As I’ve mentioned before, I follow a blog known as Finding Truth. Visitors include skeptics, believers (Christians), atheists, agnostics, deists, and some who resist titles. Needless to say, some of the discussions can get quite heated!
In a recent discussion, 48 people (at last count) offered their comments. There were a couple that I found particularly thought-provoking and am publishing portions of them here. They have been slightly edited to retain coherence of thought.
Use one scripture to prove a point and someone else will use another to refute your point. Paul also uses the age old excuse of the hardening of hearts when people don’t receive the scriptures. In the OT God hardened many hearts . Why would a God who wants the World to worship him harden people’s hearts???
[You] have to look for disagreements – as skeptics often do – to see them. We can’t expect every doctrine to be taught on every page, it is not reasonable. I’m pretty skeptical of much in the Old Testament, but I go along and say God hardened many hearts, as a punishment.
I can agree that every doctrine shouldn’t be expected to be seen in every page – it isn’t reasonable as you’ve stated.
And Skeptics often do look for disagreements. Looks like I agree with you again. But I think we should elaborate this point. Christians are skeptics too – just of every faith other than their own. They’re skeptical of science that may disagree with the bible (hares chewing cuds, the earth being supported by pillars — though I admit is likely just poetic writing, a seed having to die before it germinates, the sun and moon being under the atmosphere, etc.).
Christians will seek problems in those things as well as in books like the koran to discredit them. So the atheistic/agnostic skeptics are indeed the same. And shouldn’t something so powerful, something from the most powerful, most perfect, most fair, most loving, most wise, and most eternal being stand up to such scrutiny?
Look at the contradictions within the bible. Did god bring the birds from the water or from the earth? What day did jesus die? What is the correct linage of jesus through Joseph? Is Tyre in existence or not? Are all the prophecy fulfillments in Mathew really originated in prophecies? How long were the Israelite enslaved in Egypt? When did the Israelites actually take all of canaan – if ever? How did Judas die? … and the list goes on and on…
But beyond skepticism, the believers will often dismiss and ignore any issue and only focus on the good parts or the cohesive parts. But the problems don’t go away no matter how hard you try to ignore them or hide them.
And really, why would anyone believe the bible was from god anyway? because the bible says it is? because the old authors of the bible claimed that they spoke on behalf of god, as if god couldn’t write a book for himself, as if it was just too tiresome for god to speak to everyone and clear everything up face to face, man to man? Come now. We can be better than that. Where’s the verification? What proves the authors’ claims? Oh yeah, they said there had been miracles that proved it… And that’s great – for those who allegedly witnessed them, but not for anyone else. Where’s the proof of those supposed proofs? Get my question?
IMO, William asks some very good questions. Do you have the answers?