I’ve searched up, I’ve searched down, I’ve looked all over Steven Hay’s post, and I still found no Exegesis of John 10:34–36. I have asked so many times; 3 posts ago I made sure to only comment on the distractions in a comment, so that we could focus on the actual text in question—yet Steven jumped on the distractions and ignored the text. 2 posts ago I ignored the distractions, commenting only on a few side issues to focus on the actual text in question—he still refused to exegetes the text. 1 post ago I ignored everything except for John 10:34–36 and John 10:30, putting a special emphasis on John 10:34–36 and begging him to give a coherent exegesis that accounts for the text in its context. He still hasn’t done it. He certainly has posted responses; he’s brought up all kinds of arguments against my refutation of his reading of John 10:30, but all he’s really said about Verses 34–35 (which was the entire point of this incredibly exasperating exchange) is that it is, some how, an a fortiori, without explaining what the argument actually is and how it makes sense of the text in the context of Jesus responding to a charge.
So I’m going to go a little bit backwards here in responding to Steve Hays latest response to me. I’m going to start with John 10:34–36, which was, originally, the entire point of this exchange, and in my view the point of dispute. I’m going to ignore all the other distractions untill we can get out of Hays an actual coherent exegesis of the text in dispute. I have a straightforward reading of that passage and I’ll give it below.
Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’?
Citing Psalms 82 where beings, which are not Yahweh, are called gods.
A Theist is someone who believes in God or a god, an atheist is someone who lacks such belief. Is it that simple? Is Atheism simply a lack of belief? Obviously there must be more to it then that, since that would mean that dogs are atheists, and babies may or may not be atheists, but generally we those we call atheists are expected to at least consider the possibility of a Deity. So how about defining an atheist as someone who might otherwise believe in God, or a god, but lacks such belief for whatever reason, and nothing else.
I am not a Calvinist, and Calvinism is one of the strands of Christianity that I find most problematic, but, in this post, I’m going to be defending a Calvinist, and to a certain degree, a Calvinist position. When I first saw this article, and read the first subheading, I was a little bit surprised, Reformed Theologian John Piper is not really known for engaging in Natural Theology, a lot of Calvinists tend to shy away from evidential argumentation for God and start with presuppositional apologetics and stick with revealed theology. As I read the article, though, I understood that what the author (Neil Carter) is criticizing is John Pipers response to a question in a podcast episode about Paul’s claim that God’s existence is self-evident in Romans 1:19-20.
Robert Bowman posted a challenge to non Trinitarians, I posted a 4 part series (here, here, here and here) responding to the challenge, not fully of course, but enough to, I think, dent the challenge. Then Robert Bowman responded.
Let’s get right into it. To be honest, almost all of Robert Bowman’s response had to do with procedure, or “rules of the game”, as if Theology were some sort of game where one had rules to follow in order to win, or as if Theology was something you “win.” He also has a problem with the fact that I am not defending a specific theology, or a specific doctrine. I understand why he has a problem with that, it makes it harder for him to argue. But the purpose of this blog is not apologetic. There is a time and place for everything, there is a time and place for apologetics, a time to defend specific doctrines and specific religions, and there is a time and place for exploring ideas, examining arguments outside that context and so on. This blog is one which I made to explore ideas, examine arguments and so on, not engage in apologetics and defend specific doctrines or religions. Not every theological blog has to be an apologetics blog, and not every response to an apologetic argument has to be some sort of counter apologetic. That being said I did present a possible alternative, that is absolutely better than the trinitarian option.
A typical debate between an evangelical and a secular historian is exemplified in a recent Debate between Bart Ehrman and Justin Bass. In this post I want to discuss the idea that both debaters are playing by the same rules and are purely looking at the issue as Historians. The second issue I want to press is the significance given by Justin Bass to the Son of Man claims in the Synoptics (and elsewhere), but that will have to come in a later post.
An article recently came out some outlining common explanations of where religious thought comes from. I become weary when people attempt to talk about “religious thought” as if there were such a thing. The fact is that the distinction in the west between the secular and the religious is a recent one, more or less springing up with the enlightenment. In addition, it’s important to point out that there is no broad “religious thought” just as there is no broad “political thought.” In politics there is Liberal thought, Socialist thought, Conservative thought, in the past there was Monarchist thought and so on. In religion there is very little that can be said when comparing say, Roman Catholicism and Zen Buddhism, or Ancient Aztec human sacrifice cults and Jainism.