Friday, September 3, 2010

Debunking Christianity: My Response to Dr. Craig Blomberg

John Loftus (Left)  has posted a very interesting post that I believe must be taken note of regarding to speaking with believers like Dr. Craig Blomberg (Right). He posted the following.

I engage Christian scholars all the time and have even allowed a few of them to post something substantive here at DC, including Craig. So after having said he has read my stuff extensively and after both admitting neither one of us will likely change our minds, Craig asked me this:
John, I guess my question for you is, from your perspective, how should people who hold views like you and I, respectively, proceed in conversation, if at all? The consistent pluralist would say that we should each tolerate each other's perspectives. But you and I are apologists, and you are an evangelist ("de-evangelist?") as well. You aren't content to let Christians believe what they want; you positively want to "deconvert" them and show them how and why their views are delusional. I don't engage in much overt evangelism but I certainly want people who haven't thought about the classic reasons for Christian faith to at least give them serious thought. We can't both be right. We could both be wrong. But the more interesting question for me is how, as two persons who both want to be guided by reason but believe that reason has led us in quite opposite directions, proceed from here? Link
Well, Craig, we could always call each other names! Or, we could talk about the weather, the Colts and stuff. But most likely we'll just carry on carrying on. I still think you're deluded. I still think you believe what you prefer to believe. I still think an educated evangelical is an oxymoron, because at this point the facts will not change your mind, which is a scary thought to me.

At this point realize that I no longer write for you. You may want to read what I write since as an apologist you may want to ward off my attacks on your faith, and I may want to read what you write in order to attack a strong man rather than a straw man, but that's the way it goes I suppose.

Cheers, my deluded friend. ;-)

I posted the entire quote because I've always wondered how does someone like John Loftus answer a man like Dr. Craig Blomberg who is neither crazy nor stupid. A man who has done good scholarly work. One who is a recognized world-class scholar. It's one thing to say the things he says to people like me but what about one whom he should be forced to recognize as a peer. I must say I'm profoundly disappointed in his answer. When someone commented on the post that John was not taking the intellectual highground. John Loftus responded:

Wes, I forgot that I can't try a bit of humor here. Sorry you're such a sour puss.

What do you think Craig was getting at? There is no proceeding from here for us. But that doesn't mean it's a stalemate or that we should become pluralists. Nor does it mean I should change my mind about his beliefs. We've apparently hit rock bottom. But cheer up, it is not required of an argument that it must also be convincing to be good. I have plenty of good arguments. That's all anyone can expect from me.

So, Lofuts does not think that Dr. Blomberg is deluded? Obviously he does and I don't see how that isn't supposed to be offensive or name-calling. Seriously, I think Dr. Blomberg is really asking a good question. He's not saying we can all just hold hands and sing "Kum Bah Yah". I'm sure that Loftus would agree with that. I want to know why the facts don't change Loftus' mind? Is it that he does not find it compelling or he denies the existence of those facts. He referred to Blomberg's arguments as being strong. Are "good" arguments also "strong" arguments? What does Loftus means by "good arguments"? If arguments are not convincing, how are they still good?

It is my opinion that an argument is strong if its convincing and based on facts. It should have explanatory power and logical.  A "good" argument is both strong and convincing. Given that, I just don't see how John Loftus has "good" arguments.

Debunking Christianity: My Response to Dr. Craig Blomberg


  1. Technically, saying you think someone is deluded is not "name-calling", it's an obersvational opinion.

    You take John Loftus too seriously.

  2. Many of us would say Loftus takes himself too seriously.

  3. Probably true. But I think you haunt him because his B-list arguments make you feel better about your beliefs.

    John Loftus' arguments do not represent the best arguments for atheism or against Christianity (although they are adequate), so don't think "debunking" him wins you anything.

    I used to do the EXACT same thing with Ray Comfort.

  4. No, I don't Loftus' arguments are adequate at all and that's the problem. I think it's perfectly right and appropriate to state that whenever the opportunity comes up. I don't want people thinking that they have great arguments and don't. If you are going to make the worst possible decision in your existence - denying God - then you've got to do way better. Just because "debunking" him is easy doesn't mean we shouldn't.

    And Ryan, how is writing:

    "I still think an educated evangelical is an oxymoron, because at this point the facts will not change your mind, which is a scary thought to me."

    regarding Dr. Craig Blomberg not an insult?

  5. Well, if you hold irrational presuppositions and work backwards from preconcieved conclusions instead of towards unknown conclusions, then one could argue that even if you have an "education", you really aren't recieving "education", so no I wouldn't say it's an insult.

    Harsh, maybe.

  6. I would agree with Ryan's last comment. That's why my longer post on John's blog that started the exchange, and which is not cited here on this blog, was to explain how vastly different the real way I came to hold the views I hold was from common suppositions about how people like me come to the perspectives they defend. If what I had done was anything remotely like what Ryan describes, then the criticism could well be merited. But it wasn't.

    Oh and thanks to whoever posted the wonderfully nice picture of a young-looking Craig Blomberg, even if I'm about 15 years older now than when that picture was taken! :)

  7. Ecce Veritas!
    As I mentioned in my debate with an atheist;
    truth is not an imperative in an atheistic universe, since in such a case survival is all that matters you can survive by ascertaining empirical truths or by being utterly deluded and it matters not.
    On the other hand, in YHVH's universe, truth is not only an imperative, ascertainable but truth is a person: the Messiah Jesus.

    How does Loftus know that Blomberg is deluded and how does he justify his, apparent, condemnation of delusion?

  8. truth is not an imperative in an atheistic universe,

    Says you.

    But I think more accurately most atheists recognize that there are some things that it's impossible to ascertain the actual truth of.