We live in a postmodernist age. People, especially the younger generation, are able to hold onto contradictory notions without batting an eye. It’s a perfect era to be a skeptic who believes in nothing, but wants to take the fast track to being a pseudo-intellectual by attacking traditional worldviews and contributing nothing positive to the conversation except to say, “The burden of proof is on the believer!”
I’ve had hundreds of comments from young postmodernists in response to my Real Jesus DVD, which is posted on YouTube and my website. The following is one such conversation with a UFO enthusiast (who doesn’t think there is evidence that Jesus existed) named “Boyinthemachine.”
The conversation took an interesting turn when I insisted that 99.99 percent of scholars accept the fact that Jesus was a real historical figure.
Jay Rogers: “That Jesus is a historical figure is accepted by 99.99 percent of secular historians.”
“Where did you get that figure? Look, even I believe there most likely was a historical Jesus. The problem is that my belief is not based on the fact that Jesus’ historicity has been proven, but rather, based on the fact that there are countless cases of men deified after their death, such as various Caesars. Last, the Epistle of James is not a Gospel. It leads no proof to a historical Jesus.”
Jay Rogers: “Can you name even five PhDs teaching history at the university level who claim Jesus never existed? If you can, I’ll revise my number to 99.98 percent. Also, what do you do about the eyewitness claims in the New Testament, especially those in the Gospel of John and 1 John?”
“Why should I? The burden of proof is on those making the claim.
“We don’t know who wrote the Gospel of John. The author was not an eyewitness, but like all the other Gospels, merely put to word oral stories, i.e. ‘The Gospel According To John.’ Most scholars believe the Gospel of John was written between 90-100 AD, with a small number of scholars suggesting earlier or later dates. Thus, like the other Gosples, John is very weak evidence for the historicity of Jesus.”
Jay Rogers: “The New Testament actually has a very good pedigree. The Apostles who knew Jesus preached and wrote from 30 to 70 A.D. Then early bishops such as Ignatius, Clement, Polycarp and Papias (35 to 115 A.D.) received the books of the Apostles and wrote their own works quoting from most of the books of the New Testament. Later second century church fathers quoted from every New Testament book and named the authors. The earliest canonical list is from the second century. There is a continual unbroken witness to the authors of the New Testament in every generation up until the great Codices of the fourth century.”
“The Apostles were eyewitnesses, if Jesus existed. However, we don’t know who wrote the gospels. The assumption, by the Church, was that it was ‘Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John’ who wrote the Gospels. Most scholars do not accept this. Most scholars believe the gospels were written anonymously, from about 40 years after Jesus’ death to about 100 years after Jesus’ death.
“It would be great if we had overwhelming evidence for the historicity of Jesus, but we just don’t have it.”
Jay Rogers: “Form critics and source critics act as scientists working from the null hypothesis. They ignore all documentary evidence and assume nothing from the beginning. They then are able to draw all kinds of conclusions. In the 1800s, the form critics had the Gospel of John written in the late second century. Then in the early 1900s a papyrus fragment of John was found that dated to about 115 A.D. One scrap of paper wiped out over 100 years of liberal conjecture! Assuming that this fragment was a copy of a copy, and since it was discovered in Egypt, the latest John could have been written was 95 A.D. The earliest would be the mid-first century.
“Liberals will almost always assume the latest dates and an unknown author. The problem for them is that all extra-biblical documentary evidence from the first and second century onward points to definite authors. Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp and Papias wrote in the late first to early second century, but they were born and lived during the time when some disciples who had seen Jesus were still alive. We see no debate among them on who the authors of the New Testament were. Then almost all the NT manuscript fragments of the second century have titles and authors. You can actually go on-line and see the titles (called supercriptions and subscriptions) of manuscript fragments.
“Another interesting thing is that form the early second century, and maybe earlier, the books of the NT were bound into five codices, the four Gospels and Acts, Paul’s Epistles, the Pastorals, the General Epistles, Revelation. As in modern times, books had titles and authors. There is no reason to think that the authors did not assign their names to the original autographs. Then in the third century, Origen wrote that there were some doubts about Hebrews and Revelation because of stylistic differences in Paul and John’s other writings.
“In modern times, this skepticism was stretched to call every book into question. But it is very easy to see these liberals have an agenda. An unbiased researcher might doubt the traditional authorship of books like 2 Peter, Revelation, Hebrews and maybe 3 John, but there is no documentary evidence that these books were ever in dispute shortly after they were written. To the contrary, they are all quoted early. According to all models of textual criticism, they ought to be considered authentic and reliable.”
Your comments are welcome!
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Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
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