Pulling Back The Green Curtain Part 8

What new nonsense does Hall have? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Oh, joy! We return to Hall’s book and what do we have but famous quotes from Popes! These are real delights! Let’s start with one of the most famous ones of all!

“How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has been for us and our predecessors.”

Yes. He actually has that one in there. This one has been shown to be bogus numerous times. Here’s one such excellent takedown of it even mentioning the source that Hall has of Bembo.

He also has this one:

“Jesus was no other than the sun, adored in its Mithraic sect, and Jupiter represented in the paganism in the shape of a ram and of a lamb… there is no valid document to demonstrate the existence of Christ.” – Pope John III

Hall provides no citation. A search of mine couldn’t even find this one on atheist cites. I guess Hall wants us to take it on faith.

Well, here are some choice Jim Hall quotes.

“I’m an idiot who doesn’t know how to do research and validate source claims.” — Jim Hall.

“I don’t bother to check an argument, but I just see if it argues against Christianity and then I assume it must be true.” — Jim Hall.

“I experience great cognitive dissonance when I see someone use fake quotes the same way that I use them on myself.” — Jim Hall.

The next one he has is on where Mary and Joseph went after the birth of Jesus. To the temple or to Egypt? Simple answer. They went to the temple and then later on when Jesus was still an infant they went to Egypt.

He then says

“If you tell a non-believer that she is intellectually bankrupt and cannot have a moral framework because morality is objective and based on God’s law, don’t be offended when she tells you that your moral framework is based on intolerance and hate.”

Don’t worry, Jim. I’m not offended. For one thing, I would never say the former since I don’t believe you need the Law of God to know morality. Second, I don’t make a big deal out of offense like that. I leave that for atheists like yourself.

He says theists like to say something comes from nothing, but then says Scripture says otherwise since Hebrews says God made the universe from nothing. Little difference there, Jimmy. God does not need raw material to make something. He can create something by fiat. Please let me know what causal power your nothing has like that.

He says Babel took place not because God was condemning their pride, but because He thought they might pull it off. Nothing in the text says otherwise and the text indicates God is actually mocking them. The tower is to reach to the heavens and yet God says “We need to go down to see what they are doing.” In other words, God is saying He is up there in Heaven and He can’t see the tower.

He says Mary was not a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus (And I do affirm the virgin birth) since the word almah is used. Actually, in the New Testament the word Parthenos is used. That word means virgin. Hall is going by Isaiah 7:14 instead and even then, that word can refer to a virgin as well.

He says that if you climb a tall enough mountain in the Middle East you can see China and the Incan civilization. The reference is Matthew 4:8 since Jesus was shown all the kingdoms of the world. I think the mountain was likely a move to show a place of high honor and all the kingdoms could be shown in a visionary way or else it could refer to the kingdoms of Israel and Jesus being the Messiah of Israel.

Herod thought Jesus was John the Baptist. If the contemporaries can be fooled, what does that say about the resurrection tale? You tell me, Hall. Let’s compare the data we have agreed to by critical scholars on the resurrection event and you give me your explanation for it.

Hall says that before the Gospels, it was clear Jesus was just a man. Not at all. He was a man, but Romans 9:5 refers to Him as God above all. 1 Cor. 8:4-6 includes Him in the Shema of Israel. Philippians 2:6-11 has Him given the name above all other names. You could go and pick out verses that refer to Him as a man and point out His humanity, but one must give both sides of the equation. Again, don’t expect Hall to interact with the scholars in the Early High Christology Club. He can’t take cognitive dissonance.

He says Philo says nothing about Jesus or Christianity. Why should he? Philo wasn’t even in Jerusalem and Jesus was a flash in the pan who was crucified and Christianity was a shameful sect that no one wanted to regard. This kind of argument only works on people who really don’t know a thing about history, such as Jim Hall and his followers.

He says that Paul said anyone who disagreed with his teachings was to be cursed, even an angel from heaven. No. Paul actually said anyone who teaches a different gospel than the one the Galatians were taught and at the start, he refers to a plurality of people with him.

Hall then lists signs that you might be brainwashed.

● You vigorously deny the existence of hundreds of other gods but get outraged when someone denies the one you believe in. ● You can’t even entertain the possibility that you might be wrong. ● You think you know more about your holy book than the average atheist. ● You think humans came from dirt and ribs, and you get angry when the public school tries to teach your kid that we evolved from simpler life forms. ● You only remember the few times prayer worked for you, and you conveniently forget the many times it didn’t.

Let’s look at these.

For the first, I don’t get outraged. You avoid that Jim when you’re secure in your beliefs intellectually. Quite different from your refusal to interact with my reviews of your literature.

I can fully entertain the possibility that I might be wrong. I just think Hall can’t due to his refusal to interact with contrary thought. If Hall thinks I am wrong, let him make a case. Note: Two books of bogus claims are not convincing.

Yes, Jim. I do think I know my holy book better than the average atheist. That’s because I study books by leading scholars and read books that disagree with me.

I don’t hold necessarily to that interpretation of Genesis 2, but I have no problem with evolution being taught. I am sympathetic to the idea of evolution being true. Another swing and a miss.

I can tell you many times prayer didn’t “work” for me and thank God it didn’t. If I had got everything I wanted I would be in trouble. So on this list, Hall misses everything entirely.

We will continue another time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters