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Infidels, Freethinkers, Humanists, and Unbelievers
Price, Robert M. (1954 - )
"I do not expect that the mere fact that I was once an evangelical apologist and now see things differently should itself count as evidence that I must be right. That would be the genetic fallacy. It would be just as erroneous to think that John Rankin must be right in having embraced evangelical Christianity since he had once been an agnostic Unitarian and repudiated it for the Christian faith."

-- Robert M. Price


Robert McNair Price is a Professor of Theology and Scriptural Studies at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary in Miami Gardens, Florida. He is the author of many books and articles on religion and has also written about H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.

Price hosts a weekly call-in webcast, The Bible Geek, in which he answers a wide range of questions pertaining to religion. He appeared in Brian Flemming's documentary film The God Who Wasn't There (2005).

Quotations

"I do not expect that the mere fact that I was once an evangelical apologist and now see things differently should itself count as evidence that I must be right. That would be the genetic fallacy. It would be just as erroneous to think that John Rankin must be right in having embraced evangelical Christianity since he had once been an agnostic Unitarian and repudiated it for the Christian faith."

'"Heresy," by the way, simply means "choice." It came to mean "thoughtcrime," implying it was blasphemy to presume to choose your own belief instead of swallowing what the bishops spoonfed you.'

"In broad outline and in detail, the life of Jesus as portrayed in the gospels corresponds to the worldwide Mythic Hero Archetype in which a divine hero's birth is supernaturally predicted and conceived, the infant hero escapes attempts to kill him, demonstrates his precocious wisdom already as a child, receives a divine commission, defeats demons, wins acclaim, is hailed as king, then betrayed, losing popular favor, executed, often on a hilltop, and is vindicated and taken up to heaven."

"Second, the "historical Jesus" reconstructed by New Testament scholars is always a reflection of the individual scholars who reconstruct him. Albert Schweitzer was perhaps the single exception, and he made it painfully clear that previous questers for the historical Jesus had merely drawn self-portraits. All unconsciously used the historical Jesus as a ventriloquist dummy. Jesus must have taught the truth, and their own beliefs must have been true, so Jesus must have taught those beliefs. (Of course, every biblicist does the same! "I said it! God believes it! That settles it!"). Today's Politically Correct "historical Jesuses" are no different, being mere clones of the scholars who design them."

"I wonder how appropriate it is to try to "argue someone into the "kingdom." Many apologists hotly deny any such charge, but I don't believe them. The tenor of almost all apologetics literature makes it plain that this is their intent."

"The very admission of the need to harmonize is an admission that the burden of proof is on the narratives, not on those who doubt them. What harmonizing shows is that despite appearances, the texts still might be true."

"If, when we compare two versions of a story, the second known to be a retelling of the first, and find that the second has more of a miraculous element, we may reasonably conclude we have legendary (or midrashic or whatever) embellishment. The tale has grown in the telling. This sort of comparison is common in extrabiblical research and no one holds that it cannot properly indicate legend formation there."

 
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