Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Friday, January 27, 2006
- Jesus' endorsement of the murderous immorality of Yahweh in the Torah;
- Jesus' doctrine of "eternal punishment" in the "eternal fire" of Hell;
- Jesus' failure to claim actual divinity;
- Jesus' failure to perform miracles the accounts of which cannot be so easily explained as faith-healing, misinterpretation, exaggeration, and embellishment;
- Jesus' failure to recruit
- anyone from his family,
The miracles ascribed to Jesus seem not to have been very convincing [Mt 11:20, Lk 10:13, Jn 6:66, 10:32, 12:37, 15:24], and seem explainable by a combination of conventional faith healing, exaggeration, and mythologizing.
The three people Jesus allegedly reanimates [Mk 5/Lk 8; Lk 7; Jn 11] might not actually have been clinically dead, and the gospels report not a single indication supporting such a diagnosis.
The Christian doctrine of the "trinity", attempting to reconcile Jewish monotheism with Jesus' self-revelation, holds that Jesus 1) is both fully human and fully divine, and 2) is God (in a different "person"). The former is a contradiction, and the latter has no scriptural basis.
Jesus repeatedly distinguishes himself from God:
Why do you call me good? No one is good--except God alone. [Mk 10:18, Lk 18:17, Mt 19:17]
- Why do you call me good? No one is good--except God alone. [Mk 10:18, Lk 18:17, Mt 19:17]
- No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. [Mk 13:32]
- And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. [Lk 12:10]
- Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. [Lk 22:42-43]
- Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. [Lk 23:46]
- the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son [Jn 5:22]
- By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. [Jn 5:30]
- I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. [Jn 8:28]
- I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. [Jn 8:42]
- If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who is glorifying me, of whom ye say that He is your God. [Jn 8:54]
- I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. [Jn 12:49]
- The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work [Jn 14:10]
- If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. [Jn 14:28]
- I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. [Jn 14:31]
- Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. [Jn 16:25]
- I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you [Jn 16:26-27]
- I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. [Jn 20:17]
- As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. [Jn 20:21]
The title of 'God' is never reliably applied to Jesus anywhere in the New Testament.
Jesus also did not effect a competent revelation of who precisely he was. Depending on e.g. various 4th-century Roman emperors, there waxed and waned such christological heresies as Ebionism, Docetism, Adoptionism, Dynamic Monarchianism, Sabellianism, Arianism, Marcionism, Apollonarianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism, and Monothelitism.
The doublethink of the "trinity" is not found in the Bible, but instead was invented to reconcile Jewish monotheism with Jesus' idiosyncratic Sonship claims.
In the earliest gospel (Mark), Jesus never calls himself Christ/Messiah,
is reluctant for his special nature to be known
The Empty Tomb story could have resulted from a discreet reburial or removal -- perhaps by a disciple, as in a rumor reported in Mt 28. Possible conspirators were Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdalene, a longtime disciple [Lk 8:2] "out of whom [Jesus] had driven seven demons" [Mk 16:9, Lk 8:2] and who (unlike any apostle) attended both the crucifixion and entombment. She was the first to visit the tomb on Easter [Mt 28:1, Jn 20:1], and the possibility of removal [Jn 20:2,14,15] was not unimaginable to her.
Many of the "appearances" seem to have been unimpressive to the disciples who heard about them (and should have been expecting them) and even to those who witnessed them.
- But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like idle tales. [Lk 24:11]
- When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them [Mk 16:11-12]
- These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. [Mk 16:13]
- When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. [Mt 28:17]
- Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. [Lk 24:15-16]
- she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. Thinking he was the gardener, she said ... [Jn 20:14-15]
- Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. [Jn 21:4]
What probably happened is that some disciples began having epiphanies, perhaps involving the occasional dream, ecstatic vision, encounter with a stranger, case of mistaken identity, or outright hallucination (or fabrication). The disciples in their desperation and zeal initially interpreted these experiences as manifestations of a triumphant and vindicated (but not necessarily reanimated) Jesus, who had apparently predicted that he would in some sense return or at least that his ministry would require but survive his death.
For the gospel accounts of Jesus to be believable, two kinds of evidence would have to surface:
- Textual discoveries that Jesus did not believe in the literal truth of the entire Old Testament, and that the unjust Christian notion of eternal damnation is a misunderstanding.
However, available extra-scriptural records do not corroborate the gospel miracles.
Celsus (quoted by Origen) dismissed the miracles as the "tricks of jugglers" that he said are "feats performed by those who have been taught by Egyptians", and the Jewish slander reported by Tertullian claimed the empty tomb was faked.
The 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus is hard to count as anti-Christian, even after discounting his affirmation (unnoticed by all of his earliest Christian commentators) of the resurrection as an interpolation. Josephus may have written that Jesus "performed surprising works" and even that Jesus was believed to have been resurrected, but the (possibly interpolated) mention is only in passing. Josephus devotes more space each to John the Baptist and James, and while reporting much minutiae over the entire period during which Jesus lived, does not mention:
the Christmas Star that disturbed Herod and "all Jerusalem" [Mt 2:3], Herod's massacre [Mt 2:16],
Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem [Mt 21:8-11], the Good Friday earthquake [Mt 27:51],
the Good Friday resurrectees that "appeared to many people" in Jerusalem [Mt 27:53], or the Good Friday 3-hour darkness "over all the land" [Mk 15:33, Lk 23:44, Mt 27:45].
These events in fact went unnoticed by every non-Christian writer, including the historians Seneca and Pliny the Elder. (Syncellus quotes a lost text of the Christian historian Julius Africanus which itself cites a lost text by Thallus: "Thallus calls this darkness an eclipse". The identification of Thallus' eclipse with "this darkness" might just be in the mind of Julius Africanus, and Thallus at any rate cannot be reliably dated as writing independently of the gospels.)
Why such vague and equivocal claims of divinity?
Why after his resurrection appear so ambiguously, so briefly, and to only his disciples?
It seems implausible that an omnibenevolent, omniscient, infallible deity would entrust a few fallible men in a backward corner of the world with such paltry evidence and then demand that everyone else either hear and believe them or suffer eternal damnation.
In the gospels Jesus damns entire towns [Mt 11:23], compares non-Israelites to dogs [Mt 15:26]
The god of the Torah creates linguistic division for fear of an ancient construction project [Gen 11:6]. It is implausible that the Creator of the universe would be so petty and wicked.
In the gospels Jesus promises sinners not a thousand years' unrelenting torture, nor a million or a billion, but an eternity of excruciating torture by fire [Mk 9:43, Mt 18:8, 25:41, 25:46]. It is implausible that a competent and benevolent deity would in his revelation allow the endorsement of such heinous crimes and evil policies.[http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-is-hard-to-find-atheist-who-did-not.html]
- Miracles were reported commonly in ancient times and are attested in many other religions. Christians might argue that competing miracles were wrought by demons, but those very miracles could be used by a competing religion to justify the same claim about Jesus' miracles.
Matthew was written c.70-80 by an unknown author who later church tradition identified with the apostle Matthew, but the text heavily quotes the non-eyewitness Mark rather than providing an independent eyewitness account.
John was written c.90 by an unknown author who is ambiguously identified (in the third person: 21:24) with the apostle John only in the final chapter, which is itself an apparent addendum.
There is no reliably first-hand testimony to the physical resurrection of Jesus. Matthew is anonymous and contains no assertions of first-hand witness by the author.
- anyone from his family." James the brother of Jesus is just one person who came to believe in Jesus' divinity.
- Jesus' endorsement of the murderous immorality of Yahweh in the Torah;
- Jesus' doctrine of "eternal punishment" in the "eternal fire" of Hell;
- Jesus' failure to claim actual divinity;
- Jesus' failure to perform miracles the accounts of which cannot be so easily explained as faith-healing, misinterpretation, exaggeration, and embellishment
- Jesus' failure to recruit
- anyone from his family,
Holtz says that "the Good Friday 3-hour darkness 'over all the land'" and the "the Good Friday earthquake" "in fact went unnoticed by every non-Christian writer." The non-Christian Roman Phlegon reported the exact hours of the darkness and reported the Good Friday earthquake as a historical fact. The darkness was a historical fact; only the explanation was in question. Julius Africanus pointed out that the crucifixion darkness could not be naturalistically explained as an eclipse because Passover was a full moon. Holtz also claims that "The identification of Thallus' eclipse with "this darkness" might just be in the mind of Julius Africanus." Such an assertion is unreasonable. Thallus was clearly referring specifically to the darkness surrounding Jesus Christ's crucifixion. Julius Africanus was highly skilled at textual criticism, and traveled widely. Julius Africanus was committed to the truth, considered reliable by subsequent historians, had the resources and information access needed to be a qualified historian, and demonstrated historiographical integrity.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Holtz says that there is no credible evidence or convincing argument that the universe's existence implies supernatural agency, but this is false. There is the cosmological argument, which passes the acid test, in addition to several other compelling arguments and evidences. Holtz says that parsimony demands that supernatural agency be held not to exist until shown otherwise, but monotheism is parsimonious because God has been shown to exist.
I Think, Therefore I Am
On an epistemological note, Holtz says that "Cogito Ergo Sum" is false because the "I" in Descartes' "I think, therefore I am" "could be illusory". However, "I" cannot be illusory or the a priori notion of "I" could not exist.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Monday, January 23, 2006
Does Holtz even read scripture in context, or merely parrot the straw men of other atheists in addition to contriving his own?
1. strength of the arguments for theism
2. weakness of atheist objections to theistic arguments
3. weakness of arguments for atheism
4. historical reliability of the Old Testament and New Testament
5. unreasonableness of polytheism and henotheism
6. the uniqueness of Jesus Christ
7. evidence for miracles
8. evidence for Christ's physical resurrection
9. evidence against naturalistic explanations for the resurrection
10. strength for trinitarianism and the weakness of objections to trinitarianism
11. corroboration that Jesus is God the Son
12. unreasonableness of pantheism, panentheism, pandeism, panendeism, etc.
13. coherence of Christian theology
14. personal experiences of God
Sunday, January 22, 2006
 a. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/common-fallacy-of-pro-choice.html
d. more posts coming soon
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Michael J. Behe
Faith and Science
Science and Religion
Friday, January 20, 2006
-Polytheism is False http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/polytheism-is-false.html
-Objections to the Cosmological Argument are False http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/jean-paul-sartres-cosmological.html
-Definition of Faith vs. Fideism http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtzs-definition-of-faith-is.html
-God's Justice in the Old Testament http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-speaks-of-murderous-immorality.html
-The Trinity, Jesus' Deity, Jesus and Family, Jesus' Miracles, Alleged Disciple Hallucinations http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-alleges-that-trinity-has-no.html
-Jesus Claimed to Be God http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-christianity-is-that.html
-Historicity of Jesus Court Case http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-italian-court-case-over-existence.html
-Jesus Christ's Death http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/another-objection-to-resurrection-is.html
-Theodicy and The Problem of Evil http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/problem-of-evil-argument-is.html
-Answering Some Objections to the Resurrection, Pt. 1 http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/biblioskeptics-often-say-that-jesus.html
-Secular Humanism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/secular-humanism-must-be-abandoned-by.html
-God's Omnipotence Is Not a Contradiction http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/there-are-qualifications-to-gods.html
-Miracles Are Possible and Actual http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/secular-humanism-must-be-abandoned-by.html
-Theism vs. Atheism Debates, Pt. 1 http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/good-link-httpwww.html
-The Golden Rule is True http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/golden-rule-ethical-value-of.html
-Pietism is Correct http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/many-of-brian-holtzs-arguments-against.html
-Transhumanism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/statements-values-and-premises-of.html
-Judeo-Christian Moral Values Common to Conservatism http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/judeo-christian-religious-and-moral.html
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
-New Bin Laden Audio Tape http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-purported-bin-laden-audio-tape-has.html
-Saddam and Al Qaeda http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/maybe-saddam-hussein-al-qaeda.html
-Flight 587 Crashed Due to Terrorist Sabotage http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/flight-587-may-have-been-brought-down.html
-Pakistani Air Strike Did Not Kill Zawahiri But did Kill Some Terrorists http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/unfortunately-pakistani-officials-said.html
-0.99999 Equals 1 http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/0.html
-Fideism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/fideism-is-false-epistemological.html
-What an Omnipotent Omniscience Would Value http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/as-to-question-of-what-omnipotent.html
-True Paranormal Phenomena http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/godelyahwehjehovah-exists.html
-Psychics are Frauds http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/psychics-are-frauds.html
-Cryptozoological Hoaxes http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/vampires-werewolves-hobgoblins.html
-Hajj Stampede http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/this-years-incident-at-hajj-during.html
-Pentagon Construction Anniversary http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/63-years-ago-today-pentagon.html
-Anarchism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/anarchist-punks-need-to-reconsider.html
-Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/happy-martin-luther-king-jr.html
-Michael Francis Moore Distorts the Truth http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-is-no-clich-that-michael-francis.html
-Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/samuel-anthony-alito-jr.html
-Nazism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/nazism-is-wrongly-pro-choice-pro.html
-Backwards Time Travel is Impossible http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/serious-thinkers-must-abandon-theories.html
-Irreducible Complexity is Factual http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/irreducible-complexity-already.html
-Marxism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/marxism-is-false-doctrine-which.html
-Communism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/communism-is-not-viable-political.html
-Socialism is Wrong http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/socialism-must-be-abandoned-by-serious.html
-Characteristics of A Winner http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/characteristics-of-winner-winner-has.html
-Pat Robertson Follow-Up http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/update-pat-robertson-made-half-hearted.html
Thursday, January 19, 2006
The key fallacy of polytheism is its anthropomorphic deities. Polytheism applies human imperfections to deity, making polytheistic gods unworthy of worship. It is apparent that polytheistic gods are made in human image instead of humans being made in their image, lending credence to the view that polytheism is a human invention or superstition as opposed to a depiction of reality. Polytheism lacks explanatory power. It doesn't account for ultimate causality and ultimate unity, which is necessary to explain a diverse, changing universe. There can only be one unlimited Cause of all limited existence.
Falsehood of Polytheism Rules Out Numerous Religions
Since polytheism and henotheism are false, Hinduism, Shintoism, Mormonism, Taoism, Hellenismos, and other polytheistic/henotheistic religions are false.
 a. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/many-of-brian-holtzs-arguments-against.html
 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Holtz fails to realize that a large fraction of the punishment/consequence of evil is built into the system [Psalm 7:14] and involves no extra action on God's part, such as when prodigality naturally affects a prodigal person. Much destruction is self-inflicted. Atheists and biblioskeptics mistake God bringing closure and justice to a community for wrathful vengeance. God does not force forgiveness because many people don't desire forgiveness, and doing so would be a violation of free will.
Righteous Jealousy Not Sinful Envy
God's "jealousy" is used in the Bible to indicate His strong commitment to someone and his well-being, not envy as is commonly understood.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Solid Scriptural Basis for the Trinity
Holtz alleges that the Trinity "has no scriptural basis." This is false. All throughout scripture it is taught that there is one God [Exodus 20:3; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; Deuteronomy 6:4; Job 1:1, 6, 21; etc.] and that there are three distinct persons who are God: Father [Matthew 6:9; Matthew 6:32; Matthew 11:27; Matthew 3:15-17; John 3:16; John 4:23; John 5:45; John 6:27; 1 John 2:22; Hebrews 12:9; Ephesians 1:4; Romans 1:7; Romans 15:6; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3], Son , and Holy Spirit/Ghost [Genesis 1:2; Psalm 110:1; Psalm 139:7-12; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Matthew 28:18-20; Titus 3:5-7; John 16:7; John 16:14; 1 John 2:27; John 14:26; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Romans 8:9-17; Ephesians 4:30; John 3:5-7].
Egregious Biblical Scholarship
Holtz alleges that "In the earliest gospel (Mark), Jesus never calls Himself Christ/Messiah" Jesus calls Himself the Messiah in Mark 14:61-64.
Holtz speaks of "Jesus' idiosyncratic Sonship claims." Jesus' Sonship claims are true. Truth about reality is knowable. Opposites cannot both be true. God exists.  Miracles are possible.  A miracle is an act of God to confirm the truth of God claimed by a messenger of God. The New Testament documents are reliable. In the New Testament, Jesus claimed to be God.  Jesus proved to be God by an unprecedented convergence of miracles. Therefore, Jesus was God in human flesh.
Holtz's Blasphemous Characterization of Jesus
Holtz blasphemously calls Jesus a "family-resenting bastard faith healer." Jesus was not anti-family  and was not a faith (psychosomatic) healer. He was not a bastard, but was born of a virgin. He performed unique miracles that were instantaneous and always successful. Faith healers cannot raise the dead or cure congenital blindness, etc.
Holtz says the "people Jesus allegedly reanimates might not actually have been clinically dead" Lazarus was clinically dead, as his corpse was rotting in the grave.
Hypostatic Union and Law of Non-Contradiction
Holtz says that Jesus being fully God and fully man is a contradiction, but this is not so. 
No Fabrications & Hallucinations
Holtz suggests that "some disciples began having … outright hallucination[s]" and could have made "fabrications." This is implausible .
 a. http://gotquestions.org/Jesus-God-man.html
 a. http://Christian-thinktank.hallucn.html
b. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/holtz-alleges-that-disciples-made.html [alleged fabrications]
Monday, January 16, 2006
 Jesus Christ was unique in messianic prophecies, conception, life, death, resurrection, sinlessness, exemplifying virtues, in life and teaching, and in His combining of seemingly opposite traits, such as being humble while boldly claiming to be God [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/one-objection-to-christianity-is-that.html]. His prophecy, revelation, position, miracles, and claims are superior to those of Moses. Jesus has a superior message, way of salvation, model life, worldview, morality, and basis for truth to those of Mohamed, Hindu gurus, Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama), Socrates, and Lao Tse. Christ's proof of His message is superior to all other religious figures. His death was the most noble and He bring superior freedom. [Reference: http://www.ankerberg.com/Articles/_PDFArchives/theological-dictionary/TD4W1003.pdf]
Soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear. Blood and water flowed out of the wound, proving that physical death had occurred. [John 19:34]. Journal of the American Medical Association says that Jesus' death was ensured when the spear, thrust between His right rib, perforated His right lung and the pericardium of the heart. Jesus declared that He was dying. [Luke 23:46] Roman soldiers didn't bother breaking Jesus' legs, a common procedure used to hasten death. [John 19:33] Pilate double-checked to see if Jesus was dead before giving the corpse to Joseph for burial. [Mark 15:44-45] If Jesus was not dead from the crucifixion, he would have died while in the sealed tomb wrapped in about 100 lbs. of cloth and spices for three days [Matt. 27:60; John 19:39-40], due to lack of food, water, and medical treatment.
Biblioskeptics like Holtz often say that Jesus' post-resurrection appearances were unimpressive to the disciples who heard about them (and should have been expecting them) and even to those who witnessed them or that they were cases of mistaken identity. This is a gross misrepresentation of the accounts. Occasionally there was difficulty recognizing Jesus [Lk 24:15-16; Jn 20:14-15; 21:4], but in every case it was only temporary. Perplexity, sorrow, the dimness of the light, visual distance, the suddenness of Jesus' appearance, the different clothes He was wearing, and spiritual dullness were some factors causing this difficulty. Before the appearances were over, the witnesses had absolutely no doubt that Jesus Christ, whom they had known intimately for many years, had arisen in a literal, physical body. Holtz quotes Mt 28:17: "When they saw Him, they worshiped Him, but some doubted." The Greek verb in context points to hesitation/indecision as to what to do next, not disbelief in the fact of the resurrection.
The Bible Teaches a Bodily Resurrection
The Bible explicitly teaches the physical nature of Christ's resurrection. A literal physical resurrection of Jesus is supported by the facts that Jesus was touched by human hands, His body had flesh and bones, He ate physical food on at least four occasions, His body had His crucifixion wounds [this is mentioned by Phlegon in Chronicles], His body was recognized, His body could be seen and heard, He was resurrected "out from among" the grave where corpses are buried, the word soma in the text always means physical body, the tomb was vacated, the grave clothes were unwrapped, and the body that died was the same one that was raised. Christ appeared to more than 500 people on 11 separate occasions over a 40 day period. The only good explanation for this is a supernatural physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Holtz's Far-Fetched Hypothoses
Holtz also speculates without evidence that Joseph of Arimathea could have stolen the body. Joseph had no reason to steal the body. Since Joseph was a disciple [Luke 23:50-51] we can eliminate the motive of preventing the disciples from stealing it. Joseph could have produced the body and discredited the entire story if he was not a follower of Christ. Joseph, a pious Jew, would not have broken the Sabbath [Luke 23:50-56]. A Roman guard stationed in front of the tomb [Matt. 27:62-66] would have seen Joseph's torches at night. The women came at dawn the next morning [Luke 24:1]; there was no opportunity for Joseph to remove the body. Where would Joseph put the body? Christ's body was never found, despite the fact that almost two months passed before the disciples started preaching; this was an abundant time frame in which to expose a fraud. This theory, lacking a means, motive, and opportunity, is junk.
One objection to Christianity is Holtz's absurd claim of "Jesus' failure to claim actual divinity".  This is blatantly false. Jesus claimed to be Yahweh [John 17:5; Rev. 1:17; John 10:11; Matt. 25:31; John 5:27; Matt. 25:1; John 8:12; John 8:58], claimed to be equal with God [Mark 2:5-11; John 5:25, 29; John 5:21; John 5:23], to have equal authority with God [Matt. 5:21-22; Matt. 28:18-19; John 13:34; Matt. 5:18; Matt. 24:35; John 12:48], and to be the Messiah-God [Matt. 22:43-44; Mark 14:61-64; Matt. 26:54; Luke 24:27]. He claimed to be God by accepting worship [Matt. 8:2; Matt. 9:18; Matt. 14:33; Matt. 15:25; Matt. 20:20; Mark 5:6; Matt. 28:17; John 20:28-29; Matt 16:17] and by requesting prayer in His name [John 14:13-14; John 15:7; John 14:6; 1 Cor. 5:4; Acts 7:59].
Bible Does Not Say That Jesus Disavowed Divinity
Jesus said, "Why do you call me good? No one is good--except God alone." [Mark 10:18; Luke 18:17; Matt. 19:17] Here Jesus is not denying that He is God, but asking the rich young ruler to examine the ramifications of what he said. Jesus also said, "If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." [John 14:28] Jesus is not saying that He is not God, but instead saying that as God the Son in the Trinity, He subordinated Himself to God the Father and accepted the inherent limitations of humanity. Jesus, God the Son, is equal to God the Father in His divine nature, divine essence, divine attributes, and divine character. Jesus is subordinate to God the Father in His human nature, human function, human office, and human position. The Son and the Father are equal in essence and dignity and power, etc. but the Father is the principle of the Son. Critics also point out that "the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son." [Jn 5:22] Again, Jesus is not denying that He is God, but affirming His deity, and his place as the Son in the trinity. He also says "... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him." Jesus affirms that the Father and Son are equal in essence, and thus He is affirming that He is God. Critics take Jesus' words out of context; their criticisms do not stand up to scrutiny.
Not Just Jesus, But His Earliest Followers Believed He Is God
Disciples attributed the title of deity to Christ, considered Jesus the Messiah-God, attributed the powers of God to Jesus, associated Jesus' name with God's, called Jesus God, and considered Jesus superior to angels.
Divine Claims Demonstrated
Jesus' claims to be God and the disciples' belief that He was God Incarnate do not automatically prove the Deity of Christ. However, evidence that Jesus is God include fulfilled messianic prophecies , a miraculous  and sinless life, and the Resurrection. The Old Testament predicted the Resurrection, and so did Jesus Himself. The Resurrection is evidently true [stay tuned for future posts on the Resurrection].
 This charge can be added to the list of discredited anti-Christian arguments that include "atheism is true" [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/many-of-brian-holtzs-arguments-against.html] and that Hell is unjust ["Jesus' doctrine of "eternal punishment" in the "eternal fire" of Hell"] [http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-is-hard-to-find-atheist-who-did-not.html].
 It is not humanly possible to make clear, repeated, and accurate predictions 200 to 400 or more years before such an event. That these prophecies were fulfilled is miraculous and indicates confirmation from God that Jesus is the Messiah (Savior).
Osama bin Laden
Avian Flu Vaccines/Treatments
Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Nuclear Fusion Power
Movements and Philosophies
Multiculturalism vs. Assimilationism
Intelligent Design in Schools
Ayman Al Zawahiri
Alleged CIA Torture Bases
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Religions and Cults
Consubstantiation vs. Transubstantiation
Equal Pay for Equal Work
Needle Exchange Programs
Efficacy of Dietary Supplements
Anti-Death Penalty Clichés
Death Penalty as a Deterrent
Minorities and Death Penalty
A winner has drive, loves and seeks competition, and does not doubt themself.A winner has determination, recognizing that progress can be slow but not giving up. A winner knows there is no such thing as instant success.A winner dominates, and is not intimated.A winner is coachable, listening and learning from the coach. A winner asks questions to learn and seek knowledge but doesn't question authority.A winner has confidence, believing in their ability and knowing their limits, working on their weaknesses with the strength of their strong points.A winner is aggressive in that they make things happen instead of sitting back and waiting for things to happen.A winner is responsible, accepting responsibility for all their actions. A winner learns, improves, and greatly decreases their "failures" by taking responsibility for the failures without feeling like a failure.A winner has trust, and believes in the coach. A winner speaks well of the coach, knowing that it is the player is the only one that looks bad when they put down the coach. A winner shares the coaches values as the coach shares his knowledge and believe in the player.A winner lets their conscience develop, learning right from wrong.A winner is mentally tough and able to cope with failure. A winner knows that they've done everything possible to succeed.A winner has emotional control, handling pressure the right way. A winner sticks to their game plan and concentrates in all situations. A winner visualizes success with positive self motivation.A winner has commitment, and understands what it will take to reach their goal. It is tougher to be successful than to be a failure.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
The Golden Rule, the ethical value of reciprocity, can be summed up as "Treat others the way you would like to be treated." The Silver Rule can be stated as "Treat others the way they like to be treated. " There is also a Platinum Rule.
The Distortion of the Golden Rule
Critics have manipulated the Golden Rule to say that it could be used by masochists to excuse their behavior on unwilling individuals. The Golden Rule focuses on the action and not the object of the action, contrary to the incorrect interpretation of scoffers. Such a warped interpretation is explicitly rejected in other parts of the Bible.  Most religious understandings of the Golden Rule imply its use as a virtue toward greater love for one's neighbor as opposed to a deontological or consequentialist rule. See this good link. 
Brian Holtz claims that "The Golden Rule's ethical value of reciprocity does not satisfy the axiological criteria of maximality and compatibility and so cannot by itself be a satisfactory system of ethics," but compatibility is irrelevant and the principle of reciprocity is centered on intention and is thus of the highest ethical importance. Also, suggesting that the Golden Rule was intended to be "a system of ethics" is unreasonable.
Post under construction.
1) Jesus was from Nazareth;
2) He lived a wise and virtuous life;
3) He was crucified in Palestine under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius Caesar at Passover time, being considered the Jewish King;
4) He was believed by his disciples to have been raised from the dead three days later;
5) His enemies acknowledged that He performed unusual feats they called 'sorcery';
6) His small band of disciples multiplied rapidly, spreading even as far as Rome;
7) His disciples denied polytheism, lived moral lives, and worshiped Christ as Divine.
 a. http://kingdavid8.com/JesusExisted.html
 Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics [Norman L. Geisler, 381-385] http://www.Christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=1021510&netp_id=127912&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Friday, January 13, 2006
Abortion: no 
Active Euthanasia: no 
Atheocracy: no 
Bible: Inerrant Word of God 
Embryonic Stem Cell Research: no 
Fideism: no 
Gay Marriage: no 
Hunting for Sport: yes 
Intelligent Design: yes 
Iraq War: yes 
Macroevolution: no 
Metaphysics: supernaturalism 
Noachian Flood: global 
Psychics: no 
Psychoactive drugs: no 
Religion: Biblical Christianity 
Theocracy: no 
Theology: monotheism 
 a. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/66-books-of-bible-as-gods-inspired.html
 a. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/it-would-seem-that-anthropic-principle.html
 a. http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/excellent-httpbible.html
 http://thebananarepublican.blogspot.com/2006/01/many-of-brian-holtzs-arguments-against.html In a future post we will see that of the monotheistic views, eutheism trumps maltheism, and that trinitarianism is true.