Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Off doing stuff

I’m around. I’ve been discussing over at Tough Questions Answered if you really must know. No need to read through it…the same old routine.

At the moment, I find the discussion enjoyable. Sure, nobody changes their mind. The apologist (and the apologist’s friends) all think they are performing smashingly. The skeptics—likewise. The conversation—the same dance done before and likely to be repeated again.

What can I say—the topic still fascinates me.


  1. I was tempted to comment on a couple of the posts on that blog but I was occupied elsewhere.

  2. Vinny,

    Yeah…I thought of you while conversing with Bill Pratt. How many times have you and I had these conversations? *laugh*

    More importantly, he asked a question I was curious as to your opinion. What are the date ranges and authors you would give for the Gospels?

  3. Well somebody's got to be off doing the "stuff." You're good at it. :-)

  4. Good stuff, I almost want to borrow your one writing on the 'signs' in the gospel's and Paul's letters (excellent piece of writing).

    Fot some reason good debate make me laugh - you and Boz both had me going there for a bit with some of those comebacks.

  5. There is no particular range of dates that I would care to defend. When the topic comes up, I usually just concede the traditional consensus dates of the 60's to 90's. However, I think Carrier makes a good case that the terminus is impossible to establish before well into the second century.

    I really think that dating the actual writing of the gospels is something of a red herring. The key question for me is when they achieved general acceptance and general circulation. As we have discussed before, Clement doesn't seem to be familiar with them. There could have been a considerable gap between the first attempts to historicize Paul's Jesus and the point at which a historical Jesus became orthodox doctrine.

    Apologists like to claim that the gospels were written within the lifetime of eyewitnesses who would have refuted any falsehoods, but maybe that is exactly what happened. Maybe the gospels were ignored by the writers of the epistles because they knew they were fiction. The Jesus of the gospels may not have been embraced until after the first generation of Christians passed from the scene.

  6. I would love discussing stuff with theists, if I were as good at it as you are.

  7. It made me smile to read the name of the current blog you are discussing on Dagoods.

    "Tough Questions Answered."

    I think it violates the faith of some to actually say "I don't know." The presumption in that title is priceless. It just doesn't occur to some that there are questions they cannot answer. It seems at the very least to be a challenge, confidently proffered, "just ask and I'll answer."

    I had a recent exchange with my former wife (who is very much the fundamentalist). I told her that I still had hope that she would at some point accept me (as gay), and she replied that I was asking her to deny God. I replied that I would never ask her to do such a thing, but that I was asking her to question her self and her own perceptions. She could not separate the two notions.

    I see this disposition time and again as part of the fundamentalist mindset/paradigm, it simply doesn't occur to them that they could be wrong... so, how can they honesty examine a question?