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!
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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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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“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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