The Skeptics’ Bogus Bounty

By Wayne Jackson

The skeptics have placed a “bounty” on my head. Well, in a manner of speaking. They’ve offered me a bounty of $2,000 if I will accept their challenge. But let me give you a bit of background.

Some years ago a former preacher and missionary associated with the churches of Christ “soured,” and, so far as anyone knows, abandoned any remnant of faith; he identified with agnosticism.

For some reason—and the psychology of this would be interesting to probe—the man developed an almost lunatic-like anger towards Christianity. Perhaps his self-described “futile effort” in the mission field was more than he could bear, and so responsibility had to be deposited somewhere!

Apparently, he chose the Bible instead of focusing upon his personal inadequacies. He started a small paper through which to vent his rage, and, over the years, his obsession with opposing Jesus Christ has intensified. Unlike skeptics with greater integrity, he even disputes that the Lord ever existed!

In order to satiate his lust for attention, he frequently challenges for debates, resorting to the most unscrupulous tactics in his efforts to lure opponents. For example, some years ago this apostate sent invitations to a number of ministers, offering to debate with them. The thing about that situation, though, was this: he invented phony names of various denominational affiliations by which to introduce himself.

Cranking out these little epistles on computer-generated letterheads, he falsely presented himself as different clergymen, proposing debates on a number of issues. If anyone responded positively, he flung off the mask of pseudonymity, gleefully revealed his true identity, and challenged for a discussion on his own terms. If the victim of his hoax was disgusted at the ploy and refused further dialog, he was charged with being anxious to debate a sectarian, but too cowardly to encounter an infidel. Somehow this refreshed the gentleman’s twisted psyche.

Eventually a few did engage him in debate; most, however, later regretted it—not because he was a formidable foe, but because he repeatedly proved himself to be void of any semblance of honor.

I said all of that to say this. This modern “Judas” has posted the “Two-Thousand-Dollar Opportunity” on his web site, offering (in collusion with another skeptic) a reward to this writer (or others) if any

can take all accounts of the resurrection [of Christ] in the four gospels [sic], Acts, and 1 Corinthians 15, and write a single narrative in which he includes every event and detail mentioned in the separate accounts and do so without omitting anything or injecting inconsistency, contradiction, or purely speculative materials into the narrative.

What a facade! Reflect upon a couple of matters.

First, where is the $2,000? Has it been deposited in a bank somewhere, just in case someone responds? Why not make it $2 million? If the skeptics are so confident of their case, surely they could “up the ante.” After all, it doesn’t cost any more not to pay $2 million than $2,000! The fact is, these people have no intention of paying anything—ever! Who wants to waste time complying with this spurious offer?

Second, who would be the judge as to whether the criteria have been met or not? Does anyone, who has a nodding acquaintance with reality, believe for one minute that this dishonest crew is going to concede that the requirement of their offer has been satisfied?

Third, skeptics have consistently demonstrated they haven’t a clue as to what constitutes a genuine discrepancy. They perceive of every difference in detail, supplementation, etc., as a contradiction. It scarcely needs to be noted that such is not the case. Several records of the same event may differ in a variety of descriptives without there being “contradiction.” But these critics know little of the methods of literary analysis.

This “reward” fiasco, therefore, warrants only a fleeting notice. It is but a ploy for attention. We give them a little, but not much! In fact, so far as the subject of this review is concerned, the greatest indignity of all will be the fact that his name was not mentioned.

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.