Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Minimal Facts Approach

Our good an noble friends over at Apologetics have come up with an interesting whopper - the "Minimal Facts Approach".

Yep, no fooling around here! You have to give them some credit here, when they don't have the facts every once in awhile, they just come right out and say it! Read on for some jaw dropping stuipity!

We have seen that the resurrection of Jesus and Christianity are bound up together

Yep! Can we go back to that and fill in some more detail, though? We need a DNA sample from Mr. Christ, for example.

…but is there good historical evidence that it actually occured?

Good enough for you? No doubt.

Gary Habermas argues there is. In his “minimal facts approach”

* jaw drops *
Minimal facts approach?
Minimal facts approach?!?!?

Would this be the approach where we just get to make stuff up when there aren’t any actual facts for something?
Sorry…I’m just staggered that someone would so bald facedly give his lack of evidence a name that so clearly screams out that he has no evidence…and then publish it! Can I do this in other situations, too?

Police Officer: Do you know how fast you were going?
Me: Yep! But there’s no need for a ticket, I’m using the “doesn’t matter what speed I’m going” approach

Or how about…?

Me: Do you know why my car is making a grinding noise when I step on the brake?
Mechanic: Don’t worry about it. I’m using a “minimal noise noticing” approach

he has come up with 5 facts that virtually all scholars in the field of New Testament studies (liberal, moderate, conservative) affirm. The question before us, is what best explains these facts?
Fact #1 - Jesus died by crucifixion. This fact is recorded in all four gospels as well as being referred to by other NT writers. In addition to these Christian sources, there are several Non-Christian sources that report Jesus’ crucifixion. For example, in AD 115 the Roman historian Tacitus

It took 80 something years for someone to note Mr. Christ’s crucifixion?!? Doesn’t this seem ever so slightly insane? Where were the contemporary accounts? This is like an 80’s hockey writer not knowing Wayne Gretzky.

describes how Christians were blamed for the burning of Rome: “Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus [cf. Matt 27:2].” Due to passages like this from outside of the NT

Passages 80 years out of date.

and the strong witness in the NT,

Be still my beating heart.

there is no doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was executed by Roman crucifixion around AD 30-33.

Yeah. No doubt at all.

The real question is why?

Why you blithely gloss over the lack of any contemporary documentation and cite something as ridiculous as a "minimal facts approach"? Yeah, that’s a real question, all right.

1 comment:

Vinny said...

Isn't the "minimal facts" approach the same thing that conspiracy nuts use? For example, the 9/11 conspiracy theorists pick out two or three odd clips and they find a couple of witnesses who recall hearing explosions. Then they say that any theory must explain their selected "facts" and it just so happens that the only theory that does so is their claim that the Twin Towers were brought down by controlled demolition.

Of course, when all the facts are considered, the evidence overwhelmingly proves that terrorists flew hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center. To the extent that the conspiracy nuts facts can even be considered facts, they can reasonably be dismissed as anomalies with no explanation at all.