Arkenaten is a fundamentalist atheist blogger. A good few months ago I banned him from my blog after repeated warnings against him insulting other followers/commenters on my site. In his article (‘And so the rot begins‘) he writes:
“Here is a blog I was banned from a while back. You’re not surprised? Huh! Don’t be mean!”
The truth is that I am not surprised. If one cannot behave themselves on a public domain then don’t expect to earn respect from others, nevertheless, fundamentalist atheists enjoy playing the victim card.
Here is how Arkenaten sums me up: “I stopped reading a while back because of the same old tripe being trotted out: witnesses, biblical inerrancy, hell, ‘’evidence’’. There is only so much metaphorical merde one can swallow.”
I think that Arkenaten will be quite disappointed that I very much hold to the existence of hell (see: Meme Grinder #5) as Jesus taught. I not only hold to belief in hell, I also believe that God exists, and that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. I have come to reject the doctrine of biblical inerrancy as many Christians hold it, however, my position is by no means fixed. Arkenaten will also be disappointed that there is very much evidence for many Christian truth claims. Christianity remains, and will always remain, at its strongest in the context of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead as the best historical explanation. He also calls these things “tripe,” however the last time we discussed (which wasn’t actually a discussion since it seemed I could have no intelligible conversation with Arkenaten at all) he failed to reply to any of my points, railed on about irrelevancies and regurgitated arguments from New Atheist writers (despite me looking at those arguments elsewhere on my blog), and so I ended up ignoring him entirely.
Furthermore, Arkenaten is a fundamentalist atheist who enjoyed harping on about the Christ myth theory in the comments section at my blog. To deny the existence of Jesus, and to even argue that he is a conglomeration of pagan deities, is atheistic fundamentalism equal to a fundamentalist Christians who holds the universe to be a mere 6000 years old based off a severely warped exegesis of the Genesis creation account. I don’t feel that such nonsense deserves consideration here (but please do have a look at the About Jesus section above). He writes:
“Anyhow, because of a link on Jason’s blog (he that was contemplating eating cat from the previous post) it seems Mister Bishop may have turned a corner.”
Although I do not know who this Jason is that Arkenaten refers to but to contemplate eating animals is rather warped, but I am not surprised. Nevertheless, turning a corner, i.e. using my brain to understand my own faith and subsequently redefining initial views and so forth does not mean what Arkenaten suggests it means. in other words, he is suggesting that I have come close to rejecting Christianity as truth. This is not true. I openly disagree with other Christians on things like biblical inerrancy, infallibility, interpretations etc. but that hardly means i don’t hold to the deity of Jesus. In fact I do. It is true, as I see it, that some Bible passages appear uninspired, and it also does appear that God is exceptionally violent in the Old Testament. Could the biblical authors have made a mistake? Possibly, I am open to that. Could God have really done what he is described as doing (miracles, violence etc.)? Possibly, I am open to the existence of a miracle working God. Not only have my personal investigations (for example, see Keener’s 2-volume tome on miracle investigations, and Darren Wilson’s documentary series. I likewise have personal testimony to confirm the miracle working of God and the existence of the supernatural realm) conclusively proven to me that God works miracles today, and any study of the historical Jesus will certainly confirm this (see my article: What Do Scholars Make of Jesus’ Miracles. 58 Quotes by Scholars). So, I must disagree with Arkenaten’s diagnosis.
This following is interesting: “No longer the Burn in Hell you sinner type, but a little bit of cognitive dissonance has gripped him by the inscrutable passage and now we are cogitating and considering anew certain verses from the Bible, and wondering: ‘’What would it be like to thrust an axe/sword through the chest of a petrified infant?’’
What I did was to put myself into the biblical story as if I were an eyewitness and thus to view it from such a perspective. When one does this many biblical verses seem abhorrent. Does this mean God did not command infants to be slaughtered? Of course not. Just because God commands something questionable hardly says anything about his existence or the truth of Christianity. To conclude that Christianity is false, or that God does not exist, because of violent passages is simply going too far. However, there is nothing wrong to think about this and to view it on an intellectual level, and thus making sense of biblical passages.
Arkenaten may also be going to far by calling me the “No longer the Burn in Hell you sinner type” (see my Meme Grinder link above). Again, this is just a false accusation. Never have I threatened anyone with going to hell to coerce them into belief (like many Christians do). However, I do believe hell exists, and i am also cognisant of the fact that theologians differ on what hell will actually be like experientially. Many, for example, doubt that hell is a place of eternal fire as it is described using different imagery, in Matthew we read that it is a place of “outer darkness” (8:12), whereas Mark tells us that it is an unquenchable flame (9:48). It is quite obvious that it cannot be both but instead powerful figures of speech are being used to describe the reality of hell.
Finally, Arkenaten finishes off somewhat sarcastically: “Good one James. Hope for you yet!”
Yes, I actually agree with Arkenaten. There is indeed hope for me (but not the hope that Arkenaten suggests by me becoming an atheist. Which in itself is a hopeless worldview so I’d argue that he is contradicting himself) but for him too. How so? Well, because Jesus died and was raised from the dead.