10 Reasons to Be Encouraged

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On the day of Dr. Brown’s arrival in Israel, he shares 10 reasons from scripture and experience why he is not the least bit discouraged despite the many negative things happening in the world today. Prepare to be encouraged! Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hours 1 and 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: More surely than the sun rises, God’s promises will come to pass. His mercies are new every morning. Jesus is Lord; be encouraged!

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Other Resources:

Encouragement from the Front Lines of Jewish Ministry and Dr. Brown Takes Your Jewish-Related Calls

Update on the Gay Protest at FIRE Church, Dr. Brown Reflects on God’s Grace and Answers Your Questions

Dr. Brown Brings Encouragement after the Legalization of Same-Sex “Marriage” in NY, and Dr. Brown and Pastor David Harwood Talk about the Love of God

37 Comments
  1. Yesterday Dr. Brown gave ten reasons he is not discouraged. I’d like to give ten reasons (there are many more) atheists will NEVER be discouraged. Dr. Brown made the claim that in the end the righteous will be left standing. I agree. We atheists will be the only ones left standing once science gets done steamrolling all religious beliefs into oblivion. Here are ten reasons why there is no God:

    1: The consistent replacement of supernatural explanations of the world with natural ones.
    2: The inconsistency of world religions.
    3: The weakness of religious arguments, explanations, and apologetics.
    I have seen all of the arguments for the existence of God hundreds of times. They each fall into one or more of the following categories: The argument from authority. (Example: “God exists because the Bible says God exists.”) The argument from personal experience. (Example: “God exists because I feel in my heart that God exists.”) The argument that religion shouldn’t have to logically defend its claims. (Example: “God is an entity that cannot be proven by reason or evidence.”) Or the redefining of God into an abstract principle… so abstract that it can’t be argued against, but also so abstract that it scarcely deserves the name God. (Example: “God is love.”) All of these arguments are ridiculously weak.
    4: The increasing diminishment of God.
    5: The fact that religion runs in families.
    6: The physical causes of everything we think of as the soul.
    7: The complete failure of any sort of supernatural phenomenon to stand up to rigorous testing.
    8: The slipperiness of religious and spiritual beliefs.
    9: The failure of religion to improve or clarify over time.
    10: The complete lack of solid evidence for God’s existence.

    Dr. Brown also made an incredible claim that God speaks to him. I’ll let a well-known novelist comment on that absurdity:

    “When these preachers on TV [or the radio] say God spoke to them, what the heck? Shouldn’t this be front-page news? Either God is speaking to them and we have a modern day prophet and the new found words should be published everywhere, or they are criminals for swindling their donations.” – Ben Mack

    Of course Dr. Brown is making a claim that cannot be tested. Yet you people believe him anyway. Well I don’t believe God speaks to this guy or anyone else and I think the whole notion of this is a kind of arrogance and conceit that has left Earth and gone into orbit. Only religion can make a person so self-absorbed that they think God has singled them out to speak and act for God. God chose Dr. Brown of all people to lead a revival? Revive what exactly? Biblical Christianity has been dead for a hundred years and in the real world the dead do not come back.

  2. Van,

    Among other things, your statement: “7: The complete failure of any sort of supernatural phenomenon to stand up to rigorous testing.” is blatantly false.

    The Shroud of Turin is one of the most studied pieces of material ever to be woven. Cross sciences of all kinds, including NASA, the Jet Propulsion Lab, and other well known laboratories have studied it to no avail. Because those present and responsible for taking the sample for C-14 dating didn’t follow protocol, we now have a skewed and false record of their findings. Ray Rogers, a scientist with Los Alamos lab who worked with the STURP Team who investigated the Shroud in 1978 later discovered, before his death, that the samples which should have been 100% linen, had cotton in them because they took all the samples from the same area that had been repaired by nuns hundreds of years before!! Therefore the results should have been thrown out and retesting done. The Vatican has cleaned and sealed the Shroud, for who knows how long now.

    Now that we know the truth of the carbon dating we should naturally focus on the results of every other test that was done on the Shroud because the findings are more than miraculous! It’s not a painting and it’s not woven into the cloth. It’s the figure of a man who suffered crucifixion exactly as the Romans would have performed it and no one can say how the figure came to be on the cloth. And, no, Michaelangelo didn’t paint it… It was known to exist 100’s of years before he was even born. No one, even in our technologically advanced era has come close to replicating it with all the nuanced characteristics it contains.

    There is a reward out for anyone who can do it, perhaps you could claim it. I think it’s 10,000. dollars.

  3. Oh, and I forgot to mention, the man died the death that Jesus of Nazareth did with “exactly” the same wounds as described in the New Testament concerning Him. It is a record of the death and more specifically the Resurrection of Jesus.

  4. http://www.newgeology.us/presentation24.html

    Investigators for the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) include:

    Joseph S. Accetta, Lockheed Corporation*
    Steven Baumgart, U.S. Air Force Weapons Laboratories*
    John D. German, U.S. Air Force Weapons Laboratories*
    Ernest H. Brooks II, Brooks Institute of Photography*
    Mark Evans, Brooks Institute of Photography*
    Vernon D. Miller, Brooks Institute of Photography*
    Robert Bucklin, Harris County,Texas, Medical Examiner’s Office
    Donald Devan, Oceanographic Services Inc.*
    Rudolph J. Dichtl, University of Colorado*
    Robert Dinegar, Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratories*
    Donald & Joan Janney, Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratories*
    J. Ronald London, Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratories*
    Roger A. Morris, Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratories*
    Ray Rogers, Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratories*
    Larry Schwalbe, Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratories
    Diane Soran, Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratories
    Kenneth E. Stevenson, IBM*
    Al Adler, Western Connecticut State University
    Thomas F. D’Muhala, Nuclear Technology Corporation*
    Jim Drusik, Los Angeles County Museum
    Joseph Gambescia, St. Agnes Medical Center
    Roger & Marty Gilbert, Oriel Corporation*
    Thomas Haverty, Rocky Mountain Thermograph*
    John Heller, New England Institute
    John P. Jackson, U.S. Air Force Academy*
    Eric J. Jumper, U.S. Air Force Academy*
    Jean Lorre, Jet Propulsion Laboratory*
    Donald J. Lynn, Jet Propulsion Laboratory*
    Robert W. Mottern, Sandia Laboratories*
    Samuel Pellicori, Santa Barbara Research Center*
    Barrie M. Schwortz, Barrie Schwortz Studios*

    Note: The researchers marked with an * participated directly in the 1978 Examination in Turin. All others are STURP research members who worked with the data or samples after the team returned to the United States.

  5. If your only evidence for the existence of Jesus is the Fraud of Turin, I’d say you have no case. What does a piece of cloth, we all know is a designed fake prove exactly? Nothing better demonstrates the weakness of religious arguments. We know the cloth is way too new to have existed in the First Century. The fact that you have fallen for this hoax says everything that needs to be known about Christianity.

  6. The Bible described 75 to 100 pounds of spices being wrapped in the burial cloth. No traces of spices have been found on the shroud. [Jn 19:40]
    The Bible quotes Jesus as saying there are nail holes in his hands from the crucifixion. By contrast the shroud image has no wounds in his hands but one in his wrist. [Jn 20:24-27]
    No examples of the shroud linen’s complex herringbone twill weave date from the first century. However the weave was used in Europe in the Middle Ages, coincidentally when the shroud first appeared.
    The clear implication of all three synoptic gospels is that the material was bound tightly round the body, yet the Shroud of Turin shows an image made by simply lying a linen shroud on top of the front of the body, over the head and down the back. There is a lack of wrap-around distortions that would be expected if the cloth had enclosed an actual three-dimensional object like a human body. Thus the cloth was never used to wrap a body as described in the Bible. If the image had been formed when the cloth was around Jesus’ corpse it would have been distorted when the cloth was flattened out.
    There are serious anatomical problems with the image, such as the height of the body, length of limbs, ears missing, front and back images not matching, hair hanging the wrong way etc. (More details further in the article.)
    There is no blood on the shroud: all the forensic tests specific for blood, and only blood, have failed. There is no trace of sodium, chlorine or potassium, which blood contains in high amounts and which would have been present if the stains were truly blood. The alleged bloodstains are unnaturally picture-like. Real blood spreads in cloth and mats on hair, and does not form perfect rivulets and spiral flows. Also, dried “blood” (as on the arms) has been implausibly transferred to the cloth. The alleged blood remains bright red, unlike genuine blood that blackens with age. All the wounds, made at different times according to the Gospel accounts, appear as if still bleeding, even though blood does not generally flow after death. A corpse does not bleed, however it can leak blood through an open wound due to gravity. This could explain some blood but not all the bleeding wounds or the unexpected detail in the blood flow.
    The Bible [John 19:40] indicates that Jesus’ burial followed Jewish customs. Thus, Joseph of Arimethea would have washed the body. Since he had time to wrap in the spices, he would have had time to wash it. The body shown in the shroud was not washed.
    Microscopic analysis showes significant traces of what could be paint pigment on image areas.
    Circumstantial evidence against the authenticity of the shroud:
    The shroud surfaced in France exactly at the height of the ‘holy relic’ craze, the collection of patently false relics relating to Jesus. Not one such relic has ever been proved to be genuine, and the faking of relics was rife at this time. There were at least between 26 and 40 ‘authentic’ burial shrouds scattered throughout the abbeys of Europe, of which the Shroud of Turin was just one. One source writes that ‘In medieval Europe alone, there were “at least forty-three ‘True Shrouds”‘ (Humber 1978, 78)’.
    There is no mention of a miraculously imaged Shroud in the New Testament or any early Christian writings. Surely, given the desire for miraculous proof of the divine nature of Jesus, such a relic would have rated a mention? The image on the cloth would presumably have been at its brightest and most obvious. So why don’t the gospels, who mentioned the linen used to wrap the body, bother to mention this miraculous image? The most obvious answer is that you can’t write about an image that isn’t there.
    The image on the shroud has his hands neatly folded across his genitals. A real body lying limp could not have this posture. Your arms are not long enough to cross your hands over your pelvis while keeping your shoulders on the floor. To achieve this the body can not lie flat, yet Jewish burial tradition did not dictate that a body must be hunched up so as to cover the genitals before wrapping in the shroud. The most obvious answer is that the artist knew the image would be displayed and didn’t want to offend his audience or have to guess what the genitals of Jesus would look like. A dead body wrapped from head to toe in an opaque cloth wouldn’t be concerned with modesty since he wasn’t actually naked. He was well covered.
    The Vatican, the one organisation with a vested interest in its authenticity, refuses to say the shroud is authentic. The Vatican has performed more tests on it than any other group, it has more documentary evidence on its history than any other group and it also has the Pope, God’s representative here on earth. Surely he could ask God if it’s a fake? Perhaps he has. Perhaps the Vatican’s silence on this matter is telling? Actually Pope John Paul II is on record as saying, “The Church has no specific competence to pronounce on these questions. She entrusts to scientists the task of continuing to investigate”. Say what now? “No specific competence” to have an opinion on the origin of a dirty piece of cloth, but you can’t shut them up regarding the origin of the universe and life. The conservative Catholic Encyclopedia actually argues that the shroud is probably not authentic.
    Now to the popular arguments that shroud proponents use, with a brief reason why I believe they fail.
    Weak evidence put forward for the authenticity of the shroud:

    ‘The shroud’s image appears to show a crucified man’. This is true, but then magicians appear to cut people in half too. Appearances can be deceptive. Even if this was truly a crucified man, there is no way you could prove it was Jesus.
    ‘There is the exact number of lashes from a whipping on the back as stated in the Bible’. Nowhere in the Bible is the number of lashes that Jesus received mentioned. Thus it is impossible to say that the shroud wounds match that of Jesus. This is pure invention.
    ‘The image on the shroud matches the Biblical account of Jesus’ crucifixion’. As detailed above, the Bible completely conflicts with the shroud image, so use of this argument is dishonest.
    ‘We can also see a large blood stain and elliptical wound on the person’s right side (remember, in a negative imprint left and right are reversed)’. No, they’re not. Left and right are reversed in a mirror image, but not in a negative image. This confusion aside, the Bible says that Jesus was pierced with a spear, but it does not say which side. Thus arguments that attempt to say it does and that this matches the shroud are false.
    ‘The shroud shows one wound in the wrist, not the hand. Research has show that this is correct since nails through the hands would not have been able to support a body on the cross. Medieval artisans would not have known this’. It is pure arrogance to assume that medieval artisans wouldn’t have known this. They were a lot closer to crucifixion times than we are. Even though artists generally painted Jesus with nails through the hands, they were probably just depicting what was described in the Bible. If the shroud is correct about the wrist, then the Bible is wrong. An authentic shroud means a false Bible. Remember also that artists always depicted Jesus with his genitals covered (and Adam and Eve with fig leaves) when everyone agrees that they were naked.
    ‘The shroud image is naked, as Jesus would have been, whereas medieval artisans never depicted Jesus naked’. This is true, but as discussed above, the image hides his nudity by adopting an unnatural posture. He is effectively clothed, whereas a dead body wrapped from head to toe in an opaque cloth wouldn’t be concerned with modesty.
    ‘The image of the shroud obviously portrays Jesus’. Rubbish. No one has any idea what Jesus actually looked like. The Bible contains no hints — short, tall, fat, skinny, long hair, bald etc. No details at all, so how can anyone say that an image resembles him? A dishonest argument.
    ‘The apparent bloodstains contain real human blood’. This is contradicted by other scientists who insist that all the forensic tests specific for blood, and only blood, have failed. While there are traces of iron, proteins and porphyrins which are found in blood, these are also found in artists’ pigments. However, as already stated, there is no trace of sodium, chlorine or potassium, which blood contains in high amounts and which would have been present if the stains were truly blood. It’s also important to realise that even if there was blood on the shroud, whose blood was it? How old is it? Medieval perhaps? The existence of blood proves nothing as we don’t know Jesus’ blood group nor do we have a sample of his DNA to compare it with.
    ‘Pollen from Palestine is found on the shroud’. This claim has been discredited as “fraud” and “junk science”. The person who originally claimed to have found the pollen on the Shroud was Max Frei, a Swiss criminologist. However the pollens were very suspicious, as pollen experts quickly pointed out. First of all, they were missing the most obvious pollen you would expect, which would be from olive trees. 32 of the 57 pollens allegedly found by Frei are from insect-pollinated plants and could not have been wind-blown onto the exposed shroud in Palestine. Similar samples taken by STURP in 1978 had comparatively few pollens. Also cloth was often brought to medieval Europe from Palestine, so there is no strong support even if pollen was found.
    ‘Coins dated to the early 1st century are seen over the eyes of the shroud image’. This claim was originally made by Father Francis Filas after examining a 1931 photograph, yet the coins can’t be seen in better quality 1978 photos. We are expected to believe that poor quality photos showed not just coins, but enough detail to determine when they were minted. Another problem with the coins is explaining why they were placed on the eyes. There was no such Jewish custom in 1st century Palestine. The claim of some believers to see coins must be weighed against the claim of others to also see nails, a spear, a sponge on a reed, a crown of thorns, a hammer, scourges, tongs, dice, flowers etc on the shroud. Even most shroud researchers reject these claims as simply an example of an overactive imagination, as do I.
    ‘STURP scientists authenticated the shroud’. No, they didn’t. They merely concluded that ‘The image is an ongoing mystery and… the problem remains unsolved’. That said, it’s unfortunate that almost all of those that made up this group were deeply religious, and many were not specialised in the field they investigated. The group consisted of 40 US scientists, made up of 39 devout believers and 1 agnostic. The makeup of this group was stacked and very biased towards authenticating the shroud, and therefore their claims must be taken with an extremely large grain of salt. The common belief that STURP scientists authenticated the shroud is no doubt based on ‘authenticity’ statements some of the scientists publicly made before they had even examined the shroud, such as: ‘I believe it through the eyes of faith, and as a scientist I have seen evidence that it could be His shroud’. However they were unable to authenticate or date the shroud. Even if their conclusions that the shroud was not a simple fake were beyond reproach, given the scientific tools they had available at the time (1978), science has advanced greatly since then. Carbon dating in 1988, a more invasive and accurate test, dated the shroud to between 1260 and 1390 CE. STURP’s results have been superseded. That is the nature of science.
    ‘The shroud contains a negative of the image, and medieval artisans knew nothing of photography’. The shroud image is NOT a true photographic negative but only an apparent one — a faux-photographic negative. The “positive” image shows a figure with white hair and beard, the opposite of what would be expected for a Palestinian Jew in his thirties. Medieval artisans need know nothing of photography since it’s not photographic.
    ‘It’s impossible to reproduce an image with shroud-like qualities’. False. Joe Nickell constructed one using a rubbing technique on a bas-relief model, using the pigments, tools and techniques available in the Middle Ages. The statement that we cannot make such an image is simply false propaganda. Faux-negative images are automatically produced by an artistic rubbing technique. Also as noted in the following section of this article, scientist Luigi Garlaschelli made a very convincing reproduction of the shroud in 2009.
    ‘The image contains 3D information’. The quality of this information is often exaggerated or misinterpreted. Also if the image was produced using a bas-relief method, 3D information would be expected.
    There are no brush strokes on the image’. Probably true, but if the image was produced by rubbing as for a bas-relief, then there wouldn’t be.
    ‘The blood flows and anatomical details are accurate and beyond the knowledge of medieval artisans’. On the contrary, as described above, there are serious anatomical problems with the image. Also as detailed above, the blood flows are completely unrealistic. Blood does not flow from a corpse and real blood spreads in cloth and mats in hair. Also medieval artisans would have been intimately familiar with blood and dead bodies compared to the sheltered life that we in the 21st century lead. The Black Death occurred during the 14th century so blood and death would have surrounded those living during this time.
    References to the shroud can be found prior to the Middle Ages’. This claim usually refers to the ‘Image of Edessa’, a holy relic allegedly found in 554 CE in Edessa. It was a square or rectangle of cloth on which it was alleged the face of Jesus was imprinted. Some try to claim that the shroud and the ‘Image of Edessa’ are one and the same. Yet it did not contain a full body image, only the face, and this legend actually began when Jesus was still alive, so it can’t be referring to the shroud. Another image in the Hungarian Pray Manuscript is equally problematic. There are no reputable shroud references that don’t conflict with what we know about the shroud, prior to 1355 CE.” -From the Fraud of Turin

  7. Oh Van,

    I feel for you. Your hero, Richard Dawkins, has not been able to negate the scientific tests that have been done on it. He’s yet to take the reward offered personally to him. If it’s a fake—prove it! No one’s been able to do that yet. They’ve done over 200,000 hours worth of tests on it so far. The pollen samples taken on sticky tapes show a good percentage of the pollen found on the Shroud only grows in Israel, around Jerusalem. Some on forms during the time of the Passover. The pollen from the crown of thorns plant is peculiarly concentrated in the area of the head. Max Frei did the testing of it. Read his book why don’t you? You’re going to tell me that a forger from the middle ages knew to put the pollen there? Please.

    Also found on the shroud was limestone on the feet and knee of the man on the Shroud. It too is only found in and around Jerusalem. Again, the forger did it, I suppose…

    Go investigate it, thoroughly, and bring some reasonable arguments back with you.

    Who is the “we” that you’re speaking of as knowing that the cloth “is way too new to have existed in the First Century” and how was that determined? Actually, the textile expert, Dame Isabel Piczek, says the weave was not in use in the middle ages but was an example of weaves from around the area of Palestine and the Middle East at the turn of the first century.

  8. Atheists can be one of three things.

    1. Wrong–If God exists, all atheists are wrong.
    2. Meaningless–If God does not exist, all the universe (including humans and all their thoughts) is meaningless, as several atheist scientists assert. No matter what they say, everything atheists say is meaningless.
    3. Illogical/Irrational–If atheists attempt to act in a meaningful way in a meaningless universe, they are, at best, illogical and at worst, irrational. Any atheist who posts is illogical and/or irrational.

    If atheists are not discouraged they are definitely irrational!

    Oh yes, and there is one more thing atheists can be: plagarists.

    http://www.alternet.org/story/154774/the_top_10_reasons_i_don%27t_believe_in_god?page=0%2C1

  9. Van–“References to the shroud can be found prior to the Middle Ages’. This claim usually refers to the ‘Image of Edessa’”

    No it doesn’t. It originates from the Pray Manuscript which is a painting showing the peculiar burial cloth wrapping Jesus in the painting as having a 3-1 herringbone weave with the “three holes” exactly as noted on the Shroud! It dates to 1192-1195.

  10. I hit submit before I was done.

    There’s more history to the Shroud. More than I’m listing. I suggest those interested read about it.

    “How is it that the Shroud only first appeared in France in the 1300s, and that prior to that period, nothing was known about it?

    The last few years have produced much evidence about the history of the Shroud before the 1300s.

    For example:

    In a letter which Theodore di Comneno wrote to the pope asking the Crusaders to return the Shroud which had been stolen from Constantinople in 1204 and taken to France;

    the remains of Blachernae Church, in Constantinople, where the Shroud was said to have been on display until 1204;
    the above-mentioned Pray Code, preserved in Budapest, in which an anonymous but very alert observer from around 1150 reproduced those famous four holes caused by the Shroud’s first fire;
    the writings of Gregory the Referendary who tells of the Shroud’s arrival in Constantinople in 944. The writings of some Arab historians mention a huge price paid by the Byzantine emperor to obtain it;
    a previously unknown fresco found in a mountainside church in the Cappadocia region of Turkey which depicts both the imprint made by the face of the ‘Man of the Shroud’ and the Basilica built in Edessa, Turkey, in the 6th century in order to house the Sacred Cloth;
    the ‘Laurentian Code’, today in Florence, Italy, which reproduces the ‘Crux Mensuralis’ modelled by the emperor Justinian in 550 AD and whose dimensions coincide with those of the ‘Man of the Shroud’;
    the fact that many of the early pilgrims to the Orient said they had actually seen the Shroud.”

    http://www.british-israel.ca/shroud.htm

  11. I’ll state for the record. No one has been able to reproduce the Shroud of Turin, tit for tat, with all the nuances, qualities and history that it contains. The blood stains are real, the Man’s image is that of a 30 something year old male who died by asphyxiation after being scorged with a Roman flagrum, crowned with something which pierced the head, stabbed in the side by a sharp instrument, probably a spear of some sort and then crucified.

    The image doesn’t penetrate more than the upper most fibrils and therefore could “not” have been a painting. Either that or said artist used a single hair brush and microscope to apply something OTHER THAN PAINT to produce it!! Not only that, then said artist faded into oblivion!!

    Here’s a pretty indepth site other than shroud.com which is run by an orthodox Jew named, Barrie Schwortz who was the photographer for the STURP Team in 1978 and who, to this day, travels the world giving talks on the Shroud of Turin and it’s authenticity even while he doesn’t “yet” believe Jesus is who He said He is. This is one statement made by Barrie:

    “Barrie M. Schwortz, an Orthodox Jew, was a member of the team that completed the first extensive scientific examination of the Shroud of Turin in 1978, being the official documenting photographer for the team, taking more than 2,700 pictures of the Shroud. He said, twenty years later:

    “Frankly, I am still Jewish, yet I believe the Shroud of Turin is the cloth that wrapped the man Jesus after he was crucified. That is not meant as a religious statement, but one based on my privileged position of direct involvement with many of the serious Shroud researchers in the world, and a knowledge of the scientific data, unclouded by media exaggeration. The only reason I am still involved with the Shroud of Turin is because knowing the unbiased facts continues to convince me of its authenticity. And I believe only a handful of people have really ever had access to all of the unbiased facts. Most of the public has had to depend on the media, who always seem to sensationalize the story or reduce the facts to two-minute sound bites from so-called experts who have ‘solved the mystery.’”

    http://www.michaeljournal.org/shroud.htm

    Let’s pray for Barrie!

    http://www.shroud.com/meacham2.htm

    http://www.ohioshroudconference.com/papers/p07.pdf

    http://www.case.edu.au/images/uploads/03_pdfs/williams-shroud-turin.pdf

    http://theshroudofturin.blogspot.com/2013_12_01_archive.html

    And of course, Barrie’s website–older even than Google itself–

    http://shroud.com/

  12. Van–“By contrast the shroud image has no wounds in his hands but one in his wrist. [Jn 20:24-27]”

    To my knowledge there isn’t any worthwhile argument to be made about that especially since a medieval forger wouldn’t have known to make the marks in the wrists rather than the hands as the hands would have torn and not supported the weight of the body for very long at all. And the Shroud shows the thumbs as missing. This is also in keeping with damage to the medial nerve that would, in fact, cause the thumbs to pull in.

    A medieval forger would have shown the nails through the palms of His hands just as every other painter of that era did, not through the wrists! All the more reason to believe it wasn’t forged.

  13. Van This Is a Christian Website for people to discuss the topic of the Radio broadcast not having
    to put up with Atheist Vitriol and Arrogance.

  14. Isa 49:5 “And now the LORD says,
    Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant,
    To bring Jacob back to Him,
    So that Israel is gathered to Him [fn]
    (For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD,
    And My God shall be My strength),
    6 Indeed He says,
    ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
    To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
    And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
    I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
    That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”7 Thus says the LORD,
    The Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One,
    To Him whom man despises,
    To Him whom the nation abhors,
    To the Servant of rulers:
    “Kings shall see and arise,
    Princes also shall worship,
    Because of the LORD who is faithful,
    The Holy One of Israel;
    And He has chosen You.”
    8 Thus says the LORD:

    “In an acceptable time I have heard You,
    And in the day of salvation I have helped You;
    I will preserve You and give You
    As a covenant to the people,
    To restore the earth,
    To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages;

    9 That You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’
    To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’

    49:14 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
    And my Lord has forgotten me.”

    15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
    Surely they may forget,
    Yet I will not forget you.

    Isa 49:16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.

    Maybe it was…

  15. Thanks Robert,

    I guess I got carried away. But, I think the Shroud of Turin is one more of ten reasons to be encouraged!

  16. Robert,

    I didn’t mean to hog the blog. 🙂 I may take some of the more blatant statements apart a few at a time when I can. I really do think the Shroud deserves serious investigation by all believers. It truly is a miraculous testament to the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection. That’s why atheists have such a hostile and virulent reaction to it! Did you notice that?

    I do have more to say about it.

    Actually, Van, I imagine that the majority of people in all ages are much more modest than not. Another reason for positioning the arms where they are is that the women were coming back to clean and perfume the body, one of whom was His mother. Women are, for the most part, very modest people, especially those in a society where they actually went about with real clothing on. I’m sure you find that hard to believe too. And I imagine if they hadn’t tucked his arms in they would have been sticking out of the cloth at an ungainly angle. It seems a perfectly natural thing to do in my mind.

    —“‘The image of the shroud obviously portrays Jesus’. Rubbish. No one has any idea what Jesus actually looked like. The Bible contains no hints — short, tall, fat, skinny, long hair, bald etc. No details at all, so how can anyone say that an image resembles him? A dishonest argument.”

    Taken as a whole, Van, with the vast, vast number of scorge marks from the Roman flagrum covering the entire body, the blood running down in rivulets from the area of the hair on both sides of the head, the hole marks in the wrists, the nail wounds in the feet, the pool of blood at the side, the swelling on the cheeks and across the bridge of the nose, I mean what’s the big mystery but that only Jesus in the history of the world was said to have the same injuries! It’s no big stretch of the imagination to put the two together and come up with who the Man was. “No details at all?” You’re just being ridiculous.

  17. I missed posting the first part of one of Van’s points or those he posted. It was this:

    Van—“‘The shroud image is naked, as Jesus would have been, whereas medieval artisans never depicted Jesus naked’. This is true, but as discussed above, the image hides his nudity by adopting an unnatural posture. He is effectively clothed, whereas a dead body wrapped from head to toe in an opaque cloth wouldn’t be concerned with modesty.”

    To which I replied:

    Actually, Van, I imagine that most people in all ages are much more modest than not. Another reason for positioning the arms where they are is that the women were coming back to clean and perfume the body, one of whom was His mother. Women are, for the most part, very modest people, especially those in a society where they actually went about with real clothing on. I’m sure you find that hard to believe too. And I imagine if they hadn’t tucked his arms in they would have been sticking out of the cloth at an ungainly angle. It seems a perfectly natural thing to do in my mind.

  18. Atheists can be one of three things.
    1. Wrong–If God exists, all atheists are wrong.

    > So what? There are still no verifiable consequences either way. Prove there is an afterlife. Poof.

    2. Meaningless–If God does not exist, all the universe (including humans and all their thoughts) is meaningless, as several atheist scientists assert. No matter what they say, everything atheists say is meaningless.

    > We humans give our own meaning to things. So I’m allowed to give whatever meaning and purpose I want to my life. You have let OTHER PEOPLE tell you what the meaning and purpose of your life MUST be, or else. Talk about getting duped! Your envy of my position cannot be hidden. Don’t be jealous, just dump those silly superstitions.

    3. Illogical/Irrational–If atheists attempt to act in a meaningful way in a meaningless universe, they are, at best, illogical and at worst, irrational. Any atheist who posts is illogical and/or irrational.

    > Or sure. It’s illogical to believe what other people tell you about invisible beings for which there exists not a shred of evidence. Tell me another one. Every theistic argument is based upon a gross logical fallacy. How come atheists can recognize these fallacies and Bible believers cannot? Because your religion is as illogical as it can be. Magic! Fairies. I get to live forever! Wrong again.

  19. Sheila,
    The burden of proof is on the people promoting this fraud, not on people who know it’s one of many fakes cranked out by the biggest fabrication factory in history: Christianity. The long history of fakes, forgeries and lies, including the entire New Testament, is well documented. I cannot believe anything that comes from the mouths of Bible believers.

  20. Aaron,
    If you have the nerve, go ahead and post your “logical” arguments for God and I will prove just how illogical they really are. Step up to the plate and back up your claims. Or shrink from the challenge like you and the other believers always do.

  21. There are actually thousands of more reason’s not to be discouraged. One of the other reason’s not to be down is the Van man his athiest silly arguements make me know that these people are scared to death and directly point to how things ought to be in the last days. Thank you Vain for showing so clearly how decisively weak the atheist arguement is. If a blind man ran up to you and told you in a strong manner that there is no such thing as a green tree it is only a mirage would you feel threatened by his statement? No, you would only feel for the guy who is blind and he can not see. Vain, I feel for you as a guy who is blind and can not see, but does not know IT.

  22. Jon,
    It might give you solace to exclaim that atheists are “scared to death” but we both know it isn’t so. What would we have to be afraid of? It’s you Christians who cannot come to terms with your own morality and have all been frightened into your beliefs by other people who taunted you with the threat of hell. Too frightened to demand evidence for their absurd claims you knuckled under and believed what you were told you must believe and again by OTHER PEOPLE.

    I know it makes you angry to think that people everywhere just might be happy, might be living fulfilling and meaningful lives without Jesus. Your leaders tell you it can’t be done but that’s a lie. How miserable it must be to believe there’s some eye in the sky watching your every move and knowing your every thought and willing to punish you for thinking certain things or asking certain questions. I’d say that’s plenty of reason to be discouraged right there. God luck with that.

  23. That might have been a Freudian slip. I meant come to terms with your own mortality. You know afraid of death. It’s okay to be scared of dying because that can be painful. However death is nothing to be afraid of. It’s nothing at all.

  24. I just saw Ron Reagan do an ad for the Freedom From Religion Foundation on TV. Finally our message is on TV. It’s a great ad too. At the end he says, “This is Ron Reagan, life long atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.” It’s hilarious to see someone mock this ridiculous superstition in a serious ad on TV, not to mention very encouraging.

  25. Vans:” It’s okay to be scared of dying because that can be painful. However death is nothing to be afraid of.”

    Is that it. Well maybe nothing-ism and the soil is your idea of fun but for most of us it isnt. Now at least could you treat we simple minded as you would a Yanomami tribesmen.

  26. Being dead isn’t fun. But it’s what we’re both going to be some day. I have no problem with that fact. You do and so you deny this fact. As we all know this is why facts have no place in religion. They just spoil all your fun don’t they? Go ahead waste this life pining away for another life that’s never going to come. I don’t care. That’s what you get fro believing things without asking for some evidence that they even might be true first. Of course this is why many questions are not allowed in your religion too. Funny.

  27. Umm, the burial cloth was not treated with spices at all since when the women went to the grave He was no longer dead.

    Atheism is dead, it is only alive in your mind, but that there is a God is reality and exists outside of my mind.

    There are so many arguments but you prefer your delusions so forget arguing for one cannot argue with a lunatic.

  28. Im proud of you, Van. And I guess your purpose would be to lead people away from salvation? Is that the game

  29. Hi Van,

    This reply may be too late as I’ve only read this today. However, it’s sad to see that your arguments for atheism are all groundless, without much understanding of the topic,and just mere speculation. With such line of thought, atheism is a leech religion. It just tries to feed on any sort of “inconsistency”, “disparity”, or “failure” in/by/of “religion”. It has no scientific or logical foundation in and of itself. Which leaves me to speculate that it’s only foundation is the personal experience (first person or third person perspective) on how religion has somehow failed to produce or meet their/other people’s expectations/needs/wants.

  30. Friendly FYI, this post (and Van’s) is from may 2014. It may not be ready by the original posters.

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