Close-up street portrait of Dawid Samoszul, probably taken in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland, between 1936 and 1938. Dawid was killed in the Treblinka killing center at the age of 9. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Abe Samelson, View Archival Details)
By Spencer D Gear PhD
Whenever I write a Christian-based article for On Line Opinion, it is guaranteed to receive a rant of abuse – mainly through the use of logical fallacies. These were some of the responses to my article, Anglicans, Christmas, and the birth of God?
1. Reactions from anti-Christians
One fellow who is known for his hostility wrote:
Jesus never claimed any more than the son of man. He’s on the record as allegedly saying, with regard to the miracles, it is not I who does these things, but the Father in me.
Only fundamental (sic) fanatics try to make him more than a man born of woman. . . .
They also claim that Jesus was God (a false premise) and believe that confers some authority! And just risible rubbish, given they never ever had such authority! Never!
2. Was Jesus the Son of God?
It is too bad Alan B didn’t acquire accurate biblical knowledge to counter the ignorant statements like this. What he said here is blatantly false.
God, the Son, is regarded as God. He has the attributes of deity:
(1) Eternity (Jn 1:15; 8:58; 17:5, 24);
(2) Omniscience (Jn 2:24-25; 16:30; 21:17);
(3) Omnipresence (Mt 18:20; 28:20; Jn 3:13);
(4) Omnipotence. ‘I am the Almighty’ (Rev 1:8; Heb 1:3; Mt 28:18);
(5) Immutable (Heb 1:12; 13:8);
(6) He does the actions of deity:
- creator (Jn 1:3; Heb 1:10; Col 1:16);
- holds things together (Col 1:17; Heb 1:3);
- forgives sin (Mt 9:2, 6);
- raises the dead (Jn 6:39-40, 54; 11:25; 20:25, 28);
- he will be the Judge (Jn 5:22) of believers (2 Cor 5:10), of Antichrist and his followers (Rev 19:15), the nations (Ac 17:31), Satan (Gen 3:15) and the living and the dead (Ac 10:42).
Only Alan B’s bigotry against biblical content has caused him to reach his erroneous conclusion.
3. A fundamentalist fanatic’s response
“Only fundamental (sic) fanatics try to make him more than a man born of woman.”
Yes, mate, evangelical believers like me, who take the Scriptures seriously, know that you are dumping your presuppositions on us.
You don’t know the Bible, do you? Why don’t you own up to the logical fallacies you use whenever articles on this forum clash with your worldview, particularly Christian-related topics?
Let’s check the Scriptures: ‘Jesus answered, “The fact is, before Abraham was born, I Am.” When he said this, they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus hid, and then he left the Temple area” (John 8:58-59).
We know from John chapter 5 that Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath. This did not please the Jewish leaders as they questioned Jesus about his violation of the Jewish law. Jesus claimed authority over the Sabbath.
Those Jews began trying to make Jesus stop these actions on the Sabbath. ‘But he said to them, “My Father never stops working, and so I work too.” This made them even more determined to kill him. They thought it was bad enough that he was breaking the law about the Sabbath day. And now he was saying that God is his Father, MAKING HIMSELF EQUAL WITH GOD’ (John 5:16-18).
Have you ever read this in Scripture? Peter called Jesus, “Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16)? Did Jesus support your view and emphatically deny he was the Son of God? Not at all! Jesus’ response was: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven” (Matt 16:17).
Jesus emphatically affirmed he was the Son of God and not just the son of man. The Bible contradicts your view. I suggest you obtain a REAL theological education by taking the Bible seriously and examining its claims.
4. An atheistic perspective
An atheist could not resist this jibe: “Here we go again, arguing over who has the correct sky fairy”. My reply was just as pointed, “I hear the wind blowing; the thunder and lightning are flashing and clapping; the cyclone is blowing our way from your ‘sky fairy’ fantasy.”
5. Questioning my orthodox view over liberalism
Diver Dan took a different line:
I take you to task on your confessed orthodoxy. You may be an orthodox Christian in these times, but Christianity is historically built on shifting sands with orthodoxy.
Lack of consistency in its literature over two thousand years, has added confusion.
The belief in the trinity has been an evolutionary process. Explaining away the Christian God head from the orthodox stance as you do, relies on the belief of the infallibility of the biblical text as it now stands.
The Liberal view is Academic. It is more inclined to see the evolution of the Christian faith in term of history.
I see a danger in both views. The extreme of the liberal view is effectively disbelief in the creed, which I see as created by an overly questioning study for which it’s (sic) reward is lack of faith, followed by agnosticism; because the text through the years has been inconsistent and often tied into current historical events.
I think all orthodoxies should be questioned without risking loss of faith. You say your views are orthodox, but are they also fundamentalist by the same nature.
Fundamentalism led to the extreme of orthodoxy with the creation of Jimmy Jones, and his people’s Temple horror story.
6. My response to “shifting sands” of Christian orthodoxy
“Christianity is historically built on shifting sands with orthodoxy.”
Then you gave not one example of these “shifting sands”, so you built a straw man fallacy.
“Lack of consistency in its literature over two thousand years, has added confusion.”
Have you read EVERYTHING of Christianity from the 1st to 21st centuries to conclude about the “lack of consistency”? Or is this a fallacy of hasty generalization that springs forth from your worldview?
“The belief in the trinity has been an evolutionary process.”
False again! The trinitarian teaching is orthodox from the “us” of Genesis 1 to the full blown articulation in the New Testament. Ray Pritchard asked: “What is the Trinity? Christians in every land unite in proclaiming that our God eternally exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Those who deny that truth place themselves outside the pale of Christian orthodoxy. Having said that, I admit that no one fully understands it. It is a mystery and a paradox. Yet I believe it is true”, http://www.christianity.com/god/trinity/god-in-three-persons-a-doctrine-we-barely-understand-11634405.html.
The Trinity is not an “evolving” doctrine but one that is seen more clearly with progressive revelation in moving from Old Testament to New Testament.
“The Liberal view is Academic.”
No, the Liberal view changes what the Bible states. There are sound, evangelical, academic views of the orthodox Trinity.
“You say your views are orthodox, but are they also fundamentalist by the same nature.”
I said my views were “evangelical”. You have inserted “orthodox” and “fundamentalist.” I do not shy away from labelling my theological views as containing fundamental theology at its core – including the inerrancy of Scripture in the original documents, Christ’s atoning blood sacrifice, the bodily resurrection of Jesus and Christ’s second coming. However, the language of “fundamentalist” comes with too much baggage, as seen in your linking me to Jim Jones and his fanatical group.
“Fundamentalism led to the extreme of orthodoxy with the creation of Jimmy Jones, and his people’s Temple horror story.”
This is an ad hominem (guilt by association) fallacy. Here you have a negative view of my beliefs because of its supposed association with Jim Jones, that you view negatively. We cannot have a rational conversation when you engage in this kind of fallacious reasoning.
7. “Who is Christ?” has many answers
Diver dan had this comeback. How accurate was he?
One of the problems dealing with people on this site, is accommodating their hypersensitive natures.
I’m not about to trade scriptural references towards proving a theory I put forward to you, based on my observations over a lifetime on this subject.
But like it or not, the question of “who is Christ” has as many answers as history has to any other subject.
So the difficulty with the answer is, the difficulty of who debates the question, and the biases that are natural in the mix. And historically, the question of who is Christ, has shifted through the years; that’s the point I make.
On another point you raised, which I noticed in your article, which was the differing opinions adding a different emphasis on scripture, between Liberals and evangelicals.
Unless there is consistency, then there are dangers in both views.
Jimmy Jones began his ministry with good intentions, but he lost the plot and strayed from tradition. Tradition is very much where the Liberals are. Viz Peter Selleck on this forum.
How should I reply as his response contained some fundamental errors?
8. Who are Hitler, James Cook and Aristotle?
“But like it or not, the question of “who is Christ“ has as many answers as history has to any other subject.”
If I want to know about “who is Hitler?”; “Who is Captain James Cook?”; “Who is Aristotle?”, I go to the historical sources that deal with this historical information.
Since I want to know who Jesus Christ is, I go to the primary documents of the Gospels that deal with this information. I don’t go to the pseudepigraphical Gospel of Peter and the “Cross Gospel” which John Dominic Crossan of the Jesus Seminar promotes.
“Tradition is very much where the Liberals are. Viz Peter Selleck on this forum.”
To the contrary, the Anglican tradition is with the formulators of the 39 Articles, which provide a very evangelical statement of beliefs in The Articles of Religion 1562.
They are not Liberal Anglicanism but support evangelical, Bible-believing Anglicans. I suggest you get your facts straight on this topic.
The heart of the Anglican doctrines is evangelical and does not synthesise with the teaching of John Shelby Spong or Peter Sellick. See HERE.
Notice what most of these comments contain:
(1) They avoid dealing with the primary content of the article. This means they choose to,
(2) dump their presuppositions on the reader.
(3) They allow their ignorance about a topic to be exposed, and
(4) It is a common trait of these anti-Christian antagonists to use logical fallacies to divert attention away from the main topic.
Logical fallacies are common errors in reasoning that will undermine the logic of your argument. Fallacies can be either illegitimate arguments or irrelevant points, and are often identified because they lack evidence that supports their claim. Avoid these common fallacies in your own arguments and watch for them in the arguments of others.
 This topic began as a blog on one of my ejournal articles with On Line Opinion, 3 December 2020. I blog as OzSpen.
 Posted by Alan B., Thursday, 3 December 2020 11:03:22 AM.
 Posted by OzSpen, Thursday, 3 December 2020 11:53:35 AM
 This was a response to Alan B, posted by OzSpen, Thursday, 3 December 2020 8:29:56 PM.
 Posted by TheAtheist, Thursday, 3 December 2020 6:28:41 PM.
 Posted by OzSpen, Thursday, 3 December 2020 6:40:50 PM.
 Posted by diver dan, Thursday, 3 December 2020 8:29:15 PM.
 Posted by OzSpen, Friday, 4 December 2020 12:50:38 PM.
 Posted by diver dan, Saturday, 5 December 2020 7:31:15 AM.
Copyright © 2020 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 5 December 2020.