I’d like to begin by saying thank you for the time and effort you have contributed to this discussion. Thank you also for your work on behalf of Wallbuilders. I am a member of the BRR.
Regarding plagiarism I would say several things. First, the target audience of my website has expressed an appreciation for the “down-to-earth” method I employ – which I grant is neither scholarly nor conventional in many senses. Like you did in your post, I did some cut and paste; and, then I tried to incorporate the data and to tone it down for easier reading. Apparently, out of approximately 200+ lines of writing, approximately 10 lines did not get rewritten. The point of the article was the suppression of the Bible and was not intended to be a scholarly historical paper. I do regret my error regarding my misrepresentation of Amama and will correct it. Thank you for pointing out that oversight. I have struggled with how to indicate when I am summarizing or paraphrasing without losing my target audience’s attention.
Regarding what I state versus what some may feel is implied, I can only say that after so many years as a military NCO, a police officer, and as a civilian instructor/lecturer, I apparently still unconsciously display that mindset; and, according to those close to me, not just in my writing. A friend read our discussion to date and laughing said my tone of voice even carries across the internet.
Regarding your choice of references - yes, Steve I was teasing you a little – trying to keep things light.
My earlier statement “the author himself states that his thesis only raises doubts about the strength of the traditional view (pagan influence on Christmas) but not enough to dismiss the notions he was challenging”, comes from the authors “conclusions” section. I am unable to cut and paste his exact words because of the security settings on the PDF. The citations you employ to refute my assertion of his comments come from the body of the text – not his own conclusions.
Regarding Mithras and Saturnalia, I find it odd that you say I should be debating Mithras. Mithras was not and is not what I am addressing. I will not deal with that straw man. I addressed Saturnalia, and you yourself state, “Thus, Christians adopted Saturnalia customs INDEPENDENT OF Christmas. It is true that as the feast day spread, some of the Church Fathers abandoned their hostility to Saturnalia traditions (or at least stopped recording them). In part, this seems likely to be due to a “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude. At any rate, various Fathers began to write about a rich symbolism that could be used with new meaning in evangelism if tied to Christmas (as many historians have noted)”. In fact, your inclusion of the “if you can’t beat them, join them” is precisely why I personally think Christmas is a corrupted concept – corrupted by Saturnalia. You have perhaps stated my view more succinctly than I.
Regarding Assisi and the nativity scene - I find it ironic that, as you state, shepherds weren’t employed - because animals were – and the Bible mentions shepherds but not animals.
Regarding the Inquisition – again I was teasing you. I am well aware the date, even the term, can be ambiguous.
Regarding invoking Mark, you state I could only be referring to 3 passages. You are incorrect – I could easily add 1 Peter 1, Galatians 1, etc. I did not cite a passage, you did. I did not cite “a” or “any” passages because there are numerous passages addressing that concept. Regardless, how many verses need be cited to demonstrate a point? That is also why I posed that comment as a question. Furthermore, you will have to forgive me if I chose to go by what the Spirit leads me to believe about something addressed in so many passages rather than to believe what someone you quote says is the meaning of a single passage or even the few you cited.
As to my blog you picked the right one. No surprise with an astute man of your background. Thank you for the follow thru. My point there was not any heresies; rather, that I just find it odd that such a big deal is made of a birth date while so little attention is paid to an event the Bible mentions in every Gospel.
My whole point was to bring the issues we have been discussing to people’s attention. My intention is to try to stir people to think about things for themselves; and, when I can, provide them with some of what knowledge I have. Writing is not my strong point. That’s probably why God drew me to this site.
In Brotherly Love,