Contemperaneous Sources

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Run_The_Race
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Contemperaneous Sources

#1

Post by Run_The_Race » Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:52 am

Hi.

I'm having an email debate with an atheist, and I'm trying to give him sources which speak of the historical Jesus. Right now, I have given him several sources, Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Mara... He says that the only thing he accepts are contemporary sources of Jesus, because all else is hear-say accounts. He says that he doesn't accept the Gospels because we are still not sure of the authors. Which would mean he wouldn't accept most of the NT. What route should I take with this debate? I really need some help.

Jamie

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Re: Contemperaneous Sources

#2

Post by Run_The_Race » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:06 pm

By the way admins, big time sorry for the triple post. My bad :?

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Re: Contemperaneous Sources

#3

Post by YLTYLT » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:55 pm

For the most part you could argue that all written accounts of anything are hear-say. Do we really have absolute proof of the author of anything that has been written over 200 years ago or even yesterday for that matter. Its all hear-say. Anyone is capable of lying about anything. But we can look at the writings with some degree of reliablity

You can compare the reliablity of the Bible with the reliablity of other, even older, writings of people such as Plato, Socrates, or Aristotle. We have very few copies of these writings, less than 10 I think, and yet no one doubts their authenticity. Yet we have about 25000 copies of the NT. This may be a good arguement, but it still will not accomplish yours or God's desired plan. And even though there are some inconsistencies in the different copies, they all teach that salvation is by grace through faith in the Gospel (death burial and resurrection of JC). So start there.

Tell him your testimony -this is important but dont go too long, but be as real and honest as possible. - (by the way don't tell him that becoming a Christian will garantee to make his life better, it only garantees to make his eternity better.)

Ask him if he would be willing to consider what the scriptures say, just in case the hear-say happens to be accurate.

If he is willing, and ONLY then if he IS willing to listen..... (this part is important, if he is not willing then stop, you will only do more harm than good.)

Ask him, "If there is a God & a Heaven, how would He think a person would get there?"

Then regarless og his answer-------
Teach him what the Gospel is. (There is POWER in the word. Read(or write) the scriptures. rom 1:16, rom 3:10, 3:23, 6:23 ,10:13, 1 Cor 15:1-4, John 3:16, plus many others, which you may already be familiar with. Tell him about the thief on the cross. - He recognized he was a sinner and deserved hell, He recognized that Jesus did not deserve what he was getting and that Jesus was God. Third he acted on that belief by asking Jesus to remember him in paradise. He essentially asked him to save him - see Romans 10:13)

Ask him if he understands.

Ask him if he wants it.

If so, direct him back to Rom 10:13

Then afterward confirm:
Ask him "Who saved him?"

Ask him "Is it because he is good or because God is good?"

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Re: Contemperaneous Sources

#4

Post by Gman » Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:35 pm

Posts fixed...

I'm not too big on the apologetics. The real proof is in Christ's words... The gospel was created to spread God's message of love, joy, peace and contentment to mankind. If people don't want to except God's offer of salvation, then perhaps they would be happier following some other faith... Jesus could have blown himself up to bits in a big mushroom cloud to prove his love to them and still certain people wouldn't get it... You can't convince everyone, at least this is what I believe.

At some point you may have to drop it because whatever you may say, it is always wrong. So why battle it? What good would it serve?

Sorry for the cheap answer...
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Contemperaneous Sources

#5

Post by zoegirl » Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:51 pm

Gman, I think you have some wise words here....there is a fine line between defending one's faith and becoming frustrated. Each must pray to know when we have hit this.

Even Christ spoke about "shaking the dirt from your sandals"

ALso remember that your role in this may only be that of the planter....Their hearts may not be ready to receive the word and yet that seed that you have planted may germinate 10, 15, or even 30 years from now. Somebody else may have the role of harvesting. God must prepare their heart and it is His timing.
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: Contemperaneous Sources

#6

Post by Man from the Neptune » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:34 pm

I have been debating with an agnostic friend of mine on philosophical topics for a year and a half. I have not convinced her much though. Pretty much most of our debates have been draws. Of course she isn't as hardcore skeptical the atheist you speak of, how perseptive is he to scientific/philosophical arguments for the existence of God?

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Re: Contemperaneous Sources

#7

Post by JesusSmiles » Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:56 pm

Gman wrote: The real proof is in Christ's words...
I truly agree with that statement. Just a handful of men started all the early churches by using Jesus' words. They didn't have any props or whistles. They didn't have an internet and a lot of media sources. And you know what....it worked just fine because the Gospel is a simple truth.

Debating on a person's level is kind of like trying to get a 5 year old to eat mustard. Trying to convince him how boring and dry his bread is by you eating the same boring dry bread he is - is fruitless. However, if you just keep putting mustard on your own bread and he can see how good that is working for you....then he's going to want to try the mustard. It may not be today or tomorrow or even 5 years from now....but one day his bread his boring dry bread will almost choke him and he'll start thinking about that mustard you were always talking about.

Sometimes I'm not sure if an atheist is really an atheist....or just someone who thinks if they can talk long enough about it...they can convince themselves.
God is Great, and therefore He will be sought.
Good is Good, and therefore He will be found.
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Re: Contemperaneous Sources

#8

Post by Gman » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:08 pm

Thanks JesusSmiles...
zoegirl wrote:Gman, I think you have some wise words here....there is a fine line between defending one's faith and becoming frustrated. Each must pray to know when we have hit this.

Even Christ spoke about "shaking the dirt from your sandals"

ALso remember that your role in this may only be that of the planter....Their hearts may not be ready to receive the word and yet that seed that you have planted may germinate 10, 15, or even 30 years from now. Somebody else may have the role of harvesting. God must prepare their heart and it is His timing.
Hi zoe. Thanks.. Yes I know that God's word has a purpose of it's own and we don't always know if it is going to land on the rock or soil. I think though arguing for arguings sake may not always be beneficial either. It's a fine line... At some point we may need to let it go.
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Contemperaneous Sources

#9

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:50 pm

If you keep providing evidence that fulfills his standards, he's going to raise the bar again. The guy has already determined to reject Jesus and the Scriptures, so I'd just go and show it. There is so much in history we take to be true that would never satisfy this guy you're talking to, yet he doesn't bat an eyelash. I think one of the most important things you have to remember when debating is that 1) the other guy has made up his mind, so don't get frustrated when he doesn't give in, and 2) you shouldn't always try to satisfy your opponent--why should you find evidence that will satisfy the guy in the first place? This guy is simply ignorant. The synoptic Gospels are known to be written by Mark, Matthew, and Luke. Though the documents are in a sense anonymous, what must be remembered is that when you transferred written works from one person to another, the author's name was jotted down on the document. I am unsure which of my books says that, sorry. I am attempting to become a human encyclopedia, not working so far. The reason John is in question is because there is a reference (by an author who wasn't the most lucid of writers) to two John's, and it's not clear which one is the author. I prefer an offensive apologetics. Don't always play defense.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

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An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
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Re: Contemperaneous Sources

#10

Post by Cross.eyed » Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:58 pm

ALso remember that your role in this may only be that of the planter....Their hearts may not be ready to receive the word and yet that seed that you have planted may germinate 10, 15, or even 30 years from now. Somebody else may have the role of harvesting. God must prepare their heart and it is His timing.
Very true. We can sometimes only hope that the seed has fallen on good ground and in the light.

Planting seed(s) is done knowing that some seed will not germinate, some will not find good ground, and some sprouts will wither and die, and some will fall among thorns. But the planter knows that if he/she carefully plants there will be some harvest.

The Bible teaches that the "planter" will be rewarded.

Mat 13:24-The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed
in his field
...

Mat.13:30-Let them both grow together until the harvest...
I am the wretch the song refers to.

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Re: Contemperaneous Sources

#11

Post by Enigma7457 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:47 pm

Just to touch on a similar issue, God's desire is not to simply be known by people, it is to have a personal, loving relationship with them. (After all, the devil 'knows' God). Who's to say that if he were more 'known', more would have a personal, loving relationship with him?

A personal example: I thought was 'saved' by apologetics. I thought that the scientific proof in the apologetics had brought me into a personal, loving relationship with God. All they really did was reveal God to me. Even after i knew he was the truth, i wasn't exactly saved. I could have lived the rest of my life 'knowing' God, but not being saved. It wasn't until later that i came into a personal, loving relationship with him (still not sure if i am there yet, to be honest).

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