Even the apostles needed evidence

May 24, 2009 at 3:21 am (reasons to doubt)

From http://www.jcnot4me.com/Items/jc=zom…d_verdict.htm:

  • Athens was the jewel of the empire, the intellectual capital of the world at that time- the only “college town” that had ever existed.
  • Athens had heard the #1 proponent of Christianity in that century [Paul], and went away in disgust, considering Paul nothing but an ignorant and laughable country bumpkin. The people of Athens rejected the Christian message for the exact same reason Paul himself had several years earlier- they had been given no hard evidence that demands a verdict. (Acts 17:16-32)
  • Paul found mere arguments, apologetics, and personal testimony to be unacceptable. The only “argument” that did eventually convince Paul was not an argument at all. According to the Bible, Jesus appeared to him in person and knocked him on his ass. This is the kind of evidence that really demands a verdict. (Acts 7:56-60, 8:1-3, 9:1-18, 22: 6-9)
  • It was the credibility of his friends he [Thomas] doubted, demanding instead hard evidence, refusing to trust the mere testimony of any Christian, especially his fellow Apostles.
  • It should also be noted that Jesus did not strike Thomas down with lightening bolts for his healthy skepticism. Instead, he rewarded him with (according to the Bible) an undeniable 100% factual visit in the flesh. If it was good enough for Thomas to await hard evidence before “giving his life to Christ”, then give me that old time religion of healthy skepticism- it’s good enough for me. In light of how Thomas approached the claims of Jesus’ resurrection, what’s wrong with us using the exact same approach of “wait and see”? For whatever reasons Jesus decided to come back and make an additional appearance just for Thomas’ sake, Jesus can also come and make an appearance for our sakes. Christians have no grounds whatsoever condemning modern Atheists and Skeptics for practicing a healthy skepticism just like their Thomas did. A personal in-the-flesh visit from Jesus, and not Christian preaching, is what provided Thomas with evidence to demand a verdict.
  • All of the Apostles refused to believe what these women claimed to have seen because they lacked hard, tangible evidence to back up the claims. Taking the story to its logical conclusion, if the mere words of others were all the Apostles had to go on, Christianity could have ground to a halt then and there, as the Apostles hadn’t seen any evidence that demanded a verdict. (Luke 24:9-11)
  • Hypocrisy, a fine Christian tradition, is requiring from others what you don’t require from yourself. According to the Bible, the Apostles refused to believe until they saw the resurrected Jesus for themselves. They rejected the claims of women and even their fellow Apostles. None of the Apostles- not a single one- ever became convinced that Jesus rose from the dead just because of mere words- all required an in-the-flesh visit. Yet when they got the business of Christianity up and running, what they themselves required they never offered anybody else. Even though all of them had required a personal in-the-flesh visit from Jesus, all they gave the world were mere words. To the world, they only offered the kind of evidence they themselves had already turned down. Hypocrites that they were, they demanded others accept evidence they themselves didn’t–evidence that didn’t demand a verdict.

I agree that skepticism is something that is incredibly desirable in mankind. No, it’s not desirable, it’s mandatory.

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