True worship is a response to God

True worship is a response to God. It’s never coerced or required or any other such silly thing that some suppose. As Jesus told the Pharisees, if we didn’t praise Him the very rocks would cry out. Dutiful service is never true worship. God does not need our worship, but we need to worship God, for from it comes a life filled with ever-increasing joy. 

Knowing God is knowing how to love; you cannot know God and not love (1 John 4:7-8). As Bernard of Clairvaux once said, “The only reason people don’t love God is because they don’t really know Him.” They’ve never gone beyond the echo of their own soul, so they’ve never discovered the One who not only knows them but loves them in the deepest part of who they are.

There are times when worship is a spontaneous reaction to His glorious beauty, majesty, goodness, perfection, and splendor. Every cell in our being resonates and comes fully alive in the moment. This transformational encounter forever changes us into a worshiper of God. As I said in the post, “The fear of the Lord: reverential shock and awe“:

For this brief instant you’re suddenly thrust into something so stunning, so shocking, so overwhelming, that you know you’ll really never recover from the experience. And you don’t want to.

Worship is about an ongoing reciprocating relationship with God. He pours out His love and kindness on us; we reciprocate by returning our affections toward Him. This is how we enter into the “Divine Dance” with God. And from this place, we are made whole and filled with the fullness that fills God (Eph.3:19-20).

Here is a song sung and co-authored by Kalley Heiligenthal that’s been popular lately (also performed by Aaron Shust) called, “Ever Be.” It’s really an anthem of this reciprocating relationship. This verse says it all about the fruit of this worship:

You Father the orphan
Your kindness makes us whole
You shoulder our weakness
And Your strength becomes our own

You’re making me like You
Clothing me in white
Bringing beauty from ashes
For You will have Your bride

So let’s respond to His goodness and kindness and let His praise ever be on our lips.

Ever Be
Written by Bobby Strand, Chris Greely, Gabriel Wilson, Kalley Heiligenthal
© 2014 Bethel Music Publishing
https://bethelmusic.com/chords-and-lyrics/come-alive-ever-be/
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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
This entry was posted in Heaven on earth, Love, Worship and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

98 Responses to True worship is a response to God

  1. john zande says:

    True worship is a response to God. It’s never coerced

    Do you even read your bible, Mel?

    You are ordered to obey

    Deuteronomy 28:1 If you fully obey the Lord…
    James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God.
    Jeremiah 7:23 “obey My voice…
    Luke 11:28 Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obeyit.
    Deuteronomy 28:1 If you fully obey the Lord your God…
    Deuteronomy 5:33 Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you…
    Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

    And failure to obey will be judged by the very being you have been ordered to obey, and told you should fear

    Psalm 75:7 God is the Judge
    Psalm 50:6 For God Himself is judge
    Isaiah 66:16 For the LORD will execute judgment by fire and by His sword on all flesh
    Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
    James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy
    Matthew 25:41 Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

    And that judgment results in guaranteed punishment and torture

    Matthew 25:41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
    Revelation 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You are not talking about worship, John. First, you are giving covenantal requirements given to Israel in the Old Testament (which they agreed to). Secondly, you are giving verses that show the consequences of the failure to walk in other-centered love with others.

    • john zande says:

      Matthew, Revelations, James, and Acts ate Old testament? Interesting…

      Submit yourselves, then, to God … [or be cast] into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels

      No coercion there. No.

      Interesting, though, that you try to ignore the command to “obey” and replace it with “worship.” Have you ever seen the Moral Autonomy Argument?

      1. We are moral agents with moral autonomy and a responsibility to exercise it
      2. Abandoning one’s moral autonomy is immoral
      3. God is a perfectly good being worthy of worship
      4. Worship is the recognition of one as inferior and subordinate to a greater being
      5. Worship of God includes the total abandonment of one’s moral autonomy in favour of blind, non-questioning obedience of God
      6. This is immoral, unless we can continuously be sure the being we are worshipping is (perfectly) good, and that the being we are worshipping is indeed a (or the) “God”
      7. To continuously evaluate whether a being is good requires moral judgment, which requires moral autonomy
      8. Therefore it is not possible to continuously evaluate if a being is good while also worshipping it
      9. Therefore, worshipping necessarily requires abandoning one’s moral responsibility, which is immoral
      10. Therefore, no being is worthy of worship
      11. Therefore, God does not exist

      In short – worship makes it impossible to know the object of worship is good, and a non-good object of worship isn’t worthy of worship. It is said that it can be known that God is good, and that God is worthy of worship, which is a contradiction, which cannot exist.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Matthew, Revelations, James, and Acts ate Old testament? Interesting…

      Yes, and I said those verses in the NT are the consequences of not walking in other-centered love (mistreating others, injustice). The OT verses were Israel’s obligation for their part of the covenant they agreed to. Neither one is about worship. Ironically, Israel was given those commands because they refused to have a direct intimate relationship with God in worship. They wanted what the pagans wanted (pagan sacrifice) and had Moses speak for them. That was not what God wanted. This is why the prophets declared that God never wanted their bull and goat offerings. He wanted them to reciprocate His love and treat one another in other-centered love. This is the sum of all the commandments (Deut.6:4; Matt.22:37-40). This is worship, not all the stuff you listed.

      Interesting, though, that you try to ignore the command to “obey” and replace it with “worship.”

      No, what’s interesting is that’s what YOU’VE actually done! You given me all command verses and ignored worship.

      Submit yourselves, then, to God … [or be cast] into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels”

      There is no such verse; this is just a straw man you’ve erected. You’re conflating two very different verses with totally different contexts together. Very bad theology.

      Have you ever seen the Moral Autonomy Argument?

      If that’s it it’s a totally false doctrine. The only point that’s valid is the first one. The rest are absolutely false, each building on the false premise before it. Another straw man.

      John, nothing you’ve given me has anything to do with worship. Obviously, you don’t understand (or don’t want to understand) what true worship is. What you’re describing is anything but worship. It’s pagan appeasement and fallacious argumentation.

    • john zande says:

      The separated ellipses denote a change, the purpose being to demonstrate 1) the command for obedience, and 2) the threat for failure to act as commanded, being: the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels

      As both passages were presented (chapter and verse) in a previous comment, you’re charge is hilarious, albeit absurd.

      So, you don’t believe abandoning one’s moral autonomy is immoral?

      Interesting. Could you explain that…

      Hand-waves, I’m afraid, don’t count as a rational argument, Mel.

      Here, I’ll even start you off with an example which you can work from: a lowly Nazi guard in Auschwitz is ordered to…

    • john zande says:

      (Apologies, i messed up the formatting. Will try again)

      The separated ellipses denote a change, the purpose being to demonstrate 1) the command for obedience, and 2) the threat for failure to act as commanded, being: the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels>

      As both passages were presented (chapter and verse) in a previous comment, you’re charge is hilarious, albeit absurd.

      You really don’t like talking about the “threat” part of your religion, do you, Mel?

      So, you don’t believe abandoning one’s moral autonomy is immoral?

      Interesting. Could you explain that…

      Hand-waves, I’m afraid, don’t count as a rational argument, Mel.

      Here, I’ll even start you off with an example which you can work from: a lowly Nazi guard in Auschwitz is ordered to…

    • Mel Wild says:

      I have no idea why you bring this stuff up. Do you just like to argue about anything? This has nothing to with worship or the subject of this post.

    • john zande says:

      Excuse me?

      You do remember writing this line, don’t you: True worship is a response to God. It’s never coerced

      Well, by your own book that’s a lie, and your diversion (‘worship’) was addressed with the moral autonomy argument.

      Mel, you hand waved that away, but failed to actually defend your objection.

      You said you don’t believe abandoning one’s moral autonomy is immoral.

      Can you rationalise that position?

      Please explain this position working from this example: a lowly German guard (with moral autonomy and a responsibility to exercise it) in Auschwitz is ordered to…

    • Mel Wild says:

      You do remember writing this line, don’t you: True worship is a response to God. It’s never coerced.

      Yes, that’s worship. The true worship is found in other-centered, self-giving love. And love cannot be forced. I cannot force my wife to love me; she voluntarily gives her love to me. That’s the only way love works, and God is love. Likewise, we were told that all the Law and the Prophets are summed up in other-centered, self-giving love (Deut.6:4; Matt.22:37-40). This was God’s desire from the beginning. Jesus defined this intent in the Sermon on the Mount. And we love God because He first loved us (John 3:16; Rom.5:8; 1 John 4:18). We respond to God’s love with love. Anything other than this is not worship.

      Well, by your own book that’s a lie, and your diversion (‘worship’) was addressed with the moral autonomy argument.

      My diversion? Haha…You’re the one pulling out all your red herrings! The subject IS worship, John. And your moral autonomy argument (at least the way you phrased it) is a lie and a perversion of anything intended in Scripture. God does not tell us to surrender our moral autonomy. He uses our sense of morality (which He gave us in the first place) to discern what is good and just and righteous. He compels with love (2 Cor.5:14-15). What you presented was a bogus straw man argument. And it has nothing to do with the subject, which IS worship.

      The fact that God allows you to reject Him, distort His character, and cast Him in the worst possible light is proof that He doesn’t force people to worship Him.

    • john zande says:

      Yes, yes, Love me… Or be cast into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels

      But OK, I get it, you want to ignore that whole eternal fire thing. It’s awkward, i understand.

      But really Mel, I have to spell out the Moral Autonomy Argument for you?

      Really?

      Okay…

      You rejected the second premise of the Moral Autonomy Argument: Abandoning one’s moral autonomy is immoral.

      By the Auschwitz case, you believe, according to your rejection of the second premise, that the German guard is perfectly moral in obeying orders from his superiors and killing Jews, gays, gypsies, etc.

      Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think you actually believe this, Mel.

      You just wanted to dismiss the argument, but didn’t actually think it through.

      Would you like to try the Moral Autonomy Argument again?

      (Or will this post be like the “design” post, where you can’t actually defend the central theme of the post, and pretend it’s all about something else? If so, just tell me and I won’t waste any more time as you will have proven, once again, that you’re a dishonest interlocutor)

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, yes, Love me… Or be cast into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels

      But you are wrong. This is a perversion of the text you’re referring to. It was NOT love me or be cast into the fire…that is a ridiculous straw man. In the parable, Jesus was addressed people who were not loving others, injustice toward the least of these, etc. It has nothing whatsoever to do with worship. You are purposely engaging in deceptive and erroneous proof-texting.

      (Or will this post be like the “design” post, where you can’t actually defend the central theme of the post, and pretend it’s all about something else? If so, just tell me and I won’t waste any more time as you will have proven, once again, that you’re a dishonest interlocutor)

      I love how you and Ark throw out these red herrings that have nothing to do with the post then you accuse me of being dishonest! Haha…Right, whatever… I guess you guys tell yourselves these kinds of things. Again, the subject is worship. John, I don’t have time to go down every fallacious trail you want me to go on. If you cannot talk about the subject then we’re done here. Your moral autonomy argument is not only bogus, it’s irrelevant to the subject of worship.

    • john zande says:

      Yes, the subject is worship.

      Could you please, then, address the subject of worship

      1. We are moral agents with moral autonomy and a responsibility to exercise it
      2. Abandoning one’s moral autonomy is immoral
      3. God is a perfectly good being worthy of worship
      4. Worship is the recognition of one as inferior and subordinate to a greater being
      5. Worship of God includes the total abandonment of one’s moral autonomy in favour of blind, non-questioning obedience of God

      6. This is immoral, unless we can continuously be sure the being we are worshipping is (perfectly) good, and that the being we are worshipping is indeed a (or the) “God”
      7. To continuously evaluate whether a being is good requires moral judgment, which requires moral autonomy
      8. Therefore it is not possible to continuously evaluate if a being is good while also worshipping it
      9. Therefore, worshipping necessarily requires abandoning one’s moral responsibility, which is immoral
      10. Therefore, no being is worthy of worship
      11. Therefore, God does not exist

      You rejected the second premise of the Moral Autonomy Argument: Abandoning one’s moral autonomy is immoral.

      By the Auschwitz case, you believe, according to your rejection of the second premise, that the German guard is perfectly moral in obeying orders from his superiors and killing Jews, gays, gypsies, etc.

      Is this correct, Mel?

      Do you stand by your original dismissal?

    • Mel Wild says:

      From #5 onward is wrong; the rest are built this faulty premise, so the conclusion is erroneous.

    • john zande says:

      Not according to your book:

      James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God.

      Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

      Okay, so you’re just going to be a dishonest interlocutor. Again.

      Hand waves, hand waves, hand waves. No substance.

      Have a good evening, Mel.

      And you can file this discussion on “worship” next to the one on “design”…. the subjects you might one day actually want to discuss, instead of pretending to.

      1. We are moral agents with moral autonomy and a responsibility to exercise it
      2. Abandoning one’s moral autonomy is immoral
      3. God is a perfectly good being worthy of worship
      4. Worship is the recognition of one as inferior and subordinate to a greater being
      5. Worship of God includes the total abandonment of one’s moral autonomy in favour of blind, non-questioning obedience of God
      6. This is immoral, unless we can continuously be sure the being we are worshipping is (perfectly) good, and that the being we are worshipping is indeed a (or the) “God”
      7. To continuously evaluate whether a being is good requires moral judgment, which requires moral autonomy
      8. Therefore it is not possible to continuously evaluate if a being is good while also worshipping it
      9. Therefore, worshipping necessarily requires abandoning one’s moral responsibility, which is immoral
      10. Therefore, no being is worthy of worship
      11. Therefore, God does not exist

    • john zande says:

      And Mel, just to remind you of how utterly dishonest you are, remember writing this: The only point that’s valid is the first one. The rest are absolutely false

      Suddenly that’s now From #5 onward is wrong

      Lie much?

    • Mel Wild says:

      My apologies. I was reading the list the first time around from my iPhone. I obviously misread it. I’m back on my pc now. Number 5 is the problem.

      5. Worship of God includes the total abandonment of one’s moral autonomy in favour of blind, non-questioning obedience of God.

      That is a false supposition. We don’t give up our moral autonomy in blind, non-questioning obedience to God. That is not worship either. The rest of the points follow that false premise. We obey because we are compelled by love.

      14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (2 Cor.5:14-15).

    • john zande says:

      James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God.

      Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

      1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God

      Luke 22:42 not My will, but Yours be done.”

      Luke 1:38 And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”

      John 5:30 “I can do nothing on My own initiative As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

      1 Corinthians 15:27-28 For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjectedto Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.

      Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

      Have a good day, Mel.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Okay, what do these verses have to do with “the total abandonment of one’s moral autonomy in favor of blind, non-questioning obedience of God”?

      If I bring my will under the influence of God’s will, I don’t lose my will. In fact, I’m using my will to do it. Nor do I abandon moral autonomy, or blindly follow non-questioningly. I’m compelled by His love and can question Him faithfully.

    • john zande says:

      My comment went to moderation, Mel. It has a link, and I’m guessing your comment settings catches that.

  2. Arkenaten says:

    True worship is a response to God. It’s never coerced or required or any other such silly thing that some suppose.

    Then why the need to indoctrinate children?

  3. Arkenaten says:

    Worship is about an ongoing reciprocating relationship with God. He pours out His love and kindness on us;

    Can you then explain Divine Command Theory in this context of your god’s love and kindness?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Divine Command Theory and worship are not the same thing.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I did not say they were, but DCT does give a solid indication of the character of your god, does it not?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I don’t agree with DCT so I would say it does not accurately describe God’s character at all.

    • Arkenaten says:

      So you do not believe Yahweh commanded genocide for example?

    • Mel Wild says:

      No, I don’t. In fact, I believe it’s an untenable argument (internally self-refuting) to say that He actually did command that. This is where I part ways with Biblicist literalists. I wrote about it extensively on this blog. This is also where we have to understand some of the Old Testament narrative anthropologically. God is progressively deconstructing their deeply-entrenched pagan mindset, starting with Abraham. It’s for this reason that actually makes the Bible unique and brilliant. We must also interpret the Bible consistently, through the lens of Jesus Christ, and not read it indiscriminately. We also cannot read it out of context from the ancient pagan world they lived it. We cannot compare it to 21st Century standards. It must be compared to its own surrounding culture.

      The other problem with your question is using Israel’s relationship with God for DCT. They agreed to perform their end of the covenant, which meant they were duty-bound to fulfill it. This is the nature of the OT commands. But this was not God’s ultimate desire, but a capitulation. His desire was that they would walk in other-centered love in direct relationship with Him as a “special treasure”; they refused and wanted what the rest of the pagan world had. As I said before, the OT sees God progressively deconstructing this pagan mindset until Christ. But the New Covenant does not work that way. Jesus already fulfilled the covenantal requirements by His death. Our part is not to perform but to believe the covenant and rest in Christ’s finished work by faith. And we are compelled by His love not to live for ourselves. This is the nature of obedience under the New Covenant. It would be like me wanting to please my wife; no one has to force me, I do it out of love.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Unfortunately by mentioning Abraham as if he were an historical person then you also fall into the literalist camp somewhat as he is a narrative construct, you are aware of this I hope?

      So do I take you do not actually believe in the Old Testament god?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Unfortunately by mentioning Abraham as if he were an historical person then you also fall into the literalist camp…

      Haha…of course, and if we followed your revisionist standards we would have no history at all.

      Yes, I absolutely do believe in the Old Testament God, but not like He was sometimes depicted in the Old Testament. I interpret it like Jesus interpreted it, as C.S. Cowles said:

      “While Jesus affirmed the Hebrew Scriptures as the authentic Word of God, he did not endorse every word in them as God’s. He rejected some Torah texts as representing the original intention and will of God, such as Moses’ divorce laws (Mark 10:4–9). He displaced Moses’ laws governing vengeance with his new ethic of active nonviolent resistance, of “overcome[ing] evil with good” (Matt. 5:38–42; Rom. 12:21). His command to “love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44) represents a total repudiation of Moses’ genocidal commands and stands in judgment on Joshua’s campaign of ethnic cleansing. In his word of absolution to the woman taken in adultery, Jesus contravened the clear injunctions of the Torah calling for adulterers to be put to death (John 8:1–11; cf. Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22).” [From “Show Them No Mercy: Four Views on God and the Canaanite Genocide”]

      Brad Jersak has a way of describing how to understand the Old Testament that is similar to my view. I cued the following video up to where Jersak explains how to understand these things…

    • Arkenaten says:

      No, I am simply referring to the archaeological and historical evidence , that’s all.

      The Pentateuch is Historical Fiction.
      To deny this is indicative of a fundamentalist perspective.

      And finally you must surely begin to appreciate why I said we had to address the corrupt nature of the source of your claim regarding religion answering questions science cannot.

      I am not interested in the Christian perspective other than to understand how their indoctrinated view poisons the well.

      You have no more right to claim your perspective is correct than someone such as Wally. Neither does any Christian for that matter.
      And this is where archaeological and scientific evidence is so crucial when trying to establish the truth.

      Jesus clearly believed the characters in the Pentateuch were real.
      And this has considerable ramifications for all Christians.

    • Mel Wild says:

      And you are not only wrong, but also not qualified to make an argument against our perspective since you’re not interested in learning what it actually is. The only thing you can do is make ignorant allegations against something you know nothing about.

    • Arkenaten says:

      And once again … a fundamentalist response.
      Slam the non-believer and ridicule his evidence.
      Christians can jump up and down all they like, keep the comments they are afraid of in moderation.
      The evidence speaks for itself.
      Archaeology has shown that the Pentateuch is Historical Fiction. Adam and Eve never existed. The HGP has revealed this.
      The Noachim Flood story is a fable. It is not happen.
      The Exodus as recorded on the bible is simply a myth.

      Marcion’s interpretation was the way to have gone.

      In a way I feel sorry for people such as you.
      But if the Clergy Project is anything to go by there is light at the end of the tunnel, Mel.
      A great many people in exactly the same position you are now in; people who were scared out of their wits they might get separated from their god or go to hell.
      They initially scoffed at atheists and would refer people to videos and fellow believers and scour the texts for answers.
      But the truth is not so hard to discover, Mel.

      When you realise it is all Historical Fiction and accept this fact it will make sense almost immediately.
      The problem will be the feeling of guilt at being conned , of being so credulous, so gullible and also for having indoctrinated others.
      But that will pass.

      Ask any Christian who had the courage to face reality.
      They are the ones to talk to.
      They have all been there and they have the T- Shirt.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You know nothing about it, Ark. You have said yourself, you don’t care to understand our perspective, so you are unqualified. Just saying everything is historical fiction says nothing at all.

      You are the one who does not have the courage to face reality with your head stuck into the narrow-minded Naturalist sand, refusing to listen to anything outside the echo of your own voice. You don’t know what you’re talking about, although you certainly think you do. Well, good luck with that. I don’t have time for ridiculous sweeping generalizations that have no bearing on reality. Maybe someday you’ll wake up and leave your belligerent atheistic conspiracy theories and half-truths behind.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Your response has all the Hallmarks of the True Apologist. Simply: Do Not address the meat of the argument, but merely dismiss it and cast aspersions on my lack of qualifications to pass judgement.

      I am only relaying what the overwhelming archaeological consensus has held for a number of decades.
      You can no more run from this evidence than you can from the genetic evidence that refutes the nonsense of Adam and Eve.

      I know enough to hold a discussion with someone of your worldview and intellect.
      I know the bible well enough and a lot better than a great many Christians. This I would bet my life on!
      That is not arrogance but simply based on personal interaction and the years of reading.

      You are scared … really scared of actually confronting the science because you have no answer for it.
      And you simply cannot deny evolution or archaeology, and these two disciplines alone completely dismantle the foundations of your religion leaving the character Jesus of Nazareth treading water and coming across as nothing but a misguided first century rabbi.

      The problem is not what I know or what I don’t, as practically all of what I have uncovered after reading the bible has been from the relevant experts in their fields. It is what all the top scientists, archaeologists and scholars know..
      The evidence produced by all these thousands upon thousands of people, is what you cannot refute so therefore you dismiss it or use cleverly constructed faith arguments designed to obfuscate and quell your tremulous heart.
      This is why you are scared to enter dialogue with a former Pastor or Cleric who can not only match your scriptural knowledge but wipe the floor with you historically and scientifically. Because this is what they were forced to deal with when they were confronted with chronic doubt.
      You believe it is easy to dismiss me as you regard me as nothing but a ”God-hating atheist”. ( your words, right?)
      You can back slap with Wally and IB and think you have held the field.
      But in truth, you have offered nothing we haven’t heard a hundred times before.

      You are simply trying to shore up your own shaky belief and it gets harder and harder as every time you decide to try to stamp your authority another chip is knocked out of your theological-wall by evidence .
      This is what science does and religion has no defense, simply because it is a man-made construct built out of myth and stories and falsehood.
      Your feet are already wet, Mel and you are sinking.
      But it is only a short swim to the shore …. come on in. The water’s fine!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ark, you are delusional if you think I’m scared or trying to shore up my shaky beliefs. Nothing could be further from the truth! These kinds of arguments don’t even challenge my faith in the least bit. I am arguing for other’s benefit, not my own. I don’t even personally care about apologetics, but it is irritating to listen to all the nonsense and fallacious argumentation that comes from know-it-all atheists on the Internet. That’s the only reason I’m doing this, to expose your philosophical house of cards.

      I said you are not qualified because you don’t even make an attempt to understand my position, not because of lack of credentials. And you could not even address the issue that I gave by way of the Hamlet/Shakespeare analogy. You dismiss philosophy and provide no counterclaim. So you have no position with which to say my position is false. All I see is a blind refusal to accept anything that challenges your worldview and fallacious straw man depiction of Christianity. And when you’re put in a corner, all I get is fallacious argumentation. You lose all credibility when you do this.

      Ark, honestly, you have not made one argument that challenges anything I’ve said other than to just quip that it’s all fiction. But that is NOT an argument! That is an opinion. And I have shown you that by your own standard of historicity we would have to ALSO conclude that Homer, Plato, and Aristotle are complete fiction because we have even less evidence for them! So your “historical fiction” argument is nonsense.

      The fact that you refuse to see this is very telling to anyone who would look at this objectively. But it’s no indication that your argument has any veracity whatsoever. And I’m trying to say that nicely since I have absolutely no respect for your position.

    • Arkenaten says:

      These kinds of arguments don’t even challenge my faith …

      Faith. Yes. That about says t all really, doesn’t it Mel?
      Now at least we have established that you have little or no interest in evidence or the truth.
      And that really is all that is relevant and demonstrates the lengths you will go to so as not to upset your ”faith”.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, and you have faith in Naturalism since it cannot be proved that the natural world is all there is. It’s all faith in the end, Ark, whether you want to consider it or not.

    • Arkenaten says:

      No. My worldview is based on evidence.
      You reject evidence where it contradicts your faith based worldview.
      You accept stories on the bible even when the archaeological and scientific evidence tells you a completely different story.
      This is where you cannot hide. Oh, you try… but what can you offer to refute the archaeology of the internal settlement pattern for example?
      Nothing. The bible tale is fiction.
      And it simply cuts the legs from under your worldview.
      I simply cannot understand why you are so afraid to acknowledge the truth of this?

    • Mel Wild says:

      No, Ark. Your worldview is based on a CERTAIN KIND of evidence. But you dismiss the kind of evidence we must often be used with historiology, or when exploring the possibility of anything existing beyond the natural world. This is where your worldview fails to provide an answer. Every one of your examples are systems within the natural world of scientific method, which does not address these questions, and cannot address them. So, I cannot understand why you can’t see this. What are YOU afraid of?

    • Arkenaten says:

      Okay,you want to call it a certain kind of evidence. Fair enough.
      lets start with the big one.
      Do you accept the evidence for evolution?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I have no reason to doubt there are elements of evolution that are true. It doesn’t necessarily conflict with the Bible. I don’t know the subject well enough to make an argument on the particulars, but I have no reason to refute the science behind it.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Do you accept the evidence for evolution?

      But again, evolution does not address the question of what science cannot explain. The study of evolution is still the study of the natural world. In my opinion, it cannot provide a fully-orbed worldview.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Science and archaeology have dismantled the Pentateuch.

      So where is the staring point for your religion, Mel?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I disagree with your premise. I’m no literalist but to say that science and archaeology has dismantled the Pentateuch is a massively prejudicial and biased exaggeration. Again, we would have to throw out most of history by your standard.

      If you ever bothered to understand my view of the Old Testament you would see that you’re dismantling nothing about my position.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Do you accept the archaeological evidence that refutes the Exodus and conquest as described in the bible?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ark, if you ever bothered to understood my position, as I explained before and included the video, you would not need to ask this question.

      My position and faith is not grounded in the historical veracity of the Pentateuch but in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Yes! Thank you . At last. Faith.
      Not Evidence.
      This is why you are prepared to do, and say almost anything just stopping short of actually openly lying your arse off.

      And you do it so well.

      I am pretty sure this is generally known as cowardice or are you simply scared shitless of the truth?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Faith in the resurrection itself; but not without evidence for the resurrection, which I demonstrated in the series, and which you were not able to provide a better answer except to deny it. But you cannot deny the evidence itself. You can only deny miracles. And you deny that because you have faith in a reality governed by natural laws is all there can be, which I showed was circular reasoning.

      I am pretty sure this is generally known as cowardice or are you simply scared shitless of the truth?

      And your adolescent taunts like this are one of the many reasons why I have no respect for your position. You could not be more wrong or willfully ignorant of the truth.

    • Arkenaten says:

      The entire > story of the character Jesus of Nazareth flounders without the Old Testament foundation.

      This is one of the major reasons why Marcion ditched Yahweh and the other gospels and only retained a stripped down version of Luke.
      Do you truly not understand the implications?
      I am being deadly serious here. Are you that blind, that indoctrinated that you simply refuse to acknowledge that without the Old the New has no leg to stand on?

      And yes you are either so indoctrinatd you are unable to grasp the reality of this situation or you are simply scared out of your wits to face up to the truth.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You’re whole argument is nonsense. Jesus proved what He said was true by being raised from the dead. And we can infer the miracle of the resurrection from the evidence. Even Bart Ehrman has to admit the historical evidence. The following is a quote from one of his lectures on the historical Jesus with the Teaching Company:

      “There are a couple of things that we can say for certain about Jesus after His death. We can say with relative certainty, for example, that He was buried. The earliest accounts we have are fairly unanimous in saying that Jesus was in fact buried by this fellow Joseph of Arimathea, and so it’s relatively reliable that that’s what happened. We also have solid traditions that indicate that women found this tomb empty three days later. This is attested in all of our gospel sources, early and late, and so it appears to be a historical datum. And so I think we can say that after Jesus death, with some certainty, that He was buried, and three days later appeared not to be in the tomb.”

      These things are indisputable, Ark. That’s the evidence you have to address with a better explanation. Your problem is that you’ve been duped by people like Ehrman who aren’t honest about the actual evidence in their popular books, not to mention, wildly inconsistent, but have to admit the truth in their scholarly circles.

      And if you think I’m “scared out of my wits” then your discernment abilities are pretty deplorable! It sounds to me like you have to tell yourself this so you don’t have to face the truth.

    • Arkenaten says:

      The biblical character Jesus of Nazareth is NOT the eschatological 1st century rabbi that was executed for sedition.
      The biblical character believed Moses was a real person.
      The biblical character is claimed to have walked on water.

      NOW do you begin to understand the catastrophic implications to your FAITH.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Which is nonsense, as I said. And most textual scholars would agree with the evidence I presented, which you ignore or deny, I don’t want to keep going over this inane argument with you.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Sorry, Mel. No biblical scholar worth their salt accepts there was a Resurrection, and you know this.
      Without the Old Testament the character Jesus of Nazareth is a literary dead duck in the water. And you know this all too well, which is why you continue to equivocate regarding evolution and the Exodus and the Pentateuch.
      And this is what is scary for you …. and I mean really scary because you know only too well that all you have is faith . A faith that is becoming an ever receding blip on the horizon.
      And it is one of the main reasons why so many of your former colleagues deconverted and continue to deconvert.

      I realise this is very hard for you, Mel, really I do, but once you accept it, everything else simply slots into place.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You are simply wrong, Ark. The only scholars who don’t accept the resurrection are naturalists (and non-Christian scholars) who have a prejudicial bias against miracles and you should know this.

      That’s what you refuse to accept. Your whole argument is circular and does not prove anything.

    • Mel Wild says:

      And this is what is scary for you …. and I mean really scary because you know only too well that all you have is faith.

      You keep saying this, Ark. You keep puffing up your chest with these crazy macho assertions that I’m scared. Besides being childish, I think this indicates something about you, Ark. All you have is faith that the natural world is all there is. It’s all faith in the end. I’m not scared at all, are you?

      “A faith that is becoming an ever receding blip on the horizon.”

      Prepare yourself for disappointment.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Not macho at all. I simply refer back to all those Pastors etc just like you and what they felt like and went through before finally admitting the truth to themselves and eventually ”coming out”.

      You have based a large part of your life on a lie, and I do not know how that feels like. But it must be horrible for you as it was for all those other Pastors and Priests and clergy and nuns etc.

      I mean, you have metaphorically staked your life on it. Staked it on a lie.

      I cannot even begin to imagine what that does to a person … what it is doing to you.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I don’t really care what unbelieving pastor’s crisis of faith has to do with it. I’ve read many of their testimonies, Ark. You seem to think you have a case here. You don’t at all. These deconverts, including Ehrman, don’t refute my beliefs at all. So, you don’t know what you’re talking about with what I believe. You need to stop wasting my time with these ridiculous assertions. It just sounds like wishful thinking, but not only are you quite wrong, you will be profoundly disappointed.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I’ve read many of their testimonies, Ark.

      Really? Why did you read them for, Mel?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Because you made such a big deal about them all the time. I wasn’t impressed.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Oh, well, at least I got you to read them!

      You’ll get there …. I have faith!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Again, prepare to be disappointed.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Oh … I really don’t think so Mel. Seriously I don’t.

    • Wally Fry says:

      I dunno Mel. On more repeat of these tired arguments and I am standing ready to renounce my faith.

      Ba ha ha ha ha!!

    • Mel Wild says:

      🙂 Yeah, Wally, that’s probably the funniest thing about it.

    • Mel Wild says:

      This is one of the major reasons why Marcion ditched Yahweh and the other gospels and only retained a stripped down version of Luke.

      And pretty much why Marcion was found to be a heretic. While he was asking the right questions, he came up with the wrong conclusion.

    • Arkenaten says:

      LOL…. As did Arius no doubt!

      You are a delusional and indoctrinated fundamentalist in serious denial.

    • Mel Wild says:

      LOL…. As did Arius no doubt!

      Yes, absolutely. Arius was a heretic because he denied the full revelation of Jesus Christ. His doctrine was almost unanimously refuted (he voted for himself, along with one other bishop, at the council) for this reason. I’ve actually read the whole argumentation. Have you? Or do you just drink the Da Vinci Code Kool-Aid and think you know something? If you actually had any understanding of the gospel, you could not accept Arianism. But now you’re so far off topic again that I will have to end the rabbit trail here.

      You are a delusional and indoctrinated fundamentalist in serious denial.

      And you’re a delusional indoctrinated fundamentalist anti-theist in serious denial. There, I’m glad we’ve settled that once and for all. Whatever…

    • Arkenaten says:

      Ah ..,. now we sink to Dan Brown ad homs do we? *Sigh* Oh well.
      If you have to scrape the bottom of the barrel so be it.
      I do not accept Arius’s view. I am an atheist for the gods sake! Are you such a bloody idiot?
      Furthermore, Arius’s view was as silly as the orthodox one and it simply illustrated that there was NO consensus until Constantine insisted upon a unified view be established.,
      If it was so clear-cut then then it would have been plain sailing afterwards wouldn’t it?
      And what did happen?
      Farking mayhem for hundreds of years.
      The Arians even won a reprieve later didn’t they?
      And the Theodosius came along ….

      Oh, yes, I am anti-theist to the core. You can count on that.

      The interesting thing about such dialogue is that I am almost 100% sure it will have little impact on you other than perhaps embarrass you a little over your outrageous claims, which is not necessarily a bad thing as maybe some of your flock who read along will pause for thought if they are not quite so blindly indoctrinated as you are.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Daniel Brown is an appropriate connection since he is one the former favorite conspiracy theorists on the councils that atheists loved to point to until just about everything he asserted was proven false.

      The point is, in spite of the prevailing politics, Arius was wrong for some very foundational reasons that I don’t care to go into here. This is why his doctrine went into the ash heap of history, although it gets resurrected by certain cults, just like those of Sabellius.

      Ark, most of what you believe about Christianity are not actual facts but a prejudicial distortion of the facts and conspiracy theories.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I have never read the book and, believe it or not, only saw about ten minutes of the movie when it was being shown on the tv a few years back.
      It went to the ash heap because it was eventually banned and thus began the pogroms to eradicate all dissent.

      The view you subscribe to is not even the one that won the day!

      Seriously, you are about as much a heretic as Arius and were we ”Back in the Day” you would have been barbequed.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Here’s a video clip for you so you can get a proper education of church history instead of spouting your amateurish and false conspiracy theories about the Council of Nicaea.

    • Mel Wild says:

      By your own historical standard, we cannot believe that Homer existed, or even Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Not my standard for the gods sake. Archaeological evidence.

      You are always telling me to provide a better explanation then you do so now.
      Let’s see you offer a reasoned, scientific explanation that refutes the internal settlement pattern as proposed by Finkelstein and acknowledged by most archaeologist.
      Refute the scientific evidence of the HGP.
      Refute the fossil record.

      let’s see how clever you think you are …

    • Mel Wild says:

      Then by this SAME standard, there is no such thing as Homer, Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle, and many other historical figures.

    • Arkenaten says:

      How does the Human Genome Project have any impact on Homer or Socrates?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I have no idea why you would ask that. How does the Human Genome Project prove that Homer or Socrates existed in history? That’s irrelevant to my argument.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I asked you to refute the HGP And you come back with you e Homer Socrates argument. Simply silly
      Archaeology has demonstrated that Moses did not exist. That Abraham did not exist.
      The human genome project has proved Adam and Eve are fictional characters.
      Your worldview is based upon the veracity of these tales/people being real.

      To me it matters not if Homer or Socrates were real. The writings attributed to them remain.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Because HGP has nothing to do with it, Ark. It’s just another red herring you’re throwing out there. The fact is, we have NO irrefutable archeological evidence for Homer or the even the Trojan Wars, and even less for other figures in ancient history. But we believe these things are historical. This shows that your position is purely prejudicial and biased, not true objective historiology.

    • Arkenaten says:

      But we have archaeological evidence that REFUTES the biblical tale of Exodus.
      Do you understand the difference?
      The evidence paints a completely different historical pattern than what the bible says.
      Can you see the problems looming straight away?

    • Mel Wild says:

      The nature of archeology is very vague, Ark. The fact is, we have very little archeological evidence for the ancient world, unless something was made with stone or precious metals. Even then, it does not address the full story or any of the existential questions. We cannot make a conclusive argument on archeology alone.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Okay,let me repeat.
      The archaeological evidence not only refutes the biblical tale of the Exodus and conquest but has provided the evidence to show a completely different history of settlement.

      Do you fully understand the implications of this?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I fully understand the prejudicial nature of your argument, as I have already described.

    • Mel Wild says:

      And, again, if we used your argument, we would have to say that Homer, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle did not exist, That’s why you cannot rely on just archeology. You have to put all the disciplines into play. And even then, there still a lot of speculation.

  4. Arkenaten says:

    And here is a question for you posed ( to you) by paulg

    Just a thought here Ark. What is “true worship” (in the context of Mel’s comment)?

  5. Arkenaten says:

    Of course the evidence is prejudicial to your biblical belief and all that it encompass because it refutes it!
    A hundred years ago theologians and Christian archaeologists could at least have used the call of ”Absence of Evidence …”.
    But not any more.
    It matters little what you believe now; if it does not tie in with the hard evidence then it is simply wrong.
    Of course you can still continue to deny it, but if you have no evidence to refute it then you are simply lying to yourself. And I don’t really care if you do …. but once you preach that the archaeological evidence for the Settlement Pattern is false, that is lying to others.
    Then it becomes a different story.

    If you wish to wish to invoke Jesus of Nazareth then you have to explain why the biblical character was emphatic regarding his belief that Moses etc were real people.
    That might be a tad difficult under the circumstances.

    • Mel Wild says:

      No, Ark, it’s prejudicial to normal assumptions by which we know history. You simply cannot apply your standard to much of history, including Homer or Plato, or other well-known historical figures.

    • Arkenaten says:

      What the hell are you talking about?
      If there was no bible story of the Exodus there would not even be a discussion.
      The hard evidence tells us that there was no Exodus as described in the bible.
      The hard scientific evidence tells us there was no Adam and Eve or the Patriarchs
      Or a global flood.
      It is simply a fiction.

      And this applies to so much of the bible from beginning to end.
      Historical Fiction.
      I have told you this umpteen times already.

      That is not prejudicial to normal assumptions.
      That is cold hard reality.
      And this is what you have have to deal with …. nor not.
      And if not, it doesn’t change the truth.

      And those believers who are fully aware of the reality of the situation usually deconvert.

      Don’t blame me for your god’s sake and come on all anti-naturalist.

      I didn’t write the stories in the bible.
      The carbon dating for Jerricho was not a hatchet job by conspiracy theorists.

      The interpolations, fraud, fantasy and outright lies of the New Testament was put there by CHRISTIANS:
      Do you understand, Mel? Christians.
      No atheist came and tampered with the text.
      It was Christians.
      Ask them why they lied then, and ask why so many continue to lie now.
      Ask them why they continue to deny evolution and try to lie about the archaeology and the facts about the Human Gene Project.
      Science moves forward and explores and generally self-corrects as it goes along.
      Scientists want to prove their colleagues wrong as this is how they uncover facts and discover all the amazing things that contribute to make our world what it is.

      All you are doing is trying to find a reason to justify it and thus make excuse after excuse to try to make it fit.
      But it simply will not.
      The red herrings are your, Mel.
      You refuse to accept that all the Homers and Platos and Alexanders have no bearing on the supernatural comparisons you are desperate to tag on to history.

      I am NOT your enemy or the problem.
      The problem . .. all of these problems lie with your own religion.

      And also yourself … what ever it is you are afraid of letting go of that causes your feelings of guilt and fear.
      That I can’t help you with.
      As I have said before, if you refuse to accept the scientific truths then former believers are your best go to people here.
      They will help you unravel the web of lies and deceit you have been exposed to.

    • Mel Wild says:

      What the hell are you talking about?
      If there was no bible story of the Exodus there would not even be a discussion.
      The hard evidence tells us that there was no Exodus as described in the bible.
      The hard scientific evidence tells us there was no Adam and Eve or the Patriarchs
      Or a global flood.
      It is simply a fiction.

      You obviously don’t get it, Ark. You don’t get the prejudicial double-standard by which you judge history.

      And by your SAME standard, there is no Homer. no Socrates, no Plato, no Aristotle….

      So since these works are fiction and corrupt, we should take all Greek philosophy out of our schools and stop indoctrinating our children with it. We must also remove Greek philosophy and all the classic works of antiquity like Homer’s work from our libraries and remove them from all history. In fact, we must totally deconstruct Western thought, philosophy, psychology, or anything tainted by these fictitious Greeks and Romans.

      You have given me an extremely skeptical view of the historicity and have virtually dismissed a WHOLE culture called the Jews, who you say is all fiction. Talk about arrogance! You who anachronistically judge what you don’t understand by your myopic 21st century standards.

      And you still don’t get the point. For the sake of argument, let’s suppose for a moment that the history narrative is all wrong in the Old Testament. It’s all made up (which it isn’t). It still does not touch the value the text. It still doesn’t change it’s transforming power and anthropological and philosophical genius. You can no more get rid of that than the works of Homer, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Your argument is like someone being given the finest wine ever made and refusing to drink it because the glass it was contained in was an imitation crystal. This is why Walter Wink rightly said that this type of historical criticism is bankrupt. It cannot see the forest for the trees.

      Okay, I’ve let you go off subject here and de-evangelize for about 30 comments. It’s time to move on.

    • Arkenaten says:

      And by your SAME standard, there is no Homer. no Socrates, no Plato, no Aristotle….

      Wrong … yet again. Sheesh… I am wondering if you are actually this stupid or simply being dense on purpose.

      Do you have any archaeological standard that denies Homer et al?
      That unequivocally shows that everything these people wrote was actually written by someone called Naughtius Maximus, for example?
      No, I do not think you do. In fact, all you have is speculation, a minor conspiracy theory if you wish to deny these people.

      The archaeological evidence refutes the biblical story of the Exodus and conquest and provides hard evidence of what actually happened.
      Do you see the difference?

      So you have to decide whether you are going to accept the facts provided by archaeology and science or keep head up your backside.

    • Mel Wild says:

      The archeological evidence does NOT refute what Exodus or the Old Testament is about. This is why you can’t seem to see the forest for the trees on this. You judge an ancient Semitic book by a 21st century Western scientific standard, as if that gives us any understanding of what’s written in the Bible. Archeology doesn’t tell the whole story or even why it was written. This is a totally bankrupt way to fully understand history, It says nothing about the culture or the people or what actually happened.

      So, go ahead and tell the Jews that their history is total fiction. Yeah, that’s not prejudicial. Your complete arrogance is astounding.

      And what you don’t get is that NONE of this actually deals with the value of the text as anthropological and philosophical works of genius that has inspired and transformed people’s lives for thousands of years. You have no understanding whatsoever of what is written and why it was written.

      So, please stop with this inane argumentation. It’s totally irrelevant to this post and pointless.

    • john zande says:

      Mel, it does appear that you know positively nothing about the state of biblical archaeology.

      Historical fiction doesn’t mean “fairytale.” Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October is historical fiction. It contains many real place names, like Washington and Moscow, actual technology, and even the names of the characters are contemporary. This doesn’t, however, make Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October true.

      Like Clancy, the authors tried their best to make the story sound plausible, to sound real, because the story had real geopolitical goals. It’s a unity tale designed capitalise on a weakened Mamlekhet (Kingdom) Yisra’el after its sacking in 722 BCE. That is why we have Isaac in the north (Israel), Jacob in the south (Edom), and Abraham, the father, right in the middle in Hebron (Judah) uniting them, all.

      Just so you know, the only area where there is still a live debate regarding biblical archaeology is whether or not Judah had an urban society in the 9th Century BCE, which relates to the narrative concerning the United Kingdom. That’s it. That’s all there is. The Patriarchs, Egypt, Moses, Exodus and Conquest are dead subjects in the field of serious archaeology. They were dismissed as myth nearly three generations ago, and nothing has changed in that time to alter this consensus.

      From Hareetz (Israel’s oldest Newspaper) 2014:

      “Currently there is broad agreement among archaeologists and Bible scholars that there is no historical basis for the narratives of the Patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, and the conquest of Canaan, nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise.”

      To repeat that last line: nor any archaeological evidence to make them think otherwise

      The overwhelming majority of rabbi’s (non-Orthodox, who comprise only 10% of Israel’s population) understand this fact, and even Christianity Today’s Kevin D. Miller admitted it:

      “The fact is that not one shred of direct archaeological evidence has been found for Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob or the 400-plus years the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt. The same is true for their miraculous exodus from slavery”

      The evidence is so definitiive that in 1998, the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), the primary American professional body for archaeologists working in the Middle East, changed the name of its magazine from Biblical Archaeologist to Near Eastern Archaeology simply because the bible had been determined to be (beyond all doubt) an entirely unreliable historical source to direct research into the early Jews, pre-Babylonian captivity.

      As Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine so eloquently put it:

      The Jews did not begin with Abraham. The Jews did not emerge as a nation under the leadership of Moses. They were never rescued from slavery. They never stopped at Sinai

      And as the world’s leading biblical archaeologist, Professor Ze’ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University put it:

      “The patriarchs’ acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years,” (Professor Ze’ev Herzog, Tel Aviv University.)

      Trust me on this. You cannot sit there and say any person of authority believes the Jewish origin tale, as recounted in the Pentateuch, is true.

      Now, this raises some awkward questions for the Christian apologist: How do you explain Jesus not knowing basic regional history? In the New Testament, Moses is mentioned 85 times with Jesus naming him in Luke 3:8, John 5:45 and twice in Matthew. Abraham is mentioned 75 times with Jesus specifically identifying him eighteen times in John 8 alone.

    • john zande says:

      So, go ahead and tell the Jews that their history is total fiction.

      No need. Rabbis from every major non-Orthodox Jewish movement have already accepted the fact and their congregations know.

      “Defending a rabbi in the 21st century for saying the Exodus story isn’t factual is like defending him for saying the Earth isn’t flat. It’s neither new nor shocking to most of us that the Earth is round or that the Torah isn’t a history book dictated to Moses by God on Mount Sinai,” (Rabbi Steven Leder)

      [The Pentateuch is an] “extended metaphor” ( Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism)

      “The Pentateuch is the Jewish Mythology. My duty as a Rabbi is to interpret the Bible and consider it as my Mythology, as the founding story of the people of Israel, of course not to take it literally… it is not a book of facts, but a myth.” (Rabbi Nardy Grün)

      “The Pentateuch is filled with wonderful mythology of our beginnings.” (Rabbi Robert Schreibman)

      “The Torah is a piece of human literature. Its stories are fictional and that is how I teach them” (Rabbi, Jeffrey Falick)

      “We looked for evidence for the Exodus in the Sinai Desert and found there was nothing in the Sinai Desert. We looked at the Patriarch stories and the times in which they supposedly lived, and it didn’t seem to match. Then we looked at the stories of the Patriarchs in the time they were apparently written, historically, and that matched much better.” (Rabbi Adam Chalom)

      “The Torah is not a book we turn to for historical accuracy,” (Rabbi, David Wolpe)

      Now, this is not to say that even the Orthodox are coming to accept the reality. In 2012 Orthodox Rabbi Norman Solomon published his book, Torah from Heaven: The Reconstruction of Faith, in which he calls for the orthodox movement to finally accept what has been known to archaeologists (and accepted within all other Jewish movements) for over two generations: that the Patriarch narrative, Moses, Exodus, and Conquest is not rooted in reality but is rather a “foundation myth;” an origin dream, not a descriptive historical fact.

      Indeed, concerning the Exodus narrative alone, the second edition Encyclopaedia Judaica (a famed publication which examines all scholastic, theological and scientific work) concludes that the entire Exodus narrative was “dramatically woven out of various strands of tradition… he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.”

      Again, he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character

      This raises the question is asked earlier: How did Jesus blunder so terribly in naming Moses, for example, as a real historical character?

      And if you really, really, really want to educate yourself on the present day state of rabbi beliefs, i would suggest you purchase and read the Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary; the first authorised commentary on the Torah since 1936. Published in 2001 by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (in collaboration with the Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Publication Society), the 1,559 page long Etz Hayim concludes with 41 essays written by prominent rabbis and scholars who admit the Pentateuch is little more than a self-serving myth rife with anachronisms and un-ignorable archeological inconsistencies, and rather than triumphant conquest, Israel instead emerged slowly and relatively peacefully out of the general Canaanite population.

  6. This was beautiful, Mel. 🙂

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