Thursday, July 27, 2006

Nick Pollard and the simplicity of Christian thought

It is surprising how unsophisticated much Christian thought is

One well known British evangelist is Nick Pollard, and he was written a chapter which can be read here

I quote from it :- 'This is because something cannot be right or wrong without someone or something (whether outside or inside of us) declaring that thing to be right or wrong.'

Rape is not wrong, unless somebody or something declares it to be wrong? And obviously, there is nothing to stop God declaring rape to be right. According to Nick Pollard, rape is neither right nor wrong until God declares it one or the other. And if God declares rape to be right, then there is no wrongness about rape to contradict that declaration.

On Nick Pollard's view, morality is as subjective as the names Adam chose for the animals.

Adam declared one big cat to be called a lion and another to be called a tiger, but he could easily have named them the other way around. After all, this is because something cannot be named 'lion' or 'tiger' without someone or something (whether outside or inside of us) declaring that thing to be named 'lion' or 'tiger'.

And God could have declared rape to be right and charity to be wrong. 'This is because something cannot be right or wrong without someone or something (whether outside or inside of us) declaring that thing to be right or wrong.'

Saturday, July 22, 2006

NT Wright on Christians who don't believe God can work miracles

On page 343 of the Bishop of Durham's book 'The Resurrection of the Son of God', NT Wright examines these two questions that Paul says the Corinthians are asking about the resurrection of the dead, which they denied.

1 Corinthians 15:35 'But someone may ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?"'

Wright ignores the fact that Paul takes for granted that the Corinthians believed God could breathe life into dead matter, and tells us that the most natural way of reading the first question is that the Corinthians were wondering who could perform a resurrection.

Wright wants people to believe the Corinthians denied that resurrections were possible, because they could not work out who had the power to do it.

These people had converted to Jesus-worship, accepted the story of Adam being created , and believed in God, and Wright wants people to believe they did not know of any agent who could raise the dead.

Surely, this is way too much too swallow. Has Wright really thought it through?

Surely, the most natural way of reading the two questions is just how they do read - the Corinthians were wondering how a corpse could be reformed after it had been destroyed, burnt to ash, or dissolved into dust. Would still born babies be formed as adult people? Would old, senile people, who had perhaps lost a leg or an arm in an accident, would they be formed whole?

And Paul chides them for not realising that what goes into the ground dies. Those questions are foolish , because you will not get your old body back. The old body is just a seed which dies, and God gives it a body. Just as an oak tree bears no resemblence to an acorn, our new bodies will be nothing like the old.

In fact, Paul goes on to tell the Corinthians that resurrected bodies will be made from a different material - a heavenly material.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The BBC and the miracles of Jesus

On 30th July 2006, the BBC is broadcasting a series of three pogrammes about the miracle stories of Jesus.

The miracle stories of Jesus are literary creations, plagiarised from the miracle stories in the Greek translation of the Old Testament.

This can be detected as easily as we can detect that some A-level students have copied their coursework from the Internet. Whole sentences are copied out. For example, when the author of Luke rewrites the story in 1 Kings 17 of Elijah raising the son of a widow he met at the gate of a city , to become a story of Jesus raising the son of a widow he met at the gate of a city, Luke copies out 'kai edoken auton te metri autou' from the old story. Luke also copies other phrases from the Elijah story when writing his story about Jesus.

In 2 Kings 4:42-44, Elisha has a great many people to feed with only a few loaves of barley bread and a little other food. He delegates the task of feeding. There is a complaint that the quantity is too small. The feeding continues and everyone is fed. There is surplus bread left over. This older story from Kings has exactly the same plot as the feeding of the 5,000 - only the numbers are different.

More plagiarism of the Old Testament miracle stories can also be found in other stories about Jesus.

The stories are not historical. They are not even original to Jesus.

There are more details at Miracles