Month: March 2016

Baur’s concession

Baur, to his dying day (e.g. in his Vorlesungen—Lectures—published posthumously, A.D. 1866), with reference to the resurrection of Christ, not only admitted, but strongly asserted, as things that have to be believed if history be worth anything— …

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I know of no one fact

[T]he evidence of our Lord’s life and death and resurrection, may be, and often has been shown to be, satisfactory; it is good according to the common rules for distinguishing good evidence from bad. Thousands and ten thousands of persons have gone through it piece by piece, as carefully as ever judge summed up on a most important cause: I have myself done it many times over, not to persuade others, but to satisfy myself. I have been used for many years to study the history of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them; and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind, which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God has given us, that Christ died and rose again from the dead.

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One layman’s reaction

You must face the fact that he does not expect the present school of theological thought to be everlasting. He thinks, perhaps wishfully thinks, that the whole thing may blow over. I have learned in other fields of study how transitory the ‘assured results of modern scholarship’ may be, how soon the scholarship ceases to be modern.

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A due agnosticism

Suppose a future scholar knew I had abandoned Christianity in my teens, and that, also in my teens, I went to an atheist tutor. Would not this seem far better evidence than most of what we have about the development of Christian theology in the first two centuries? Would not he conclude that my apostasy was due to the tutor? And then reject as ‘backward projection’ any story which represented me as an atheist before I went to the tutor? Yet he would be wrong. I am sorry to have become once more autobiographical. But reflection on the extreme improbability of his own life—by historical standards—seems to me a profitable exercise for everyone. It encourages a due agnosticism.

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Against Hume

The theme is arduous. The adversary is both subtle and powerful. With such an adversary, I should on very unequal terms enter the lists, had I not the advantage of being on the side of truth.

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