Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Infidel Guy Show - Debunking the Bible

I listened to the Infidel Guy's podcast on "How the Bible Debunks Itself" this morning, and I must say it was one of the most disappointing IG shows that I've heard recently. While I generally disagree with the majority of the guests on the IG shows - they are generally evangelically atheistic after all - I usually find them quite interesting and thought provoking. But the gust on this show just annoyed me. He seemed to have less than half an argument, and thought that it was really compelling, while actually there wasn't much to it.

The guy had been raised in a Christian home, had gone off the rails and done lots of drugs, had 'found the Lord' (his words), got clean and had been a Christian missionary preacher for about a decade, then he realised that what he was preaching was contrary to reason and abandoned his faith. He now promotes atheism by attempting to point out the inaccuracies of the bible.

His story was very much in parallel with the 'deconversion' stories on the IG show that I mentioned once before - somehow he went from believing the bible absolutely to doubting the bible to no belief in any god at all.

I just can't see how anyone can justify doing that leap of reasoning - they start off with an extremely narrowly defined concept of 'God', find something that makes them doubt the reality of that one narrowly defined version of 'God', and leap straight from there to 'there is no god at all...'. Surely the reasonable reasoning process should be more along the lines of: 'OK, so this picture of God doesn't quite work, what does make sense in the light of all I have experienced?'

The one feature that all these stories on the IG show have in common is that each of the Christians who deconverted started out believing that the bible was the inerrant Word of God (with a very rigid view of what that means) and as soon as they find one apparent contradiction in the bible, their whole religion falls apart.

Where does it say that the compilation of 66 books that we call the bible was dictated, word for word, by God and is absolutely infallible? Nowhere in my bible!

The guy tried to use the 4 different accounts of the resurrection to prove his point. Yes, the 4 accounts differ in the details - how many women went to the tomb? was it a young man, an angel or two angels that they met there? when was the stone rolled away? was there a guard on the tomb? etc. But this is to be expected when we have 4 different accounts of an event, written down some 20 to 60 years after the event and where at least two of the authors were not present at the time of the resurrection (Frank Morrison contends that Mark himself was the 'young man' at the tomb in his book 'Who moved the stone'; John's version of the story has 'the disciple who Jesus loved' turning up soon after the women). So we have 4 stories which agree on the main points, but disagree on the irrelevant details - does this mean the event never happened? Of course not, it only means that the books were written by fallible people.

So, all in all, a disappointing programme. Shame.


At 12:22 pm, Blogger Chris HH said...

He was a missionary preacher for a decade before he spotted the differences in the Gospels?!

If four people testify to the same event in exactly the same way, then the assumption is not inspiration but duplication. Any good investigating officer would smell a rat if all his witnesses were saying exactly the same thing. But that fact that we have four independent accounts all subtly different yet communicating the same wondrous truth - Christ is risen - is one of the most compelling evidences *for* the Christian faith.

People make much of the discrepancies in the Bible, but consider that the Bible is not a single book, but 66 books written by many authors over a 2000 year period on some of the most controversial subjects imaginable - personal morality, the nature of God, the purpose of life. That all these documents are not only in agreement, but combine and build on each other so closely, is itself one of the greatest miracles.

It is the message not the medium that is infallible. God did not dictate the Bible (not all of it anyway) but he did inspire it all, so that men carried along by the Holy Spirit in their fallible way were used to communicate his eternal infallible message.


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