We have looked at the HOW and WHY of street epistemology in previous reports and are currently looking their tactics. You can click here to read a basic report before reading further. It is an introduction to basic tactics, so that’s a good place to start. This second part … Continue reading Street Epistemology: Basic Tactics, Part Two
In our previous reports about street epistemology we’ve looked at their purpose, goals and strategy – that’s the WHY issue. We move now to their tactics – HOW they do what they do.
What is the purpose of “street epistemology”? Atheist author and blogger Sam Harris asked that question of the man who created street epistemology – Peter Boghossian (https://www.samharris.org/blog/item/street-epistemology) Sam Harris: “What was your goal in writing A Manual for Creating Atheists?” Peter Boghossian: “My primary … Continue reading Street Epistemology: Basic Strategy
In the last part of our report, we looked at the founder of The Jesus Seminar and Westar Institute, Robert Funk. He was a leader in the new “quest” for the historical Jesus until his death in 2005.
Westar Institute’s “mission” statement claims that the organization “is dedicated to fostering and communicating the results of cutting-edge scholarship on the history and evolution of the Christian tradition, thereby raising the level of public discourse about questions that matter in society and culture.”
Question: how “cutting-edge” is Westar’s scholarship?
In part one of our report, we looked at The Jesus Seminar and its impact on other “seminars” conducted as part of the Westar Institute.
I admit to being slightly amused at this statement on the Westar Institute website –
“Westar is not affiliated with any religious institution and does not advocate a particular theological point of view.”
That’s an interesting statement in light of their stated point of view about Christian theology, as you read in our previous report.
In part two, we will look at the founder of The Jesus Seminar and Westar Institute and his stated purposes for “rewriting” the history of Christianity.
The Jesus Seminar was a group of “scholars and specialists” interested in renewing “the quest of the historical Jesus.” The name Jesus Seminar would imply that this group had good credentials and would reveal something important about the real life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. That didn’t happen.
According to The Jesus Seminar –
“Among the findings is that, in the judgment of the Jesus Seminar Fellows, about 18 percent of the sayings and 16 percent of the deeds attributed to Jesus in the gospels are authentic.”
Another way of understanding that statement is that 82 percent of the sayings and 84 percent of the deeds attributed to Jesus in the Gospels are NOT authentic.
Let that sink in for a minute ….
The Jesus Seminar would have us believe that the vast majority of what’s written about the sayings and deeds of Jesus Christ in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) are NOT authentic – not true – never said – never done.
Was The Jesus Seminar right?
We are currently looking at the writings of Origen of Alexandria. While admired by many Christians of his day, some thought him to be a heretic because of his views about the pre-existence of human souls, allegorical interpretation of Scripture, and eventual universal salvation.
In the last part of our series, we looked at Origen’s declarations against heresy and heretics in De Principiis. We will now look at what is believed to be Origen’s most famous writing about heresy – Against Celsus.