Or, The Apostate Who
Wasn't All There
James Patrick Holding
seems I give Skeptics too much credit at times. When readers asked me to look
into the new DVD The God Who Wasn't There, I expected the film to be a
somewhat scholarly (as far as these guys can get) review of the best case for
the Christ myth.
I got was so bad it makes The Bible Fraud look like peer-reviewed
does it actually break down? By percents:
- 20% a documentary on Earl
Doherty's Christ myth theory (though Doherty does not appear in the main
- 20% pagan copycat garbage
(that's not an insult; he actually makes use of Graves' "16 Crucified
Saviors" list as well as the Freke-Gandy "crucified
- 20% objecting to the religious
- 10% objecting to how bloody
"The Passion" was
- 30% Flemming offering a
tempter tantrum over his prior fundamentalist upbringing, to the point of
him childishly ending the film in the chapel he was "saved" in
and declaring his apostasy there in "nanny nanny boo boo"
random thoughts otherwise, for a mostly random film:
- Flemming appears to be a man
with serious psychological problems. He has gone from being an Christian
who was gullible and ready to believe anything to a Skeptic who is
gullible and ready to believe anything. His eyes look more dead than toxic
waste. He apparently lied to his former school principal about the purpose
of his interview with him. He has recently (4/06) orchestrated a "War
on Easter" in which his fans dump copies of the DVD and other related
material into churches. A total of 666 DVDs are being distributed this
way, according to a secondary source. This might be acceptable if the
scholarship in the film were worth ten cents, but that is precisely the
problem -- it isn't. Flemming is using his own ignorance to inflict error
on people who are no more aware than he is how much in error he is.
- I rather wonder if some of
his interviewees (like Richard Carrier) know they were being used in a
film that gave Graves' crucified saviors list a highlight. One of the
links below notes that Flemming offers conclusions that Carrier in
particular otherwise disagrees with (such as that Nazareth did not exist).
- No new arguments, of course
-- all Flemming uses has been refuted time and again on this website: late
dates for the Gospels; Marcan priority and Q; appeal to the Sanhedrin
trying Jesus at night, and especially use of Doherty's "silence"
argument. Flemming has stated that the reaction of the church to the film
has been to ignore it and hope it will go away. In that case, where is bad
boy Flemming with his replies to all this stuff of his that we've refuted
- I found amusing Flemming's
"Christian on the street" interviews in which he asked people if
they had ever heard of Mithra, Attis, etc. (under the assumption that his
nonsense pared from the likes of Graves was accurate). I really wish he'd
run into some Tekton readers instead, but I expect he would have edited
all of that out.
- Flemming seems to have been
particularly hot and bothered over "Left Behind" eschatology,
which leads me to wonder what he'd have to complain about to a preterist.
- Flemming selects the
wackiest persons he can to represent Christianity, to the point of even
claiming David Koresh (!) as one. I suppose then that I can tale Stalin as
the best representative of his set. Had Flemming tried this with a Ben
Witherington, it likely would have been edited out.