Thursday, January 10, 2013

FacePlant of the Day - Debunking Christianity: How the Gospel of Luke Transformed Jesus’ Spoiled Brat Image

I'm learning that you can always count on Harry McCall for really bad arguments with a heaping dose of hatred for God.

In the earliest Synoptic Gospel of Mark 11: 12 - 13 ( = Matt. 21: 18 – 22) we are informed that, after leaving Bethany with his disciples, a hungry Jesus sees a fig tree in the distance. Jesus (followed by his disciples) makes a beeline to it thinking he’s going to get some tasty figs for lunch. But ironically, this all knowing Son of God has screwed up big time! The fig tree has no delicious figs to feed his ravenous appetite; but only leaves. Mark even amplifies Jesus’ mistake in noting that: Hey, it’s not the season for figs, Jesus (you dummy)! 

This particular line of reasoning, minus much of the sarcasm, is often used by Muslims to argue against the deity of Christ. Like McCall they argue that if Jesus was God, he would not have looked for figs because he would have known that there would have been none. McCall attempts to extend the argument that Jesus behaved inappropriately like a spoiled child. He also suggests that Luke attempts to mitigate the fig tree story in a redaction by having Jesus tell a parable about a fig tree that does not produce fruit and why it should be destroyed. 
Several missteps here. The fact that McCall thinks that cursing the fig tree was a sin of Jesus, shows that he does not know why the fig tree should have been cursed. Accusing Luke of trying to make Jesus look better does not mean his is correct. He failed to demonstrate why we should make that conclusion.  Also curiously he seems to acknowledge that the fig tree did die right after Jesus pronounced judgement on it. He also seems to neglect that the fig trees are not supposed to have leaves on them without fruit. Harry also fails to notice that the fig tree is a living example illustrating the thrust and point of the parable of Jesus recorded by Luke. 

A few Years ago, a Muslim man raised this story as an objection to the Jesus' deity in the Q & A section during one of Dr James White's debates.

Harry McCall's argument is just like the fig tree that looks like it's productive but is really empty.

Debunking Christianity: How the Gospel of Luke Transformed Jesus’ Spoiled Brat Image