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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Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
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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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