a communication problem.

              The problem is that it is just a bad argument. you can communicate it perfectly, and it is still a bad argument.

              “My belief is that God will not allow any “real seeker” to pass the point of no return and fail to achieve their ultimate purpose in creation- I am warrant for why I say this based on my argument from God not allowing any “undue confusion”. If you claim this belief of mine is wrong because there are “real seekers” that do pass the point of no return- than OK prove it!”

              It has been proven already hundreds of times that have been documented. The problem is that you refuse to accept the evidence. Maybe you refuse to accept the evidence as a knee jerk reaction because you are desperate to hold onto you faith, I don’t know. I do know that the psychology says that when people hold an unreasonable belief; when confronted with the evidence that they are wrong, they double down rather than accept the evidence. Maybe it is just as simple as that for you

              But I mean seriously. How can you say there is no evidence when you are making a podcast with someone who proved your claim wrong just by existing and having looked into it and come to the conclusion that nothing is there?

              The evidence is right there, you just refuse to accept it. Instead you would prefer to think people are just lying about their experiences because you have already made up your mind and are not honestly looking at the evidence.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. OK Darren, understand you’ve shown that you don’t understand what you are talking about (not an insult). I’ve explained it in multiple Podcasts using David and Andrew as specific examples. To say that I think people are just lying means that you are the one who doesn’t look honestly at the evidence- you attack straw men against me every time and hence why your claims about me committing this or that fallacy is meaningless. By the way, have you heard of the fallacy fallacy (not a typo)- you commit an argument from fallacy every time you argue against me.

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                1. “OK Darren, understand you’ve shown that you don’t understand what you are talking about (not an insult).”

                  You have yet to show this is true. Its just another baseless claim that you are making. I provided direct quotes to demonstrate that you are just wrong and to make my points. But I suppose you will have to hang on to your delusion (not an insult) as tightly as possible to keep your religion.

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                  1. No probs didn’t take it as an insult. I know the truth.

                    Like

                    1. Yet another claim you can’t demonstrate is true.

                      Like

            2. OK, its true that it assumes that God exists and will reveal Himself to such people before the “point of no-return” but then this shouldn’t be an issue at all given you are truly open to the evidence as most Atheists like to claim, right? All were saying is that you need to be open minded and try your best to discover and follow the truth once discovered- how can you fault me for demanding that skeptics and Christians do this.

              Again, your concluding that we aren’t open to the evidence because we aren’t Christians is naked begging the question. I claim I am open to evidence. How do you know I am not?

              Am I employing a double standard to expect that much effort on the part of you skeptics???

              Why an omnipotent and all-loving God would require this rigamarole remains a mystery. I’m right here right now, why send a thousands of years old shroud of unauthenticated provenance and meaning?

              If you cannot then you have no right to question my faith.

              You could have saved us all time by telling us this is a faith position, not a rationally reasoned position. I don’t care to question your faith, I question you using faith for things it isn’t suited for.

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              1. Bryan have you passed the point of no return- are you “living” proof for the afterlife- I didn’t think so, thus your personal testimony is completely irrelevant until you can prove that to me.

                Nice strawman there Bryan. I wish you a good day sir.

                Take care,

                Dale

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                1. This “point of no return” construct is just an unfalsifiable way for you to label whomever you want, whatever you want. Using this construct, no one can be labelled an honest seeker or not because we don’t have access to the relevant data. So…nice job arguing about something completely meaningless?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. I’m not making an argument on that front you are, so you can’t shift the burden of proof onto my mere defense against your claim.

                    Anyways, yeah I think we’ve both come to the end of the convo as you are not open to what I’m saying here anyways. So if you want to say my “real seeker” defense is meaningless because it is unfalsifiable then by the same token I will just say your original claim that Christianity is false because David, Darren and you are “real seekers” is just as meaningless.

                    And that’s the take of the Seeker 🙂

                    Dale

                    Like

                    1. Happy to leave it here but the charges you make are false. I am open to what you say and I don’t think Christianity is false for the reason you cite.

                      Like

                    2. Cool, and as to you not thinking Christianity is false due to the presence of “real seekers”- wow, OK I”ve never been more happy to be wrong in my life 🙂

                      Take care,

                      Dale

                      Like

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