Eller expresses his sentiments: “To non-Christians (including Atheists), the Bible is not authority at all, just as to Christians the Qu’ran or the Hindu Vedas are no authority. Nonbelievers don’t care what somebody else’s text says. … I don’t care what the Bible says — it is not my authority — and so its claims are not worthy of my serious consideration, any more than any other texts or myths in the world.” (39)

But this judgement is entirely trivial:

(1) The Bible is supposedly a revelation from God.
(2) But, Eller maintains, God does not exist.
(3) Therefore, the Bible is merely a human text, since there is no divine authority behind it.
(4) Much more than that, in the New Testament, Jesus presents himself as God.
(5) But since God does not exist, this is a lie.
(6) As C.S. Lewis noted, “a man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.”
Therefore,
(7) Not only then is the Bible not an authority, it is a positively evil or insane document.

St. Thomas argues that “although the argument from authority based on human reason is the weakest, yet the argument from authority based on divine revelation is the strongest.” Eller objects that the Bible, Qu’ran, or Hindu Vedas are not authorities, because nothing is an authority; there is no such thing as divinity which can reveal something.

Eller goes on: “This is why I personally do not get into biblical disputes with Christians and why I would urge other Atheists to do the same.”

St. Thomas more or less agrees:

Hence Sacred Scripture, since it has no science above itself, can dispute with one who denies its principles only if the opponent admits some at least of the truths obtained through divine revelation;

thus we can argue with heretics from texts in Holy Writ, and against those who deny one article of faith, we can argue from another.

If our opponent believes nothing of divine revelation, there is no longer any means of proving the articles of faith by reasoning, but only of answering his objections — if he has any — against faith. (ST, I, 1, 8)

I must therefore again stress the importance of natural theology.


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