Sorry for a long break in my activity here. My life has been getting busy in directions not connected with blogging. This also means that I have stopped keeping up with developments on the Todd Bentley story.
There has been one interesting area of ongoing activity on this blog: the comment thread on my post Jesus is alive! Last year the pseudonymous pseudo-bishop N.T. Wrong amused the biblioblog world for several months with his blog, and he was interviewed by Jim West as Blogger of the Month for February 2009. But then in that same month his blog abruptly disappeared, or more precisely became “protected” and so inaccessible.
At the time Wrong’s resurrection or parousia was predicted. What bibliobloggers have predicted as in a glass darkly, I now openly proclaim to you: N.T. Wrong is alive! He has appeared here at Gentle Wisdom, not just once but in no less than six comments. True to form and showing that this really is the Wrong we know and love, he has been arguing against my contention that Jesus is alive. But at least he has demonstrated one thing: that N.T. Wrong is alive.
By the way, for anyone still interested in his identity, Wrong is still using a UK e-mail address, but is currently commenting from an IP address neither in Illinois nor in Australia, as previously reported, but in Los Angeles.
The substance of my conversation with Wrong has been interesting. I started by suggesting that the only people who continued to deny the resurrection of Jesus, after examining the evidence thoroughly, were those who held philosophical presuppositions that resurrection was impossible. Wrong objected to this, claiming that he had no such presuppositions but still rejected the resurrection. The grounds he gave for doing so were that he rejected the gospel accounts of the resurrection as much later additions.
At this point I shifted my position a little. I allowed that while he might not personally presuppose that the resurrection could not happen he was relying on the work of scholars, such as those of the Jesus Seminar, who base their rejection of the gospel accounts on this very presupposition. At first Wrong seemed to accept this. But then he objected when I wrote:
I do not accept that there are good arguments for the general unreliability of the gospel traditions, only weak arguments like those of the Jesus Seminar which are based on presuppositions that miracles cannot happen.
Wrong objected to this, citing as evidence a claim that he himself does not rely on presuppositions. Wrong! Or possibly not. Here is my latest, somewhat ironic, comment on this claim to be free of presuppositions:
N.T., I don’t say that you personally rely on presuppositions. But I do say you give credence to arguments for the unreliability of the gospel accounts which depend on the work of people with presuppositions. Well, of course we all have presuppositions and often rely on them, except of course for one honourable exception being yourself. I suppose a made-up online persona might just be able to be free from what is common to all humanity, even our sinless Lord Jesus.
But since there is no one else whose arguments you can trust, I presume you do all your work from primary sources and first principles. I look forward to your presupposition-free (and bibliography-free) magnum opus proving the unreliability of the gospels and the falsity of the resurrection accounts. Until I read and am convinced I will continue to believe in the gospels and the resurrection.