Sunday, 18 January 2009

Who was he Talking to?


I speak about bad apologetic arguments from time to time, so here's another one. When a Bible verse is presented that contradicts what an apologist claims, the apologist will sometimes retreat to the following argument: "Jesus was talking to a specific person at a specific time, so it doesn't hold for us today and doesn't impact my argument." This is, however, a bad argument to make. Jesus was always speaking to specific people at a specific time, so by this argument, one invalidates the whole entire NT (as one can also note that the rest of the authors and speakers would fall into the same category). Congrats, you've just thrown our your entire holy book.

In some instances, it also doesn't make sense to make this argument, even if the above criticism did not work. If god is aspect X at all times due to his nature, and the Bible contradicts that due to what Jesus says, does it make sense to say that it's only true there for the person Jesus was speaking to? No, of course not, because it's an admission all the same that god really is not aspect X at all times due to his nature. His nature obviously allows for god to be Not X at times. Hence, any argument based on god's nature being aspect X is now invalidated. Again, congrats apologist on invalidating your own arguments.

5 comments:

TigerHunter said...

"No one truly believes what the Bible says. Everyone believes the Bible says what he believes."

Robert Madewell said...

Good point TigerHunter,

Every christian that I know of is a cafeteria christian. Even the fundamenatists are. They just won't admit it. If you hit them with a disgusting teaching from the bible (Deuteronomy 21:18-21 or Matthew 19:12, they'll just say that it was not meant for christians to obey, just the jews or that Jesus was talking to a certain person so that doesn't apply to everybody.

GCT said...

Yes, I've always found it quite odd that the Bible always means exactly what the person explaining it to you wants it to mean.

cl said...

You said,

Jesus was always speaking to specific people at a specific time, so by this argument, one invalidates the whole entire NT (as one can also note that the rest of the authors and speakers would fall into the same category). Congrats, you've just thrown our your entire holy book.

Only if you misunderstand the argument. The argument is not "whenever Jesus is speaking to particular people in a particular context, such doesn't apply to us today." The argument is, "before we can deduce what Jesus or any other speaker means by what they say, we should be aware of to whom and in what context they were speaking."

Knee-jerk responses fail to do exactly this.

GCT said...

cl,
Thank you for your special pleading, but once you make the argument that you don't have to follow X or that Y passage either doesn't apply or doesn't mean what it plainly says, because Jesus said it to specific people - which is the end argument that you are going for, else why make the argument - you fall victim to this trap, since this argument can be made about anything in the Bible. Another epic fail for you. Doesn't it suck to get whomped so badly each time you open your mouth?