Monday, March 05, 2007

Dawkins and the Jesus Family Tomb

So what does Richard Dawkins have in common with the Jesus Tomb discovery? I have no idea, but I found this video that is not only amazingly true, but pretty hilarious. If you are unfamiliar with who Richard Dawkins is, he is basically the "high priest" of Atheism and evolutionism. I only say "high priest" because he has come closer to making Atheism a religion than almost anyone i've ever seen. Oh, and just to fill you in, the video is basically using Richard Dawkins' arguments to prove that Richard Dawkins doesn't exist. Check it out:

Ok, and for the Jesus Tomb. I really don't want to get too detailed with my rebuttal because I still want to read the book, and new arguments are being put forth every day. But I will say this; the filmakers have completely lost credibility. Anyone who watched the "aftershow" part where the scholars got to debate can see what I mean. Scholars who were admittedly not religious were not buying it. It was crystal clear that the film quoted people out of context and delivered one of the most one-sided presentations i've ever seen.

But what I wanted to point out is something that Greg Koukl talked about here. It was very sad to me how Christians have reacted to the film. Now don't get me wrong, I was speaking of "rebuttals" before I ever saw the film. But the only reason I was doubting the film was because the authors were debating the issues in public. The arguments being made were so off that I could only expect "Da Vinci Code" level arguments. And that's exactly what happened in the film.

But why were Christians reacting in the way that they were? Why were Christians threatening the discovery channel for airing the program? And not only that, but these Christians dismissed the film before even watching it. Why not say "I don't know yet, I haven't watched the film. I'll let you know what I think when I examine the facts." An article on sums up what i'm trying to say:

Christians: don't make these mistakes

1. Don't make the mistake of saying that the evidence can't be true because a Hollywood movie director made the documentary. Just because an unbeliever makes a film claiming he has found the tomb of Jesus, doesn't mean what is in it is false. Unbelievers can discover truth. So, don't dismiss it outright.

2. Don't make the mistake of saying the evidence is false because it disagrees with your beliefs. Beliefs don't make something true -- for example, Mormons believe God came from another planet. Believing it doesn't make it so. Nevertheless, Christian beliefs are based on evidence, i.e., the eyewitness accounts in the gospels, the resurrection of Christ, etc. So, if we look at facts in one area, we should continue to do so in other areas.

3. Don't make the mistake of concluding that if the evidence is verified under cross examination, that it means Christianity isn't true. At best all it shows is that there is a family tomb with common biblical names inscribed on ossuaries. This isn't proof of anything contrary to the gospel accounts.

4. Don't blow a good witnessing opportunity. This topic will generate discussion. So, print up a few copies of this article, have them ready to give to people, and discuss the real issue of Christ's resurrection which demonstrates who he was and what he did. This way you can then have an opportunity to present the gospel. Again, don't just dismiss it outright. Use it.

Critics: don't make these mistakes

1. Don't assume that what is presented in a documentary is automatically fact.
Wait until it is cross examined before making assertions. In other words, get both sides of the argument before making judgments.

2. Make sure your conclusions are logical, not merely inferential. If the evidence is factual, what does it mean? Does it prove that it was Jesus in the ossuary? Not at all. Does it prove Christianity is false? Hardly. If you are eager to find contradictory evidence, don't let your eagerness blind your objectivity.

3. Don't jump on the band-wagon and start condemning Christianity because the findings can be interpreted against it. There are important issues and questions to be raised. Those questions and others like them are relevant to the discussion on what the evidence means and need to be addressed before drawing "absolute" conclusions.

4. Don't make the mistake of concluding that if the evidence is verified under cross examination it means Christianity is false. It doesn't. It only means that a family tomb with ossuaries containing biblical names has been discovered. This is evidence, but it can be legitimately interpreted in different ways.

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