After enduring another half-dozen propaganda pieces in the following months, I was compelled to take another heartfelt shot at the scathing critic of all things Biblical.
Do you know what would make for interesting journalism, David? You should expose the religious/political propaganda of your own side.
Expose liberation theology, radical homosexuality, the true violent fundamentals of Islam, all of the atrocities perpetuated in the secular, communist and heathen communities throughout the ages and the current day.
How about shedding some light on the moral and social decay indicative of our selfish, Godless, broken family producing modern culture.
Look at Bill Maher, as repulsive as he can be, he stood up and said Obama’s tax policies are hurting the country and California is dead as a result of liberal economics.
Now he’s come out and exposed Islam as distinct from even the most radical elements of Christianity – if it was Dennis Prager who said that nobody would flinch but Maher actually had the guts to speak unbiased truth – could David Sessions have it in him to do such a thing? I think you do David! Let’s open dialogue and be prepared to see the ugly elements of BOTH sides!
My final exchange with Mr. Sessions was actually fairly cordial and respectful. Whenever I engage in an ideological debate, I try my best, when a less heated moment presents itself, to charitably and respectfully plant some seeds of truth. However, I admittedly have much growing to do in this area. Here’s the exchange that evolved based on his article about Christian De-Conversion.
David Sessions – I think the saying “everybody believes what they want” is a way of letting weaker beliefs off the hook; I’m not prepared to surrender to absolute relativism and say there’s no ground solid ground to believe anything in particular. I mostly talked about natural science in this post, but there are also things social sciences have discovered, such as the basic reasons why religions arise, the conditions that make religious belief more or less likely, the psychological and social needs they serve, etc. We know that most religious claims are made about things that cannot be documented or verified. Philosophically, we know there is no valid claim a religion can make that its “revelation” should have more credibility than another religion, which significantly weakens the case for literal belief in any religion’s specific content. (For a much better articulation of all this, see this excellent essay by Columbia philosopher Philip Kitcher.) So I would say that skepticism about the literal content of religious beliefs is more consistent with the information we have than literal belief in them.
AC – I’d like to isolate your quote – I believe the existence, descriptions and teachings of Jesus trump everything you said.
So my questions would be – do you believe in the existence of Jesus? Have you checked out strong unbiased sources on the historical validity of Jesus? Have you explored legit sources on the integrity & validity of Scriptures & many of the counter-cultural yet historically verifiable info presented? Have you considered any archeological finds that coincides with Biblical presentation of events?
Do you accept any portions of scripture as valid & trustworthy? Why or why not? Where do you draw the line as to what is rationally acceptable & what is not so?
Until you’ve done some due diligence on these points you are not a trustworthy source of Criticism but merely a journalist with an agenda & a platform
God Bless, AC
David Sessions – AC, you seem like a nice enough guy, and I am happy to respond as long as we’re on the topic of the thread.
I do know a fair bit about the “historical Jesus”; I understand that the scholarly consensus is that he did in fact exist and many of the things described by the New Testament were historical events. (Bart Ehrman, for example, acknowledges this, but Christopher Hitchens always idiotically insisted there was “no evidence” Jesus ever lived.) But the fact that Jesus existed or parts of the NT are historically accurate has ultimately little to do with my outlook; no one is ever going to prove he healed the sick rose from the dead. And the bigger issue is comparative: no historical evidence can tell us why “Jesus is God’s son” is true and “Muhammad is the prophet of Allah” is false. If you start giving all these reasons Muhammad was an impostor and he “made up” Islam, the same things are true of Jesus and Paul. The only way you can say one has some privileged status of truth is by revelation, which basically concedes that other people’s revelation also doesn’t have to be supported by demonstrable facts and is therefore equally valid.
I know there are plenty of Christians who think all this is beside the point, and next to none of it has to be “historically true” to make sense to them. Which is fine, but it’s difficult for me to understand at that point what they get out of it, i.e. what kind of “fullness” (in Taylor’s sense) an ahistorical, mystical Christianity gives them that a sensuous secular materialism couldn’t.
AC – Hmmmm – Ok, thanks for the response! I don’t agree but I will try to respect the comment section. God Bless David! I will offer up a prayer for you & for myself while I’m at it!
I actually felt that Mr. Sessions’ response was not very nuanced, which surprised me quite a bit. But I believe if I started coming on strong at that moment, and started throwing out evidences and sources to nullify his sentiments, that the discussion would then turn into a battle of wills and egos. I pray that I was able to plant a few seeds of doubt in his mind, as well as the minds of his readers, and that he will be compelled to consider the evidence that confirms Christianity as the one and only well-grounded, verifiable, spiritual form of truth – unique and transcending in scope, claim, adherents, presentation, and influence.
Although I am ultimately hopeful that I may have been able to make a reasonable impression on Mr. Sessions, despite his biases and learned predispositions, there are many others who seemingly have thrusted themselves into an untenable heretical position. In particular, there are a few high-profile ‘preachers’ whom we really need to look out for (most notably the social activist/liberation theologian Jim Wallis, Emergent Church starlets Brian McLaren and Tony Jones, and ‘Love Wins’ author Rob Bell.) These guys have exchanged the Truth for global social acceptance via culture -embracing inclusivity that robs Christ of his sacrificial atonement and God of His glory. These guys need to be avoided like the plague – their views and teachings are toxic. These men promote and embrace mysticism, universalism, and post-modernism and at the same time reject the foundational tenets of Christianity, most notably Christ’s atonement. Rather than preparing the world for a joyful coming of the Kingdom, they are ensuring that God’s wrath will shorten the days for the sake of the faithful servants of God.
I am in no way trying to imply that there is such a thing as the perfect Christian. We are all flawed human beings, prone to failures, doubts, and a faith that waivers. However, this is much more serious – these high-profile offenders are guilty of turning Biblical truth and the core Gospel Message upside down.
If these self-proclaimed ‘Christians’ don’t believe that the Bible is the true and inspired word of God, that’s their prerogative. But I don’t see how, in good conscience, they can consider themselves Christians. Especially when they can’t even bring themselves to accept fundamental Christian truths, in particular, that all mankind is guilty, born in sin, and need to be reconciled and redeemed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ – who died for the sins of the regenerate (‘Born Again’), repentant believer. How can they reject these basic core doctrines and still lay claim to Christianity? In doing so, they are breeding confusion and division throughout the secular and religious communities worldwide.
Photo credit: biblevector (Creative Commons)
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