My interlocutor’s name on Twitter is @saykojack – a friendly atheist who enjoys a vigorous exchange of ideas – but I get tired of trying to discuss weighty matters in miniature form, so I am inviting him to talk more broadly here in the comment section with me. If anyone else wants to join in, please wait for our conversation to come to an end before you jump in. It’s really hard talking through the internet to even one person who is intelligent and serious about his or her message, let alone two or more.
Here’s a recap from Twitter (and I may accidentally omit something) –
1) Jack (as I’m calling him) asked me to defend/explain the purity of the New Testament text. We went back and forth with questions and answers of the nature of the New Testament. He asserts corruption of the original NT writings through the process of hand-copying transmission (the Bart Ehrman thesis), and I countered with the argument of multiple copies made and disbursed throughout extensive regions of the Roman world (thus securing the independent copying of all NT documents in isolated regions, therefore allowing the later comparison of these isolated text traditions for the purposes of ascertaining the original writings, always and still present within the whole family of 6,000 Greek, handwritten copies.)
Our disagreement is on whether or not some central control came upon the canon of the NT such that other, legitimate parts of the Christian tradition were discarded. I suggest reading Philip Comfort, Daniel Wallace, Richard Bauckham, and James White for further considerations here.
2) Jack asked me what I think of Thomas Jefferson’s edited NT, wherein the Founding Father and third president of these United States actually cut the miracles out of the pages of his Bible, to make it more amenable to his own presuppositions of anti-supernaturalism.
My answer Re: Jefferson directed our conversation to the question of our underlying, foundational assumptions, here:
I fully affirm the brilliance & blessing of the many humans who are not Christians. It’s just they are living upon a world constructed by the Son of God, for the Son of God, and which will be consummated in a restored earth to reflect the beauty of the Son of God. Folk like T Jefferson simply miss the reason for the world and their [own] brilliance – [which is] sad to me.
3) This led to Jack strumming the strings of his favorite guitar (I’m guessing) – evolutionary, atheistic psychology. But before I hit that, I want to note a really funny slip by my friend:
He asks me “So if all your senses are not enough to understand the world what do you use? All that is left is imagination. Do you have some “other” sense?”
He then continued “I sense the answer will be Super-natural but again with what do you sense that?”
So my question, to continue our discussion, is “what do you mean “I sense,” Jack? Which of the five physical senses did you mean to indicate here?
I hope to see you in the comment section…