The questions are always there in my mind: Should I simply ignore webpages that are ridiculously wrong? Do I run the risk of hurting someone’s feelings by not doing so? One fellow shroud blogger has told me that he will not read my blog because of this; I’m mean. He would prefer to be “blissfully unaware” of what I write. No, really! Should I just email him, privately? He has asked me not to. Do I send comments to his blog? He will not allow most comments anyway. From me? As the sign on the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge says, Fuhgeddaboudit.
And another blogger has found that almost anything I say about him or what he writes is an insult. Fuhgeddaboudit? No!
I’ve pretty much decided that if someone blogs publically, he or she is agreeing to public criticism. If he or she relies on bad facts, I have a right or duty or pleasure to disagree publically. If he or she expresses incredulous beliefs – personal revelations from God, unique biblical inerrancy, scientism posing as science and whatnot – then it is fair to discuss this publically without fear of being insulting.
These are three quotations from a single recently published posting in OpenTheWord.org: A Bit of Bible, a Bit of Life, a Bit of Politics:
The Catholic church believes the image of Jesus was burned — if you can call it that — into the cloth at the moment of His resurrection.
No. Not true. The Catholic Church does not “believe” this or claim this is so. Some Catholics, some Mainline Protestants, some Anglicans, some Eastern Orthodox Christians and some Non-denominational Evangelical Christians believe this. I suspect it is a minority opinion but there is no way to know. There are no established scientific, historical, philosophical, theological or scriptural foundations for this belief. I’m guessing, but I think that among Christians of all major traditions, including big-C Catholics, few people have even given this any thought or even heard about it.
The latest mystery was unveiled by Gary Habermas at an apologetics conference sponsored by the Southern Evangelical Seminary. Stoyan Zaimov wrote on Habermas’ findings in an article on Christian Post.
Using enhanced photography, Habermas and his team noticed — though the individual’s mouth is closed — his teeth are visible through the skin and beard.
“His skin is intact, his beard is intact, but you are able to see what’s inside coming out, just like you are able to see what’s on the back of a hand,” said Habermas.
This left Habermas wondering if it was the result of a radiation burst, as it mimicked what happens during an x-ray. It would suggest there was a burst of radiation or something similar occurring inside Jesus’ body at the moment He resurrected.
Unveiled? It is not a recent observation. I think people were noticing this before Gary was born. And what is this about Gary’s team? Does he have a team? Using advanced photography? I don’t think Gary has done anything more than look at pictures made by others.
He (and his team) has/have wondered if certain characteristics of the image were the result of radiation? I’d like to know how many years after John Jackson, a physicist, wondered these things did Gary wonder these things. Did he? What did he say? No, really! Look, Gary is a good historian and a fine biblical scholar. He has read a few things and bought into them.
I’m reminded of the waiter in a fancy restaurant who said to me. “I can poach a nice filet of sole for you in some veal stock or I can bake it with a touch of red basil and some house-smoked Hungarian paprika. Or I can grill it in pepper infused Greek olive oil . . . . “ In the kitchen he yells out, “Number 3 dry.”
In early 2013, Padua University conducted a radio carbon test of the Shroud giving it a date of between 280 BC and 220 AD — well within Jesus’ time frame. An earlier carbon test produced a later date.
No, Padua University did no such thing. In fact, no one at Padua University did any such thing. No one at any university did any such thing. No one did. No one. You can trace this sort of error back to science by press release. Think about the announcement for Giulio Fanti’s book.
I don’t want anyone believing the shroud is real because of such nonsense. And thus I may hurt some people’s feelings.