Let’s look at those myths
There seems to be a different tone to Richard Carnes’ latest commentary dealing with faith. Somehow it seems to be a bit more serious, maybe a true longing for worldview subjects to go away. Thus I write this response in great respect for those common people who have true longings. The last person who expressed true misgivings concerning Christianity being just one more myth among many went on, after honestly exploring his questions, to become one of, and in many people’s minds, the greatest, defenders of the Christian faith ever: C.S. Lewis. There is, perhaps, a significant difference between C.S. Lewis and Richard in one respect at least. Lewis was a researcher and a scholar. I don’t believe Richard has done his homework before typing his article. Lewis would not have been so rash. I don’t believe Richard has taken the highest level courses on the dating of ancient primary source texts, actually read them, or really even studied much of ancient cultures. If you had, Richard, you would not have tried to paint the picture you failed to substantiate. Allow me to clarify for Richard and the reader three of many points that could be made in order to bring the true picture into focus. First, when Richard refers to the Adonis story as being hundreds of years before the eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection he is simply, factually wrong. The earliest account of the mythological figure of Adonis appears after A.D. 150. And there weren’t eyewitnesses. Adonis is mythology. Jesus is not, by anyone’s evaluation, a mythical figure. Surely, Richard, you’ve heard of the Roman Empire, its practice of crucifixion, the governor Pontius Pilate, etc. This isn’t myth. And, I’m hoping you recognize the date of A.D. 150 and what that means as far as after or before Jesus. Second, let’s look at the Osiris myth. First of all, note that there are several different versions of this story, unlike the unified biblical account of Jesus’ death and resurrection. In the main version, Osiris was killed by his brother, chopped up into 14 pieces and scattered throughout Egypt. The goddess Isis collected and reassembled his parts and brought him “back to life.” However, she was only able to find 13 pieces. And, it is vague, at best, where he was brought back to life. The most clear reading puts him still in the gloomy underworld. Does that sound anything like Christianity? Or, does it sound like the mythology that it is?Third, Richard, have you read the Marduk account? There is nothing even approaching a clear death and resurrection account there.All this begs a question: Why write an opinion that can’t be substantiated? Could it be that Richard is controlled by his worldview? Richard is using the terms “religion” and “myth.” I have not used these terms in any of the worldview articles. I’ve been discussing truth and facts. The great apostle of common sense G.K. Chesterton once said, “I am incurably convinced that the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” Richard’s fabrication is less than nothing. Visually described: If put on one arm of a scale over against an empty arm, his end would rise. If your worldview consistently fails to satisfy, then change it. That’s what C.S. Lewis did.Bob Branden, Ph.D. in New Testament studies, is the pastor of the Eagle Bible Church, which meets Sunday mornings in the Eagle Valley High School auditorium. He is writing a series of commentaries on worldviews.
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