A FEEBLE MIND AT WORK

Mosaic of St. Justin Martyr, Mount of the Beatitudes
Mosaic of St. Justin Martyr, Mount of the Beatitudes

Here of late this blog has been getting unintentionally flattering reviews from kcchief1, the author of The Divine Spark Within. I say unintentional, because it is obvious that  has no intention of praising Citizen Tom. Nevertheless, when I read ‘s posts I am hard put to find anything I would have said differently. Well, that is not entirely true. I do wish some of the quotes were not taken out of context.

 began his assault on Citizen Tom by posting a comment on JESUS NEVER GAVE THEM WHAT THEY WANTED — PART 4.

kcchief1
March 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm

First of all, I am NOT an Atheist, but a Deist. I have exchanged many comments with John Zande and have found him to be courteous especially during the times we have disagreed. I am curious why you felt the need to band him from commenting on your blog ?

Thank you for allowing my comment here.

That led to another comment to correct a spelling error, “band” was supposed to be “ban”.

I gave  a link to the post where I explained why I banned Zande and Arkenaten, WHY I BANNED TWO TROLLS FROM CITIZEN TOM. After that  compared my banning of Zande to the persecution that Jesus and His disciples had suffered. Since I don’t consider Christianity an excuse for allowing non-Christians to burden Christians with meaningless guilt, I decided to ignore . Nevertheless, the few replies I gave  resulted in three posts at The Divine Spark Within. Since  had not posted anything since January 20th, I thought that remarkable.

Then  decided to pester one of my commenters with his inane comments and do a blog post on that. Since one of  ‘s comments contains an absurdly incorrect citation, I decided to post a correction.

Matthew says:
March 27, 2015 at 10:06 am
Anyone watching O’Reilly’s “Killing Jesus” this Sunday? From my understanding, O’Reilly examines the historical view of Jesus, not the theological view, which, in my opinion, is deficient because one cannot truly understand Jesus without the theological view. Without the theological knowledge, Jesus becomes another “historical figure.” There is no doubt — owing to vast written testimony — concerning Jesus’ historicity, but why is or what makes Jesus different from others? Who is Jesus? Sadly, that question and answer is lacking in O’Reilly’s book, and will be lacking in his movie. Pity.

kcchief1 says:
March 27, 2015 at 10:38 am

“From my understanding, O’Reilly examines the historical view of Jesus, not the theological view, which, in my opinion, is deficient because one cannot truly understand Jesus without the theological view.”

Here are 2 theological views among many, I doubt you would want O’Reilly to mention. Maybe it’s better that he just presents his historical view.

Church Theologian, Justin Martyr, “And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter” (Chapter XXI.—Analogies to the history of Christ.)

Geza Vermes, wiki says, “He was a noted authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient works in Aramaic such as the Targums, and on the life and religion of Jesus. He was one of the most important voices in contemporary Jesus research,[1] and he has been described as the greatest Jesus scholar of his time” Vermes described Jesus as a 1st-century Jewish holy man, a commonplace view in academia but novel to the public when Vermes began publishing.[4] Contrary to certain other scholars (such as E. P. Sanders[17]), Vermes concludes that Jesus did not reach out to non-Jews. For example, he attributes positive references to Samaritans in the gospels not to Jesus himself but to early Christian editing. He suggests that, properly understood, the historical Jesus is a figure that Jews should find familiar and attractive. This historical Jesus, however, is so different from the Christ of faith that Christians, says Vermes, may well want to rethink the fundamentals of their faith” (wiki)

What are the errors in ‘s reply to Matthew?  either lifted or copied someone who had lifted a quote from Justin Martyr totally out of context. This article, Justin Martyr, Defender of the “true philosophy”, provides some background on Justin Martyr. Justin is surnamed Martyr because he died as a martyr for the Christian faith.

Justin Martyr wrote The First Apology. He wrote it to Emperor Titus Ælius Adrianus Antoninus Pius Augustus Cæsar in defense of the Christian faith. Here is the complete version of Chapter XXI.—Analogies to the history of Christ. If you want to understand just how much ‘s citation of Justin Martyr reeks, please read Chapter XXI from beginning to end.

Chapter XXI.—Analogies to the history of Christ.

And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all; Æsculapius, who, though he was a great physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and so ascended to heaven; and Bacchus too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and Hercules, when he had committed himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the sons of Leda, and Dioscuri; and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though sprung from mortals, rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus. For what shall I say of Ariadne, and those who, like her, have been declared to be set among the stars? And what of the emperors who die among yourselves, whom you deem worthy of deification, and in whose behalf you produce some one who swears he has seen the burning Cæsar rise to heaven from the funeral pyre? And what kind of deeds are recorded of each of these reputed sons of Jupiter, it is needless to tell to those who already know. This only shall be said, that they are written for the advantage and encouragement of youthful scholars; for all reckon it an honourable thing to imitate the gods. But far be such a thought concerning the gods from every well-conditioned soul, as to believe that Jupiter himself, the governor and creator of all things, was both a parricide and the son of a parricide, and that being overcome by the love of base and shameful pleasures, he came in to Ganymede and those many women whom he had violated and that his sons did like actions. But, as we said above, wicked devils perpetrated these things. And we have learned that those only are deified who have lived near to God in holiness and virtue; and we believe that those who live wickedly and do not repent are punished in everlasting fire. (from here)

The reference to Geza Vermes’ work is relatively accurate. The mistake here is that Geza Vermes did exactly what  complained about.  Vermes’ tried to reduce Jesus from the Son of God to a historical figure.

But Mr Vermes’s real fame came from his contention that the historical Jesus, whatever his followers came to believe later, was first and foremost a Jewish holy man, one of many such itinerant preachers and wonder-workers. When his book “Jesus the Jew” came out in 1973, that approach seemed revolutionary. In many respects, the two faiths were in a state of mutual ignorance. Jewish scholarship and piety shunned the Christian scriptures: what could be gained by studying a self-proclaimed messiah and his mistaken followers? For their part Christians all but ignored Jesus’s Jewishness. Mr Vermes, somewhat combatively, highlighted the neglected common ground. (from here)

Vermes is a Jew who became a priest and then a Jew again. Since Vermes still experienced antisemitic persecution after he had become priest, we probably should not be surprised Vermes wanted to remind Christians that Jesus was a Jew. In that respect, Vermes did something useful.

It is also likely that Vermes conversion to Christianity never was sincere.

He was born in Makó, Hungary, to assimilated Jewish parents. His mother, Terézia, was a schoolteacher, and his father, Erno, a journalist and poet who associated with leading Hungarian intellectuals. When the family moved to Gyula, Vermes was enrolled in a Catholic primary school, and the family converted to Catholicism – “to give me a better chance”, as he wrote in his autobiography. That may have been his father’s intention, but his mother took the conversion seriously and became a devout Catholic. Vermes also seems to have taken it seriously enough to consider becoming a priest, when he graduated from the Catholic gymnasium. It was 1942 and life was becoming increasingly difficult for Hungarian Jews. The family’s baptismal certificates proved useless to protect them. Vermes was desperate to further his education but saw little chance, as a Jew, of gaining a place at university. Entering the priesthood offered a way forward. (from here)

The point is that Vermes is a Jew. So we have no reason to be surprised that a Jew doesn’t think Jesus was the Messiah. We would be surprised only if it was otherwise.

Anyway, I don’t have the time rebut nonsense. I don’t have to agree with the conclusions of the people who post here, but I will not permit obvious falsehoods. When people comment here, I expect what they post to be at least factually correct. And no, I don’t permit quotes deliberately taken out of context. The quote from Justin Martyr’s work was reprehensible.

Therefore, if a commenter like  wants to post anti-Christian drivel (garbage that is not even factually correct), he will have to do it on his own blog. Otherwise,  will have to do a little research first.

Note: If you wish to understand why I titled this post as I did, pleased check out   ‘s comment here.

27 thoughts on “A FEEBLE MIND AT WORK

    1. I call that the atheist-Dorothy-Wizard of Oz syndrome.

      You go out on all these wild goose chases and finally come back with the witch’s broom only to be told you’re a sorry excuse for Harry Potter if ever there wOz wun.

      I’m developing an app for atheists called iHallucinate whose purpose is to keep atheist hallucinations straight in everyone else’s mind.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. First of all, I don’t think any of your rational readers would consider my comments as assaults on anything.

    Matthew actually paid me a compliment but you failed to point this out.

    As far as taking things out of context, isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black ?

    It seems as though the only one who seems to be troubled here is you Tom. Of course it is your blog and I will continue to be respectful as I have been all along. If you would rather I leave, you won’t need to ban me as I will go quite willingly and quietly.

    “It is also likely that Vermes conversion to Christianity never was sincere.”

    Wouldn’t God be the only one to make this judgment , Tom ?

    Like

    1. Matthew expected you to tell the truth. I trust, but verify.

      Before you cited the Wikipedia on Vermes, did you bother to read it?

      Having left the Catholic Church in 1957, he reasserted his Jewish identity, and some time after having relocated to Britain, took up a teaching post at what is now the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.[4] In 1965 he joined the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University, rising to become the first professor of Jewish Studies before his retirement in 1991. In 1970 he became a member of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue of London,[10] “but insisted he had not converted, just “grew out of” Christianity”.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A9za_Vermes

      Since I don’t know exactly what growing out of Christianity is suppose to mean, I said it was only likely that Vermes conversion to Christianity never was sincere. In any event, there is this passage.

      1 John 2:18-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

      18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

      20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

      22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Before you cited the Wikipedia on Vermes, did you bother to read it?”

        Tom , not only have I read it many times, I own (I think) every book Vermes has ever published.

        “In 1970 he became a member of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue of London,[10] “but insisted he had not converted, just “grew out of” Christianity”.

        This could be understand in several ways Tom. Because I have read all of Vermes books, I understood this a different way. Vermes was saying in my opinion that he didn’t officially convert to Judaism and officially renounce Christianity, but through his lifetime of studies , he simply came to the realization that Jesus was always an observant Jew to his death and so was Vermes.

        I don’t think this should disqualify him from being a renown expert on the subject of Jesus . I do understand why most Christians will not agree with some of his observations. But isn’t this a good thing ? Causing people to study and understand their belief system better ?

        Like

        1. kcchief1

          I suspect you have read all of Justin Martyr’s works too.

          Note how you take what I have written. I did not disqualify Vermes from anything. Vermes disqualified himself as a Christian. I just emphatically disagreed with Vermes assessment of Jesus. I praised his efforts to remind Christians that Jesus was a Jew.

          As it is, you have tried to make me out a hypocrite. When you first commented on the last post, instead of discussing topic, you have tried to make my imperfections (of which there are many) the topic. What qualifies you to do that?

          Matthew 7:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

          7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

          6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

          Consider verse six. Time is the thing we have to give that is of most value. Yet in every encounter you have had here, you taken what I say or what Matthew said and trampled it and torn it to pieces. You drag our words to blog and devour them like a beast incapable of understanding. You have made intercourse with you pointless, and you have no one but yourself to blame.

          Like

  2. First, I am not offended by Chief and, yes, he is sharp in his questioning. I would not say he is attacking. Forcing me to think. Keeping me on my toes.

    Second, my chief complaint with this “Killing Jesus” business, as Tom noted, is reducing Jesus Christ to a historical figure. There is no doubt regarding the humanity and historicity of Christ, but His divinity is just as important, if not more. Tim Challies said it best, “Jesus’ life is not mere history. Yes, he was a real man who lived a real life and died a real death, but that is not all he was and all he did. He also claimed to be God’s Son and his followers claimed that in his life and death he had done something unique and, literally, world-changing. The same Bible that describes Jesus’ life, also interprets and explains it. And this is the story the authors do not tell.” (Challies wrote a brilliant, balanced review of the “Killing Jesus” book.)

    A wonderful witness opportunity, yet it misses the mark. I suspect the movie will be the same. If I only know Jesus’ humanity, then so what? What makes Jesus different from Aristotle, Buddha, Mohammad, Caesar, Lincoln, etc., etc.? Nothing. Yet, if I learn Jesus’ divinity, by using the Scriptures, which speak of Him, then that sets Him above man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Matthew

      You are a big boy. I have no doubt you can take care of yourself. I just don’t want Chief trashing my blog with false information.

      Go read what Chief is writing on his blog. He, Arkenaten, and john zande are having a grand time commiserating with each other. It is unreal.

      We all wear masks. Few of us are the same in private as we are in public, but Chief it seems as if Chief wants too much for the pretense — the mask — is heroically real. He risks pretending facts say whatever he wants them to say.

      Like

      1. Tom, for whatever reason you seem to be very comfortable at attacking people who you don’t agree with. You have accused me of trashing your blog with false information. Where’s the proof ? Yes, I do communicate with Ark and John Z. Guilty as charged. And this means what ? Jesus associated with the tax collectors and prostitutes . You’ve told me I have been silly and that my choice to pester you about John Z, stupid. You’ve accused me of pestering one of your commenters, Matthew. He certainly doesn’t see it the way you do. What anti-Christian drivel (garbage that is not even factually correct) have I posted on your site ?

        If you will actually take the time to read my comments, you will find I’ve said very little . I’ve asked questions and given quotes more than anything. I learned a long time ago you can’t learn much if you are doing all the talking.

        I’ve learned much on your site. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity.

        Like

      1. Wow ! That certainly was incriminating ! 🙂

        Tom you’re getting very irritated with me so this will be my last comment on your blog. I wish everyone well here and hope they continue their search for truth.

        Be well !

        Like

  3. Much like yourself, Tom, I am not sure what “exactly growing out of Christianity is” other than a form of apostasy……

    Once again Tom you’ve hosted a great debate and you again retain your ability to present truth.
    May t God Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless and keep you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “First, I am not offended by Chief and, yes, he is sharp in his questioning. I would not say he is attacking. Forcing me to think. Keeping me on my toes.”

    Thank you for your kind words Matthew. As I stated above, this is Tom’s Blog. He seems to have a different view of me than you. If my “sharp” questioning is something he would rather not have here, that’s his call.

    You may have once upon a time been a rabid atheist, I was a devout Christian for over 40 years. That will be another story for a different blog site.

    And as always, thank you Tom for allowing me to comment here.

    Like

  5. To whose “feeble mind” does the title of this post refer? Commenters on blogs display a range of intellectual acuity and knowledge. Some posts excite more low-end comment than others, but I haven’t seen anything in this particular post or the one referred to that suggests feeble-mindedness. You must have had something in particular in mind, Tom. But without further elucidation, it sounds as though you just put out a contentious, insulting heading to attract readership, but have nothing to back it up with. Such tactics work in grocery store check-out publications (along with UFO incidents), but, because we value some degree of civility around here, shouldn’t be used, particularly where there is no evidence that anyone is actually “feeble minded”. Even if a commenter with actual mental impairments did wander in, we should treat him or her with sympathy and support. These conditions are not character faults, they have physical causes beyond the control of those who suffer from them (the term itself – feeble mindedness – is a bit rude also). Nonetheless, I have seen people here say strange things that are counter-factual, but I have seen no evidence that people with mental impairments that affect their intelligence are commenting. Your post does nothing to follow-up on the provocation in the title.

    Like

      1. I followed the link, and it didn’t really explain anything that I was asking about. My question was about whom you were calling “feeble minded”. The balance of my comment suggested that no one in the comment thread (or the other thread to which you linked) had exhibited traits that would merit that kind of name-calling, assuming that the term “feeble-minded” should be used in any context. I personally don’t much care fot the term even if it is applied to folks with severe mental impairments.

        Like

  6. CT-

    I agree with you that believers need not defend incessant absurdities by folks who have no other desire than to see their mischief answered, and have you defend Their petty claims. Begone with such derision. The cry of ‘free speech’ is truly laughable, as if comments not fit for a dump site should be allowed to stand on a christian site.

    I more properly call them ‘infectious waste.’ I have rejected comments that should have been ‘burned,’ while being accused of ‘hiding the truth.’ Yea ok. These remarks of the darkest depravity prove the relevance and timeliness of God’s word. We are not ignorant of ‘his’ devices.

    Your site is not a library to house the mockeries, profanities, the vile, the vicious, and the godless commentary by they whose only desire is to promote decadence and to create a ‘god’ after their own base image, and to see these ‘ideas’ survive. There are plenty of others who will gladly collect the garbage. Yep, fortunately God’s word explains it all.

    We are not talking about the Heinz 57 garden variety of disagreements, which we all face daily, and which honest dialog is welcome; no, to say Moses never lived, there was no Nazareth, Paul had brain damage, Christ was one of many sages, there is no point of reference where an ‘honest’ debate could ensue, and there need never be an apology for ‘answering not a word,’ or rejecting an agenda.

    As usual good stuff you bring.

    (by the way, the inference of people being ‘good mannered,’ while trashing scripture, is almost
    amusing)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We do not use the word much anymore, but that last remark (in parenthesis is) made me think of it: blasphemy. When someone comes to us with every intent of being offensive — is full of ridicule, but no wisdom or understanding — and writes blasphemies, when they feign surprise at offense being taken, they are hypocrites in the truest sense of the word.

      I suppose God does laugh at their pompous foolishness. If I were them, I would be very afraid God might laugh at me that way.

      Liked by 1 person

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