David Fitzgerald "Mystery Faith"

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cranky47's picture
David Fitzgerald "Mystery Faith"

That's two in the last week.

The First was seeing some lectures by Richard Carrier on YouTube.

Today I stumbled on this bloke. Claims to be a former quite rabid baptist. I've only watched part two of this interview. He even quotes a book I actually have and have read***

The interview covers stuff covered by Bart Ehrman and Richard Carrier, but he's less long winded. Not saying he has plagiarised. I think any serious secular scholar will initially find the same problems with say the credibility and veracity of the old testament and the contradictions in the New Testament.

The link to his clip is below . Be most interested in some opinions. (28 minutes approx)


My opinion? Oh, I quite like him. Might see if I can lay my hands on his book


***'The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, a book published in 2001, discusses the archaeology of Israel and its relationship to the origins and content of the Hebrew Bible. The authors are Israel Finkelstein, Professor of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, and Neil Asher Silberman, an archaeologist, historian and contributing editor to Archaeology Magazine."

Yes, I'm citing this book yet again. What can I say? My collection of archaeological books and books on the history of Christianity is very small.

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Cognostic's picture
@cranky47: He's been on the

@cranky47: He's been on the Atheist Experience and Talk Heathen a few times. Seems like he knows his shit. I don't currently have any of his books though I have seen lectures on Mything in Action, and Nailed. I expect both to be great reads. David, I believe, is a mythacist, not even believing that Jesus existed. I think the case is good for the non-existence of Jesus, but in the end... does it really matter? Even if he did exists, and the lack of evidenced suggests 'no,' the Christians still have all their work ahead of them. The still need to prove divinity, a relation to the God thing, an empty tomb and the rest....

Grinseed's picture
Thanks for the link, Cranky.

Thanks for the link, Cranky.

I have not read much of or about Fitzgerald before, but I agree with a lot of his comments, except for the comparisons with Darwin and his evolutionary theory. This always annoys me.
The title of Charles' book was “The Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life” and yet people have blithely declared "yeah that explains or describes the rise of Christianity, or Nazism, or Minecraft or what ever favourite subject of theirs enjoys bouts of popularity. Christianity is not the study of biology and Darwin wasn't a priest. The reasons for the success of Christianity as a major religion are to be found in the processes involving sociology, psychology, history, mythology and a whole range of other disciplines.
Sorry my bug bear, Darwin is a lazy go-to explain the ascendancy of everything and he gets demonised for everything...I suppose I need to make a teary "Leave Darwin alooone!" video.

Anyway, I liked Fitzgerald's interview. He seems a bright cheery atheist. I liked his explanation of how not being a Christian made him feel more christian-like. As for whether or not Jesus was a real person, I don't claim to know. Lack of contemporaneous written eyewitness accounts remain telling. Apollonius who lived a shadow life at the same time and drew as much attention, at least left books, statues, and rave reviews in comparison to the silence surrounding Jesus

However, to simplify things when discussing biblical issues with theists I assume the position that he did exist, but he was a bloke with issues and not a god and most certainly did not perform miracles or rise from the dead, bodily or spiritually. And what I find most satisfying is that I get most of my evidence from the history of how the bible was written and the bible itself.

I know you are familiar with Spong and his view of how the new testament was written using the liturgical worship of the synagogue. I haven't read enough Ehrman or Carrier (got to watch his accompanying interview now too) to see how Spong's interpretation fits with either of theirs. I guess that should be my next task in the next phase of this infernal lockdown.

And I am really envious that you have a copy of 'The Bible Unearthed" ...a little schadenfreude for you to enjoy :)

David Killens's picture
Thank you cranky47. I never

Thank you cranky47. I never intended to view the entire video, but once started, I had to see it to the end. One cute comment was "doomsday cult". I never perceived christianity as a doomsday cult, but it does fit the description.

Than again, just because I realized about five years ago I was an atheist, I still have a lot of baggage religion foisted on me. For over fifty years I was under the impression that nothing but good came from religion. The more one learns the true history of christianity and the bible, the more it falls apart under examination.

cranky47's picture


"I never perceived christianity as a doomsday cult, but it does fit the description."

Me neither, at least not with those words. I have thought of Christianity as a death cult for many years. My reason was that Christianity promised a far better world after death. In the early days people seeking martyrdom actually became a problem.The church had to issue an edict forbidding the practice.

On reflection Christianity has always been a doomsday cult. Originally its core teaching was Jesus' return and the end of days. A new world order would begin, with peace and justice for all mankind, not just the Jews.

In fact, Jesus is quoted as saying when he will return: Matthew 16:28 "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." (KJV)

Jesus is also reported as saying he will return 'soon'. For his early disciples, the return of Jesus and the end of days was 'imminent'.
Of course he didn't return.That made Christianity an early failed millenarian cult.

When Jesus failed to return, that focus of Christianity was quietly changed.Jesus' return was became some vague indeterminate time in the future. That has been the position of the Catholic church for 2000 years. Some of the smaller protestant sects have a different idea. For them Jesus' return is expected within their lifetime


Fitzgerald has a sort of 'unpolished ' feel about him. Compared with Bart Ehrman and Richard Carrier, I think he is indeed unpolished,having only an ordinary degree in history. Imo a trained scholar will actually read some Darwin before citing him in an allegedly (by inference) scholarly work. By simply giving a personal,incorrect opinion, a writer such as Fitzgerald may mislead other students.

Me? Only "The Voyage Of The beagle' , and a popular biography of Darwin, a long time ago.

David Killens's picture
@ cranky47

@ cranky47

I am in no position to judge Mr Fitzgerald, my qualifications in journalism is in the negatives.

But I enjoy (attempting) to digest this material, and such phrases as "doomsday cult" add to my knowledge base and opinion.

Cognostic's picture
A doomsday cult practicing

A doomsday cult practicing blood sacrifice and ritualistic cannibalism. Any god worth his salt would not have required the blood sacrifice of his own son to forgive any alleged transgressions. The whole thing is foolish.

David Killens's picture
I appreciate new ideas that

I appreciate new ideas that tickle the pondering process. One thing he mentioned was that religion is a fine example of evolution. That thought has been rolling around inside my head and it make sense.

Cognostic's picture
@David Killens: "Religion is

@David Killens: "Religion is a fine example of Evolution" EXACTLY Human beings are social animals, We have evolved that way. It is our ability to be social and work together that has facilitated our success as a species. Those humans who were unable or unwilling to socialize; follow the rules of a community, were turned out - shunned - or punished. Everyone has to get along, find their place, and fit in. That is the history and evolution of human existence. This includes a cultures mythology, creation myths, taboos, and religiosity. Failure to heed the gods would have the same effect as killing a fellow tribe member for no good reason. Religion became more complex as humans became more complex. It is a product of evolution and its purpose is to solidify the group.

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