7 Responses to Review of Encounters with Biblical Theology by John J. Collins

  1. Beechbum February 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Hahaha! Whoever wrote this… this… this blog is at best blinded by their bias. The good news is I only wasted a couple of minutes. First, it is false equivalence to suggest that acceptance of evidence is somehow similar to faith which is denial in the face of evidence. If religion were based on evidence, one wouldn’t need faith –now would they.

    What John J. Collins was suggesting in the statement you quote is that if one shelves preconceived notions, early inculcations, and random imaginings thereby eliminating, or at least limiting, evidentiarily unsupported beliefs from an open-minded interpretation of the evidence as supported by facts.

    And one more point. It is the evidence that supports the notion that the physical parameters have been the same throughout time. For instance, there is no evidence that architectural practices used supernatural components, that war strategies or weaponry relied on magical powers for success, or that claims of supernatural involvement were ever considered anything but mythology. So, no it is not an a priori assumption to conclude that nature is the same now as then.

    The facts of the matter are that Judaism evolved from polytheistic beliefs similar to other world religions. That “El Shaddai” or “God of the mountains” and “El Elyon” “God Most High” are merely the evolution of regional mythology, from which “Yahweh Sabaoth” the God of War or Armies as one of many in the Hebrew pantheon, was appealed to in times of trouble. By extension, “Christ Jesus” eg. “Anointed Savior” is just as mythological as Hercules and merely one of more than seventy sons of one or another deity designates of Hebrew mythology.

  2. writer42 May 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Nice review

  3. writer42 May 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    Beechbum,

    Faith can be grounded in rational thought and still be faith. Unlike skepticism which is not faith and is not grounded in rational thought.

    What evidence do you have that the world operated in the same way thousands of years ago that it does now? There is none. It is just an a priori assumption. Just like it is an a priori assumption whether or not something was supernaturally or naturally aided.

    There is no substantial evidence that Judaism evolved from polytheism. Just because God used the same names that other surrounding cultures used for God shows that probably the same God was worshipped and the surrounding cultures rejected Him; not that Israel just adopted their beliefs, although they may have applied similar names and terminology in order to establish themselves over other culture’s religious systems.

    The fact that you compare Jesus to Hercules is ignorant and is a claim that no competent scholar including John Collins would support. All historians agree that Jesus existed and the only reason why they would contest the Gospel accounts is because of an a priori bias they might have against them. I would encourage you to try approaching the Bible from the possibility that God exists and that He inspired the text and then you might be able to see it from the perspective that is discussed in the post above. Inspiration which can be clearly seen from just the fact that things are prophesied throughout including Christ’s death and resurrection, for instance Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac strongly paralleling Christ’s death and resurrection or Isaiah 53 description etc.

  4. Salvador November 5, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    Is John Collins a Christian in the sense that he believes in the Divinity of Jesus Christ equal of the Father?

    • JMH November 5, 2013 at 6:30 am #

      I don’t know. But don’t confuse him with the Jack Collins that teaches at Covenant Seminary, for whom the answer is yes.

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