The Good Professor on the Verge of Apoplexy

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by Neil Godfrey

Our good professor and Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University James McGrath continues to distort consistent rational argument beyond all recognition with his frenzied attacks on both biblical inerrantists (somehow McG manages not only to accuse them of “attacking the Bible“, “self-righteousness” and, yes, “defending sin“, but finds his own words are even worth framing!). He has clearly never done a course or read a book on how to win wayward minds over to more reasonable and enlightened thinking. And right on top of those mental flailings comes Jerry Coyne, the scientist who once scoffed at McG’s pleading efforts to have theological authority given equal billing with the authority of the scientific academy, to see right through the empty pomposity of the claims that the evidence for the historical existence of Jesus is as strong as for any ancient figure of history.

The occasion in question was a BBC article, Jesus ‘not a real person’ many believe. It would appear that Wells, Doherty, Brodie, Freke and Gandy, Humphreys, Harpur and others have been having some impact. Coyne rubs salt into spear-wound with a blog post BBC poll: 40% of Brits don’t believe that “Jesus was a real person,” but BBC assumes he was!

McGrath in hysterics accuses Coyne of subscribing to “conspiracy theories” and “denialism”. Not just any denialism, but “history-denialsm”: Further History-Denialism from Jerry Coyne

Hoo boy. So a reasonably intelligent person can see the dubiousness of the arguments that the theologians need to be true to justify their existence (at least for many of them) and our good professor is as helpless and incoherent as when faced with fellow believers who see only naked flesh when due reverence would have them admire only the finest theological silk and embroidery.






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Neil Godfrey

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6 thoughts on “The Good Professor on the Verge of Apoplexy”

    1. “Professor who attacks religion in name of religion ought first learn psychology of religion.” – From Lost Works of Confucius, translated by Pascal Boyer and Scott Atran.

      “Professor who attacks critic of religion in defence of history ought first understand nature of criticism and grounds for defence.” — From Lost Works of Confucius, compiled by History Departments Everywhere.

    2. I’m sort of unclear as to the reason McGrath is making memes. Does he think 200 years from now someone is going to have one of the aphorisms up on her wall?

  1. Methinks man who psychotically, incoherently defends his beliefs by attacking those who do not share those beliefs (or in the case of Jerry Coyne, noting the extent of disbelief) probably does not really hold to those beliefs at all. In other words, there probably is a nagging doubt in back of McGrath’s head, and he has to KILL IT!

  2. It’s massively uninteresting to poll the masses as to whether Jesus existed or not, because they are not familiar enough with the evidence on either side of the historicity debate to make a judgement either way.

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