Today, we finally conclude this section and tomorrow, that means we start looking at Hell. So how does Loftus wrap up his argument on prophecy?
Loftus is correct that the prophets were the ones that wrote “Thus sayeth the Lord” and others didn’t really do that. Is there any doubt in Jewish thought though that the words were not the words of God? There was no need to say it there. The prophets were saying it because they were standing out and announcing in the face of false prophets that they were giving the words of the Lord. Their writings weren’t seen as Scripture unless their prophecies came true.
Now we agree that prophecies are conditional in the sense that if people respond, God will not send his judgment. (Or if they are promised blessing and turn, he will not send it.) I don’t see the problem this poses with Deuteronomy 18. There would be prophecies that would clearly be seen as fixed. Some things did take place and the cases where they didn’t are the ones we do see a change on the part of the people.
We are told also that the OT prophecies weren’t much. They could be made by a newspaper columnist of the time. My thought to that is “Name one that would have been made that way.” I especially think of the destruction of Tyre being prophesied. What newspaper columnist in Judah would also write that the temple would fall to the Babylonians?
Loftus also wants to know that if God is telling the future, why not talk about DNA or a global network of computers? This is an argument from Sam Harris.
Right. God should have made prophecies centered on our time just to satisfy curiosity. Why would the church carry around a manuscript for 2,000 years talking about DNA? It would have been seen as nonsense by the church.
If the skeptics do not accept what is given, they won’t accept something else.
And it seems Loftus pretty much argues here the way he usually does. He’s started out with a weak case based on theology, thinking he’s trumped all others he gives a mild look at biblical prophecy, following that, he gives a small small small scattering of interpretations of the OT in the NT, and then thinks he’s refuted his case.
It doesn’t take a prophet to know we’re not convinced.