Common Miracles

One of the common obstacles to faith is belief in miracles.  In fact, after the enlightenment, there was a move even among some church leaders and theologians to remake Christianity into an miracle-less religion.  The thought was that modern people don’t or at least shouldn’t believe in miracles.  The idea of God intervening in the natural course of things and changing the way things work seems to be just crazy.

Or is it?  Our every day expectation is that technology will allow us overcome our natural limitations.  Is it natural for a human being to move at 12o km/h?  No, but if you intervene in the natural way of things and place that person in a car, then it is possible.  Is it natural for a person to fly?  Not at all.  The design, construction and flying of a jet that can carry large numbers of people in comfort is a pretty radical intervention.

Think about it in terms of medical treatment.  There are a number diseases that are deadly in nature.  If left untreated, they would lead to death.  That is the natural way.  But then a doctor intervenes with medication and the natural outcome is averted.  Think about a person whose organs are diseased or damaged.  Is it natural for a person to have another person’s organs transplanted into them.  Not at all.  Naturally, we should be stuck with the parts we were born with.  But doctors intervene and change the path of life, allowing people to live much longer than they would naturally.

We can think of many examples of how doctors, scientists and engineers intervene in the way humans naturally live and operate.  They help us to overcome our natural limitations.  In a way, what they do is supernatural.  Not that it is magical but the things they accomplish are not natural to who we are as humans.

So why do so many people have a hard time accepting a God who performs miracles?  We believe a doctor can perform a new and creative treatment that would save a life but can’t imagine how an omniscient and omnipotent God could do the same thing.  I don’t know how Jesus performed all the miracles he did, in terms of the mechanics.  What did he do too allow himself to walk on water or multiply bread?  I don’t know.  But I can imagine with all the things we can do today with the technology we have, that “divine technology” should be able to do much greater things.

For some people, having a God intervene in the natural way of things creates a far too chaotic world.  However, there are miracles that happen every day on a human level.  Technological interventions allow us to overcome natural limitations.  If the concept of God is intelligible, so should the concept of miracles.

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29 thoughts on “Common Miracles”

  1. Hi Stephan J Bedard…

    Technology wonders and medical wonders are ever present for all (the entire world!!) to see and experiences (from jets to modern medicine) …but biblical miracles (like walking on water, vanish into thin air [puff, gone!], appear out of thin air [boo!], ‘fly’ in the air like Superman, mutilated body rise from the grave, zombies in vading a city, etc, etc, etc) are nonexistent in reality–such miracles exist (by the truck load!!) only in superhero comic books and fictional movies like Superman, the Hulk, Spiderman, and so forth

    Brett Strong…the kryptonite to Christian apologist’s dogmatism

    1. Brett Strong reveals his own dogmatism when he asserts as incontrovertibly true that ‘…biblical miracles…are nonexistent in reality…’ Such ‘reasoning’ begs the very question before us, and should be dismissed as entirely fallacious.

      The denial of the possibility of miracles does not constitute evidence *against* Christianity; rather it is a glaring manifestation of Brett Strong’s *rejection* of Christianity.

      Of course, Brett Strong’s world-view has absolutely no place for miracles, hence why he is reduced to such absurd question-begging. Hume made the same mistake in the 18th century… Atheism has really come into its own in the last 300 years!

      1. Hi Dannym

        Fact: the biblical miracles (like people walking on water) are pure fiction (no different than Supeman on paper miracles are fiction)….modern medicine, modern science and good ole commonsense tells us that…buuuutttttttt if you or anyone ele on this forum (before NASA) can walk on warm bath water (and you can pray to your god all you want to help you perform such a feat) then I’m more than willing to recant and trust all biblical miracles…I mean doesn’t the book of John say that your Jesus states that you can do even greater miracles than he performed on paper??? …and doesn’t your on paper Jesus say at the end of Mark that you can drink poison and you won’t be harmed???

        And I’m not being unreasonable, for in all 4 gospels, the on paper Jesus was all about in-your-face see-it-with-your-own eyes proof (and you know I’m right “because the bible tells me so”)….so lets see you walk on warm bath water my friend….until then all you got is biblical (unfounded in reality) theory–aka pure fantasy…

        Brett Strong…commonsense kryptonite to Chriostian apologist’s dogma

  2. I don’t have a problem with “miracles” per se. Whether or not the kinds of miracles the Bible describes happened or not, I don’t see any reason to think of them as impossible.

    What I do have a problem with, is language that describes God as “intervening” in the “natural order”, or “breaking the laws of physics”. Nature and its laws are totally a product of God’s will, so I don’t think it makes any sense to talk of God as going over them or around them. If God causes a “miracle”, the event is just as much caused by God as any other event; what makes it a “miracle”, is our own perceptions of it, and what meanings if any are communicated to us through it; to claim that God is “specially” involved in miracles seems to me to deny God’s provident involvement in every event.

  3. Brett Strong continues to beg the very question before us with wild assertions, such as this gem: ‘Fact: the biblical miracles (like people walking on water) are pure fiction’…

    Brett Strong seems blissfully unaware of how foolish his statements are. He talks of comic books quite a bit, and he sounds like a child who has been told his comic book hero is not real, and he can’t be like Batman when he’s older. The fingers go in the ears, and out comes a tantrum. But we can excuse the child for knowing no better; we cannot excuse Brett Strong for his repeated question-begging assertions. Brett Strong has his conclusion embedded in his premises; his naturalistic world-view means miracles are ruled out a priori as far as he is concerned. Yet Brett Strong is so blinded by his bias tbat he cannot even detect the absurdity of his statements…even after having it pointed out to him!

    Brett Strong completes his question-begging statement with this little nugget: ‘…modern medicine, modern science and…commonsense tells us that…’

    One immediately wonders whether or not Brett Strong is aware of the problem of induction… There is no rational scientific objection to miracles; science simply has nothing to say on the matter. David Hume (rather ironically) is your ‘anti-hero’ here.

    But I think we can assume that Brett Strong is trying to veer us down the path of ‘miracles violate natural law’, in which case we would need to establish some terms. The faithful Christian holds that miracles are ‘divine acts of strength’, and to say God has ‘violated’ or ‘intervened’ with the natural order is to (by implication) say that God is tampering with something apart from Him, something ‘beyond His control’. Now this may resonate with the liberal Christian, but it is not how historic Christianity has seen things. The God of the Bible is the omnipotent creator and sustainer of all things.

    1. Cont.

      …and a ‘miracle’ is not a ‘violation’ of some impenetrable law outside of God’s remit.

      Now if the God revealed in the Bible does exist, then miracles are no skin off His nose! Here is a fundamental point of disconnect between believers and unbelievers. Brett Strong’s unbelief means he simply *cannot* allow even the possibility of miracles. He has no argument to give, but that does not matter in his world of autonomous reason; as long as he has a voice he can shout; no matter how incoherent and fallacious the rants are.

      And the most amusing thing: Brett Strong’s illusions of grandeur when he signs off his posts; there’re none so deceived as those without God.

      1. Hi Dannym

        I am not begging the question, I am simply stating 100% fact–that your on paper Jesus at the end of Mark says that you shall be able to heal the sick–period…so Dannym, before the forum, quit squaking and simply go to your local hospital emergency room and heal all the sick and ailing with a touch of you hand (indeed, Daynnm, give the doctors and nurses a day off :-)….come on, don’t you believe in your Jesus???? then go for it, after all, I’m simply quoting your bible Mark 16:18…

        Daynnym, read verse Mark 16:20 NLT “confirming what they said by many miraculous signs”

        …so Daynnm, confirm your words, thus confirming the bible as being true, by performing miracles–per Mark 16:18 & John 14:12 “anyone who believes in me shall do the same works I have done, and even greater works”

        Brett Strong…commonsense kryptonite to Chriostian apologist’s dogma

        ps: my friend Daynm, sadly and obviously you will never do the biblcal miracles (no matter how much you pray and cry out to your god) like walk on water and lay hands of the sick and have them instantly healed (etc, etc, etc [like feed 15,000 people to the full with three or four 8 oz Burger King Whoppers]) …which leads to, since the bible says you shall do these things but obviously you can’t–simply backs my point that the Jesus character in the gospels and Acts (who clearly says you shall perform miracles!!!!!) is a mere fictional character, akin to Superman, Spiderman, and the Hulk (all being on paper superhero but in reality not found as true)

        Dayunnm, put your money were your mouth is or sshhhhhhhh….for your own bible betrays your dogmatic stance….so calm down, stop speaking in caps and simply enjoy your NT superhero Jesus beliefs that can’t be logically defended …it’s OK my friend …my expertise is debating the heavyweights like Greg Koukl, Paul Copan, Mary Jo Sharpe, etc, etc, doing live radio debates, etc, etc ….I’m not here to ruin lay people’s faith, just here to shush dogmatism…later my friend…have a great day and may your Jesus belief serve you good all the days of your life 🙂

      1. Yes. I looked it up. It says in John that they were used by Jesus to prove his status as the son of God, I think. Have there been any miracles since Jesus’ time? Maybe they were exclusive to him.

    1. I think the Biblical miracles demonstrate the glory of the sovereign God, and are intrinsic to His redemptive plan in history.

  4. Brett Strong claims he has not been begging the question. So let’s recap.

    Strong’s first comment that begged the question at hand: ‘…biblical miracles…are nonexistent in reality…’

    This does not constitute an argument/evidence; it is an assertion which begs the very question we are here to discuss!

    Strong’s second comment that begged the question at hand: ‘Fact: the biblical miracles…are pure fiction.’

    Again, this is not an argument and it does not constitute evidence against Biblical miracles; it is a bare-faced assertion which begs the very question before us!

    Now Brett Strong wants to claim he was saying something very different to the quotes above: ‘I am not begging the question, I am simply stating 100% fact- that your on paper Jesus at the end of Mark says that you shall be able to heal the sick- period…’

    Now in light of his previous comments, which I have reproduced above, it is abundantly (and rather painfully) clear that he *was not* (by the way, those are asterisks, not ‘caps’) referring to Mark 16 when he was chastised for begging the question; Brett Strong clearly begs the question in the reproduced comments above…

    Now then, not only this, but he has not recovered any ground with his sole focus now being on Mark 16 and the great commission. Even after changing the subject of his ‘Fact’, Strong has put himself further in the brown stuff. Reformed (Biblical) Christians hold that ‘signs and wonders’ were given specifically to the Apostles to enable them to confirm the Church in its infancy; therefore we hold that ‘signs and wonders’ have passed with the age of the Apostles.

    19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

    20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.
    Mark 16:19-20 ESV.

    The Lord worked with the Apostles and confirmed their message by accompanying (their message) with signs. So Brett Strong’s haphazard ‘exegesis’ leaves alot to be desired here…

    But let’s ask Brett Strong for a fresh and well-thought-out exegesis of Mark 16; let’s see how well Strong exegetes the Scripture. It’s always a pleasure to speak with continuationists…

    ‘…my expertise is debating the heavyweights like Greg Koukl, Paul Copan, Mary Jo Sharpe, etc, etc, doing live radio debates, etc, etc …’

    Expertise? Brett Strong must be kidding here. One wonders if he spouted such foolish statements as he has on here when he debated these guys, too!

    Heavyweights? OK. I guess that’s a matter of opinion…

    ‘I’m not here to ruin lay people’s faith, just here to shush dogmatism…’

    This last little cracker confirms that Strong simply has no grasp of the reality of the situation. The only dogmatism in this discussion has come from Brett Strong; this has been aptly demonstrated by his absurd question-begging statements throughout!

    Brett Strong is surely deluded; for how on earth does he imagine he could ruin anyone’s faith (lay people? What does that even mean in this context?) with such a masterclass of logical fallacies and flamboyant exegesis…

    Christians can sleep safe at night when the Brett Strongs of this world are around to give us such belly laughs.

    1. Hi Dannym

      Your speaking in caps is truly entertaining and funny so let’s continue…

      You keep complaining that I’m begging the question when I say the biblical miracles are pure fiction, that I’m making assertions…

      Well then, let me very easily dismantle your foundation with just a few words …and this is 100% fact my friend (and not an assertion): the entire New Testament, including the gospels, would be flat-out rejected (deemed completely worthless!!!) by all courts in America (Federal, State and Civil courts) as evidence for anything in the NT!

      WHY??? Because (1st of all) 4 BCE to 30 AD, worldwide, is void of Jesus (he doesn’t exist in them) & (2nd of all) we don’t have anything close to on original copy of any book of the NT (nor do we have any certified copies of the originals) plus (3rd of all) everyone is dead from the entire 1st century, and so on and so on and so on

      …therefore all things NT Jesus is hypothetical at best! **because of those 3 indisputable FACTS!

      …therefore (which follows) all gospel miracles are hypothetical (aka imaginary) **because of those 3 indisputable FACTS!

      So you wanted facts and I just gave them to you my friend—indisputable facts! Therefore your beloved NT miracles are mere imaginative (hypothetical) thinking …

      Brett Strong…the human kryptonite to Christian apologists

      PS: the finisher, Daynnm, can you go back 2,000 years ago to prove or see if a miracle happened? Of course not! Therefore all you can do (and ever do!) is speak hypothetically on any biblical miracle … no different than discussing Muhammad many purported miracles in the Hadith (like splitting the moon in half), and Buddha’s purported miracles (like levitating in the air), and countless of other ancient people’s purported miracles—its all hypothetical (aka imaginary)! Join the crowd Dannym….

      So if you just admit on this forum that whenever you speak of any NT miracle by Jesus or whomever, that you are merely speaking hypothetically then me and you have no qualm because now you are being honest and reasonable ….but if you want to call any Jesus miracle a fact (or beyond a reasonable doubt) then we have issues because your very base of saying such a thing is nonexistent (refer back to my 3 indisputable facts above) and I’m here to show people this …but please all Christians keep your Jesus faith, simply lose the hell talk, and other unsavory things because as I’ve shown it’s all hypothetical …have a great day Dannym, and Stephan thanks for letting me post here…

      1. Brett Strong continues to blissfully walk away from his ‘train-wreck’ arguments and with equal swiftness moves on to assert more ‘100% facts’. Again Strong has shot himself in both feet. Another train-wreck is coming. I’m being indulged today as a birthday treat so will respond to Brett Strong’s continued folly later tonight or early tomorrow.

  5. To Dannym

    I see you use mucho rhetoric (like “train wreck”) with zero substance; i.e. you completely failed to address my 3 indisputable facts from my previous post to you (because you know, as everyone reading these posts knows, you’ve been defeated so rhetoric is all you can do :-), so I’ll list them again for all to see:

    …this is 100% FACT my friend (and not an assertion): the entire New Testament, including the gospels, would be flat-out rejected (deemed completely worthless!!!) by all courts in America (Federal, State and Civil courts) as evidence for anything in the NT!

    WHY???

    …because (1st of all) 4 BCE to 30 AD, worldwide, is void of Jesus (he is not found in any writing or artifact remnant!)
    …& (2nd of all) we don’t have anything close to on original copy of any book of the NT (nor do we have any certified copies of the originals)
    …plus (3rd of all) everyone is dead from the entire 1st century, and so on and so on and so on

    …therefore all things NT Jesus is hypothetical at best! **because of the above 3 indisputable FACTS!

    …therefore (which follows) all gospel miracles are hypothetical (aka imaginary) **because of the above 3 indisputable FACTS!

    So once again Dannym, you wanted facts and I just gave them to you my friend—indisputable facts! Therefore your beloved NT miracles are mere imaginative (hypothetical) thinking …just as I told you from the beginning! 🙂 …I told you I was good at what I do….

    Brett Strong…the human kryptonite to Christian apologists

    So the next time you or anyone talks about “biblical miracles” just know you are speaking hypothetically, theoretically, imaginatively (or at the very best unsubstantiated hearsay from ancient times) and not evidentially because 4 BCE to 30 AD knows nothing of your Jesus…

    You see Dannym, the NT and the NT Jesus and miracle cannot be rationally defended….it took me a while to figure it out but I finally did, I found the missing link to nullify all PhD Christian apologists and it is this: everything said about the NT Jesus and all miracle accounts are al 100% hypothetical, 100% theoretical, totally imaginative, because the NT Jesus and all miracle accounts of the gospels are not found in reality…only on-paper written 40 to 60 years later

    This is why:

    “Certainty IMAGINATION plays an important role in [ancient] historical reconstruction”
    William Lane Craig

    So bottom line Dannym: admit on this forum that whenever you speak of any NT miracle by Jesus or whomever, that you are merely speaking hypothetically then me and you have no qualm because now you are being honest and reasonable

    FYI Dannym: anymore rhetoric with no defense is not worth my time or the reader’s time or Stephens J Bedard’s time either ..have a great day

    1. Oh boy, this is bad! Brett Strong has done himself no favours by restating his latest bizarre ‘indisputible facts’; now he has no excuse, for it is up there for all to see… Twice! So we know he meant it! We’ll deal with these in a while. Strong says I use rhetoric with no substance, but his arguments *have* been complete train-wrecks. I have shown this to be an *indisputible fact* (you know, a real one!). Is it worthwhile listing Brett Strong’s fallacies again? Does he even read the posts before responding? Here’s a clue: ‘…you completely failed to address my 3 indisputible facts…’ Come again? In my last post I said, quite clearly, that I would be responding later; I also made it clear that Strong’s previous arguments (which he has unashamedly dropped because they were rebutted) were train-wrecks, not just his latest train-wreck of an argument! So how could Strong fail to see this in a post of only a few lines? This doesn’t fill one with confidence that one’s longer posts have been considered. So either Brett Strong is not reading posts before he responds or he has some problems with his reading comprehension.

      Now then. Regarding Strong’s ‘court of law’ claim (a non sequitur that proves nothing, by the way), I challenge him to lay out rhe general principles of evidence fir us. And what, one might add, would be the principle criterion for adjudication on the Biblical miracles? Does this hypothetical (note the proper usage here of the term ‘hypothetical’) court allow for the possibility of miracles, then? Or would it, like you, rule them out a priori and thus beg the question (in which case the court case would be a charade)? How would the probability of a valid testimony be weighed? Strong needs to answer these questions.

      Is Brett Strong a Jesus Mythicist? Tacitus, Josephus, Suetonius et al await Strong’s clarification…

      The Bible is the foremost attested to set of documents of antiquity (with 24,000 NT MSS alone), the next ‘best’ runner being Homer’s Iliad, coming a distant 2nd with 643 MMS to date. Does Brett Strong doubt the veracity of this ancient work? Or how about Aristotle, for who the earliest extant copy of any one work is found in AD 1100, 1,400 years after the time of writing and with no more than 49 copies available. Or what about Pliny the Younger’s ‘History’, for which we have 7 copies, the earliest copy being dated around AD 850, 750 years after being written. Do I need to go on? Brett Strong has a backward view of history which must logically lead to out-and-out scepticism if consistently applied. But Strong does not hold all works of antiquity to the same standard. He merely reveals his irrationality with his skewed anti-Christian bias. It is neither scholarly nor convincing in the slightest.

      1. Cont.

        Further, practically the entire NT can be reproduced using Scriptural citations from the writings of the early Church fathers from the early 2nd and 3rd centuries.

        Now several examples of the rich papyri we have: Papyrus ‘P52’ dated (consrvatively) AD 117-138.

        The Bodmer Papyri dated AD 200.

        The Beatty Papyri (which is said to contain almost the entire NT) dated AD 250.

        Codex Sinaiticus (which is said to contain the entire NT and parts of the OT) dated around AD 340.

        The likes of Brett Strong need to come out of the atheist bubble into the world of reality where the Bible is known to be the most attested to work of antiquity. All other ancient works trail in its wake.

        Brett Strong is the one who has been roundly defeated…by his own folly throughout!

        *excuse any mispellings o sloppy punctuation, I’m using a phone and it’s a nightmare!

  6. Hi Danym!

    You say: “I challenge [Brett Strong] to lay out the general principles of [court worthy] evidence for us”

    I’ll make it quick and simple: let’s say a guy told the police that an angel of death, armed with an ax, magically floated through his window and slaughtered his wife before his wife…

    …since we have a live witness and a dead body, his testimony, as far fetched as it seems, (this is a fact Dannym) would be allowed in court (!!!)—then it would be the judge’s job, & the prosecutor’s job, & the jurors’ job to assess and deal with such an odd supernatural testimony….

    You see, Dannym, all courts would allow such miraculous (unbelievable) accounts (i.e. “the possibility of miracles” as you say), as testimony …but the problem with the New Testament biblical miracles accounts is this (as said twice before! You are forever stuck Dannym knee deep in this/you can’t avoid it or get out/I win every time with utter ease/that’s why PhD’s Christian apologists are afraid to debate me):

    …1st of all: 4 BCE to 30 AD, worldwide, is void of Jesus (he is not found in any writing or artifact remnant!)
    …2nd of all: we don’t have the original writings of any book of the NT (nor do we have any certified copies of the originals)
    …3rd of all: everyone is dead from the entire 1st century, and so on and so on and so on

    …thus the entire New Testament, including the gospels, would be flat-out rejected (deemed completely worthless!!!) by all courts in America (Federal, State and Civil courts) as evidence for anything in the NT!

    Hay Dannym, I gotcha! Let’ continue, my friend

    Daannym say: “Is Brett Strong a Jesus Mythicist? Tacitus, Josephus, Suetonius et all await Strong’s clarification…”

    Hmmmm, that’s super easy to answer: the earliest copy we have from any of those men are around a whopping 1,000 years later!!!!!! (Specifically: Josephus over 750 years, Suetonius over 800 years, & Tacitus over 1,000 years) …no court in America would touch something that the earliest copy is around a 1,000 years later with absolutely nothing before that but pure blankness/nothingness …so just to say Josephus, Tacitus, and Suetonius wrote their alleged writings is hypothetical at best (and any PhD ancient historian will tell you that—from William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas, Mike Licona, to Bart Erhman!!)!!!! And the miracle accounts in them (yes, they all contain some type of miracle accounts)—well, forget about it!!!!

    Again my Dannym, you are forever stuff in the hypothetical, theoretical, imaginary world when it comes to the NT Jesus and all miracle accounts—and there is no way out of it, that’s why Christianity is a faith based religion not a fact religion because there are no defensible facts about the NT Jesus and any miracle accounts of the NT…

    Dannym says: “But Strong does not hold all works of antiquity to the same standard”

    Like Dale Martin (super star ancient historian of Yale University) said (I am paraphrasing for sake of shortness): the ancient human past is gone, all we can do is hypothesis about it!!!!!! Just the way it is my friend (now be honest enough to throw your entire New Testament in that group [as being one big hypothesis] and you shall set yourself free)…gotcha again!!!!

    Dannym, I can tell you have no idea what a historical fact is so I’ll tell you in 2 words (to make it easier on your brain):

    a HYPOTHESIS (and this is PhD material! Not an assertion)

    …gotcha again Dannym, you picked on the wrong person…I told you I know what I’m talking about, how else could I debate and easily handle Greg Koukl, J Warner, Paul Copan, Mary Jo Sharpe, and countless others…

    Dannym says: “Further, practically the entire NT can be reproduced using Scriptural citations from the writings of the early Church fathers from the early 2nd and 3rd centuries.”

    Hmmm, you really should do more research before making such wayward remarks because PhD ancient scholars put the number around 40% (if you are only using 2 and 3 century church fathers)…gotcha you again Dannym

    Brett Strong…the human kryptonite to Christian apologist’s dogma

    Dannym, Just admit that whenever you speak about the NT Jesus and all miracle accounts you are merely speaking hypothetically, theoretically, imaginatively—for the truth hall set you free…now who could argue with that, not me..have a great day my friend and Stephan J Badard, thanks for letting me post here, it been fun with Dannymm, I assume who is “a man” (think Teo’) with a true heart for Jesus

    1. I asked Brett Strong to lay out the ‘general principles’ of evidence. What did I get? Just a repeat of his previously rebutted assertions. 1. It is an elementary mistake to assume that the unmentioned did not exist and were not known. Do we know about the ‘prior lives’ of all ancient figures we accept existed? Oh that’s right, Strong evidence of life prior the distant future we can verify this ‘genius debater’

      1. Cont.

        Strong is in a vortex f utter scepticism. I hope Brett Strong has left ample evidence of his life prior to this point so in the distant future this genius debater’s existence can be verified. But if there is no evidence that Strong existed prior to the age of twelve, then I’m afraid the future generations will have to treat his existence as ‘hypothetical’…
        2. Strong has a clearly skewed way of doing history. On Strong’s terms all history is bunk.
        3. No one from 1st century is alive anynore… Wow, I’m still blown away by this astute observation!

        Now Brett Strong has begged the very question throughout this entire debate. I doubt anyone is ‘afraid’ to debate Brett Strong – I imagine they’d think this ‘kiddie’-style of debate is not for them… So yep, you win, Strong.

  7. Hi Dannym, nice to be honest and admit the obvious truth (you win, [Brett] Strong) …thanks…I’m proud of you…it is a sign of strength not weakness to admit defeat, even if you used rhetoric to do it

    Now just too quickly address a few things in your last 2 post…you say “I asked Brett Strong to lay out the ‘general principles’ of evidence. What did I get? Just a repeat of his previously rebutted assertions”

    My friend, to keep it simple, it is a fact (not an assertion but a 100% fact) that alleged miracle accounts are aloud in the court of law by so-called living eyewitness (where applicable to the case)—then it is up to the judge, prosecutor& maybe even jury to decide about such miracle accounts as being reasonable or outright crazy…

    But since you have no living eyewitness from the 1st century & no original writings or certified copies of the originals of any book of the New Testament and since 4 BCE to 30 AD is void all things Jesus and his on paper disciples, then you have nothing but mere hypothesis my friend—deducted from writings written and est. 40 to 70 years later, and that’s a 100% FACT…point in case: have you ever heard of The Resurrection Hypothesis…hmmm, ask Gary Habermas Mike Licona & Willian Lane Craig, they’ll tell you…Jesus miraculously rising from the grave is a HYPOTHESIS not a fact…I guess its you with the kiddy level of ancient understanding…

    Notice everything I’ve said is fact not an assertion

    You say: “we know about the ‘prior lives’ of all ancient figures we accept existed?”

    Dannym, get this through your head: all of ancient human history is a hypothesis—some more believable than other’s but non the less all of ancient human history is a hypothesis..and any PhD ancient historian will tell you that…that’s why a historical fact boils down to being a hypothesis….get that through your head…it not my fault ancient history is gone for ever!!!! I’m just pointing it out to you and all Christian apologists of any rank and by making much light of it defeats all chritian apologists or at the very least neautralizes all Christina aplogists with utter ease, from WL Craig to Gary Habermans, to Mike licona to you….

    Dannym says: “hope Brett Strong has left ample evidence of his life prior to this point so in the distant future this genius debater’s existence can be verified”

    Dannym, don’t be silly, of course my basic life up until this point can be proven—any government agency, police department, school officials, countless living eyewitnesses, etc, etc, etc can easily verify my existence and your existence (try committing a serious crime Dannym, you’ll see how easily your life can be verified)…hello…but the NT Jesus and all miracle accounts are void (totally missing) in 4 BCE to 30 AD worldwide history…thus all you got is hypothesis Dannym, when it comes to Jesus and all miracle accounts…gotcha again…and these are 100% facts not assertions…

    Dannym says: Strong has a clearly skewed way of doing history

    Seriously Dannym? Again your lack of understanding when it comes to ancient human history is utter astounding!!!!!!!! For all of ancient human history is one big gigantic hypothesis (again, not my making just pointing out the truth, the reality of how life actually works)!!!!! Again, go to your local college or university and talk to any PhD ancient historian…now I clearly see why you keep making such childish remarks because you are unlearned in this area of ancient human history….stop drinking the Sunday school Kool-Aid and get real understanding by PhD scholars, then get back to me…for your zeal is strong but your learning in this field is beyond lacking and your entertaining rhetoric can’t maker up such deficit…

    Brett Strong…the human kryptonite to Christian apologist’s dogma

    A final gotcha: Dannym says: “No one from 1st century is alive anymore… Wow, I’m still blown away by this astute observation!”

    Hmmm, don’t you believe a mere man with superhero powers from the 1st century is still alive, somewhere, a 2,000 year old man, est. to be around 5’3 inches tall, 110 pounds, with puncture wounds in his hands, side and feet…and soon he’s coming back on a flying white ‘police’ horse to gather billions of Christians in the clouds and be whisked of to the galaxies somewhere???

    Now everyone reread Dannym’s final quote above…who’s the clown now?

    Dannym, I told you I’m very good at what I do! Now you personally know….have a great day everyone, and this post debate with Dannym has been fun…and as always, Stephan J Bedard, thanks for letting me post here

    1. My my my. Ladies and gents, I’ll be back tomorrow (when I can get at a computer) to put this fool away once and for all. It’ll be long, and would take all morning on this phone!

      Have a blessed Sabbath

  8. “put this fool away once and for all” LOL!!!!! U sound like MR T with the gold chains!!!!! Dude you are way too funny, I’m literally laughing my a.. of …awesome rhetoric …you should be a comedian, for real, I would definitely watch your skit on YouTube 🙂 …dude you missed your calling ..I’m still laughing ….wow!!!!!!

  9. Still laughing ….whew!!!!!!! 🙂 ..enccccore my friend!!!!! you (Dannym) are now the funniest poster ever!!!!!!!!!!! dude you missed your calling!!!!!! wow!!!! this is no longer a debate (you’ve lost big time with me, as expected and as you admitted), this is now pure entertainment!!!!! LOL!!!!! more-more-more my friend, for laughter is good for the heart!!!!

  10. A few things to clear up:

    Brett Strong further demonstrates his ignorance of Scripture when he utterly fails to understand the term ‘fool’ in its Biblical context. Strong is spiritually blind to the truth of Scrpture, so he lashes out with incoherent drivel the likes of which we have seen here in abundance. Many atheists understand logical reasoning (while having no rational account *for* the existence of laws of logic), but Brett Strong has demonstrated that he does not even *understand* his logical fallacies; he simply has no apparent grasp of logic.

    The only rhetoric on display is emanating from Brett Strong: characatures of the Christian faith; self-aggrandising; assertions and re-assertions of a blatantly question-begging nature… The rhetoric has been a one way stream in this debate.

    Now…Strong says, ‘…it is a…100% fact…’ (yep, he did it again!) ‘…that miracle accounts are aloud (sic) in the court of law by so-called eyewitnesses… But since you have no living eyewitnesses from the first century…’ Now reasonable and intelligent people will see Strong’s skewed ‘argument’ for what it is. He says that no court of law would allow the Biblical miracles a hearing because all eyewitnesses from the 1st century are dead. Somehow, Brett Strong thinks this is a slam dunk. The comic book guy has fantastically stacked the cards in his own favour.

    Recap:

    I asked if the possibility of the (Biblical) miracles would be allowed in this ‘hypothetical court’.

    Strong said Yeah, sure.

    I ask Strong to lay out the general principles of evidence.

    Strong says Biblical miracles aren’t allowed ’cause no one from the 1st century is alive anymore.

    So in the fantastical world of Brett Strong, thre residing Judge says, ‘Yeah, come in…’ only for the defendant to be told, in the very next breath, ‘Now get out…we can’t hear your case in this court!’ The news and camera crews, the public, the spectators from all over the world who have come to see Christianity have its day in court are told, actually, No, there will be no trial. You see, Brett Strong speaks out of both sides of his mouth, and begs the very question (again!!) by forbidding a hearing. But you see, even if we did have a ‘modern day’ court case (as opposed to a more realistic ‘hypothetical’ court case free of any ‘modernist’ prejudices), we could have *all* historians of the Bible, all paleographers, all textual critics, all scholars relevant to the case who could take the stand. Strong’s beloved Bart Ehrman, for example, would laugh at the suggestion that Jesus never existed.Strong would surely hyper-ventilate at this turn of events, and out would come the paper bag as it suddenly dawns on Strong that, after all the bluster and drivel, the case for the defence is made by experts in their droves. We’d have a few Mythicists trying to make the prosecution’s case for them, but they would pale into insignificance at such a trial. So besides Strong’s ‘court of law’ claim being a non-sequitur, taken on its own terms it falls by the wayside. And when pushed to lay out the general principles of evidence, Brett Strong cannot even muster the wherewithal to step up to the plate and offer some rational boundries, and ends up (yet again) speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

    Brett Strong’s ‘facts’ are mere tautologies at best that prove nothing at all. I’ll repeat again (!!):

    It is an *elementary mistake* to assume that the unmentioned never existed or were not known. Strong’s ‘fact’ proves nothing! The ‘thought’ process here is: ‘Plenty of evidence for Jesus *here*…but wait…no evidence of Jesus *there* (or *before* here)…therefore we must dismiss *all* evidence of Jesus because we find no record of Him aged 7 kicking a football around or supernaturally flying through the air to head the ball into the net.’

    Does the reader who isn’t by now comatosed see the absurdity with Strong’s ‘reasoning’?

    Strong says, ‘…all of ancient history is a hypothesis – some more believable than others…’

    So which is it? Which ancient history is ‘more believable’ than Christianity? Jesus is the most attested to figure of antiquity (ditto the NT); Strong admits this: ‘…from writings written and established 40 to 70 years later,,,and that’s a 100% fact.’ But here’s the twist: how does Strong know this to be a fact and not merely ‘hypothetical’? He’s agreeing with the scholarship in this case but remains rabidly sceptical about the works of Josephus and Tacitus et all. Which is it? Is Strong keen to believe the first because it establishes we have no original MMS for the NT? And is he rabidly sceptical about the dating of (for example) Josephus’ works (which in their original Greek date to the 10th and 11th centuries) because accepting the dating for these would further corroborate Jesus’ existence and the New Testament? So we see that Strong has refuted himself… again!!

    Brett Strong misses the point again (shock). In the distant future he says he will have ‘…government agencies, police departments, school officials, countless living eyewitnesses…’ What?! Does Strong even understand the purpose of the exercise here? In 2,000 or so years’ time there will be no ‘living eyewitnesses’ for Brett Strong. Reading comprehension much? So let us dismiss his talk of ‘countless living eyewitnesses’ (you know, if we are going to be consistent here).

    So… Let’s say that all documentary evidence of Strong’s existence prior to this point in his life gets lost as the centuries go by. perhaps several freak accidents render all data previous to this point in his life lost forever. Other than this genius debater’s ‘heyday’, future generations will have *nothing* to go on which could verify a Brett Strong existed prior to these heady heights. This ‘on paper Brett Strong’ is all pie in the sky, an imagination on the part anyone believing he existed. We do have evidence that this ‘on paper Brett Strong’ made wise and genius statements at (this point) in his life…But that’s inadmissisible! What kind of historian would make such a pathetic ‘argument’? Well, only those who have taken leave of their senses!

    Strong again (!!) asserts his ‘4BCE to 30AD’ non-sequitur. Man o man… This will be the fourth (and last) time I put him away on this:

    1. It is an *elementary mistake* to assume that the unmentioned did not exist or were unknown! Brett Strong appears to believe in the fallacious maxim, ‘Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.’ This really is schoolboy stuff!

    2. Does any reasonable and intelligent observer believe that if we had miracle accounts of Jesus as a child that Strong would change his tune?

    Again we have Brett Strong begging the question!

    3. Brett Strong’s presuppositions are on full display here – he is reduced to absurdity. Here we have a prime example of why ‘debating the evidence’ with the unbeliever is an exercise in futility.

    Brett Strong claims I am ‘unlearned’, but consistently demonstrates he has no idea how historians *do* history. He has shown not one iota of evidence that he understands the discipline of textual criticism (the study of manuscripts to determine whether or not the text is trustworthy with regard to establishing authority), or the discipline of paleography (the dating of ancient manuscripts)… Brett Strong simply throws out childish claims like ‘Ask and PhD, they’ll agree with me.’ Which is clearly an erroneous claim!

    Brett Strong’s arguments are truly ridiculous. He has given us irrelevant ‘facts’ which beg the question and prove nothing; he has given us various fallacious assertions masquerading as facts (and which also beg the question); and he has been consistently rebutted on all of his bare-faced assertions. But the one particularly painful part is that most of Brett Strong’s posts have been filled with rhetorical ranting. The self-aggrandising has been shocking. Not only is it extremely childish, but it is also ludicrously misplaced. How somebody so ignorant could think so highly of himself is a mystery.

  11. Brett Strong can have the last word on this. The above post refutes him thoroughly. So I shall not respond to any more of his ignorance.

    Soli Deo Gloria

  12. People think miracles happen today, apparently. David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. How are modern miracles determined to be valid or of a divine nature?

  13. Hi Dannym! My longest post ever!!!! But I had to do it to dismantle you in front everyone once and for all…

    Dannym says: “[Brett Strong] has fantastically stacked the cards in his own favour”

    Brett Strong replies: Hello!!!! Any sane debater would stack everything in their favor (no different than William Lane Craig in his fine tuning argument—simply unbeatable & ha knows it thus use it like a parrot, defeating every opponent with utter ease [it’s called being smart Dannym, hello!!!) or why debate when your on the wrong side…hello again!!!!! I suggest you use way more commonsense and far less rhetoric and will fair much better in debates…its your own fault your getting spanked in this debate…like I said you have much zeal but little knowledge in this area—thus you are easy to defeat and get rattled

    Dannym says: I asked if the possibility of the (Biblical) miracles would be allowed in this ‘hypothetical court” also “I ask Strong to lay out the general principles of evidence”

    Brett Strong replies:

    …the general principles of allowable evidence—per court: living eyewitnesses

    …now in a stolen body case [or missing body case] of course the biblical miracle ideology would be allowed in court iiiiiffff we had living eyewitnesses ….buuttttt as everyone knows we have neither living eyewitness nor anything else (a big fat 0!) from the 4 BCE to 30 AD time period that bears that your Jesus’ actually lived in reality, totally nothing…not my fault your Jesus is totally missing from the history he reportedly (according to the anonymous gospels) dominated in…

    And that’s a fact Dannym (that 4 BCE to 30 AD worldwide knows nothing of the NT Jesus)!!!!! Not an assertion—and if you want to call it an assertion then prove it, if not ssshhhhhh silence!!!!

    Dannym says: So in the fantastical world of Brett Strong, the residing Judge says, ‘Yeah, come in…’ only for the defendant to be told, in the very next breath, ‘Now get out…we can’t hear your case in this court!’ The news and camera crews, the public, the spectators from all over the world who have come to see Christianity have its day in court are told, actually, No, there will be no trial. You see, Brett Strong speaks out of both sides of his mouth, and begs the very question (again!!) by forbidding a hearing.

    Brett Strong replies: I have no idea what you’re rambling about here, in this all-over-the-place paragraph, so I’ll just skip it

    Next:

    Dannym says: But you see, even if we did have a ‘modern day’ court case (as opposed to a more realistic ‘hypothetical’ court case free of any ‘modernist’ prejudices), we could have *all* historians of the Bible, all paleographers, all textual critics, all scholars relevant to the case who could take the stand. Strong’s beloved Bart Ehrman, for example, would laugh at the suggestion that Jesus never existed. Strong would surely hyper-ventilate at this turn of events, and out would come the paper bag as it suddenly dawns on Strong that, after all the bluster and drivel, the case for the defence is made by experts in their droves.

    Brett Strong repleis:

    Dannym, you should have known I was going to destroy you on this point of ancient history (which obviously you know very little about)

    FACT 1)**All PhD ancient historians (from William Lane Craig to Bart Ehrman who admitted as such) on the NT Jesus—it would ALL be hypothetical, imaginary responses because 4 BCE to 30 AD knows nothing of the NT Jesus

    …note PhD world famous Bart Ehrman: “I hope you realize expert opinion is opinion, expert onion is not evidence”

    FACT 2)**All PhD textual critics on what the original writings of all 27 books of the NT might say: again, it would ALL be hypothetical, imaginary responses because no one has seen the originals or anything close to an original of any book of the NT

    FACT 3)**All PhD paleographers—as far as dating when the NT books were originally written: shockingly again, it would ALL be hypothetical, imaginary responses because no one has seen the originals or anything close to an original of any book of the NT, plus (besides a single fragment from Mark from the late 1st century—per Dan Wallace) the entire 1st century knows nothing of the NT writings, plus all of the NT writings were undated, so its all a guessing game (hypothetical, imaginary responses) to when each NT book was originally written

    …PhD Mike Licona talking about when the gospels were written: “it’s anyone guess”

    FACT 4)**And all relevant scholars to the NT Jesus: shockingly again, it would ALL be hypothetical, imaginary responses because 4 BCE to 30 AD knows nothing of the NT Jesus

    So Dannym, if we had all the PhD ancient historians in the entire world packed into a courtroom and if we had all PhD textual critics, all PhD paleographers, and all relevant PhD scholars to the NT Jesus also packed in that same courtroom…and since we know for a fact that 4 BCE to 30 AD knows nothing of the NT Jesus and there are no artifacts or writings from that time period of the NT Jesus and decades later writings, all 27 books of the NT, none are original nor close to an original—thus Dannym, even a hypothetical court case ON YOUR GROUNDS could not take place!!!!!

    For how could we have a court case based on NOTHING????

    So much for your “case for the defense is made by experts in their droves” …again, your lack of understanding in ancient history (on all levels) is astounding in light of your zeal…I can see why you are opting out of this debate, I don’t blame you…go study with some real PhD’s then get back to me in a few years

    You see Dannym, no matter how you look at it, your side is utterly hopeless (doomed to failure every single time)….that’s why Christianity is faith (identical to all god based religions) because there are no facts to back it only hypothetical posturing by people in academia/and people behind the pulpit/and Christian apologists….and people like you

    Another thing Dannym, as far as “Jesus never existed” comment of yours, I said the NT Jesus (the superhero guy ‘flying’ in the air, raising a zombie from the grave, face turn into the ‘sun’, disappearing through walls and what not) is a fictional character…hello…but I am very open to a mere man named Jesus of Nazareth who went around doing good, gathered a small following, some Jewish leaders got jealous of him and got him crucified by the Romans and thereafter they threw is corpse into garbage where it was likely eaten by wild dogs and a time later this Jesus became mythologized through oral (non-evidential) tradition and then written down in the gospels…certainly a very reasonable plausible account of an earthly man and certainly I wouldn’t debate such a Jesus, I would just accept it as very plausible and reasonable and leave it at that…

    Moving along:

    Dannym, says: Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius writing “further corroborate Jesus’ existence”

    Brett Strong replies:

    Even if I were to accept the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius a being legit, their writings would laughable amount to nothing more than unsubstantiated (unproven) hearsay, i.e. “what so and so said” and nothing back it….blah blah and nothing more but hypothetical views, just like I’ve been telling you all along when it comes to anything NT Jesus

    Moving along

    Dannym say: “It is an *elementary mistake* to assume that the unmentioned did not exist or were unknown! Brett Strong appears to believe in the fallacious maxim, ‘Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.’ This really is schoolboy stuff”

    Brett Strong replies:

    This is were Dannym refuses (or is ignorant of) the obvious/the unavoidable, that by me pointing out that 4 BCE to 30 AD knows nothing of the NT Jesus, I don’t need to say the NT Jesus never existed—all I need to point out is this FACT, that since 4 BCE to 30 AD, the time the NT Jesus supposedly walked on earth, is void of Jesus, then all can be said about Jesus is hypothetical in nature because there is nothing of him from when he supposedly lived on earth…and that’s a fact Dannym…

    Point in case, even if there was a 1,000 current writings written about a massive war that happened in NYC 50 years ago but yet there was not a trace of such a war ever happening then all is hypothetical about such a war ever occurring…and your NT Jesus falls in that same trap every single time—all things NT Jesus is hypothetical, at best…and by you and all pastor and Christian apologists admitting this utter truth, that the NT Jesus is a hypothetical figure, well then people like me would never debate you guys because you guys would be already neutralized-defused-powerless from such honesty and truthfulness …

    Moving along:

    Dannym says: “Does any reasonable and intelligent observer believe that if we had miracle accounts of Jesus as a child that Strong would change his tune?”

    Brett Strong: Dannym, do you seriously believe in (or consider) the miracle accounts of Muhammad (in the Hadith, like splitting the moon in half, water miraculously coming from his fingers, and umpteen more miracles) and Buddha (levitating in the air over water) …or do you toss them off as fiction???? So stop using double standards, complaining about me deeming the biblical miracle as pure fiction but yet you turn right around and do the same thing to Muhammad and Buddha miracles attributed to them…certainly this is a dishonest practice
    Dannym says: Brett Strong claims I am ‘unlearned’, but consistently demonstrates he has no idea how historians *do* history. He has shown not one iota of evidence that he understands the discipline of textual criticism (the study of manuscripts to determine whether or not the text is trustworthy with regard to establishing authority), or the discipline of paleography (the dating of ancient manuscripts)… Brett Strong simply throws out childish claims like ‘Ask and PhD, they’ll agree with me.’ Which is clearly an erroneous claim!
    Brett Strong replies:

    **Textual criticism (when it comes to what the originals might have said) is 100% hypothetical, imaginary thinking (since we don’t have the originals)

    **Discipline of Paleography (when it comes to when the originals of the 27 books of the NT were written) is likewise 100% hypothetical, imaginary thinking (since we have nothing close to an original)

    Even Mike Licona admitted when the gospels were written “it’s anyone guess”

    Dannym says: Brett Strong’s arguments are truly ridiculous. He has given us irrelevant ‘facts’ which beg the question and prove nothing; he has given us various fallacious assertions masquerading as facts (and which also beg the question); and he has been consistently rebutted on all of his bare-faced assertions.

    Brett Strong says:

    FACT: 4 BCE to 30 AD, worldwide, knows nothing of Jesus
    FACT: No originals of any book of the bible
    …which automatically follows…FACT: all things about the NT Jesus (as a mere man or miracle worker) is hypothetical/theoretical

    OK Dannym …**please tell everyone which fact above is an assertion
    **please tell everyone which fact above is ridiculous
    **please tell everyone which fact above is irrelevant
    **please tell everyone which fact above is begging the question

    Come on Dannym, either state you point or ssshhhhh (guess what Dannym, ssshhhh because facts always trump unsubstantiated dogma)

    Dannym finishes: “How somebody so ignorant could think so highly of himself is a mystery”

    Brett Strong replies:

    …Special guest on world famous STR radio (Nov 11 2011)
    …Redemption radio, June 2012, 3rd most popular debate in their entire history
    …Backpack radio, July 15, 2012, one of the most popular shows of 2012
    …J Warner vs. Brett Strong debate on PleaseConvinceMe podcast (Nov 2011)

    Also I have personally dialogued with Dr Paul Copan, Mary Jo Sharp, Todd Friel, Brian Auten, and many others…

    Now Dannym, tell everyone about your debates or who you’ve dialogued with….we’re waiting

    Brett Strong…strikes again

    Again Dannym, you’ve shown yourself severely lacking in the ancient history of the NT Jesus…its not your fault that you’ve been fed Sunday school Kool aid but now you have no excuse to be ignorant on these things…now go study and get back to me in a few years…

    And big thanks to Stephan J Bedard for letting me post here

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