If you missed the debate Friday, Cash & Love debated with Jason Reenie of the Christian Meets World podcast. You can listen to hit here. http://aoa.fm/1hf2Kks
Jason Rennie is the host of the “Christian Meets World” podcast (http://www.christianmeetsworld.com), a long-running podcast dedicated to promoting Christianity. On the evening of January 17, 2014, he was the guest of “Atheists On Air,” hosted by Cash Atheos and Jennifer Lovejoy, broadcasting (online) from western North Carolina. I was not a featured guest on this episode, but I had some interest in the content, and graciously, “Cash and Love” did invite me to put in my two cents. For that, and for the chance to talk to Rennie, I am appreciative. I had the opportunity to spar with Rennie (lightly), and here are some of my observations on both his presentation and his theology. (Note: I was unable to catch the entire show, which started at about 7:00 p.m. EST. I tuned in at around 8:15 p.m., so my comments relate to the show content from that point forward. These points are probably not in order, but you’ll be able to get a feel for how this particular Christian – Rennie – thinks.)
Without going into introductions or flowery set-up (because I don’t have the mental mojo to be introductory or flowery tonight), here are my points:
1.) At one place in the broadcast, Rennie accused Cash of making a positive claim about Biblical contradictions, when Cash’s statement was an observation, not a claim. Even though I pointed this out to Rennie, Rennie still insisted that Cash’s statement was a “claim.” What Rennie didn’t seem to logically understand is that a “claim” is made usually before evidence is offered, because evidence is offered IN SUPPORT of a claim. Cash was commenting on evidence that had already been presented (i.e., the Bible). He was not making claim of refutation, he was observing the material offered in support of Rennie’s claim that the Biblical material is not contradictory; when, in fact, it is CLEARLY contradictory.
2.) Rennie kept trying to mischaracterize what I (Dave Foda) was saying about New Testament (Greek-speaking) authors who misunderstood the words of Old Testament (Hebrew-speaking) prophets. He surmised my words as being a position that I was accusing New Testament authors engaging in an “illegitimate use of the text, based on the way the text was used at the time.” No, that isn’t what I was saying, at all. And, even when this was pointed out, Rennie still kept referring to my position as “illegitimate use of the text.” My point was that regardless of the motivations or accidents that led to the mistake in a Greek-speaking author misusing or misinterpreting a Hebrew-speaking “prophet,” the “mistake” is still present, so the cognizant Christian still needs to come up with a way to reconcile these obvious inconsistencies. To refuse to do so – or to avoid the challenge – is a surrender.
3.) In response to my illustration of of faulty interpretation of Old Testament “prophecy” (the prophecy of Jesus’ birth in Isaiah 7 by the writer of the gospels), Rennie actually – and fatally – agreed with my anecdote of Henry Morris III’s words to me, when I asked him about Biblical literalism and prophecy, and Morris told me that “Sometimes, God has to fulfill prophecies more than once.” EVEN IF THIS WERE TRUE, it certainly does not apply to Isaiah 7, simply because the continuing Biblical narrative in Isaiah 8 shows unequivocally that the “prophecy” had nothing to do with Jesus at all. Period. End of story. But, Rennie, without actually understanding the text itself, agreed with a Young-Earth Creationist apologist (Morris III).
4.) “I don’t think that they’re contradictory in the way you think they are.” This was Rennie’s response to Cash’s position on the discrepancies in the gospel accounts of events in Harry Potter’s life……sorry, JESUS’ life…..and Cash’s observation of the disagreement in the lineage of Jesus between two gospels. What amused me is that the way Rennie worded his response ironically accepts that there ARE contradictions, but he didn’t bother to explain the contradictions that Cash noted, nor did he actually try to delineate the difference between his understanding and Cash’s understanding of “contradiction.”
5.) With regard to the Resurrection, Rennie stated, “…..You’ve got something that happened two thousand years ago and you need to account for it.” Shortly thereafter, he stated, “……unless you have good reason to think that a resurrection is impossible, I don’t think the alternative accounts I’ve seen that attempt to cover the bits and pieces of evidence are convincing.” This is a sublime example of presuppostionalist smoke-and-mirrors: It automatically assumes, based on uncorroborated and untestable assertions, that an event happened. He’s adopted an idea, presupposing (without evidence) that Jesus’ Resurrection actually happened. Then, he suggests – no, INSISTS – that ALL other possible offers of explanation are unworthy, presumably because they do not meet the demands of a miracle. Get that? In the process of presupposing a miraculous resurrection, he inadvertently – and accidentally – admits that there’s no evidence to support it, either. Thusly, he’s “making shit up.”
The cherry on top for me was this:
6.) At one point, while talking to Cash, he referred to yours truly as “your caller.” He doesn’t really know who I am. 😀 (I’m okay with that.)
Cash may show up on Rennie’s podcast. Rennie may show up on Atheists On Air again. In either case, it promises to be a pretty entertaining transaction.
Overall, in summary, it is not enough for atheists and non-theists to know THAT apologetic arguments for Yahweh are false, it is necessary to know WHY those arguments are false.