Posted on Jun 22, 2014 by Tom Gilson
A few weeks ago Harry H. McCall posted this challenge on John Loftus’s blog:
Explanations for Luke Breuer and David Marshall (or Any Christian Apologist) to Answer:
A. Apart from myth and superstition, please name at least one scientific discovery the Bible has given humanity.
B. Please explain how theology is a valid approach to logic, especially in making the world a better place.
C. Based on medieval monasteries, please explain why books in these libraries were organized by monks based on truth and knowledge of the time and why in our scientific age, this order is totally reversed: 1. The Bible 2. Theology 3. Philosophy 4. Medicine Is now: 1. Medicine 2. Philosophy 3. Theology 4. The Bible
D. Please explain how any theology that justifies “C” above can ever be taken seriously.
E. Please explain why human knowledge is condemned in Genesis 3 with humanity eternally punished, yet the very same knowledge (gained by eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge) now must be used by Christian apologists to defend the very God who has cursed humanity forever.
F. Please explain how the Bible is any different from the mythological world of other false religions or why the Bible can’t objectively face itself in the historical religious mirror without denying reality.
G. Please explain why the Bible (The Word of God), which reveals absolute truth must be constantly defended especially in societies (such as the United States and modern Europe) that have freedom from religion.
H. Please explain why God, outside of the Bible, is seen functioning only though subjective interpretations and why the words faith, theology, or God are NOT found in Black’s Law Dictionary and why such words so vital to theology and doctrine as constantly argued by apologist would never hold up in a modern court of law.
I. Please explain why no other field of objective inquiry is fixed on unproven dogma for 2,000 plus years, especially dogmatic religious faith that continually fails to provide advancement in stopping human suffering.
J. Please explained why a self professed ancient work known to Christianity as the Old Testament claiming to record at least 4,000 years of world history directed by God vanishes into thin air before 200 BCE.
K. Please explain why, apart from the New Testament’s Gospels, a Historical Jesus fails to have left any mark in Roman Palestine apart from the dubious comment of Josephus.
L. Please tell us, apart from theology, how you KNOW the Bible is objectively true.
M. Based on the above answers, please explain why any future apologetic objections should be taken with little more than a grain of salt.
A. Please explain why the lack of any scientific discovery counts against the validity of any field other than science.
B. Theology is not an approach to logic, and no one said it was. Christianity, however, has made the world a better place in thousands of ways. Want evidence? See how wide a radius you need to travel from your home before you find a hospital with a religion-related term in its name. Turn on the radio to a classical station and see how long you listen before you hear something by Bach or any of the other strong theists. I could go on, but there are more questions to answer.
C. The reason the order is reversed is because people like you are not convinced the Bible is true. (Is that so hard?)
D. If you think C is hard to justify, then you provide evidence that the people reversing the order were not fully rational.
E. What’s to explain? Human knowledge was not condemned in Genesis 3.
F. I’ve covered this more than once before. I could give you more links if you read those and return to ask for them. (The second half of F. is rhetorically equivalent to, “Please explain why I’m quite sure the Bible is wrong,” and I’d be glad to let you supply your own answer.)
G. Some people think the Bible is wrong.
H. It’s seen operating through subjective interpretations because that’s what interpretations are. Now, are you telling us you’re taking a postmodernist, post-constructionist stance here, that “subjective” means “hey, it’s only true for you”? Or are you telling us that “subjective” means “not true at all”? Good luck with that. As for Black’s Law Dictionary, it doesn’t include “Big Bang” or “galaxy” (except for the Samsung version), either. It’s about legal terms.
I. Please explain how you could have missed 2,000 years of history during which Christians have ameliorated, cared for, and often stopped human suffering.
J. Please explain what on earth you mean by that! (If you’re wondering where the manuscripts went, I’m told that rabbinic tradition on copying manuscripts was so unbelievably meticulous that every copy was judged legitimately to be equivalent to the original, except on better, newer parchment or papyrus and with newer ink, and thus more trustworthy; so the originals were respectfully destroyed.)
K. Please explain how you could be so blind as to think that Jesus left no mark in history.
L. Please tell me how I’m supposed to answer a theological question apart from theology. Could you tell me apart from science how you know the speed of light?
M. Based on your objections A through L, your question in M is more than a little bit ironic.
Please explain where you got all your many false facts from, and why you or your host John Loftus think think they pose any problem to Christianity.