Archive | July 2019

Book Review: Evidence That Demands a Verdict

The popular apologetic book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict is used by many as a defense for their Christian faith and by others to sell the promise that “if you believe in Him then Jesus wipes away all your sins and you will have eternal life.”

On the surface, this seems to be a no brainer – become a Christian and all your troubles will go away. Unfortunately, the house of cards that this book builds, is built on an unstable foundation, not solid stone.

The book starts out demonstrating that naturalism inadequately explains the qualities of the observable universe, and concludes that theism is the only answer. But this is a giant step to a forgone conclusion that the author is proposing. The logical second step would be to develop a hypothesis, using the same criteria that disavowed naturalism. And the second step would be to test philosophies and religions to see if any satisfy the hypothesis. I have taken this step and created the Two World Hypothesis.

The book goes on the say that Christianity is the only true version of theism by saying Christianity is the only religion that where its god came down to earth and was resurrected from the dead for the salvation of man. Again this sounds good on the surface, but like the claims of Intelligent Design, it is not built on a strong logical basis, leaving these claims open to logical attack.

For instance, the claim of this book is that God Himself became man and bases its claim of being the only true theism on this point. Here is where I find the book quite interesting and what caused me to write a review. The book uses 40 quotes from Scripture to demonstrate the trinity, the basis for the argument that the Creator Himself became man.

The book claims “Considered in their entirety, these passages of scripture proclaim one eternally existing God as three distinct persons: Father, Son and the holy spirit each being fully divine.”  It uses three conditions to prove the trinity – The oneness of God, The simultaneous distinction of each person, The divinity of each person.

Below are the opening arguments for each of the three conditions.

The oneness of God

(1 Cor 8:6) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. This passage has nothing to with oneness, but rather demonstrating that there is one Father and the is one lord (king) Jesus. Many of the passages they quote have this same property of demonstrating that God the Father and Jesus separate entities.

The simultaneous distinction of each person

(Matt 28:19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. This is the only passage of the 10 referred to in this section that specifically calls out all three persons that the trinity is based on. All of the other passages  demonstrate the diversity of the spiritual world and the great distinction between the Father and the Son.

The divinity of each person

(2 Cor 1:2) Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is curious that this condition is introduced this way. It clearly shows the distinction between the Father and the Son and does not specifically say anything about their divinity, they are just a opening blessing in the form that Jesus suggested we pray in Matthew 6:9-13.

I have attached all 40 quotes from the King James Bible for review – Evidence That Demands a Verdict – The Trinity.

This is where the house of cards falls apart for me. Even if I accept that theism is the only explanation of the universe, I cannot accept the premise that modern, dogmatic Christianity is true and correctly describes the meaning of life and reasons why there is such suffering and evil in the universe. For me, it is this the of book that helps to polarize atheist and theists. It is way to easy to collapse the house of cards when building it questionable doctrines that can be rebutted with the text of the Bible as I have done here.

The Trinity – A rebuttal

The early Christians, like Origen and Arius taught that Jesus is the only begotten son of God, separate and distinct. Jesus is the King of Heaven and God is the Creator and Our Father. Jesus is one of the seven “Spirits of God” (Rev 4:4–7). Before the fall, all of God’s angels were at one with Him, not equal to Him. Heaven is infinity diverse, more so than humanity. There is no evidence in the bible that Jesus is God, the Father. There is only the misunderstanding of two concepts:

  • Oneness: Jesus says he is one with the Father. Oneness is not equal, it is one in will, one in love, and one in purpose, but independent.
  • The Father is in me: There is piece of the Father in each of His children, it is the spark that gives us eternal life.

John 20:25 – 30 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

Jesus says the Father is greater than all, including himself. He is telling us that He is one in will with God, but explaining how He is not God.

Matt 19:16–17 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Jesus says he is not Good, only the Father is Good.

Luke 22:41–43 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Jesus prays to the Father expressing his will, but accepting the Father’s will. This is oneness, not one person.

It was after the time of Origen that the Romans paganized Christianity but creating the Trinity Doctrine and rejecting this early Christian wisdom.  How did the Alexandrians convince the majority of the Council of Nicea that the Trinity was true?