Monday, February 05, 2007

Godzilla and sell-by dates

I got an email from my transferring to CD people saying they'd received my order and would be doing the deed in the next few days, so me happy and hopeful about this. :D

I'm currently about half-way through Is God past his Sell-by Date and finding it less irritating than the Lee Strobel I read last year. I'm sure Strobel's apologetics appeal to a Christian readership, but his manner gets my goat somewhat.

It reminds me of an interview I once heard with a radio DJ who was asking really inane questions of someone concerned with the remake of Godzilla, asking with feigned surprise about Godzilla having originated from Japan. Which annoyed me because it was patently false emotion and such a dumb question. The DJ may have been a genuinely dim bulb, but it seemed to me he asked all leading questions, knowing what answers he was going to get. Simply going through the motions. I suppose that's what interview are, but this one seemed very false, very staged, and while it may have been catering to a completely non-Gojira aware audience, it made me shout at the radio before switching it off. Which might be a reasonable analogy with my feelings re. Strobel. Although I did read Case for Faith all the way through, except for the final chapter.

Anyway Godzilla interviews aside, Blanchard isn't turning me off to the same extent as Strobel did. Although I have trouble with a lot of his arguments and what he uses to support them. For example, in his chapter "Cards on the Table" he argues that "no other known piece of ancient literature, religious or otherwise, has anything remotely approaching the Bible's credentials in this area. For example, nobody doubts that Julius Caesar came to Britain in 55 BC, but there are only nine or ten manuscripts to support this, and the earliest was written 900 years after he came!" Oh dearie me. Well, it all sounds very impressive and how foolish we are to believe in Julius Caesar on such slim pickings... except we don't just have some old manuscripts to support the existence of Julius Caesar. We have archeological evidence, like coins with his name and face imprinted on them. :D Like the one below.

There is even a coin which commemorates his assassination: the Eid Mar coin.

It would be preposterous to ask for a coin with Jesus on it or a building he commissioned, but the claim that there is less evidence for Caesar than there is for him, is obviously a flawed and inaccurate. It relies on you not knowing about the coins and other physical remnants of Caesar's rule - or dismissing them (as what?).

It smacks of sleight-of-hand, misdirection or misrepresentation, which makes me suspicious. In efforts to talk up the solidity and historicity of the Bible, it shouldn't be necessary to pretend that our knowledge of Caesar is solely reliant on 10 manuscripts, should it? I don't understand: it's a claim I've seen before, and it just makes me wonder. If you're prepared to ignore/deny/omit facts that damage your analogy, it doesn't lend credence to your argument, it detracts from it.

Another (but trivial) thing that is bothering & amusing me in turns, as I continue through the text: all atheists and scientists (whether theistic or no) "confess", "admit" or "concede" so far. None just say anything. :D Mwahahaha.

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