Wednesday, October 7, 2009

If you are not healed, do you lack faith?

A social media question via Facebook from Frieda recently got my attention. She wrote, “How do you answer people when they tell you, you are lacking faith? My brother is a paraplegic since he was three years old and has prayed all his life to walk. He knows he will walk one day with the Lord but people in the church feel it necessary to comment to him that he doesn’t have enough faith. It has caused him at times to question God on why he cannot get his healing but he does understand that God uses him because of his disability. So what should his answer be to these people?” So imagine this scene you have a paraplegic in the church, and people are telling the paraplegic he doesn’t have enough faith because if he had enough faith he wouldn’t be a paraplegic.

If you look at the reasoning that is used, you hear the echoes of the prosperity teachers. You hear T.D. Jakes saying, “The devil is a liar. Healing is the children's bread. It's promised to us in the word of God…God can do things that medicine cannot do.”[1] So if God has promised us healing and someone is still a paraplegic it means that you don’t have faith in their view.

This of course begs the question: What is faith? Faith teachers have a ready answer for you. They look at Hebrews 11:1 and they say faith is a force, words are the containers of the force, and through the force of faith you create your own reality. So if you learn to access the proper vocabulary, use the right words, you’re not going to be a paraplegic because Hebrew 11:1 says that “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” So—say the Faith teachers—you have right it there, faith is the substance—the stuff—and words the containers of the stuff.

Of course that’s not what Hebrew 11:1 really has in mind. A proper reading of Hebrew 11:1 in context demonstrates that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Which is to say; true biblical faith is not stuff contained in your words, it’s not a substance a tangible reality, it’s living assurance, a channel of living trust between an individual and their God.

Faith is only as good, therefore, as the object in whom it is placed. We place our faith in God and we say with Job, “though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (13:15). The reason for that is that God has given us enough evidence to trust in Him despite the difficulties of life. He had demonstrated to us that in this life we are going to have trouble because we live in a fallen world. So if you’re a paraplegic, it’s not because you don’t have enough faith, it’s because you live in a fallen world. We are called in this fallen world to put our trust in God and ultimately that trust in God is going too eventuate in a new heaven and new earth in which there will be no more paraplegics. Like Joni Eareckson Tada has said, “They will pole vault the pearly gates,”[2] because then the old order of things will pass away, and everything will become new.

In the meantime, do not follow the Faith teachers or swallow their formulas, they are dead ends and deceptions. The last thing you want to tell a paraplegic is that he doesn’t have enough faith. Some of greatest faith bearers and exemplars of faith that I have met in my life are blind people. Joni Eareckson Tade, a quadriplegic, is my hero of faith and she taught me the true meaning of faith. Through the overflow of a life spent in a wheelchair, she has blessed the lives through her faithful service of literally millions of people around the globe. So encourage those that are hurting that they will one day walk with the Lord and have pity for people in the church who find it necessary to tell people that they don’t have enough faith.

For further information on this topic, please check out my book Resurrection and Christianity in Crisis 21st Century both available at our Website or by calling us at 1-888-700-0274.


Bill said...

Footnotes? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Bill, footnotes wouldn't add or detract from anything Hank has written. He takes things freely out of context anyway.

Anonymous said...

Wow- I'm just floored. Thank you SOOO much for explaining that. That makes things a lot clearer to me. You see I was Apostolic-Pentecostal for 18 years. That business about faith, that's more or less what we were taught- not in those words and maybe emphasized differently here and there, but that is basically it.

But the way you explained it- do you realize what you just said? The faith teachers are teaching witchcraft. That is the art of witchcraft, right there in a nutshell. (At least one method, that is.) I knew there was a lot of witchcraft going on in modern pentecostal/charismatic churches but you pinpointed part of it, right there. I know it is, because before I was Apostolic I was into the occult- I know what witchcraft is and how it works. Thank God I am a regular Christian now.

Thanks again for that blog entry!

Siarlys Jenkins said...

To EXPECT that a specific prayer will be answered in a specific way is a set-up to become an atheist. We already know, from experience and history, that God does NOT give each of us everything we might ask for. Maybe God knows better than we do, or maybe God is allowing free will more play that the prosperity preachers want to admit to. Satan tempted Jesus to jump off the highest tower of the Temple, to show he had faith that God would send angels to break his fall. Jesus said, do not tempt the Lord your God. Measuring faith by material blessings is tempting God, and tempting our own faith.

Boris said...

How come amputees are never healed? Is this beyond God's capabilities?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Ask God, Boris, ask God. And then let us all know what he tells you. C.S. Lewis said, "I don't pray to change God, I pray to change me."

Boris said...

Why don't I just ask the Tooth Fairy? At least there's some evidence that the Tooth Fairy exists.
What evidence is there for the Christian God? I'm serious. Answer the question so I can ridicule another one of your stupid answers. ROFL!

Boris said...

Oh and C.S. Lewis was a retard. I can't imagine a stupider person. Screwtape the demon! How freaking stupid can you get?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

As I recall, the evidence for the existence of the Tooth Fairy consists of a rather poorly received movie about a dentist run over by a car who is required to perform community service while her eternal fate is being debated. Do you really take movies as an authoritative source of truth?

C.S. Lewis is a retard? Ummm... at least you are not hooked on politically correct respect for the cognitively disabled, but I don't believe that a well written statement of a position you believe to be erroneous constitutes retardation. Very juvenile remark.

Lewis wrote that the existence of fallen angels is one of his opinions which, if it were proved wrong, would not shake his faith in the slightest. It is one of my opinions that there are no fallen angels, no demons or devils, and no hell, and I have an Old Testament view of Satan as God's faithful servant and tester. However, in the same spirit Lewis wrote, I find that his backhanded fictional letters convey some truths about human nature, and human relation to the divine, which is unmatched anywhere. I don't expect you to accept that == just stop creating straw men to knock down. Address honesty your reasons why you don't agree. As always, there is no scientific test for either your hypothesis or ours.

Boris said...

I don’t know about a movie involving the Tooth Fairy. My mother said the quarters under my pillow were from the Tooth Fairy. C.S. Lewis made one of the most ridiculous arguments ever made and Christians have made it famous and them selves look very foolish by parroting it. The one about whether Jesus was who he said he was or a great pretender, take your pick. First of all the argument is a classic logical fallacy known as the false dichotomy. There are other possibilities that are much more likely and don’t rest on the assumption of Christian superstitions. Jesus simply never existed. Or another would be that Jesus wasn’t who OTHER PEOPLE claimed he was. Yet C.S. Lewis was simply just too delusional to even be aware of these other possibilities. Lewis was an idiot. I rest my case.

All those things you don’t believe in are New Testament concepts.

Deak said...

Why are you here Boris? You seem to have a grudge or self-esteem issues.
I'll pray for you. And there's nothing you can do aboutit.

Anonymous said...

Boris, I challenge you to read the book, Evidence That Demands A Verdict, by Josh McDowell. Josh is an intellectual and was an atheist for years. His father was the town alcoholic. He hated the God of the Bible and ridiculed Christians for being ignorant, stupid, and easily manipulated just like you are doing. Why don't you go buy the book, or it's follow-up, More Evidence..., read it, then come back and tell me what you have to say. Until then, all you have is ridicule, which isn't very effective at changing people's minds.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Awww, you scared him away! Reading a book is far too much work for a narcissistic motormouth like Boris. He already knows everything. Next year he's going to join the Mormon Church and became a godling of his own private universe.

Boris said...

Anonymous here is a review of Evidence that Demands a Verdict:

In Evidence That Demands a Verdict, written three decades ago, Josh McDowell lists sixty-one Old Testament prophecies that he claims precisely foretold the coming of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. For w example, consider Prophecy 1 (all these are exact quotations):

PROPHECY: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel (Gen 3:15, Revised Standard Version)
FULFILLMENT: But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law (Gal 4:4, Revised Standard Version).

I am not sure what the prediction is here; that Jesus was to be born of a woman?
McDowell often repeats himself. In prophecies 14 and 32 he regards the statements in Luke 2:11, Matthew 22:43-45, Hebrews 1:3, Mark 16:19, and Acts 2:34-35 in which Jesus sits down on the right hand of God as a fulfillment of: "The Lord says to my lord: "Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool'" (Ps. 110:1, Revised Standard Version). McDowell certainly views biblical prophecy as something different than simple scientific prediction. I would not be too far off base to note that Jesus sitting on God's right hand has not been verified scientifically.
Each of the prophecies listed by McDowell is confirmed in no other place except in the Bible. We have no independent evidence that events actually took place as described - especially the ones happening in heaven. Before making the extraordinary claim that something supernatural occurred, simple common sense tells us that we must rule out the ordinary, far more plausible account that the events are fictional, written so as to conform to biblical prophecies. For example, Prophecy 55 takes the opening words of one of David's Psalms, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me" (Ps. 22:1a, King James Version) and sees this precisely fulfilled with Jesus' last words on the cross (Matt 27:46). Which is the more plausible account: an extraordinary event in which a thousand years earlier David predicted the exact words of the Messiah (although he does not identify them as such) or a perfectly ordinary one in which Matthew puts these words in Jesus' mouth when telling the story of the crucifixion? Or, perhaps Jesus really used these words, remembered from the Psalm.
Many of McDowell's examples have appeared frequently in Christian literature. Consider the prophecy of Jesus' coming: "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel whose origin is from old, from ancient days" (Mic 5:2, Revised Standard Version). We have no reason outside the New Testament to believe that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. History does not support Luke's Christmas story about a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the Roman world was required to go to their place of origin to be "taxed" (King James Version) or "enrolled" (Revised Standard Version). Surely such a vast undertaking would have been recorded. History does record a census affecting only Judah and not Galilee, but this took pl;ace 6-7 CE, which conflicts with the fact that Jesus was supposedly born in the days of Herod, who died in 4 BCE.
Similarly, we have no historical mention of a star lighting up the sky, although spectacular astronomical events such as comets and supernovae were frequently recorded in ancient times. And, surely there would be a record of Herod's slaughter of innocent children - had that really happened. The Jewish scholars Philo (c. 50) and Josephus (c. 93) described Herod as murderous and killing some family members to keep them from challenging his throne. Yet neither mentions the slaughter of the innocents. Furthermore, Jesus was never the ruler of Israel. This aspect of the prophecy actually failed. And, he was never called "Immanuel" either, as the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 supposedly foretold.

Boris said...

Perhaps one of the most important prophecies of the New Testament stands out like a sore thumb for its repeated appearance in the Gospels and a gross failure to be fulfilled. In Matthew 16:28, 23:36, 24:34; Mark 9:1,1330; and Luke 9:27, Jesus tells his followers that he will return and establish his kingdom within a generation, before the listeners die. We are still waiting. Lack of evidence from outside of scripture surrounds the most important tale of the New Testament - Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Christian literature is filled with claims that these events were foretold. But again we have nothing outside of the Gospels that rules out what is the more plausible account: the authors of the Gospels formulated the life and death of Jesus to conform to their conception of the Messiah of the Old testament. Many people say they believe because of the many eyewitnesses who said they saw Jesus walking after he was supposed to be dead. However, that testimony is only recorded in the Bible, second hand, and years after the supposed fact. Eyewitness testimony recorded on the spot would still be open to question two-thousand years after the fact. Eyewitness testimony recorded decades later is hardly extraordinary evidence.
Furthermore, eyewitness testimony recorded on the spot today is notoriously unreliable. In a recent decade, sixty-nine convicts were released from prison, seven on death row, based on DNA evidence. In most case, these people were convicted primarily on the basis of eyewitness testimony.
Now, as with the Christmas story, we might easily imagine that independent evidence could have been found. Matthew describes what happened at the death of Jesus: "And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and rocks were split; the tombs were opened and many of the bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many" (Matt 27:51-54, Revised Standard Version). Again, we have no record of these phenomenal events outside scripture. If they really happened as described, Philo, Josephus, or one of the many historians of the time would very likely have mentioned them.
The few mentions of "Christus" in the pagan literature, decades after Jesus' supposed death, do not provide the needed confirmation. They simply read as factual reports on a new cult that was appearing in the empire. Considerable controversy still exists on the validity of various statements taken from the writings of Josephus, which seem to support specifics of the Gospel stories. But, once again, these were written well after Jesus' supposed death and were not firsthand observations. In short, despite the long list of Jewish and pagan scholars writing at the time, there is no record of Jesus being tried by Pontius Pilate and executed - much less rising from the dead.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

The problem with McDowell's approach to prophecy is that after something has happened, it is easy to say, ah-ha, this matches what so-and-so said 500 years ago! The more centuries have intervened, the easier it becomes, rather like Jeanne Dixon's astrology. As far as any examples cited her, it is awfully difficult to connect the cited prophecy with the cited event. Isaiah made prophecies to King Hezekiah; what would have been the point, if the event concerned did not happen within Hezekiah's lifetime? What is dangerous about such latter day interpretation of prophecy is that it is easily debunked, and then people assume that their entire faith is without foundation. Actually, none of this is necessary to Christianity, it just gets in the way.

Boris said...

The problem with McDowell's approach is he is a liar. McDowell was never an atheist and neither were Lee Strobel or C.S Lewis. All three of these morons claimed that when they were "atheists" they were upset with God in some way. Hello. Atheists don't believe there is a God. A person cannot be upset with something that they don't believe exists. Only a moron would think otherwise.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

To the tune of "Chim Chiminey" from the musical version of Mary Poppins:

Ad hominem, ad hominem, ad honinem,
This name calling's silly
As silly can be,
Ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem,
No good will result
When I listen to thee.

Sorry about the archaic form, but it rhymes.

Boris said...

It may rhyme but it's still stupid.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Boris, dear child, will you never learn that "winning" an argument consists in persuading at least one other person to your point of view? Winning is never a matter of spouting rhetoric, then stepping back to gaze with admiration on your own verbal edifice.

Boris said...

Siarlys Jenkins
How many people have you persuaded that the Theory of Evolution is explained in the first few chapters of Genesis? The author of Genesis displays his knowledge of biology by telling a story about Jacob having goats copulate while looking at streaked rods. The result according to Genesis 30:37 is streaked baby goats. The author of Genesis (God?) believed that the genetic characteristics of the offspring are determined by what the parents see at the moment of conception. How do you explain that may I ask? Where’s the modern biology there?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I take the long view, Boris. I'm not expecting people to change their most cherished beliefs the first time I introduce a new idea. I'm also not here to crow about how good my words make me feel. Even introducing the possibility to a devout Christian, in terms some may stop to consider, is fine with me. I value mutually respectful dialog between people who start from different premises. I can cite a WELS pastor who said "If I had to believe in evolution, I like you version better than any other I've seen. You went beyond theistic evolution to Biblical evolution." This silly debate started because Bishop Wilberforce made the unsupportable assertion that Darwin's research was incompatible with the word of God, and because Darwin, Huxley, et. al. took him at his word. They were all wrong.

Boris said...

The unsupportable assertion is that the Bible is the Word of God. Your problem is you start with that ridiculous basic assumption and then assume the Bible must be scientifically and historically accurate since it is the Word of God. But it isn’t the Word of God and no free thinking person, no one who trusts reason over faith, science over ancient religious fables believes that it is anymore. Cognitive dissonance is what allows you to ignore the point I made about Jacob and his streaked baby goats and the rest of the scientific inaccuracies and absurd stories in the Bible. When your basic premise is as flawed and ridiculous as yours is any conclusions you draw from it are bound to be equally flawed and ridiculous.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Once more, little boy, if I have no other reason for accepting the premise that the Bible is the Word of God, the people I expect to find at this site, with the notable exception of yourself, consider that to be axiomatically true, a priori any other consideration. Therefore, if I wish to have a mutually respectful, let alone a meaningful, discussion here, I do not begin by challenging that premise.

I do, in fact, have my own reasons for believing it to be true, with the caveat that no translation fully conveys the original Hebrew and Royal Aramaic, so quoting phrases in English can go quite astray from the original revelation. Belief in a divinity is not subject to scientific test, nor is disbelief. There is no series of experiments which can test for the existence of God, much less for whether a particular book or chapter is or is not from a divine source. If you have confidence that all there is, seen and unseen, has a scientifically verifiable explanation, then you need say no more. You may be right. If you are wrong, Fred will be laughing at you when you arrive in the next world. If you are right, none of us have anything to worry about.

Boris said...

We can indeed test for the existence of particular Gods by testing the claims of their followers. For example we can prove conclusively that events like the Passover event in the OT and Herod’s slaughter of innocent children in the NT definitely did not occur. And because these events are fictional so is the God mentioned in these stories. The hypothesis that the God of the Bible exists fails completely due to the evidence required for that hypothesis.

You claim to have reasons for believing what you do. What is your reason for believing in an afterlife? What evidence do you have for such a belief? That other people told you there was? How do you reconcile evolution with such an ancient an asinine superstition?

This is why my worldview is superior to yours:
Atheism is the plausible and probably correct belief that God does not exist. Opposed to Atheism, there is theism, the implausible and probably incorrect view that God does exist. Attempts to prove God's existence include the Argument from First Cause and the Argument form Design. These like all arguments for God assume the point they are trying to prove (that there is a god) to preface the argument. Without assuming the existence of God first the theist cannot argue for the existence of God. One must prove the universe exhibits design or that something caused the First Cause, which is impossible.

The kernel is that there are two ways to look at the world. One starts with minimal assumptions and recognizes that they may be wrong and need revision. The other starts with a rich view of the way the world is and forbids revision of basic assumptions. Ministers speak of God's will, divine wishes, holy law, and so on, calling them the immutable truth, the unchanging word. In claiming already to know the whole truth or a substantial part of it, in claiming that followers need only accept their authority or the authority of doctrine, ministers clearly advertise the monarchal nature of their creed.

On being told that a mature, sensible attempt to understand the world should eschew God, angels, and other bogey-entities, the theist might try just to ignore the argument. Some theists might wish to reject pure reasoning and to opt for a more pragmatic approach to adopting a worldview. Unfortunately the theistic pursuit of the good life is too ignominious a failure for it to be considered pragmatic. Theism has not succeeded in the goals it has set itself. Where it has made life meaningful, it has also made it miserable.

Theists ask, "How can you be moral without God?" Anyone who seriously suggests that one cannot be moral without God must lack inclinations to good and be inclined only to evil. It cannot be shown that God is the only plausible explanation of the origin and nature of our moral institutions.

We are all used to the tendency of the ignorant to "explain" the inexplicable, extraordinary and awful by invoking God. Epidemics, for instance, are often seen as God's handiwork, retribution for our evil. Only a nature crippled by dogma could regard with satisfaction suffering and deaths of thousands. Christianity embraces this dogma.

No major brand of Christianity fares well in its relationship with other peoples especially the Jews. After the Crusades, when Europe learned of the Americans and Australia, the shadow of wrecking lives. The theist might argue that this is not true Christianity. The question arises not whether there is a true Christianity, but whether Christianity is true. It isn’t.

Boris said...

You may be right. If you are wrong, Fred will be laughing at you when you arrive in the next world. If you are right, none of us have anything to worry about.

Boris says: Oh no? This proves just how narrow-minded your worldview really is. You Christians are in just as much danger of facing Allah at a judgment day and then being cast into the Muslim hell for adopting the wrong religion as anyone else is in facing your God. But you never consider that until someone like me points it out to you. Another thing you Christers never consider is that your claims are no different than the claims made by people of other religions and have no more evidence to back them up than the people of other religions do for theirs. Intelligent people know the best thing to do is just ignore all religious claims because they're all the same: retarded.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Boris, not only are you ignorant of Hebrew, you are ignorant of Arabic. I am not fluent in either one, but I have enough sense to ask people who are. The Arabic al-Lah simply means The God. There is only one. Christian Bibles written in Arabic use al-Lah where English translations read God or The Lord. As Malcolm X said, after returning from the Hajj to Mecca, and reaching out to African American Christians, "the God we believe in is the one who created the universe. Isn't that the one you believe in?" Besides, YOU don't believe in ANY God, so why would you think I am in danger based on what the name of this non-existent God might be? There will be plenty of Muslims and Jews and Buddhists in heaven, maybe even a few atheists. How do I know? Jesus said so -- Matthew 25:31 et seq.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Oh my, I overlooked how much verbiage you had inserted into this discussion. I only responded to your last hiccup. BOTH the theistic and nontheistic poles of this argument start with an axiomatic assumption, either:

A) There is a God.


B) There is no God.

You can pile any number of observed facts on top of either premise, then step back and say "See, there is / is not a God."

You are both logically and scientifically wrong that the existence of God can be tested. The statement that a given book is "the complete and perfect word of God" can be tested as you describe, but that doesn't test for God, only for human understanding. You are also wrong in repeating the rhetorical statement, without a shred of evidence, that the Exodus did not happen. Study the end of the Middle Kingdom and it will be obvious.

By definition, if there is a God, he/she/it is outside the physical universe, and therefore beyond the reach of scientific experiment. You really don't have to accept that there is a God, but don't waste your breath trying to prove there is none.

Boris said...

I know what Allah means and I’ve also studied the Koran. The God of the Bible is not the God of the Koran. Yahweh is not Allah. As far as anything in the Gospel of Matthew, Matthew 27:52-53 says dead people came back to life and climbed out of their graves and appeared to many other people in Jerusalem. Needless to say that event did not occur.

I didn’t say the existence of God had been disproved just the existence of your God. That has indeed been disproved. I have studied ancient Egypt extensively and there is not one shred of evidence to support any of the Exodus events. Instead there was a dominant Egyptian military presence in Palestine for over 400 years of which not one word is mentioned in the Bible. The Bible God is just as historical as Mother Goose. Almost anyway.

The claim that God is outside of the physical universe and outside of time is ludicrous. The Bible claims God interfered with the affairs of human beings for thousands of years – conveniently right up until the time humans learned how to accurately record history. There should be a mountain of evidence to support these claims about various events and people but there is absolutely nothing. Again I can’t prove there is no God but the existence of your God was disproved a long time ago. Welcome to the 21rst Century.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Poor Boris, you've read a book or two, and you can declare a possibility that seems perhaps doubtful to be unambiguously disproved. Five year olds think like that, but it's not how science works. Just for one little example, I myself began learning when the Exodus DID fit into known Egyptian history by asking an obvious question: How could Rameses II be the Pharoah of Exodus, when he had armies all over western Asia? Well, it turns out, he wasn't. There is extensive Egyptian presence in Kings and Chronicles, and mention by some of the pre-exile nevi'im. There is also evidence at the END of the MIDDLE KINGDOM of a massive removal of slaves of Asiatic origin, followed by the period of the 'mw ruling lower Egypt, sometimes miscalled Hyksos. For the next 400 years, the Israelites fought the 'mu, aka Amalekites, and the first NEW KINGDOM Pharoah, a predecessor of Rameses, indirectly acknowledged that.

Now I have no objection to your saying, I don't think so, I rely on this evidence to conclude that... but to posture about things you don't accept having been "disproved" is ludicrous. It is not scientific, it is not worthy of respect, and you still haven't copped to what your purpose in being here is. If you want to persuade someone that you are right, you might try to speak in such a way that they stop to consider what you have to say.

As for talking about "your god," please, there is only one, so whatever this human or that human understands about the NATURE of that God, correctly or incorrectly, al-Lah and Yaweh are not sitting out in space somewhere competing for worship. There is only one, or, in your view, none.

Boris said...

Poor Boris, you've read a book or two, and you can declare a possibility that seems perhaps doubtful to be unambiguously disproved.

Boris says: I read Gerald Massey’s entire twelve-volume “Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World” in college. Do you even know what that is or who Gerald Massey was?

Five year olds think like that, but it's not how science works. Just for one little example, I myself began learning when the Exodus DID fit into known Egyptian history by asking an obvious question: How could Rameses II be the Pharoah of Exodus, when he had armies all over western Asia? Well, it turns out, he wasn't.

Boris says: THAT is NOT how science works. You began with your study with your conclusion built into the premise of the argument you were trying to prove. You assumed the Exodus was an actual series of events and then set out to garner evidence that would support that conclusion. Don’t tell me how science works. You haven’t a clue about scientific method.

There is extensive Egyptian presence in Kings and Chronicles, and mention by some of the pre-exile nevi'im. There is also evidence at the END of the MIDDLE KINGDOM of a massive removal of slaves of Asiatic origin, followed by the period of the 'mw ruling lower Egypt, sometimes miscalled Hyksos.

Boris says: No dice. What is this evidence exactly? And where does the Bible mention an Egyptian military presence in Palestine?

For the next 400 years, the Israelites fought the 'mu, aka Amalekites, and the first NEW KINGDOM Pharoah, a predecessor of Rameses, indirectly acknowledged that.

Boris says: Sure. Indirectly. In what inscription and what does it say exactly?

Now I have no objection to your saying, I don't think so, I rely on this evidence to conclude that... but to posture about things you don't accept having been "disproved" is ludicrous.

Boris says: The Passover event and the forty-year wandering in the desert have all been solidly disproved. There isn’t a shred of evidence to support either story. Given the fantastic nature of both stories there would be a mountain of historical and archaeological evidence to support these events had they actually occurred.

It is not scientific, it is not worthy of respect, and you still haven't copped to what your purpose in being here is. If you want to persuade someone that you are right, you might try to speak in such a way that they stop to consider what you have to say.

Boris says: It’s not that I’m right, it’s that all the Christians are wrong. Very wrong.

As for talking about "your god," please, there is only one, so whatever this human or that human understands about the NATURE of that God, correctly or incorrectly, al-Lah and Yaweh are not sitting out in space somewhere competing for worship. There is only one, or, in your view, none.

Boris says: There could be a God but the God of the Bible doesn’t exist. And no Jew or Christian will say that Yahweh or Jesus said or did the things attributed to Allah in the Koran. And no Jew will say Yahweh is Jesus either. So they are not all the same God.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Do you know who Manetho is? It wouldn't lead you to the truth, he was so badly wrong for so many reasons. Do you know why? I've read the entire 31-volume Compton's Cyclopedia of... no, ROFL, really I haven't, and I wouldn't expect you to be impressed if I had. Don't try to pile up books to equal your own height and try to be impressive. There is no god "of the Bible." There may be a God, and if so, that God may have spoken through the words recorded in the Bible. Frankly, not much is attributed to al-Lah in the Qu'ran. All he does is explain things to Muhammed. Miracles are not offered. Why not? God knows, he hasn't shared it with me. Your premise is your conclusion, all the rest in between is verbiage. Try inquiry. What frustrates you is that what I believe concerning God does not match the straw God you are used to knocking down. Too bad.

Boris said...

What you believe about God doesn’t concern me. Everyone who believes there is a god or gods has their own imagined conception of them. In my case I cannot imagine how any god could exist. So I’m an atheist. The point is that the God of the deist for just one example, is not the God of the Bible. Ask one if you don’t believe me or check one of their websites.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Why Boris, if what anyone else believes does not concern you, you have brought yourself right back to the question many have asked: why are you here? Do you fancy we are impressed with your sophistication???

Boris said...

No, you are depressed because your own lack of sophistication has been pointed out to you. You never realized that the dialog in the Bible's narratives proves they are fictive and could not be historical. I had to point this out to you. I mean you people could not be more unsophisticated when it comes to something simple like that. It just shows how much religion has clouded your ability to reason and think for yourselves. Crushed by an atheist. How does it feel?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I feel remarkably three dimensional, even four dimensional. When you are prepared to evaluate your own eloquence and intellectual prowess by your success at persuading another human being of the merits of your viewpoint, I may have reason to carefully consider what you have to say.

Boris said...

Siarlys Jenkins
No, that's not how it works dude. As far as I'm concerned you HAVE already been convinced to accept the major point we are talking about which is that the dialog, the word for word conversations we read in the biblical narratives prove these narratives are fictive. You can simply deny this and claim I haven't but again it doesn't work like that in a debate. Dude. Unless you can give good reasons why you do not accept this point that would be accepted by an impartial observer then as far as I'm concerned I've gotten you to accept it. That's the deal. I call. Let's see your cards. You in or do you fold?

Anonymous said...

Dear brother Hank, I am Lily from the Church in Nanjing, China. Still remember me? I'm happy to find your blog. How are you? I'm in UK now. Hope to see you again one day!May the Lord be with you!