Todd Allen Gates and Jesus
I've been reading Todd Allen Gates' book "Dialogue with a Christian Proselytizer" and have been loving it. I really like the method the book describes, and I look forward to finishing it.
That said, I was suddenly taken aback while reading it last night. On page 40, his character Scott states "Jesus's existence can be proved with reasonable confidence through logic."
At first I thought that it might be another concession for argument's sake, but as I read further, he says that we have evidence such as documents from his critics that don't dispute he once existed. The section is linked to Endnote #3, where Gate's quotes Tacitus and Celsus as having writting about Christianity (sure, but how does that *prove* a literal Jesus?), and goes on to state that the first physical evidence we have is on the ossuary with the words, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" inscribed on it.
Now, I don't mind him taking the position that Jesus *could* have existed, but to go so far as stating that the above is enough "evidence" for most of us to conclude that Jesus was not just a mythical figure? Hardly!
I listened to the RRS show with Gates on it, but didn't hear anything about it mentioned. I'm sure that Rook would not have let Gates get away with it, had he been on that particular program.
Again, I enjoy the book and its method immensely. I was just struck that Gates would word such a subject as the historicity of Jesus the way he did. Even if it was for sake of method, he could have at least mentioned something.
Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish.