(Things Catholic...and otherwise)
I do know a bit about Ehrman. The short version is that he's a very big name but in actuality an incredibly biased scholar who has gained his fame in no small measure by saying outrageous things and putting a patina of scholarship over them. He was, sad to say, a student of the great Bruce Metzger (now, I believe, deceased) who was sadly puzzled at why Ehrman was doing what he was doing. If I recall correctly, Ehrman came from a pretty strict orthodox Christian background and lost his faith, and this may account in part for the weirdness of his scholarship. Deconverts are some of the worst intellectuals out there, and can be quite dangerous. (I haven't had time to look at the video yet.)
I've seen the clip now. Colbert may be a comedian and a Democrat, but he makes some good points. I like it where he says, "The big headline is, 'God dies,' right?" It's actually important to realize that the essence of truthful witness testimony is substantial agreement with circumstantial variation. This basic jurisprudential point has obviously been long lost on Ehrman.
Deconverts are some of the worst intellectuals out there, and can be quite dangerousI think that's where I'd put Kmiec. Some would say that's going too far, but...let'em.the essence of truthful witness testimony is substantial agreement with circumstantial variation.eggsactly. To me it's the most poweful evidence. That a ragtag bunch of Jews - fisherman and whatnot - would give up their way of life, follow some deluded itinerant from town to town, sleep in the dirt with him rather than in their own beds, watch the powers that be come down on him, torture him, and then put him to death, and feel inspired by all this to come up with some wacked-out story about his rising from the dead (we saw him with our own eyes! We touched him!), their own lives being put at risk every time they told it, is harder to believe than the story itself, yet makes no impression on people like Ehrman. It helps to recall now and then that I believe in the resurrection not because of anything I've seen, but because somebody who did see it told the rest of us, and we found the testimony compelling. It's that simple.
Preach it, Bro. I think that human beings are such that they _prefer_ to see things themselves, and if they are looking for an excuse to ignore evidence, they will ignore testimonial evidence. That isn't rational, but it's typical of fallen human nature, and the inclination is all the stronger when we're being asked to do something we don't want to do. C. S. Lewis says that faith is opposed not to reason but to instinct. Probably most of us, even lifelong Christians like me, but maybe even more adult converts, have woken up occasionally in the morning and said to ourselves, "Come on. How can I _really_ believe in a God I can't see? It just feels like I'm talking to myself when I pray." Or as I seem to recall that Lewis put it, "How did I come to believe this cock and bull story." But this is not a revolt of reason over faith. It's the revolt of the a-rational human instinct to believe only what is right before our noses.
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