November 3, 2013
The True Origins of Christianity – A Sceptical View
On Thursday the 24th of October Laurie Eddie, the founder of the SA Skeptics, presented his views on the “The True Origins of Christianity”.
Laurie Eddie is a joint founder of the South Australian branch of the Australian Skeptics in 1983. Laurie was formerly the president of SA Skeptics and is the current vice president. Prior to retirement Laurie was a clinical psychologist and also worked for the Department of Correctional Services.
Laurie gave a one hour Power Point presentation on The Origins of Christianity, which was then followed by discussion. His main thesis was that:
- The early church in Jerusalem was Jewish and mainly followed Jesus’ teachings but did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God or that he rose from the dead.
- Paul took the gospel to the gentiles and introduced the divine aspects of Jesus, based on Gnostic teachings and influenced by Roman mystery religions. It was Paul who taught that Jesus was Son of God and that he rose from the dead. The majority of the New Testament is largely unhistorical, contradictory and reflects Paul’s views.
- The Jerusalem church was nearly completely wiped out during the Jewish Wars and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The survivors moved to Pella (across the Jordan) and subsequently declined in influence.
After his presentation, we had an open discussion. Laurie also invited a number of his friends from the SA Skeptics and so we shared a diversity of views. Laurie’s presentation and the subsequent discussion is now available on You Tube. There was insufficient time to fully engage with all of Laurie’s material; so we will be reviewing his material in subsequent meetings next year.
Laurie’s views are not the same as ours. However, Reasonable Faith Adelaide wishes to engage with people who disagree with us. We encourage dialogue and it is our full intention to listen carefully to and honestly evaluate the opinions and arguments of those with whom we disagree. Laurie previously participated in a debate with us on the existence of God. He takes an interest in what we do and has attended a number of our meetings. Thus we welcome his participation.