Debate: Is Christianity True?


Andrew recently had a debate at Legacy Classical Christianity Academy with a professing atheist on the topic "Is Christianity True?" We will show that debate on the show.


It's fascinating to me how easily someone in one religion can find the fallacies and biases in another religion.
I think that what's fascinating... You're razor sharp on your criticism of Islam here.
Yeah. But what I find fascinating, Jeff, is that you recognize that with other religions but you don't do it with your own.
Because I... That may be the case. I'm just saying. And there's that confirmation bias coming up again.
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I think that's a perfectly good answer. So we're going to do something tonight.
We're live now. I will be sitting backstage probably with Drew, and we're going to look at comments and put some comments up throughout this.
But we're going to be playing a debate. And so let me bring Drew in real quick.
So Drew, welcome. So what we're going to do is this is going to be a two hour and 20,
I think it's two hour, 22 minute debate that we have. And we're going to play that.
We're going to make some comments early. Next week, we're not going to have a show because, well, it's
Thanksgiving and you guys won't be here anyway. But the week after that, the gentleman
I debated, Bill, is planning to come in because there were so many questions that the students asked that there was not enough time to answer them.
So Bill is going to come on here is the plan, at least for the first week of December, maybe for a couple of weeks as we work through the questions.
And Drew is going to act as moderator. And we're going to go through passing the questions back and forth.
And we're just going to continue the Q &A with him. That'll also be a time that you guys will be able to join in and ask any questions.
So I say that's if you have questions as you're listening to the debate, write them down so you could bring them in two weeks and ask
Bill yourself. You know, I'm really looking forward to that, just so I can say,
Andrew, answer the question. Well, I will.
OK, I'll give a little bit there. There was one point. Now, just folks, just remember that as we do this debate, this is
Bill's first time doing a debate. He's got decades having discussions with Christians.
Unfortunately, I will say up front, the video that we have is not the best. I'm getting some more video.
And what we'll be looking to do is I'm going to kind of make another do some more edits and be able to put that onto our
YouTube channel. And that way I'll link that to the podcast version of this.
But you're going to see in the something happened with the cameras. So the guy that was doing the AV, we didn't have the introductions because his camera was black, just blank screen.
And so I he took video from his phone. So we got that until the camera was back up.
So you miss a little bit of the beginning. You miss the we're missing the introduction. We're missing the beginning of my opening, but you get most of it.
So it's where he the moderator will introduce both myself and Bill, give our backgrounds.
But Bill's part of an atheist and Christian book club. They've been having discussions on these topics for decades with a
Christian author than a atheist author. So they go back and forth.
Really good discussion. He's a wonderful guy. Really like him. So you're going to see some of that.
I do want to say that it was a great time out at Legacy Classical Christian Academy there in Fort Worth, Texas.
Had a great time with the students. Really blessed because I got to teach basically everything that was in my debate.
My entire opening was one of the topics that I ended up teaching on Monday. So the students got to not only hear it, but hear it again, repeated and then seen it put into practice in the debate.
So I hope that was helpful for them. What was when you were teaching? And you're talking about one of the lessons you taught was part of the opening of your debate.
In that lesson that you were teaching, were you kind of giving foreshadows of the debate by saying, this is usually the argument that an atheist does, and you're going to see that in this debate.
And here's how you respond to that. Actually, not as explicit. But I did say throughout on Monday, I was saying, you'll hear me talk about this on Wednesday.
We're going to we're going to touch on this on Wednesday in the debate. I did answer things. It was interesting because we talked about confirmation bias and you heard the opening clip here.
And that's actually something that Bill brought up. And it was something that I kept bringing up throughout the debate.
And so I was glad he brought it up first. It was great. And so that was wonderful.
I want to I want to well, first off, I see Mr. Chris Honholds is here. So we should mention the retired.
Because, you know, he's so tired that he's retired, and so the retired.
Officer Honholds, and so congratulations on making it 20 years, so that is an accomplishment, especially with everything that's been going on the past four years.
Yeah. Yeah. You know, so I want to read a text that I actually got early this morning, and this was greatly encouraging to me.
But this was from the gentleman that organized the debate and having me out.
We got a lot of good feedback from the students, but and I have his permission to read this. Chris is
Chris is correcting me, you know, he's saying 25 years, actually. I'm sorry.
You know, I was listening to a podcaster talk about how to basically how to get interaction with people.
And he said, if one thing, if you want interaction with your audience, just say something wrong, because everyone is very quick to correct you.
It's kind of like the thing that goes around saying, if you want a seminary education, you know, pick a fight with a
Calvinist. Yeah. So, all right. So it's a good way to see if your audience is sleeping as well.
Yeah. You know, making sure everyone's paying attention. You know? Yeah. Yeah.
I think the students realize that I don't really let them sleep when I'm teaching. So they never knew what to expect with me, which is what this audience is used to.
So this was a text message I got and I have permission to read it as is, even though it mentions one of the students names.
He says, hey, I pray that you guys got home safely. I wanted to thank you again for joining us this week.
Our students and staff loved it. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from everyone.
You and your wife are a blessing to us that were a blessing to us this week, and I am thankful.
I'm also thankful because of the influence you had on my son, Mitchell. I've been praying for the
Lord to work on his heart for some time. And the last few days, he has been listening to your podcasts, asking questions and demonstrating a hunger
I haven't necessarily seen before. He and I are even planning on going through what do they believe together.
Time will tell if the Lord has done anything, but I'm incredibly thankful for your influence on him and me.
Thank you again. I pray that we could do this again and our paths cross. Please don't hesitate if you ever need anything, even if just prayer.
Thank you again, sir. So that was a greatly encouraging text to receive.
Great way to start the morning. And so, you know, we often drew, you know, this you teach and you do shows like this and all.
We sometimes never get to see the impact that it makes in other people's lives. And so this was really encouraging to me.
And that's like it's a lot like evangelism, right? You give the gospel, you share, you teach, you answer questions and you just trust that the
Holy Spirit is going to do a work in that. But oftentimes, you as the teacher or as the evangelist, you're not going to be seeing the fruit of that.
You hope you hear about it, right? You hope you see it so that you can rejoice in those moments.
But most of the time, you're not going to see it. Correct. You know, just getting back some comments here.
We see Missionary Gamer says when I said that I say things wrong, he says, and you give us so many opportunities.
Yeah, well, you're welcome, Peter. And then we have Melissa saying to Chris, thank you for your service, brother.
And we do thank him. So let's get I want to get into it because I know this is going to be two hours, 28 minutes.
So we're going to do a little bit longer of a show, obviously. Like I said, I'll work on getting some put together some editing and get a better video.
So with this, just so you know, you're going to see one camera angle that's going to be from a cell phone. The audio is good, so the audio won't change.
But you're going to see the position change from someone's cell phone to switching over to the cameras that the church had.
After that, it seems fine. The the thing is that there is a section between where his cell phone was off before the camera reboots.
And at that point, you're going to see a black screen. So don't be alarmed, you'll hear the audio on it, and we're going to try to to see if we can
I can do some editing and fix that. But I'll probably be backstage looking at comments.
I'll be putting comments up. So if there's things you want to put a comment, we'll put them up so that they can be seen by folks.
We're just not going to interact with them. And if we're probably not going to have anyone come in this week because we're going to hit play and just let this play straight through because, well, we all know that if Drew and I chop this up an hour and 22 minute video, we would be here until next year.
We wouldn't get out of the introduction. And there's there's probably so many errors in Andrew's introduction.
We'd have to go through and correct them. Yeah, yeah. So, all right, let's let's what's this coming from Missionary Gamer?
He says when Andrew says, don't be alarmed, instantly alarmed. Wonder why anyone don't be alarmed.
I'm just getting on this ATV. Yeah, well, I think he's more concerned with the chokeholds is what his comment is.
More, you know, you know, I'm sorry. I just thought we were rolling and, you know, that's doing some jujitsu.
What can I say? All right. Well, let's let's get started with it and we're going to hit play.
So here we go. Enjoy the debate. For you guys to learn, a debate forced us to have to be a little more precise in language and thinking.
And so that comes out a lot in the cross examination. And so it's really for you. Typically, the people that are debating don't often convince each other, though.
I'm praying that I convince Bill to repent and convert to Christ today.
That is my prayer. He knows that. It's not a surprise to him. Prayed it last night.
And so but that's that's our goal is for you guys to learn. All right.
So let's start with the discussion. The topic is, is Christianity true?
I like that. Now, it makes me mean that I have to defend it. OK, well, here's the thing. When we think about truth, because we're going to say that Christianity is true or not, we first have to understand what truth is.
So one of the things we're going to learn is that truth has three elements of it.
First of all, it's immaterial, it's absolute and it's universal, it's immaterial, it's absolute and it's universal.
So first off, I'm going to argue that it has to come from a immaterial, absolute, universal source being
God. So if we're going to have truth, we first of all have to have God. So every time that Bill is going to appeal to truth,
I'm going to say he's appealing to my worldview and not his atheist worldview. Now, maybe he's going to be able to explain truth from an atheist worldview, but I don't believe truth is a product of chemical reactions.
You have truth even if there's truth, even if no people agree with it, if no people believe it, there's still truth.
And so when we look at what is true, we're saying, is Christianity true? I would say that I think
I will argue that everybody knows God exists, that everybody is, that every single person either submits to God or suppresses that truth and unrighteousness.
But everybody knows God exists. His attributes, his power is clearly seen.
This is Romans chapter one. And so what we end up seeing is the fact that when we're looking at Christianity amongst all the religions, how do we know
Christianity is true? There's so many religions in the world. And as many believe that.
Let's examine the religions, is there an objective way we could examine all of the world religions to see if one of them is actually true compared to the others being false?
What makes one true and one false? Well, what makes a true religion would be that which is from God, since God is the author of it.
So the question then is, is there a divine religion versus manmade religions? I will agree there's many manmade religions, but I will argue that there's only two religions in the entire world.
There's either divine or manmade. So is there an objective way that we could examine every world religion to see which one is divine and which one's manmade?
Well, I think we can. First off, when we look at Christianity amongst every world religion, we see that only within Christianity do we have a religion based on a person rather than a system of teaching.
And it's a very specific person. It's the person of Jesus Christ. What makes him special?
What makes him unique that it's that he can have Christianity where no one else can?
You if you think about every other religion, you can have, you know, Mormonism without Joseph Smith.
You can have, you know, Jehovah Witnesses without Russell.
You could have the Seven -Day Adventist without Mary Baker Eddy.
You can have Islam without Muhammad because all of those are a teaching of morality.
Do good, don't do bad. There's nothing unique of those people that make those religions special, like where you need that person.
But you see, Christianity is not like that because Christianity is based on Jesus Christ being truly
God and truly man. That's essential to Christianity because what you see is that he being truly man means that he could be a substitute for other human beings.
And that's essential. The fact that he's a human being means that he can be a substitute for the things we do.
The problem is he has to have never broken God's law if he's going to be a substitute for us before God.
Now, the problem is if he's just merely a human being, as every other founder of a religion is, there's still a problem because he cannot pay a fine that costs, that takes forever to pay because he can only pay for one person.
But the fact that Jesus Christ is truly God, he can pay an eternal fine.
He could pay a fine for more than one person. So what we end up seeing is that Jesus being truly
God and truly man, his eternal nature, he can pay a fine for more for more than one person and pay it forever because in time, because his nature, when he was on that cross, his nature is eternal, not just human.
Being a human, he could be a substitute, being God, he could pay an eternal fine. That's what makes
Jesus Christ unique from any other figure in history. And that's why Christianity is uniquely based upon him.
And the evidence that he said he would provide for this was that he would raise himself from the dead.
Now, dead people rot. They don't raise from the dead. But he predicted that he would raise from the dead and that he would raise himself from the dead.
So the ultimate evidence that he is God is the fact that he said he would do this and his body is gone.
So Christianity, one, is the only religion based on a person rather than a system of teaching.
You say, well, OK, that doesn't necessarily make it divine. That's true. But what does is the second thing.
The second point is that Christianity is the only religion in the world that doesn't have human effort to get right with God.
Every other religion in the world teaches that you do something. Now, it might be if Roman Catholicism would say you have faith plus works, you have faith.
But then after your faith, you have to have works. Mormonism kind of reverses it. They say that you get that God will save you by grace after all you can do.
So you do your works and anything left over, God will take care of. But you see in both, there's an element of us having some human effort.
And so what we see is that every manmade religion will add human effort because the manmade religion is going to put it on human beings to praise themselves.
That's one of the things we know. Historically, Bill's a historian. If we study wars,
I don't know a single man who loses a war that doesn't that writes about the loss. He will have the journals write about his battles that he won.
People don't usually want to tout their losses. What we end up seeing, though, is that every manmade religion is going to add human effort in some way.
Islam will say you do one good deed to count for 10 bad deeds. Rabbinic Judaism, different than Old Testament Judaism, which is how
I was raised. That would say you get right with God by doing Torah, doing obeying the law. Every single one of them, even
Hinduism and Buddhism, would say that the things you do in this life get you into a better life in the next one because their belief in reincarnation.
So we end up seeing, though, is the fact that only Christianity says that God himself did the work of getting right with him at the cross.
When God became a man, he died on that cross. That punishment, because uniquely who
Jesus is, that death on that cross in time counted for all of eternity.
And that is why we can have forgiveness of sin by what Jesus did. However, one other element, a third point that I don't know of any other religion that can resolve is how could
God be great, just and merciful? Now, every religion will say that God has the attributes of justice and mercy, but justice and mercy are mutually exclusive.
You can't have justice and mercy in the same way. So if, as an example, if the law said that if I was to smack
Bill, I wouldn't do that. But if I was to do that and the law said that he must smack me back with equal force, he has a choice.
He can smack me with equal force. That would be called justice. He could not smack me.
I think that's probably what he would end up doing, having dinner with him last night. He would not smack me. That would be mercy.
But you see, if he smacked me halfway, that's not justice, nor is that mercy. It's neither.
So even though you might have an Islam where they would say, Allah, most merciful, but how is he just?
Because if he allows people who break his law to not suffer consequences, then what you end up seeing is that he is no longer just.
He has to have the same standard for everybody to be just. But if he has the same standard for everybody, then all of us are guilty.
And if all of us are guilty, then none of us would be able to get right with God. So how do you resolve that?
Well, the fact is it's resolved at the cross because Jesus being God paid the full weight of our sin because he's an eternal being.
He could pay that full weight being an eternal being the full time period.
He paid it. And so now that the full justice is paid, we can have the forgiveness of sin.
Now we can have forgiveness because of what he has done. And so as we look at this, we end up seeing that out of every single religion in the world, there is only one where God does all of the work because of who he is.
And it's the only religion in the world where you have a God that is both just and merciful.
Now, even though every religion will say he is, only one can rationalize and reconcile that.
And so as we look at the different religions, I will argue that Christianity is true. Because it comes from God, because it is divine.
And remember, throughout the debate, every time that Mr. Bill refers to truth or says something is true,
I will in my head, at least if we don't say it out loud, maybe in the cross, we'll be asking, how do you know that is true?
Remember, truth is something that has to be immaterial, absolute, universal. When he appeals to knowledge, when he appeals to laws of logic or morality, all of these things are in the same category.
They're going to require God. I would say that we know God exists. I already said that from Romans 1, but we also would know that just from the universe, from God's creation.
How could the universe have come into existence? There's only three ways of explaining that we're either going to have that the universe always existed.
You know, Albert Einstein proved that that wasn't the case. You could look at the first law of thermodynamics. But the other is would be maybe if the universe, since we know the universe had a beginning, mass and energy had a beginning, then maybe the universe created itself.
Well, that would be a violation of the law of logic. Second law of logic is a law of non -contradiction.
The universe would have had to first exist for it to be able to create itself. So I will argue that we can look at the universe and know that someone or something had to have created it since it had a beginning.
Now, the argument would say is then, well, then who created God? Well, the philosophers would refer to the uncaused cause.
There had to be someone or something that creates the first creation that someone or something would have to be uncreated.
And so is Christianity true? Well, yes. First off, we know there is a God. Though some suppress that in unrighteousness, we can look at all the different religions and realize that only within Christianity can you have a
God that is just and merciful where he does all the work and it's based on God and not a system of morality or things we do.
And I will close a minute early. All right.
All right. Thank you. I failed to mention the time. So each each debater will have a 15 minute opening statement, followed by a 10 minute rebuttal.
And so now, Mr. Clark, we'll have his opening statement. Can you hear me? Am I on? Am I on now?
Oh, come on. You know, last night we had dinner, Andrew and I, and the wives, and we asked the waitress who said, who's the atheist and who's the
Christian? So she looked and she said, he's the atheist, Bill's the Christian.
It was funny. And she was an atheist herself. And Andrew goes, what did you say? How do you know?
Yeah. I asked her how, why she chose that one. Yeah. Why she thought. Because then you talk too much or talk a lot.
She said that she thought I was fun. Yeah. Yeah. You're too fun to be. All right.
So there are five main points that I think prove that Christianity is not true. Jesus wasn't a unique.
Jesus was a failed apocalyptic prophet. The Gospels are historically unreliable.
Paul doesn't seem to know anything about Jesus. The Gospels contradict historical facts and historical implausibilities.
And there's too many Christianities. First, before I get into this, I want to talk about confirmation bias.
The tendency to search for and interpret, favor, recall information in a way that confirms or supports prior beliefs or values.
We all have this problem. We want to confirm what we already believe. We're good at confirming evidence about what we like.
But we're very bad at disconfirming evidence, things that go against our beliefs. We don't realize it, but we are surrounded by Christian biases and influence in America.
We have television stations like TBN, Christian radio, Christian publishers like Zondervan and Christian academies like Legacy Christian Academy.
These are all biases that we're not even aware of. We are swimming in a Christian culture.
And because we live in this culture, we're not aware of it because we're in it. One solution to the dilemma is called the outsider test of faith.
This is by John Loftus. And it says we this is for a majority of the great majority of people.
We get our belief systems from two sources. One is the geography. If you're born in Saudi Arabia, 95 percent chance you're going to be a
Muslim. If you're in South America, you're going to probably be a Catholic. So how do we even smart people?
These this outsider test of faith, these biases are very hard to overcome. So there are exceptions.
Exhibit A, Andrew, to his credit, overcame his influence and bias and his culture and so forth.
And boy, real credit to you for doing that. My my partner in the
Atheist Christian Book Club, James Walker, was a Mormon and he overcame his and he goes throughout the country talking about the faults of Mormonism, which are many.
So what's so cool about you guys being here and being exposed to this is when you hear about this, when you go to college, you go, oh,
I heard about the like, for instance, Bart Ehrman's, there's more variants in the New Testament than there are words in the
New Testament. You can say, well, most of those are minor, but they do. Some of them do impact theological points.
But in other words, you'll be you won't be blindsided. Does that make sense? So anyway, we should be just as critical of faiths like Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses as we are of our own faith.
So let's be critical. Our first one, Jesus was not unique. Let me tell you a story.
Before he was born, his mother had a visitor from heaven who told her that her son would not be a mere mortal, but in fact, would be divine.
His birth was accompanied by unusual divine signs of heaven as an adult. He left home to engage in itinerant preaching ministry.
He gathered a number of followers around him who became convinced that he was no ordinary human, but he was the son of God.
And he did miracles to confirm them, their beliefs. He could heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead.
At the end of the life, he aroused opposition among the ruling authorities of Rome and was put on trial. But they could not kill his soul.
He ascended to heaven and continues to live to this day. To prove that he lived on after death, he appears to at least one of the doubting followers who became convinced that in fact, he remained with us even now.
Later, some of his followers wrote books about him and we can still read them today. I'm sure you all know who
I'm talking about, but maybe you don't. I'm not talking about Jesus. I'm talking about Apollonius of Tiana.
A Greek philosopher from the Greek province of Cappadocia who lived in the first century about the time of Jesus.
There's 18, 16 temples are built in Apollonius' honor throughout the Mediterranean. He actually saved the city of Ephesus from the plague and raised a
Roman soldier, senator from the dead. We know of Apollonius through the works of the
Neo -Pythagorean writer, Philostratus. So that's why you've got to be careful about confirmation buying and do try to look at things objectively.
Okay, let's talk about Jesus, the failed apocalyptic prophet. But before I do,
I want to talk about another failed apocalyptic prophet, Joseph Smith. In 1832,
Joseph Smith predicted the temple would be built in Independence, Missouri in 1832.
It's been 40 years from 1832. In 1871, the Mormons were saying, Prophet Pratt, Orson Pratt, why hasn't the temple been built?
It's been 40 years. It's been the generation because he specifically said it would be built in that generation.
And Pratt goes, wait a minute, not everybody's dead. We still got time. Well, guess what? It's 150 years later.
There's no temple. Joseph Smith is clearly a failed prophet.
He did make some things that were true about the Civil War. He did predict the Civil War. So you got some things right. All right, let's turn to Jesus.
Ever since Albert Schweitzer published The Quest for the Historical Jesus in 1906, we have best understood
Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet. The consensus of scholarship now is to view
Jesus, over the past 100 years, is to view Jesus this way. Dale Allison, who was at our book club and wrote the book
Resurrecting Jesus, says in the epilogue, Jesus was wrong. So Jesus actually clearly predicted the
Son of Man would come in the lifetime of the disciples. It's been 2000 years and he still has not returned.
Jesus thought the Son of Man would bring forth God's kingdom, the Romans would be driven out, Israel would be restored to its former glory, his 12 disciples would sit on the thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel.
It didn't happen. The next point, why I believe Christean might not be true, is the
Gospels are historically unreliable. You read the genealogies. In Matthew, Joseph's father is
Jacob. In Luke, Joseph's father is Heli. Two different things.
His grandfather is Nathan in Matthew, in my thought, close, but still not the same.
And it's different for his great grandfather and so forth. They have different points in the genealogies.
What's really interesting, a lot of people don't know this, but the genealogy, or don't see it, the genealogy of Matthew goes back to Abraham.
Where does Luke's genealogy go? To Adam. Well, if that's true, the first Homo sapiens came on the scene 100 ,000 years ago, so obviously we're missing a lot of ancestry.
And the Jews weren't any better at keeping, well, you might be able to answer this one, weren't any better at keeping ancestry and genealogy today.
Mormons do great with ancestry and genealogies, but that's 100 ,000 years. So obviously, and we asked
Dale Allison, who's one of the top five scholars in the world, are these, is the birth narratives true?
And he said, no, they're obviously fiction. The birth narratives themselves, you have Matthew, the slaughter of the innocents,
Joseph and Mary go to Egypt, totally different than Luke, where they go to Bethlehem, but then return to Nazareth.
And there's a worldwide census where they have to go to Bethlehem, their ancestors, former residents, and pay taxes and so forth.
So the birth narratives are kind of misleading too. Also, we have, remember the story of Jairus where Jairus comes to Jesus, or Jairus's dad,
I think, comes to Jesus and says, my daughter is dying. And then
Jesus says, that's okay, I'll get there. And then he heals a woman with an issue of blood. And then someone goes and says,
Jairus's daughter is dead. Now in Matthew's gospel, when Jairus comes to Jesus, his daughter is dead already.
So we have a contradiction, both of which can't be true. This is kind of a minor thing, but we're trying to figure out, did
Jesus raise his daughter from the dead? So we want to get the details kind of straight before we can make an assessment.
The other one that you've probably heard is, how did Judas die? In Matthew, he hangs himself, okay?
Totally different than Luke, where he slips and his guts fall out. So you have two contradictory accounts.
So the great Dale Allison, we asked him, what do you think of that? And he goes, there's a third option.
He got ran over by a wheelbarrow, according to Papias. So it's just, when you have
Dale Allison, who says there's three contradictory accounts, you've got to question some things.
And by the way, he is a Christian. He says that, you know, I doubt, I don't see a lot of history in the birth narratives, the resurrection accounts, the post -resurrection accounts probably aren't true, and by the way,
Mark does not have any post -resurrection appearances of Jesus, we find those in Matthew and Luke.
And by the way, in Matthew, we have
Jesus telling his disciples, go to Galilee. This is after he's resurrected.
In Luke, he says, stay in Jerusalem, do not leave. And he appears in Acts, tells us for 40 days, doing all sorts of things, and he ascends to heaven.
But they never leave Jerusalem. And the other part, in Matthew, Jesus, the resurrected second person of the
Trinity, is appearing to the disciples, and what does it say in Matthew 27?
Some doubt it. Well, if they're doubting right there, and they can see the resurrected
Jesus, how are we supposed to believe 2 ,000 years later? So, the other thing that is troubling, oh, is
Paul doesn't seem to know anything about the historical Jesus. Paul and his letters, there's seven authentic letters that Paul wrote,
Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, and so on. He doesn't mention his miracles, his parables,
Jesus' spoken parables, where is the mention of these in Paul's letters? Or teachings where they could benefit his cause?
In Romans, he talks about the Roman authorities and paying them and being a good citizen and, you know, obeying them.
Why did he say, remember when Jesus said, oh, give unto Caesar what is Caesar's when they showed him the coin?
So, we have, you know, things that we think, and he, on divorce, he could have quoted
Jesus' teaching, but he just doesn't seem to know. Now, he does mention the 12 and the kind of the empty tomb and the last supper.
So, he does know some things about Jesus, but not, you know, what we would want.
And his view of salvation differs from Jesus. Jesus, what did he say? When you, when
I was hungry, you fed me. When I was in prison, you visited me. Works, works, works. In Matthew, Jesus says, not a jot or a tittle of the law will go away.
And you should be familiar with that. So, what does
Paul say about how you're saved? It's through believing in Jesus Christ. And if you're a
Protestant, it's grace plus nothing. Now, so we have different views of salvation and so forth.
Now, the genius of Paul is that he said, look, guys, you Gentiles do not have to get circumcised, big deal there.
And you don't, you can eat shellfish and have a pork sandwich. So, Paul made it very amenable to the
Gentiles. So, and it's just fascinating to think that if it wasn't for the
Apostle Paul, the co -founder of Christianity, we might not be here today. We might not have a
Christianity. It probably would have been a small sect in Judaism that just died out. Because remember, the church in Jerusalem was believed in keeping the dietary laws, keeping the law of Moses and so forth.
And remember, Paul and Peter had this open conflict where they were at odds with each other.
And Paul says, I went and called him out on this. OK, so they also contradict historical facts.
But back to the birth narratives, why in the world would any, the Romans were very smart and pragmatic.
Why would they have, it says in Luke, they went to their ancestors. Birthplace a thousand years before.
So why in the world would you go to your birthplace, you know, your ancestor's birthplace a thousand years ago?
It doesn't doesn't make sense. And we got the zombies.
Oh, man, I'm glad I got a minute because this is crucial. Where the dead give up and walk around Jerusalem, even evangelicals like Mike Lacona and William Clegg say this certainly is not literal.
It's easy to say the gospels are filled with all sorts of misinformation and not historical.
But we had Roman writers that could have reported this, but they didn't.
So the zombies go into Jerusalem, see some people, then they go back to their graves and say, hey, look, guys,
I've really enjoyed this, but I got to go back to my tombs. It makes no sense. Christianity probably isn't true.
Thank you. All right. Thank you, Mr. Cluck.
All right. Now, Mr. Rappaport will have 10 minutes for the first rebuttal. All right.
Well, thank you for that, Bill. A lot to go through. It's always the fun of cross -examination is you unload in the opening and try to unpack real quick.
All right. So he gives the example of Jesus not being unique. Let me give you another example.
There was a great, great ship, this massive ship bigger than any had ever been made before.
It was crossing over to America and it hit an iceberg and sank.
Most of their people, most of the people on board died. You know what I'm speaking of, right?
The book, The Great Titan, written years before the Titanic was even created.
Therefore, there was no Titanic. Would we have that kind of logic?
No. Just because there's uniqueness. We have uniqueness. We could look at with the birth of of Abraham Lincoln.
There's a lot of similarities there with with him and another person. That doesn't prove that the actual event didn't happen.
He mentions, and I was glad he mentioned things about confirmation bias because we'll look at that.
Joseph Smith not predicting the temple. This is the idea that now this is one of the problems that many people will have is when we look at reading scripture, we have to look at the scripture in its context, because what you see is that Jesus there when he's saying that in this generation, these things will happen.
The question first has to be asked, which generation? Bill is hit with his confirmation bias is assuming, as he is using the example of Joseph Smith, that it's the generation hearing him speak.
But if you read in the context, Jesus is being asked for the signs of the end times, so he's listing all of the signs and says this generation, referring to the people that see those signs, not the generation hearing
Jesus speak. And so we can look at the context and reconcile that very easily.
The gospel genealogies with the father of Jesus. Now, this may be something that because I know most atheists don't actually study this and realize this, and actually,
I'll be honest, most Christians don't know this. So there are two different genealogies and many
Christians try to reconcile this wrongly by arguing that one is a genealogy of Mary and one is a genealogy of Joseph.
There's no evidence of that from the scripture. But what we do have historically is the fact that Joseph had a kinsman redeemer in his family line.
What's a kinsman redeemer? Kinsman redeemer is that if a brother dies, an older brother dies, doesn't have children.
The wife is to be given to the second brother. And that brother raises the children as the first brothers.
We have an account of this in the book of Ruth, where it's not a brother, but the next closest kinsman.
And so a kinsman redeemer redeems that child or that wife and any children and raises them not in his own name, but in the name of the kinsman redeemer, in the person who he redeemed.
So what you have with Joseph, and we have this in history, is we do have a record that within a few lines up,
I think it was Joseph's great great grandfather who was a kinsman redeemer. And that is why we have two different genealogies for Joseph, very easily reconciled.
Now, I'm glad that Bill mentioned confirmation bias at the beginning because you heard it.
He assumes people are 100 ,000 years old. That's an assumption because actually, and I encourage you to get a book called
Genetic Entropy. It shows that the gene pool would not last 100 ,000 years. We would have too many.
If you see this, if you look at the people that intermarry within families and do that for generation to generation, they start having defects.
Your genes need to be mixed. And if you continue to have hundreds of thousands of years, we would have far too many defects and would not be able to reproduce by now.
Mention of Jesus's death. There is a very simple solution to this. It's called both are true.
He did try to hang himself, probably over a ridge, jumped over and though he hung himself, the branch probably broke and he fell down.
Both can very easily be true. That's not a contradiction. The fact is, when we look at eyewitness testimony, you'll always see one of the things that every police officer would do, at least a good one, will do is when there's something that happens, separate people and get stories from multiple parties independently.
They don't have time to collude. And so the reality is, is that what you'd expect to see in good eyewitness testimony is one person might focus on the person driving a car where another person might focus on that there's four people in the car.
Now, that doesn't mean that there was only one person in the car because one person only noticed the driver. It might be that he noticed what the driver was doing.
And so what you end up seeing here is the fact that you have one author focused on the fact that there that Jesus was went out to hang himself and another is focused on the fact that he even failed at that.
He wasn't even good at doing that. Good book that I'd recommend you guys to get is Cold Case Christianity by a friend of mine,
Jay Warner Wallace. He's a cold case detective. His expertise after 20 years of of cold cases, cold cases are cases where they it's many years afterwards.
The case has gone cold. They have no evidence. He's been on Dateline and all these others because I think more than any other detective, actually, because he's very good at what he does.
His expertise is eyewitness testimony. He, as a atheist, wanted to prove to his
Christian co -workers and I think his his wife that Christianity wasn't true, using his expertise to show that the gospel accounts are not good eyewitness testimony.
And he ended up realizing it actually is good eyewitness testimony, and therefore he ended up bowing his knee and receiving
Christ. Now, it's interesting you mentioned that Paul doesn't know the historical Jesus.
This, again, would be a confirmation bias, I believe, because it assumes that Paul would have to mention everything about what
Jesus did. But we know that Jude and James, who were the brothers of Jesus, didn't do that.
We know Peter, who was one of the twelve, didn't do that. So why must Paul do that?
Oh, wait. Actually, he said Paul didn't mention anything about even quoting
Jesus, even in divorce. But actually, First Corinthians 12, 7, 12 actually is him doing exactly that.
He refers to quotes the Lord and says, now I'm not the Lord. Why is he saying that?
Because he just got done referring to what the Lord said. And now he's saying something that he said. So he's extended on to what the
Lord says. So he is recognizing what Jesus said. He's referring to Jesus's words and then adding to that.
So he actually does do that, even though the others don't. So the idea that he must, that Paul must do that, would then require all of the other writers of the
New Testament who knew Jesus. Unless, you know, Bill is going to say that James and Jude were not his brothers and didn't know him, or they were his brothers and didn't know him.
And, you know, John and Peter somehow didn't know him. So he asked the question of why go to the birthplace?
Why did they have to return to their place of birth? Because there was a decree to return because the emperor wanted to have people pay taxes.
And that's where the records were kept. And so it's not unusual for people to have to return to a place where they if they're going to have to fill out specific documents or something,
I have to have my driver's license in, well, now Pennsylvania, and I have to return there if I'm going to to do that.
Now, it's not the birth of my place birth place of birth, but it's not unusual for a government to require people to be in certain places for for purposes.
And the zombies, oh, I love this one. This is actually the evidence that I would give you that the
Bible is written by God because there is there is this offhanded comment about people rising from the dead.
In human works, what you have is people don't just write things like that and leave it be. They expound that they start to try to explain that this is just something that's mentioned and moved on, kind of like we see in Genesis, where it says that we're
God in creation and he created the stars also. That's always an amazing thing, just kind of an offhanded comment.
But we end up seeing is that you look at the Bible, if it was written by men, it's kind of kind of messed up because the guys that supposedly wrote the
New Testament are the biggest idiots in their storyline. Everybody else knows that Jesus Christ claimed to be
God except the disciples. The Jewish leaders know it. The Gentiles know it. It's the followers that had trouble understanding it.
The fact is, in that culture, women would not be held up to being equal with men. And who is it that Jesus goes to first?
The women. The fact that the women are the ones that bring the message to the men would have been an insult in that culture.
And that's what the men write. Again, they would be the most idiots. So I would actually argue that the fact that the zombies are there with no explanation would be more evidence that the
Bible is written by God. I'll give back the last 15 seconds. All right.
Now, Mr. Clark, with your 10 minute rebuttal. So, in my own, can you hear me?
So in Mark, our earliest and unvarnished gospel, what do you have?
As Andrew said, the women come to the tomb and they tell nobody anything.
They say nothing. So where's the fish fry at the Sea of Tiberias? Where's the road to Emmaus appearances?
They're not in Mark. You can check it for yourself. There's no post -resurrection. What we have here is legendary embellishment.
Matthew and Luke go and create resurrection stories. Also, the problem with Matthew is we have these aren't just tangential contradictions.
In Matthew, you have the tomb opened in front of the women. In Luke and Mark, the tomb is already opened.
So if you're a detective and you're trying to figure this thing out and you have a fundamental problem of when was compared to a bank robbery, you have a bank robbery and someone goes, oh, the vault was already opened.
Oh, no, it was closed. I mean, these are things that, you know, we want to get straight.
Now, we want a little bit of minor differences, like you said, because if they're all on the same page, well, this thing's rehearsed and you're only got, you know.
Now, one problem is Matthew and Luke copy Mark. Matthew extensively Luke about 50 percent.
So a lot of people would say we're not, we're only getting one gospel mark and Matthew and Luke are correcting it and so forth.
But the other thing is there's an earthquake in Matthew that splits rocks.
So that sounds legendary. I mean, Mark didn't report any earthquake. And also, there's a
Roman guard in Matthew. Well, that's a big thing not for Mark to mention. So also,
I wanted to mention, too, that Christianity now is all over the place. When you guys get older,
I mean, and you go to these churches, you're going to have to decide, do I go to a hip church, a cool church, or do
I go to a traditional church? And like these churches today, they have the hip church at 11 o 'clock and people like me say
I'm not cool enough to go to these churches like Hillsong and Bethel, which are clearly, we'll both agree, heretical.
So what they do is, oh, well, we got an 830 service for you, a traditional service that you can go to, just be sure you get out before 1030, don't embarrass the cool
Christians. So, you know, and even in the beginning, Christianity was all over the place.
A lot of people don't know this, Bart Ehrman's book, Lost Christianities, he talks about Ebionites who believed
Jesus was human, came from a human mother and father. He talks about the Marcionites who believed, you know, our first canon is from Marcion, who wrote, his canon was
Luke and 10 of Paul's letters. He thought the God of the
Old Testament was so horrible and so contradictory to the loving Jesus that he just left out the whole
Old Testament. Our first canon was Luke and 10 of his letters. And Marcion went to Rome and gave a donation to the church.
And the guys, one of the people from the Roman church said, I've just met the first born of Satan. So it's kind of a funny story.
And the Gnostics who believe you gain salvation through knowledge of God, for this secret
Gnostic knowledge. And they believe Jesus was, they didn't like the material world, so they thought he was more spiritual.
And then even as late as 320 A .D., the church was split between Athanasius, who believed
Jesus was a created being, or was co -equal with the father and from eternity, co -equal and consubstantial, same substance.
Arian, the Arian heresy was that Jesus was a created being like angels and so forth.
So finally, Athanasius went out and that's the Christianity we have today. So today we have thousands of denominations.
Christianity is all over the place. It's really not unified. So, you know, it's going to be tough for you guys to, you know, to pick the right
Christianity. So now you mentioned that God is the one doing all the, you know, saving and so forth.
But remember, Paul said, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Well, that sounds like he's doing all the work.
But then in the very same verse, it says, for it is God who works within you, which sounds like God's doing all the work.
So my advice to you guys is live with the tension, embrace the contradictions and the inconsistencies.
Realize that you don't have all the answers. This stuff, apologetics, from the apologia to defend what we're doing now, is so complex.
To do it right, you'd have to know Hebrew, Greek, you'd have to know the biology, you'd have to know geology and what you mentioned, physics and cosmology.
It's so difficult. So we're just trying to use our own judgment, our best judgment, to see if Christianity is true.
And the other thing, problem with these post -Resurrection, which is kind of the key thing here, is who saw
Jesus resurrected? Was it one woman, Mary Magdalene and John? Or was it several women, like in the synoptics?
Was it one angel at the tomb or a shadowy figure in Mark? Or were there two angels in the tomb, like in Luke?
When you have these core differences, it goes and impacts the credibility of your narrative.
And all we have, basically, is the Gospels. I mean, we have the Josephus quote, which, you know, is,
I don't know if you're familiar, but it says Jesus was a wise man, he did many things. And it seems to testify of Jesus.
And it says he was the Christ. Well, no Jew would write that, which
I'm sure Andrew would agree. It would be probably doctrine. It's called an interpolation.
Some people believe it's just a total fraud. I believe it has some truth to it. So you have to go and just embrace these differences.
And, you know, who knows? I mean, maybe it happened. But you've got people like John Dominic Crossan, who's a great scholar, says
Jesus was probably just, you know, left buried in a common grave, been eaten by dogs. And he's a
Christian. That's what just kills me. So you can be a Christian and embrace these things.
My partner, James Walker, remember that Muhammad Ali, George Foreman fight where Muhammad Ali says,
George, is that all you got? And he goes, that's about it. I have told him every problem with Christianity you could think of.
He's read all the books against it, but he still maintains his Christian faith. And you can, too.
But but I admire you guys for at least listening to the other side. Thanks.
All right. Thank you, Mr. Clark. All right. This time we're going to take a break before we get into the cross examination.
And so well done so far, gentlemen. You guys have just a little bit longer. Let's be back in here at ten fifteen.
So go grab a snack, use a restroom and then be back in here promptly at ten fifteen. Thank you.
Hopefully mentioned as well. Please get your questions in again to Mrs. Barbrick as well as visit
Mr. Rappaport's book table. All right, so I don't know if they had
I think they kept the camera going, so I'm just going to scroll past the break here.
So. That way we can save some time, hope that so far this has been helpful and I should have edited this out.
My bad on that should also have sped this up just a bit so we could get through it in two hours.
But what you see them doing right now is going through all the questions. They actually had a lot of questions that came up.
And so we're about to get started again. Here we go. Ten minutes as well,
Mr. Rappaport, it's all yours. All right. My own. No, I muted it before, but I don't hear it.
You can hear. OK, can you hear me? All right. So let me start with one thing.
Actually, I'm with you with your testimony, if I could. You said you became a Christian at 17. Yeah. OK, so as a
Christian, do you believe that Jesus was the your ultimate authority? Jesus, God in the
Bible, where you're of course, yeah, of course, I was pretty fundamentalist as a Christian. Did you believe what
John says in First John to 19? They went out from among us because they were never of us ever among us.
I would believe that. Yeah. So then would you have been a Christian or would you? And I mean, it's in a derogatory way.
But would you have been a hypocrite that stopped pretending? Were you someone who thought you were a Christian? Well, that's a good point, actually. And, you know, with me,
I didn't never really did anything great in Christianity. But let me give an example of a member of our book club,
Ken Daniels, who was a missionary to Africa. And they said, what part of Africa do you want to go to?
And he goes, give me the hottest part of that. So this guy was like, I mean, how much more dedicated do you have to be to be?
And that's what we all try to avoid. Don't send me to Africa, God. Whatever. He wanted to go to Africa.
So he was a missionary. But he went and read Robert Price. He read Barnum and of course, and Dale Ellison.
And when you read these things and you see how problematic it is, he lost his faith.
And it wasn't because of immorality, because he told me, Bill, I've never kissed anybody but my wife. So it's it's not an immoral thing.
He's one of the most moral people I know. It's just he's a he actually kind of overthinks things a little bit.
Maybe I overthought my way out of Christianity. But it would be safe to say that according to the Bible, you wouldn't the
Bible would say you were never a Christian. Well, this is interesting because the
Calvinist would say, once you're safe, you're good to go. It's the P into it, perseverance of the saints.
So if God's great enough to save you, certainly is great enough to keep you to the end. But then in Hebrews 6, you go, oh, well, if you lose your faith, what's left to save you?
So there's contradictory verses. The Pentecostals believe you can lose your salvation. The Calvinists and many of the mainline denominations believe it's secure.
So who knows where I'm going to go? Yeah, it's OK. Hebrews 6, I would say, is right in line with Second John.
It's talking about people that think they're Christians, but are not. OK, so it was you said
Christ, that God and the Bible was your ultimate authority. But really, it wasn't. It was you that was your ultimate authority, wasn't it?
Yeah, and that's a good point. Am I trying to do I know more than God? Can I go and out rationalize
God and out reason God when he actually is the one that gave me my ability to reason? Does that make sense?
So I know I'm under the gun here. And it also is what's called avant plantica, who
I'm sure you're familiar with, in his evolutionary argument against naturalism.
If you ever want to use anything against an atheist, this is a killer because what he says is if we're involved just to reproduce and survival and so forth, not necessarily to be objective, rational human beings, but survival, how in the world can we trust our brains and trust that our reason?
So it's a good argument from your point of view. Yeah. So you mentioned that you believe Mark is the earliest gospel. What evidence would you have for that versus massive scholarship over the last hundred years?
Yeah, almost everybody agrees with that. And Matthew and Luke copied Mark. And then you have the two source hypothesis where you have
Hugh, which Matthew and Luke draw from almost word for word Greek. And then
Matthew had his special source, like the Sermon on the Mount and Luke with the prodigal son. So there's things in Luke and Matthew that aren't in Mark.
So so for the audience, Q is a document that was the other gospels referred to.
Is there any historical evidence for Q? Well, what they do is they can tease out if you read
Barman's book or Dale Allison's apocalyptic prophet of the new millennium, they tell you where Q is talking.
They actually have teased out where there are the Q sayings and they seem to be apocalyptic.
Those Q sayings. And I would say it's confirmation bias. Right. So the question is, is there any historical evidence for Q?
It's lost. It's gone. Yeah. So and there are some good scholars that say Q never existed, that there is no
Q. And the historic history would support that, I believe. So so the why would you say that Matthew, which was written to Jewish people, wouldn't have been the first one since the
Jewish issue was. Well, traditional Christianity used to believe Matthew was the original.
But because of the great German scholars like Rudolf Bultmann and Strauss and so forth, they're the ones that have shown us the truth.
And it is kind of problematic that you'd have you'd have to wait 1800 years for the Germans to come around and tell us what the real gospel truth is.
So could it be that since we've established that some people can profess to be believers and claim to be a
Christian, but actually not be. And it took this many years to find these things that show that Mark was actually the first gospel.
Would it make more sense then to believe that the historical evidence is that Matthew is the first gospel, not
Mark, and there was no Q. And that the people that these great scholars are all since all the many of these scholars will also deny miracles and things like that, it would be more likely to believe that the scholars you're relying on are not scholars that might be genuine
Christians. Some some are Christian, some are obviously
Bart. Oh, no. Wait, Dale Huston is a Christian. Bart Ehrman is not. Yeah. Yeah, Bart would have been.
Yeah. But even the 1800s, most of the most of those, you know, for eighteen hundred years, all the the evidence supported that Matthew is the first gospel.
But then with the idea of Q building that, well, that you had to have this original source, and because Mark is the shortest, that's an assumption that's confirmation.
My saying that that is why the others had to have been written after because they're longer because they embellished.
But does that have to be? Is there any evidence? It's a complex argument. And Matthew looks at Mark.
He had Mark in front of him. And oh, by the way, Mark, traditionally 65 to 70
AD, when it was written, Matthew and Luke in the 80s and John in the hundreds. So Matthew sees let me give you a perfect example.
Jesus is baptized by John, which is his probably historical.
I'm a historicist. I believe in Jesus. John Dominic Crossing says there is anything it's historical.
It's that he was baptized by John and that he was crucified by Pontius Pilate. The reason for that is what we call the criteria of embarrassment.
It was embarrassing to Christians. Jesus should be baptizing
John, obviously, but in the Gospels of Mark, it says John is baptizing
Jesus. So Matthew reads this and he goes, oh, my Lord, that doesn't sound right. Oh, I'm not even worthy to untie your shoes.
You should be baptizing me. So Matthew, Luke, correct Mark all the time.
But for you guys, most of you are Christian, obviously, I imagine it's good news because that means that your faith is grounded in history.
That it's because the criteria embarrassment and that is multiply attested in Matthew and Luke and John and Thomas, that you have a secure faith that is historical.
OK, so I'd say it's more, again, the confirmation bias is starting with the conclusion. But so you mentioned the differences in the four
Gospels. Do the four Gospels have a different focus, a different purpose in their writings?
Of course, Matthew's written to a Jewish audience, which you well know better than me, of course. OK, so it doesn't lead to the
Gentiles. Does it necessitate that one has to be trying to make the same points as the others? Not necessarily.
OK, so could that explain some of the differences that you pointed out? Could be. Yeah. OK, do different styles of worship change
Christian doctrine? No. OK, so the styles of churches that people go to wouldn't affect the doctrine of Christianity.
Oh, no, of course not. OK. You mentioned the need for understanding cosmology, science and these different things to know the
Bible. Do you need to have an understanding of cosmology and science and the other things to understand the simplicity of the
Gospel? Probably not, but here's the problem in this, even atheists, it drives me crazy.
The creation accounts and what is interesting, you want to know a little fun fact, the first creation account ends in chapter two, verse four.
It doesn't end at the end of chapter one. And you have the P source, the priestly source written in 600
BC in the first chapter. And then the second creation account is the
J writer. And it's a more anthropomorphic God where he walks in the garden and so forth.
And these two accounts are contradictory. And in the
Noah flood account, it's a blended narrative of the P writer of the 6th century BC and the
J, the Yahweh, the priestly writer and the Yahweh's writer of a thousand BC. And you can't, unless you know
Hebrew, you cannot tell where one's talking because one will say seven days the flood lasted or 40 days the flood lasted.
The other will say 150. Noah gets on the ark three times. And you just cannot get it.
And one has two parents, an animal, the other seven. You can't understand it unless you really know Hebrew. And that's what we're up against as lay people is this stuff is so complicated.
Yep. Oh, 30 seconds. I have 12. All right. No, no, go ahead. I'll give him some of my time. Yeah. No, I don't have enough.
I mean, I'll just again, I'll just use the 30 seconds, say, you know, the way he's talking about is that he believes that there's different writers of the first five books of the
Bible instead of just one of Moses. And I wouldn't say there's a contradiction.
I'd just say that one gives an overview and then one goes more specific. But well, I'm glad you brought that up, because this is what
I just articulated is the Wellhausen hypothesis that you have multiple authors that wrote the first five books of Moses.
You have the Deuteronomy writer. They use different words for God.
And Moses dies in the Torah. So obviously he couldn't have written a lot of this if he's dead.
But this is mainstream scholarship. If you go to any university, when you guys go to college, you'll be taught the
Wellhausen hypothesis. And it's really not when I went to my
Legends in Genesis class at University of Iraq, it wasn't even debated. But here's one of the other problems is, do you do believe this came from the
Epic of Gelgabit? So that's our time. So if you want to direct that question, let's do it in our next segment. Oh, yes. All right.
So that is, yeah, that's our first cross -examination. So, Mr. Cluck, you'll have 10 minutes to question
Mr. Rappaport. So do you, you do not believe that, oh, and first of all, what scholars believe today,
Moses did not exist, Abraham did not exist. It does get historical, though, in David, because we have a stone that tells something that talks about the kingdom of David.
Now, it's overblown and exaggerated, but there probably was a core, you know, kingdom of David.
So, Andrew, certainly you believe Moses didn't exist, right? I believe
Moses existed. Why? Historical evidence, Bible alone would be enough.
Okay, but do you feel comfortable disagreeing with all modern scholarship? Well, since a lot of the modern scholarship,
I believe that you're referring to are unbelievers who have a confirmation bias to disprove the
God that they hate. Yeah, I'd have no problem with that. But how about Israel Finkelstein, who wrote the Bible unearthed?
Have you read that? No, I haven't. Oh, it's by a Jewish guy who did, and he's one of the top archaeologists in the world.
He did the research in the excavations, and he wants to believe in the
Torah and validate Moses. He said it's not historically accurate. Okay, but when we look at that, you have documentation that we could look at.
We have the, you know, outside of the scriptures, there's historical evidence. Okay, but we have this historical evidence of the
Bible. So just because of the fact that people, we have to remember the fact that there's people who do not want to believe in the
God that they, that the Bible says they already hate God. They're suppressing the truth. What does suppression look like?
Suppression is going to look like denying what they know is true. And so, I mean, case in point, evolution, you know, it's scientifically impossible, but people believe it.
Why? Because it's a way of, as many atheists would say, it is a way to prove
God doesn't exist. I'm so glad you brought that up. You guys don't realize it, but it'll be clear in the next 10 years.
There is a huge controversy going on in the Christian church. William Lane Craig just wrote a book in quest for the historical
Adam, where he says that Heidelberg against this man, 750 ,000 years ago, that was the first Adam and Eve, 750 ,000 years ago.
That doesn't seem like what the Bible says, because it's, if you read the genealogy, it adds up to 6 ,000, no more than 60 ,000.
So anyway, and that Homo sapiens, us evolved, Denesians, and, oh,
Neanderthals all evolved from this Adam and Eve couple. Now there's a guy named Swami. Huh?
Is there a question coming? Joshua Swami Doss believes that Adam was, uh, 6 ,000 years ago.
And that was the ancestor to, um, to us. And now Hugh Ross is you're familiar with, believes in 120 ,000 years ago, there was an
Adam and Eve. But do you agree that popular individuals don't evolve populations evolve?
And do you see there's a problem with all these different views, the biologos, theistic evolutionists, the reasons to believe it?
Yeah, there's problems in it because what you have is you have people that profess to be Christians and they're trying to have the, in the world and of the world at the same time, they're, they're looking to try to believe the
Bible, but at the same time, they don't want to be embarrassed by what all the masses of atheists are saying.
So they're trying to marry Christianity with the world. That's not unusual. In fact, you know, the, the, the fact that there's so many variations as you brought out within Christianity actually supports,
I would argue for the truth of Christianity, because if, if you have Satan trying to corrupt something, he doesn't need to corrupt
Mormonism or Islam or something that already takes people away from God, he normally needs to corrupt the truth.
So you, so the fact that there's more variation within Christianity would actually support the case that that's where Satan is working to bring corruption.
So the fact that there's people who are trying to keep to the Bible, but at the same time, you know, keep their scholarship and keep the accredited, the accreditations and things like that, that they're not going to have if they hold just to scripture.
Man, Andrew, I couldn't agree more. You're absolutely right. And let me give you a perfect example. Hugh Ross with reasons to believe in the
Genesis account, you have the sun created on the fourth day, the earth created on the first day, totally contradicting, how do you get light when, you know, you don't have a sun for four days.
So what they, Andrew's talking about is concordism, they're trying to reconcile their, the scientific beliefs of today with the scripture.
So what Hugh Ross says is, oh, well, it was translucent. Obviously science is right.
The sun was created first, then the earth, but it was translucent. So even though the sun was created first, they just appeared on the fourth day, that the sun instead of, so what do you think about that concord?
Yeah, I wouldn't, I wouldn't see a contradiction with that because the light source has never mentioned
Genesis 1 .1 as being the sun. And we see in revelation that after the sun is extinct, we still have light.
It's God himself. And so there's not a difficulty having light without, without a source.
In fact, I would argue that the stars we look at, atheists would have the problem of saying that we have starlight with stars that are too far beyond the existence of the, the timeframe that they claim the universe is.
So we have, we have sunlight that's, or starlight that got here somehow before the universe was created.
Well, here's the problem. You have starlight in time written by Russell Humphreys, who's a young earth creationist, and in his book, he says, we can get around this.
Cause you have like the Andromeda galaxy, 2 million light years away. So by simple logic, it took 2 million years to get here.
You have supernova 1987, which we saw in 1987 in our telescopes. So it killed the apparent age theory because it took 156 ,000 years for this light to come here.
So, um, you know, my question to you is Russell Humphreys, people argue about what do you do with the distant starlight problem?
Yeah, I think Jason Lyle has a great answer for that. Uh, the fact that we, we have the assumption, the only way we can measure starlight is the round trip of, of light.
So, so if you were to measure, uh, light, and I know you know this, but for, for the audience, if you shoot a light beam out to a mirror and it comes back, the only way of measuring is the round trip.
You can only measure the light going out to the mirror and the time it takes to get to the mirror and back.
There's no way to be able to measure the one way distance because no matter how you're going to measure it, you have the problem of, of what, if you, if you take two clocks and you move them, that time ends up changing.
This is one of the things that Einstein had shown gravity. So if you, if it, if there's differences in elevation, no matter, there's no way to be able to time a single direction speed of light, so the belief is with, with that is that it is possible that the light goes to the mirror when it's going away from us, but at a one at a speed, but when it's coming toward us is more instantaneous so that it took to our appearance, it might be faster coming toward us where we're seeing it than when it goes away from us, we can't measure that single distance.
And so one way of explaining it to Jason Lyle, and I recommend you check out Jason Lyle's work on, on distant starlight theory.
Uh, but it's the idea that this, the speed would go in one direction versus the appearance of it coming back is, by the way, the
Institute for Creation Research is right here in Dallas. Correct. And, uh, Eric, where Jason used to work at.
Yeah. Uh, Eric Hovind invited me there and they were, couldn't have been more nicer. I mean, we went to the planetarium.
It's a really fun experience and I'd recommend it to all of you. So let me ask you this, the gospel of Peter, which most people aren't it's mid second century, has
Jesus coming out of the tomb, head goes to the sky, two people beside him and a talking cross in back of him, and even
Christians would say that's legendary. Uh, but actually the gospel of Peter was very popular in the early church.
It was read all over the place. So why is, should we believe Matthew's zombies aren't legendary?
Why the gospel of Peter clearly is legendary. And why not the gospel of Matthew with the zombies?
Why aren't they legendary? Because God wrote the gospel of Matthew and not the gospel of Peter. I mean, it's really that simple because the, you know,
God, God wrote that. It was a historical account that would have happened that he recorded, but there's a lot of gospel accounts that we don't see a scripture.
We don't, we don't have the nine command Hamadi library, which is about 50 gospels we discovered about a hundred years ago.
Yeah. So we, so you have those, you have the, you have the Jewish writings that the Catholic church ends up saying, Oh, well, because after 1500 years, they needed to some of their doctrines that was being debated in the reformation, they were like,
Oh, we were basing it on these books that were never accepted as Bible. You know, and now they do.
And so they do now because they, they were had to say that, well, this is Bible. That's how we refute the reformation.
But what we end up seeing is the books that were accepted as what we call the canon, the measure, the books that were accepted as the works that are the scripture, those works or works that we end up seeing were accepted very early on by the
Christians and recognized as scripture. We, and evidence would be that Peter himself in his epistle refers to Paul's writings as scripture, and he does the apostle
Paul, I'm sorry, apostle Peter even says, and it's hard for him to understand. Well, I'm sorry, this ended.
I could go on forever. Well, that's our time. Yeah. All right. Well done. All right. We're going to move into the closing statements.
So that's going to be 10 minutes each, and that's going to start with Mr. Rappaport on the affirmative. Mr. Rappaport, I'll start with Tom, whenever you take the podium.
All right. Well, first off, I'd like to thank Bill. And again, for, for doing this, I recognize that this was his first ever debate.
So I'll just point out, you know, usually cross -examination is a lot of questions. He was giving a lot of explanation, but I don't,
I'm saying that to say, I don't want anyone holding that against him. Okay. He's, he is not used to debating it.
So that's why I didn't want to, if he goes over time or does that, try and be gracious. I do want to say, you know, the thing is, is that I want you to notice the point of the debate, is
Christianity true? At no point do I believe that Bill was able to prove that Christianity was not true.
So I don't think he addressed the initial argument that we have of the debate.
He has not proven that Christianity is not true. He, he tried to create doubt.
That's, that's what he had done. So not the proof of it, but just here, let me toss out a lot of things and say, when you get older, you're going to learn, you know,
I I'll tell a quick story. My, my daughter, when she was 16, we were out in, in New York city.
I was doing evangelism. I was up preaching on the, on a block, on a box. And my daughter was tired after a week of evangelism, decided to sit down, sits down next to this gentleman.
This gentleman was telling her much of what you're hearing now, when you get older, when you get older, you're going to hear all this, you're going to hear all this.
She kept asking him this one question as she's had her, her degree is molecular biochemistry. Her father is an apologist and she loves studying philosophy.
She's not someone that you want to debate with. Okay. Uh, but as he, she kept, he kept giving the argument when you get older, when you get older, you're going to hear this, you're going to study this.
And her simple answer was, why can't you then answer the questions of a 16 year old?
It's a, it's a good thing. We don't need to sit there and say, when we get older and we get more wise, when we get some special wisdom, what is that?
That's actually what bill referred to Gnosticism, the belief that you can get some enlightened knowledge, some super knowledge.
And when you get that, then you can understand. But until you get that, you don't understand. Now, I believe that the message of the
Bible, the message of the gospel is so simple that anyone can understand it. Uh, even young children.
And so I believe that, uh, I I've tried to, uh, that I have answered the question.
Why is it true? Is the only religion in the world where it is not based on a system of morality, but based on who
God is and what he has done. That is the only religion where God does all the work and we don't add anything to it.
And it is the only religion where you can have a God that is both just and merciful.
And as I said that, yes, there's many scholars who will argue that the things of the Bible and try to say that the
Bible is not true, but the question we first have to say is, are those, are those people that are arguing that, are they actually
Christians and are they people that are living out the Christian life? Now we can accept that there's many people who are trying to, to straddle the fence.
But the fact is that historically Christianity has been quite clear, uh, that there, we have an understanding of, um, what the
Bible teaches. Now I want to close before I do what I want to say is this, um,
I want to mention something that, you know, Bill mentioned as a supposed contradiction.
The idea that you are saved by grace, that God does it, Romans chapter nine, or we have human responsibility,
Romans chapter 10. Many people don't even, even within Christianity have trouble with this.
It's a very simple thing to understand actually. It's a doctrine we don't often think of called the doctrine of superintending.
When we look at the Bible, who wrote Romans, we would say Paul. But if I really challenged you as a
Christian, you'd say, well, God, well, how did God write Romans yet? Paul wrote Romans. The doctrine we know of superintending is the idea that God works through the human author in such a way that the very choice in the words that he made were exactly as God intended them to be such that God gets a hundred percent of the credit and Paul couldn't take any.
So God had to do that work. We see that also in sanctification. We see the fact that God works through Christians, that they do good works.
They choose to do good works, but those choices are not of themselves. It's actually God working through them. So the very choices that they make are really
God working through them such that God gets a hundred percent of the credit. When we do good works, I apply the same doctrine of superintending to the issue of regeneration.
Did I choose God? Well, yes, in human responsibility, I chose God, but I didn't choose God a part of all and of myself.
I chose God because of the fact that God was working through me. So at the very choices I made were exactly as God intended it so that he gets a hundred percent of the credit.
And it is because God does that work that I would argue you could never lose your salvation. And the reason
I'd say that is because Paul says in second Corinthians 1415, that all of our sins were paid at the cross.
Well, that would say that God must have forgot about a few while he was on the cross. If all of our sin that was paid was paid at the cross, then that's where all of them are.
There's no sin that I've ever committed. That's pre -cross. All of them are after the cross. And if he paid for all of them, then
I have none left to pay for. Now, let me end with this. And this is the most important part, I believe, of this entire debate.
And I'm going to direct it more toward my opponent, Bill. It is this, the most important thing that I can communicate here today, especially for Bill is the gospel.
And it is this, Bill may be a far more moral person than me. I'll give him that. He's a really nice guy, but his morality, my morality don't get us right with God.
The fact is, is that both Bill and I break God's law. If I was to ask
Bill, I'm sure he's told a few lies before. Hopefully not today, but we've lied.
We've stolen. We have broken God's law. And that would, that makes us a criminal in God's sight.
We would each one of us be deserving, rightly deserving because we're guilty eternity in a lake of fire, because God is infinitely holy and infinitely just.
When we break his law, it has an eternal consequence. And so for that reason, both
Bill and I and everyone in this room and everyone that would be watching online, every one of us are guilty in God's sight and deserve eternity in a lake of fire.
And when we recognize how wicked our sin actually is, and we only recognize it when we recognize how infinitely holy
God is, then we truly have an understanding of our place. We don't deserve heaven.
We don't deserve life. God, if he was perfectly just, would have taken us out of this world the moment we first sinned, which actually would have been with Adam and Eve and we would never have existed.
So the reality is, is God is long suffering with us. He's gracious to be waiting for us to, to a time that he brings us to repentance.
And I'm praying for that for Bill and for anyone else who's, who's listening that doesn't know
Christ. The reality is if we die without a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, we will spend eternity in a lake of fire.
But God, I love those two words, but God, he came to earth as a man.
He died on that cross that we can have the forgiveness of sins so that we can have life.
We can have eternal life. Eternal life is not living forever and eternal life is not in heaven. John says eternal life is knowing
God. That's eternal life. And if there's anyone here that like Bill, who does not have that eternal life,
I pray that you may right now turn from trusting yourself as a good person.
Trust those, those good works. Or as I grew up trusting my Judaism turn from trusting self and trust what
Christ did on the cross. That is the only payment of sin. It's the only way to pay an eternal fine is to have an eternal being pay it.
And so by what he did on the cross, we can have the forgiveness of sin. And so my plea and what
I'm begging is that if you don't know Christ, you specifically, Bill, I care for you.
I'm, I'm willing to share even, you know, because I care where you spend eternity and that's true with everyone else.
Turn to Christ today and live. I'll give back a minute and a half.
All right, Mr. Clunk, 10 minutes for your closing statement. Well, I'd like to thank you guys for showing up.
This has been fantastic. And Andrew has been a terrific opponent. You know, we get along great. I get along good obviously with a lot of Christians since I'm the co -founder of the atheist
Christian book club with James Walker. And you know, I have to deal with Christians all the time.
And actually I kind of like Christians better than atheists. Atheists can be a little rough. They were very rough unfairly to Eric Hoven at the
Metroplex Atheist we went to after we went to the Institute for Creation Research. Now, Andrew, that's terrific.
The salvation message you just articulated, the Orthodox, but the problem today is we have places like TBN Ministries that it's exporting heresy, this prosperity gospel throughout the world.
And people like that guy down there in Houston that I've been to that mega church.
It's like, here's your Bible. Forget the Bible. This is a self -improvement course.
Come on. He just says that 99 .9
% of the people are good people. Well, that's not what my Bible says. Is that what your Bible says,
Andrew? My Bible in Romans three says no one is good. No, not one. So am
I supposed to believe this hip, cool gospel like in Hillsong? And there's just an image that I can't get out of my mind.
Justin Bieber, and Carl Wentz at the time are sitting there with their shirts off having shots.
Can you see your ministers doing that? I mean how close to the world do you have to get before you're just another, you know, like I said, self -improvement course.
And you have people like Jesse DePlantis that says, God, let me ask you a question or God. No, God goes to him and ask a question.
What do you think of this? He goes, I don't know, God, let me clear my calendar. And it's just so heretical.
Even as an atheist, I can see this. The girl at TBN that said, you know,
Jesus, I really have to thank you for this wonderful heretical ministry of TBN and God says to her, or Jesus says to her, no
Jan, thank you for what you've done. I mean, it's just so off the wall and even we have found the
Nag Hammadi library, which is 50 gospels, which are not like our gospels. You have the gospel of Judas where Jesus is the good guy.
So now they're late, but why are they not true in our reflection of Judas and as we've seen as all over the place, contradictory and the synoptics isn't true.
So, and you have the gospel of Philip where Jesus, and there's a blank, marry often.
So we, you know, is that, is Jesus having a close relationship with Mary Magdalene? Is that the, what we were to believe?
And here's the thing. You guys and me, we're not capable of reading the Bible correctly.
Let me give you a real clear example. There's the seven letters Paul wrote, but pastoral epistles, first Timothy, second
Timothy, no scholar believes he wrote those, even though they said they're sued up at Griffith. I can never say that word.
Sue Griffith. They, they say there's a church structure, establishment with deacons and so forth that there isn't at the time
Paul was writing. So that was probably written about a hundred AD, first Timothy and second Timothy in types.
Second Peter, no one believes that was written by Peter. So you won't know that unless you go to seminary or read books or look at a good
YouTube channel. I recommend Paula Gia, by the way, is a fantastic, uh, cause he was a
Christian like me, but he looks at the evidence and he goes, man, I don't know. Now I'm not saying that.
I'm saying it probably isn't true because there's evidence for Christianity. The great Aaron Rod, who you'll hear later on in life, one of the big time atheists says,
Oh, well, it's all folklore and math. And I went, no, it isn't. There's evidence for Christianity. The skeptics, um, uh,
Paul and Jesus's own brother, remember in Mark six, where he says, get this guy out of here. He, he's embarrassing us.
And, uh, Mark didn't believe in Jesus, but he, or, uh, his brother James, but he had this radical transformation and became, uh, the leader of the church in Jerusalem.
And Paul, we all know about his dramatic conversion. So there is evidence that it was birthed in Jerusalem where it could be easily falsified.
I mean, if you're trying to make it up, why not, you know, have it start someplace else where you can't be falsified and the sudden and sincere transformation of the disciples when
Jesus died. And remember the disciples left, I mean, they had checked out. This thing should have ended then.
So I don't have all the answers. Uh, Christianity might be right, but there's so many defeaters.
There's so many problems that we have to conclude that it probably isn't true.
Thanks. All right.
Thank you, Mr. Clark. Well, we're going to move into the Q and a portion and I've got about 732 no cards.
And it looks like you've got more coming in. I thought there was somebody attacking me.
It was just getting more notes. So I'll, I'll, I'll state this, uh, ahead of time. Uh, I'll take any of the questions, at least for me.
And if, if Bill would like to come on to my apologetics live show, we could both answer all the questions.
I would love that. Fantastic. Might have to do it in multiple shows. If you have that many questions, but we apologize live .com
it's Thursday nights, eight to 10 Eastern time. And we'll set up some time. And you know, we never know what great
YouTuber is in the audience. Yeah. It's so fascinating. I asked Andrew, I said, well, how many subscribers do you have,
Andrew? And he goes, I don't know. I'm just trying to preach the message of Jesus and God. And I go, really?
Yeah. Because these young people like yourselves, that's how they measure each other. I had one guy that started a
YouTube channel. He had 8 ,000 subscribers. And, uh, he goes, Oh, Shannon Q she's much greater than I am.
I'm not even worthy to touch the hem of her garment because she has 40 ,000 subscribers. And I went, is that the way we judge each other nowadays is how many subs she got to go ahead.
That's a different topic. Well, what we'll do is, uh, I'll, I'll get through a few questions. We won't be able to get through all of them, but I love that, that offer.
I think that would be wonderful. And so what I'll do is I'll ask, uh, a couple of questions, uh, actually I'll alternate between, uh,
Mr. Rappaport, Mr. Klug, and I'll each give you an opportunity to follow up the other's question.
And then I'll ask some that are for both of you. So we'll start with Mr. Rappaport. Uh, the question, um, uh, is it important to you that the things and events in the
Bible that seem out of place? And I think what's being referred to as say, the testimony of women and the things that would be embarrassing, are those important to you, uh, to verify the truthfulness of the, of scripture?
Yeah, I think it is important. And I think that there's a lot of work that has been done on that. Uh, there's actually a website.
I don't know if it's still around, but there used to be a website with, uh, the top hundred contradictions in the
Bible. And there's been several books and other websites that have answered every single one of them very easily.
Uh, as I, as I said, you know, the fact of, if there's Jesus heals 10 people at 10 lepers and one gospel account refers to all 10, but one refers to the one guy that came back to Jesus.
That doesn't mean the 10 didn't exist. It just means a different focus, which as Bill said, each of the authors have a different focus.
They're not going to say everything that happened. In fact, John says, you can't give all the details of what happened in Jesus life.
It would take too long. So yeah, it's important to study. And when you do study, I will argue, you find out that there's no contradictions.
And by the way, that is a good evidence. And Mark, that the women discovered the tomb. Why in the world would you make that up?
Uh, when women had, I think, half the testimony of men or whatever. So that's more of Islam, but it's a quarter of a testimony.
They wouldn't really, they would have women were treated more as, uh, you know, like, like we treat children, be, be seen and not heard.
Yeah. But I agree. It wouldn't make any sense to, to have women discovering the tomb. So, and it's our earliest and unvarnished gospel,
Mark. Very good. That is how we treat children. All right.
For Mr. Cluck, uh, you mentioned that we're not able to read the Bible correctly or interpret the
Bible. If that's the case, how do we determine what is historically true versus what is legendary?
A scholarship. Um, you have scholars, uh, that look at these things, like for instance, the
Jesus seminar. I don't know if you've heard of that. They had like black means it wasn't true.
Jesus didn't say it. Red means he probably did say it. So these were like 70 of the best scholars in the world. And what's interesting is the gospel of John, those
I am statements. I am the way, the truth and the life. I am the soul. He said, none of that, none of that is historical.
Uh, but in Mark, where it says, Hey, given to Caesars, that might be historical. That sounds like it could come to Jesus.
So you have to tease these things out and it's by scholarship, knowing Q and knowing, uh, if it existed and just doing these people just spend their lives doing research on this stuff.
So we try to know what Jesus said, what's historical, but like Isaiah, there's three different parts of Isaiah, Isaiah 40, and Isaiah 40 through 55.
And then, so there's three Isaiahs. So that's what scholarship says. Daniel, the tradition was it was written in the sixth century
BC. We all know now that it was written in 165 BC. It was written after the events that happened and that's through scholarship.
And it's just, you know, fascinating. Yeah. So I would say notice the way he's speaking in absolutes so that if you don't believe what he believes, it makes it sound like, well, everyone does.
Like everyone, no one believes for that computer was written by Peter. I do. And many others do.
Um, but notice, notice what, what, what he's saying there. Isaiah. Yeah.
As I, as I said to you guys this week, Isaiah, they are the beliefs that there were three Isaiahs until we found the
Dead Sea Scrolls that predate those Isaiahs. And now there can only be one that was actually giving prophecy.
Uh, same with, with Daniel. The, the thing is that if we have to rely on scholars, that's a fallacy of authority that only the authorities can tell you.
That's actually what Mormonism teaches, Jehovah Witnesses teaches and every other cult where they have to control the narrative.
I would argue that any of us can, can understand hermeneutics. That's the interpret the science of interpretation.
In fact, every one of you are doing that right now. You're interpreting what Bill is saying, what I'm saying, you're practicing it.
You have practiced it all your life. It's just whether we follow the rules of interpretation or not.
That's how we know what the Bible actually says, uh, to rely on scholars, especially scholars who will argue things and go up, up.
We were completely wrong on that, but we're just going to change it and then just ignore the fact or scholars are going to say, well, there must be this document
Q, which we have no historical evidence for, but it fits our narrative. The question becomes, does truth matter or does narrative matter?
And with the scholars narrative matters more than truth. And so I would say, yes, you can study the
Bible. Uh, you can follow the rules of interpretation. They're not very hard. Um, I have a whole course on it that you can take if you want and show you how easy it is, but simple things like just reading things in context, understanding the meanings of words, that's a, goes a long way.
And by the way, you know, I would agree that before we discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls, our earliest stock copy was 1100 years, 1100
AD. So how did we know it wasn't changed? And it's pretty much lines up pretty darn well.
So scholarship can lead us to believe and to question. All right.
For Mr. Rappaport, why is it important for the Christian God to be both just and merciful?
Well, because that's his nature. And, and, and there's, I don't know a single religion that would deny.
Well, so you might get, you might get some of the religions that, uh, like Hinduism, Buddhism, which have this vague view of God.
So they don't even try to define them. But the fact that we have a notion of justice and mercy, it comes because of the fact that we're made in the image of God.
What it means to be made in the image of God is that we have certain, what theologians refer to as communicable attributes.
Let me define that just means they're communicated to us. The attributes that we share with God, there's ones we don't share with God, like omniscience.
He's all knowing. We are not, but there are things like justice and mercy. Where do we get that from?
We get it from the nature of God. And so the fact that we have that we can only get from God, the, the whole idea there is that chemical reactions can't produce that.
That's something immaterial. And so God is the source. That makes sense.
Okay. All right. Um, this, um, this is for both, but I'll start with you,
Mr. Clark. Uh, if Jesus wasn't actually crucified, wouldn't the Romans and Jews have spoken about it or written about it?
Um, well now John Dominic Cross says Jesus was crucified. All the major scholars believe he was crucified.
Now what's problematic is you have a billion Muslims that believe he wasn't crucified, that he was substituted.
So can a billion Muslims be wrong? I don't know. Um, but what
John Dominic Cross says, the ones this is about the resurrect burial and resurrection, or the empty tomb, the ones that knew didn't care.
That's the, um, the people, maybe the Romans who are about, let's say you had grave robbers, which
D .L. Allison says that stole the body. The ones that knew didn't care. And the ones who cared, the disciples didn't know.
Yeah. I mean, it's interesting to bring up Islam. Islam believes that Jesus didn't die on the cross, um, that Allah deceived his own followers by putting a lookalike, on the cross.
Many think that it's a certain sect of Islam believes it's Judas. Uh, so we really probably shouldn't be trusting a supposed deity that deceives his own followers and using that as an authority.
But, but yeah, no, I, I think that the, the, you see even Josephus, one of the early church historians who was, though he was
Jewish, he was writing for the Romans, but this is prior to, uh, the time of where, where Christianity was acceptable.
And yet he, he admits as common knowledge that Jesus rose from the dead. If you can believe that testimony, testimony in Flavianum, some people believe it's just a total forgery, but people like Barham say, yeah, the core of it, that he was crucified under Pontius Pilate is, um, yeah.
But again, what I, what I'll say is I think that what you see is you have, you have evidence and then you have people that start with the confirmation bias to try to disprove it.
Well, look at the Methodists, you know, who are, yeah. Okay. Mr. Rockford, why did
God take so long to execute his plan about Jesus?
Why, why did he wait until the time of the new Testament? Why did he wait seven days to finish creation?
I mean, you know, Peale don't realize during the Reformation, there was a debate on the days of creation and the, the reformers used to argue, why did
God take so long? It wasn't that he, why was it so short? He could have created everything in a second.
He, he, he has his purposes. I would say this. I believe that the reason he waited is he was working through humanity for a time where you have things like the
Roman's roads, a road system that would be able to spread the gospel message all over the world.
You had it after a time of Alexander the great who were, he made a major emphasis trying to unify the world.
He had a philosophy that he felt if everyone had a unified language and, and culture that that would help to create unity.
And so by doing that, what ended up happening was, uh, by the time Jesus came, you had a common culture, a common language that many knew and you had a road system so that the gospel could go forth.
But even more so, I, as I said to the students here this week, if it, if I was in charge,
I would wait until lethal injection was perfected. And that would be my preferred choice of a death if I was going to kill myself.
But Jesus waited until one of the most vile ways of, of, with crucifixion until the
Romans mastered that, that he came in. So he didn't take an easy way out. I believe that he waited until the worst possible way to kill a person was, was perfected.
And at the same time that the gospel could go forth throughout the world of the easiest. Yeah. Why wait so long?
I mean, you have homosapiens, let's say if we believe the evolution that a hundred thousand years and God just waits indifferently for a hundred thousand and 98 ,000 years with all this, you know, suffering.
I mean, they, they live rough lives. A lot of them lived in caves and stuff. It wasn't the easiest life. And how about the
Neanderthals who had, who do art, who buried their dead, who have all these human qualities and they come on the scene a few hundred thousand years ago, die out 30 ,000 years ago in our, you know, live with us, our species, homosapiens.
What's the point? You know, why didn't God, are they human? Do they have souls? Does God save them?
These are questions that are really controversial now. Okay. Uh, we had a few, uh, that are similar here.
So I'll kind of, I'll kind of put these together. Uh, Mr. Cluck, you mentioned, uh, and forgive me if this quote is not, uh, completely accurate, but you mentioned that we are swimming in a
Christian culture or in a Christian faith. Uh, if that's the case, how would you explain, uh, what many
Christians would, would see as a vast secularization of culture? That's a great question.
Yeah. Because, um, you know, secularism is on the rise of the nuns.
It's funny, the young people, they're not, they don't believe in Christianity or anything. They just don't believe in anything. It's that, that's what the facts say.
So, um, yeah. So they have escaped the bias and the
Christian culture. I'm just saying that it is so difficult, especially if you're a
Muslim where it just envelops you. It's just much more severe than here.
Here, Christians can just go to church, you know, be hip, be cool in their church, go to maybe a
Bible study. You're good to go where, uh, you know, like Mormons, they, they are much more involved, much more committed.
And with Islam, it, it just plays a big part of our life. And, uh, you know,
I was speaking at confirmation, but I'll give you a story. I, uh, me and a girlfriend went to the Outer Banks and I said, what do you think the chances are that Islam's true?
She goes 0%. So that night we had a, we met a couple, we were just sitting out by the thing yard and, uh, they were
Muslims. And they were the nicest, most articulate people you'd ever want to meet. They just, you know, we just had a great conversation.
I said, well, what do you think of Islam now? What are the chances? She goes 50%, 50%. So that shows you how, you know, if you're not exposed to the other side and to these arguments, you're going to have a very, um, you know, closed point of view.
Mr. Ramport. Um, do I get to answer? I apologize. Yeah. So let me just say, because Christianity is unique religion, you don't have, as he mentions with Mormonism or Islam, those are religions that you're born into.
You don't get converted into. Now you could get converted into them from a different, but those are religions people are born into.
And so Christianity is something you don't get born into it just because your parents are Christian doesn't make you a
Christian. And therefore it is one where it's something where God is doing a work in people. And there is many cases where people are born in where husband and wife are, are both
Christian, but the children are not that happens. Uh, talking about the secular culture was kind of interesting back to our waitress last night, because we, we asked why is that she thought that I was the atheist because I was,
I seemed more fun. Uh, I, I, it may be that I was dressed in a sport coat and I haven't, now
I have to wear the glasses. I look smarter. And that's the assumption people make with atheists, that they're more fun.
And they're, they're smarter. Uh, I would argue that's probably not the case. Uh, as even bill mentioned that all the atheists are nice people.
Uh, take it, take the voicemail. I just got during the debate that I played for bill.
It wasn't so nice, but, but the real, the thing I said to the waitress because bill asked, why do you think it is that more people are becoming more secular?
And I, you know, she was like, I don't know. And I, my answer, teaching of evolution, you have schools indoctrinating children to believe that God doesn't exist.
Evolution is their doctrine of atheism. I believe atheism is a religion. The Supreme court has agreed with me in 2009.
Uh, and so their doctrine is evolution by teaching that in school. And I believe you can't teach critical thinking and evolution because then you wouldn't be believing in evolution.
So, uh, when critical thinking goes out the window, you teach evolution. People start to hear only one side of an argument.
That's why they will not allow intelligent design in school, which is based on a scientific arguments and not a religious argument, but they will not allow that in school because supposedly that's religious, even though Islam is taught in schools,
Buddhism is taught in schools and many others. So I think that's why you're, you're saying it. Okay.
Mr. Rapport, uh, in the story of Moses, uh, in Exodus, I think we're specifically talking about the
Passover narrative. Why does God kill the firstborn of every household and still, and yet still maintain his merciful nature?
Yeah. So let's back up and say, why did God let every firstborn live that long?
You see, we often have a make mistake where we view it from our point of view. Like somehow God owes us a long life.
But the moment we come out of the womb as a sinner, what's the very first thing we do?
We cry in selfishness. Could God take our lives immediately? Yes.
Would he be just, yes. There's no reason God has to give us life. By the way, in numbers 31, you're asking question, did
God write this or did some chauvinistic male Jew? Let me give an example. Uh, after the
Israelites had conquered, you know, the other group, they said, God said, I want you to kill the men, the cattle, the ox.
What did they do? The cattle, the children, anything you can get. Oh. And if a woman's been with a man, definitely kill them.
But if they haven't been with a man, take those for yourself. Does that sound like God talking?
Yeah, actually it does because what was happening there is you had the beasts were, they were practicing bestiality and beasts don't know, oh, this is wrong.
So once they get used to having sexual relations with human beings, they just do that.
They don't know that they're, so that's why the beast, as far as the women, the mistake is thinking that somehow it was for the men's pleasure and not the men's responsibility.
What you end up seeing is the men have the responsibility to take care of them. That's actually disproves your point because what it's showing is that God's saying they didn't have anything to do.
So you, you, if they already were with men, then you can't marry them. Therefore, how about King Saul with the
Amalekites where Saul goes to God and God goes, did you kill everything? I mean, I'm talking cattle, sheep.
Oh, well, darn it. I didn't kill the ox and the lambs cause I thought you might want to use those for sacrifice.
He goes, you get back out there and you kill everything. Do you remember that story? Yeah. And, and, and was
God just in doing it? Absolutely. Why? Because they were sinners. They deserved it.
Okay. I mean, God's, God's justice is even seen against the nation of Israel that I never hear atheists want to mention, but God used
Assyria and Babylon to come in and be a judgment on Israel for their, for their sin of idolatry.
No one seems to complain when that happens. Mr. Cluck, do you believe that the apostles, uh, knew the truth of Jesus's claims to be the
Messiah and the son of God? And if they knew the truth, and I guess more specifically, if that wasn't the case, that he was the
Messiah and the son of God, why did they willingly die for this? Here's what Christians get wrong.
I believe they did know very early on in Philippians, which is an authentic letter of Paul. It talks about, um, that Jesus was equal to God, that he was in the form of God.
So you have very early on a notion by the disciples that Jesus was God. Here's where Christians make the mistake.
Can you hear this all over the place is that we don't know how they died. Peter might have died upside down in Rome.
Maybe we don't know. Uh, Stephen might've died on the, um, what's that cross called?
Uh, the one upside down. Well, and it's the cross of the X. Yeah, the
X. Uh, maybe, but we don't know. Thomas might've died in India. There's, this is legendary.
We don't have, uh, by the way, Sean McDowell did, uh, wrote a book on this about how the martyrs died and Candida Moss from Notre Dame has said this persecution thing has been way overblown.
So you might want to check her out. So yeah, we are not sure how any of them died or James.
I would say James, the brother of Jesus with Joseph. He doesn't seem to have an agenda.
He just says he was, you know. Yeah. And I, I, I, you know, you're appealing to the scholarship, right?
I'll appeal back to something you said earlier with the Jesus seminar. So if you'll understand, you know, when we look at the scholarship and stuff, um,
Jesus seminar is really interesting. Uh, they, they, as he said, they had a, uh, uh, this bead they'd put in a bag to decide whether Jesus definitely said this red, maybe said this pink did definitely didn't say this black going through all the gospels.
You know there was only one passage in all the gospels that the scholar said Jesus actually said it's the account with the woman brought to him in adultery where he says, you'll let you who cast the first, you who are without sin cast the first stone.
It's the only one they all agree. Jesus said, you know what the problem is with that? That's is not in the earliest manuscripts of the
Bible. So the only thing they can all agree on, it's not actually in the Bible at all. The reality is that much of the scholars are looking to disprove
Orthodox Christianity. And so you have to take, when you read them, you have to take that into account and understand their bias, their confirmation bias.
Well, I thought it was 23%, but here's the cool thing about you kids is you guys can
Google stuff and this is why you Christians have got to really know your stuff because you talk about Noah's fire.
Oh, I Googled it. Oh, Epic of Gilgamesh. The whole thing came from Epic of Gilgamesh. So today's a lot rougher than when we grew up in it because we didn't have this and I just took for granted what
Christians told me. But now you're going to have, you know, your fellow nonbelievers, you know, that's, that's actually proving my point.
Cause you can go to Google and, and this would be an experiment you could do. Cause I've done this, a friend of mine, Matt Sleck and I, you could type into every search engine.
What is the Trinity? And in every search engine, except Google, Carm .org will be in the top one, two or three.
On Google, you got to go four or five pages in, you got Wikipedia, Denmark, Wikipedia, UK, Wikipedia.
There's like three pages of Wikipedia. So keep in mind that when you can, you can Google, but you have to know what the source is and also know that this search engines and big tech are also censoring things because they don't like God either.
All right. We'll do two more questions. I want to be respectful of both of your times. So I'll do one question for you,
Mr. Rapport with a response and then one last question for you, Mr. Cluck. I feel bad. We've been calling each other
Andrew and Bill, and you're like all formal with us. I'm pretty sure I've done that. Okay. All right.
So, uh, in the past people have tried to disprove the Bible, uh, because it mentions civilizations that don't exist, or at least are thought not to exist only for then evidence of those civilizations to be uncovered.
What are your thoughts on that? I would say if any of you get a chance to go to Washington DC to the museum of the
Bible, uh, and get it, take a tour there, especially if you can get a tour of someone explaining what you see there, because what they have is all of the evidence of, of that.
People would say, Oh, David, King David never existed because there's no record of it. And then we find it, uh, different cities, as was mentioned, where,
Oh, there's no record of it. And then we find it documented. Um, our cultures like the
Hittites. Yeah. We, we, we see that over and over again. Here's the simple thing. The more we look at archeology, the more we look at the different things.
If you were to put a dash on the board and say, okay, this, this is filling in a gap that we have, or erase something where it removes, where we realize,
Oh, we got to, the song we believed is wrong. We got to erase it. The reality is what we see is we're filling in the gaps and not erase, erase, erasing anything.
And so the more that we have done the research, the more we're filling in and saying, okay, people say, Oh, this can't be because this didn't exist.
And then we find that evidence. Uh, and, and there's, it's there, even in, I was just in Israel and it's really interesting because there's, there's cities that were supposedly, they claim they didn't exist.
And there was archeology that was done prior to 1948. That was you actually even earlier.
And that was used to show that this was, this was the, the, the civilizations. Well, when
Jordan was taking over that region and there was all the, the discoveries there, they had archeologists come in, but the archeologists were told you cannot have certain views.
And therefore they're, they did their research with predetermined conclusions. And so that's sometimes what you end up seeing when you do the scholarship, when you look at the scholarship is that they have predetermined conclusions that they're looking to figure out how to fit in.
But they try to make the, the, what they see, their evidence fit the conclusion. That's not how we do science.
We should be looking at what the evidence actually says. And the problem is, and we'll agree on this, the Zeitgeist movie,
I don't know if any of you've seen it, uh, where it says he was born December 12th. He had 12 disciples and they kind of try to compare them.
That is like the worst thing to try to, you know, disprove Christianity. And you would agree with that, right?
Yeah. We talked about that. Yeah. Yeah. It just, you know, and so that's the problem. You get this stuff on the internet and you get these
YouTubers for some reason, some of them like apologia and myth vision become super popular, uh, cosmic skeptic.
Oh my Lord. Uh, in London, he's like 25 and he's got like a million subscribers.
And he's probably making 10 or 20 ,000, uh, a month. I mean, but he, he's young.
He doesn't, you know, he hasn't been to seminary. He hasn't been to done any postgraduate work. So you keep that in mind, you know, that pays, right?
Yeah. And, and I, I, I travel all over the world. I don't, I don't, I do not have a speaking fee.
So you can't say that I'm trying to make money off what I do. Uh, I, I'm driving to the Philippines in April.
They're, they're not paying me. Right. I pay all those. Well, they pay the hotel. That's all they cover.
So, you know, it's a difference of if people believe what they're is, they should be willing to really live it out.
If they're just doing it to make money, you know, um, they were making, you know, go and get, go to the postgraduate, uh, go to places like Princeton Vanderbilt.
I mean, really good seminaries. And I recall those very good seminaries though, learn this stuff instead of just winging it, like they do on YouTube because they get a lot of stuff wrong.
Yeah. And there's like this movie just, uh, I'll mention, he mentioned it. Uh, the key thing with the zeitgeist movie is they have two things that they say that basically are going through all these ancient, uh,
Egyptian goddess and goddesses and saying, Oh, see there's such similarities with Jesus. They say, you know, one will say that,
Oh, well, Jesus was born of a virgin. Well, yeah, except their, their deity was born of a rock.
So it's not really a virgin human, you know? Uh, but the one thing they all have in common is the son of God.
The deities are called the son of God, but when they're referring it to Egyptian, they're referring to Ra, the sun in the sky, not sun like an offspring.
So that works in English. It doesn't work in any other language. The other thing they'll agree on is he was born on December 25th, except Christians don't hold to December 25th as being the birthday of Jesus.
All right, we'll do one final question. So I'll start with, uh, Mr. Cluck, and then I'll let you guys kind of maybe go back and forth.
And this is a big one. This could probably be its own basis. Uh, you can open the can of worms and then say, okay, final question.
So is there objective morality and if yes or no, why or why not?
Oh my gosh. And our club, this morality thing, it never ever gets resolved.
There's a, and I would agree with you on some things. There's a book by Frank Turk called stealing from God, which are like me, where as atheists, we steal
Christian morality since we do not have a good basis for morality. The key thing you'll hear from atheists like myself is flourishing.
We want people to flourish. What's good. Uh, you know, like I taught Teresa how to swim.
It was a good thing. So she's flourishing. And you know, it was a really cool thing. She's actually become a really good swimmer.
So, and I want people to play pickleball and flourish. And, and, you know, I think it's, I want people to, you know, to have a great life.
But the problem is brought for us. And you would agree is flourishing to me might not be flourishing to you.
So that's the problem is if you believe in the evolutionary argument against naturalism that we just evolved and we're just, you know, by random, you know, luck here, how in the world can we trust our moral intuitions?
I don't know. Yeah. I would say that morality is an absolute. Uh, it comes from the nature of God.
And that's why we all have certain things that we all know are wrong.
Now we can, we can be desensitized. We can sear our conscience so that we think wrong is right by continually bucking up against doing something we know is wrong, feeling that guilt and then ignoring it or justifying it so that we could feel better about it.
And yet that guilt feeling that we all have is the evidence that there is a absolute morality, but the source of it is from the nature of God.
And if it is not, then, you know, the, the problem is as the Nazis argued and went after world war two, they, their culture accepted what they did.
Uh, so they were appealing to an objective morality saying that as long as they decided, well, any, anytime you have an objective morality, it ultimately breaks down to might makes right.
And therefore rape can never be wrong. That sounds strong, but it's true because who's ever stronger will always win.
If the woman is stronger, no, no rape occurs. If the, if whoever's being raped, uh, is stronger, it never occurs.
And if the person who's raping that it does occur. And so the, the, an objective morality always breaks down to might makes right.
Uh, but yet we objectively know, or sorry, we, we all know that, that's right.
We objectively know that right and wrong. We see it. We know what it is. Uh, we may not like it, but it comes from the nature of God.
And what I say is collectively, we try to determine morality, but it all, you know, collectively, even how, where's the standard.
So that's, but that's what the Nazis were arguing and there were 11 million people that disagreed with them.
So I was hoping you wouldn't ask that question, but you did. Terrible way for me to close. Well, I was going to ask you a different question.
Okay. All right. Well, thank you gentlemen. Thank you. Yeah, very much. Uh, I apologize.
I didn't get to about 700 questions. Uh, like I said, if you want, cause
I see, she's trying to still fill one out. If you want, you know, in December, what we'll do is maybe Bill and I will go on, we'll get on Apologetics live on Thursday nights and I'll let you know, which could probably do with me.
We'll do it early in December and we'll try to get as many of them answered as we can. That'd be outstanding.
I'll give you this large stack of note cards that will even, that's even better.
Yes. Thank you. Oh, typing them up. I like it. Well, awesome. Uh, so I got one last question.
Yeah. Yeah. So you, you spend a lot of time studying that God doesn't exist, right? Way too much time.
Way too much. I'm looking at Teresa. Hold on, I don't have a mic. If I had a life, I wouldn't spend so much time doing this stuff.
So my question would be why? Uh, well, I think if you're going to answer,
Oh, sorry. If you're, if you're going to answer questions, you need to know what they say and you need to know your
Bible backwards and forwards and you need to know the scholarship. Am I right? So that's why
I, you know, because I'm an apologist. So I try to, you know, to really look fairly at, uh, your arguments and the
Bible and try to be as I can't be objective. I've got all sorts of biases, but I try to be as objective as possible.
But yeah, I do. I can't, but I spent a lot of time playing pickleball too. So I spent like two or three hours doing that.
Is because you believe God doesn't exist and you want to educate people on that. I do. But I want to hear your arguments cause there's good arguments like the
Kalam cosmological argument and so forth that seemed to point to a God or like we had
Stephen Meyer of the discovering student and he just blew me away with to get one protein made from these amino acids.
You just got all sorts of problems. The corality problem, they all have to be left handed. Uh, the solution has to be right.
There's just, there's a really cool, well I don't know about cool, but it's totally opposite that me and Andrew are friendly.
James Tor and professor Dave had a debate and they just were at each other's throats.
It's just like how, but James Tor gives good arguments for to me for the origin of life being so difficult.
You've got to have the polypeptides, the saccharides, and you have to have a lipid main membrane semipermeable to enclose all these.
So you just, and professor Dave will give his papers. But the problem is these guys are so technical that I can't understand half of what they said.
So based on that, all the study you put in because you believe God doesn't exist next month, are you going to be going to the malls to let people know that Santa Claus doesn't exist?
Sure. Yeah. Do you put as much time into studying that? But yeah, it's like, here's the thing. As Christians, you're commanded, am
I right? To preach the gospel, tell and make disciples what? As atheists, we're not commanded to do it.
We don't have the necessity to point you guys one way or the other. And this probably,
I'm probably getting another millstone around my neck because of this thing. So there's not much on the positive for this.
Well, my reciting of my prayer bill is that by the end of today, you'll, you'll repent and believe in the
Lord Jesus Christ. Well, thank you, Andrew. I appreciate that. Thanks for having the debate. All right. Thank you guys so much.
Yeah. Please run on false. Thank you. So that was the debate.
I hope that was helpful. Educational. I saw a lot of the comments as people were showing those.
I think the people that were watching here live got a lot out of that. Drew, I'll let you get any of your thoughts.
Since this is the first you've got to see it. I have so many thoughts.
There's, there's not enough time to get. Because, because, well, and here's one of the things that I'll say.
And we can open this up more if Bill comes on the show and, you know, we have a discussion, you guys do the answer.
Some of the, some of the questions that were left over when he says that Christianity, that, that there is evidence for Christianity.
He loses the debate when he says Christianity is probably true.
He loses the debate. Not only did you take away the foundation for his worldview in your opening statement, when in his closing statement, he gave up his worldview by saying that.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, we'll, we'll end with this as a question that Kathy has for you, Drew. She wants to know,
Drew, how many frescas tonight? Only two. I come to the show with two. That way
I drink one the first hour. And then, you know, at that, at that hour mark,
I'm popping the second one. Well, folks be praying for Bill.
We will not have a show next week because of Thanksgiving, but the plan is to have one the week after Bill, hopefully will join us.
We'll get the list of questions and go through them. Drew, you'll get to play the role of moderator and we're looking forward to that.
Now I did let the school know that we're doing this and for any of the students who want their, they have a welcome invitation to come in or the faculty to come in and ask any questions, whether it be on this or any other topic or anytime.
So we look forward to that as well. So I guess with that, we're going to wrap up and, you know, look forward to being thankful this week for the things
God has given you and rejoice in the, for those who know
Christ, rejoice in the salvation that you have. And with that, we'll just encourage you to strive to make today an eternal day for the glory of God and see you next week.