JD Greear on straw man arguments

JD Greear takes on the task of teaching Bart Ehrman a little something about argumentation. Excellently done.

But surely Dr. Ehrman must realize that Bible scholars have demonstrated that Jesus’ claim to deity in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) are MUCH more substantial than he suggests to his students. They are not as blatant as Jesus walking around saying “I am God,” but just as significant. Ehrman does not address these more sophisticated arguments, ignoring them as if all Christianity had to offer were clever, anecdotal slights of hand.

Take, for instance this lengthy passage from N.T. Wright about Jesus’ claims to be God from an appendix in the great book by Antony Flew, There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. Why doesn’t Ehrman address this argument in class? Why pick on a weak argument as if that is all Christianity has to offer? To disagree with it would be one thing, to pretend it doesn’t even exist and beat up something weak in its place is not responsible argumentation.

…..[extended quote in here from N.T. Wright. Go take a look at it]

Dr. Ehrman did not deal with reasoning such as this. He took a rather weak argument used by middle school youth camp speakers and presented it as if it was “the best Christianity has to offer.” He did not bring up what Christian scholars on his level actually have to say about it. This is known as “straw man argumentation.”……Setting up weak arguments that do not represent the best of genuine Biblical argumentation and then knocking them down is not “fair” argumentation practice or good scholarship.

ouch. that will leave a mark.

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