Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., from left, President Trump and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., pray during the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Trump strikes muted tone at National Prayer Breakfast, plays up evangelical interests

WASHINGTON (RNS) — President Trump began his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast by renewing his commitment to the religious conservatives who helped lift him into office.

“I will never let you down, I can say that — never,” Trump said as he approached the podium on Thursday morning (Feb. 7), speaking to a gathering of religious leaders, political figures and more than a few evangelical Christians.

The event was organized by Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., who currently co-chair both the national breakfast and the weekly Senate prayer breakfast on Capitol Hill.

Lankford cited 1 Timothy while introducing the president, noting a passage that encourages the faithful to pray for those in authority.

“From the earliest days — 2,000 years ago — Paul was writing to them and saying, ‘Don’t forget to pray for your leaders,’” Lankford said.

Trump made numerous references to his State of the Union address from earlier in the week and celebrated that people gathered at the breakfast were “united by a shared belief in the glory of God and the power of prayer.”

He then painted an image of American history in which religion played a crucial role.

“Since the founding of our nation, many of our greatest strides, from gaining our independence to the abolition of civil rights (sic) to extending the vote of women, have been led by people of faith and started in prayer,” he said. “When we open our hearts to faith, we fill our hearts with love.”

Trump lifted a line directly from his State of the Union address when highlighting his anti-abortion stance.

“All children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God,” he said, sparking one of the loudest applause lines of the morning.

During his remarks, Trump noted Muslims, Jews, Catholics and representatives of other faiths in the room. He also reminded the audience that his administration appointed Elan Carr this week as U.S. envoy to combat and monitor anti-Semitism, saying it was part of a broader effort to protect persecuted Christians and Jews.


Pastor Andrew Brunson, left, prays with President Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on Oct. 13, 2018, in Washington. Brunson returned to the U.S. after nearly two years of detention in Turkey. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Trump lifted up one major moment of bipartisanship at the event, by praising the celebrated recent passage of the First Step Act. Faith leaders, he said, "helped us achieve historic, bipartisan criminal justice reform.”

While some Democrats and progressive faith leaders argued the bill could have done more, it enjoyed robust support from evangelical leaders, including several of Trump’s faith advisers.

In addition to Trump, Coons and Lankford, political attendees included Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.; Secretary of State Michael Pompeo; acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker; and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, among others.

Prominent religious attendees included Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry; Lance Plyler of Samaritan’s Purse; Christian author, businesswoman and philanthropist Mo Anderson; musician Chris Tomlin; and keynote speaker Gary Haugen, head of the International Justice Mission.

The prayer breakfast was mostly free of the partisan rancor that has divided Washington and most of the nation in recent years.

Rosen spoke briefly before Trump’s address, for instance, noting her role as a former synagogue president. She read from Isiah 58, saying Jews read it on Yom Kippur.

“(It) describes the moment when the great prophet held ancient Israel accountable to the disparity between their values and their actions,” she said of the verse. “God’s vision of a society was one of justice and compassion; instead, theirs was a corrupt society that oppressed the most vulnerable.”

Coons explained to Religion News Service earlier this week that the conciliatory nature of the event was by design.

“The point of praying with the president or praying with other elected officials isn’t to berate them about our policy or political differences but rather to try and be present with someone else in a spirit of prayer,” he said. “Those of us who have been involved in organizing it have tried very hard to avoid making it a platform for partisan political issues."

Curry, who achieved fame for his love-focused sermon at Prince Harry's royal wedding in 2018, read from 1 Corinthians 13 during the breakfast. He argued that while the passage is often used at weddings, it was originally penned out of concern for a community that had “divisions in itself,” and the biblical author wrote it to “show them the way.”

The verse emphasizes love as a form of humility, describing it as “not arrogant or rude” and “does not insist on its own way.”

When he finished the reading, Curry said, “Paul saw what Jesus meant when he said the whole law of God is summed up in these two (things): ‘to love God, and love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Anderson's prayer appeared to invoke elements of Christian nationalism, an ideology popular among some conservative Christians.

“At the founding of our nation, Lord, we received your blessing and your guidance through leaders who openly proclaimed your name,” she said.

Haugen’s keynote address focused on the issue of human trafficking and modern slavery, something Trump also touched on.

"Even in this divided era there is good that we all agree should be done to address criminal justice reform, the opioid crisis, a broken foster care system — and we should just do it,” Haugen said.


President Trump addresses the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.


Among other guests at the event was Andrew Brunson, the Christian pastor who was jailed in Turkey for nearly two years before the Trump administration helped free him from captivity last fall.

The president appeared surprised to learn midspeech that Brunson’s daughter had an upcoming wedding and paused to ask if he was invited.

Brunson said yes.

The National Prayer Breakfast has fallen under scrutiny over the past year after Maria Butina, a Russian national, was arrested in 2018 and pleaded guilty after officials accused her of attempting to exploit the event to influence Trump and American politics.

Lankford and Doug Burleigh, one of the leaders of the larger organization that plans the event and meetings that often occur alongside it, have generally responded to calls for increased security or vetting of attendees by insisting that the breakfast is a spiritual event that should be open and inviting.

“Not everyone walks into every prayer meeting with the same motivation,” Lankford told RNS in January.


  1. Actually, if John 3:16 is true, God really DOES love the rich and powerful (as well as the poor and powerless.)

    Apparently God cares about everybody, and is trying to reach out to all folks.

  2. I was prepared to be negative but the focus on Coons and Rosen mitigated a symbolic event from becoming even more ridiculous. It reminds me of how in the 1980s the then President of the Texas AFL-CiO Harry Hubbard told our convention we needed to go to church to stop the defections of working class whites to the Rethuglicans. I told him I was on my church council at the time and no right-leaning people would set foot in a United Methodist church anyway.

  3. We’re on our way to the “abolition of civil rights” as we speak. That is precisely what religious conservatives pray for all the time. It is precisely what they support in all their politicians and political activities.

  4. “We’re on our way to the ‘abolition of civil rights’ as we speak.”

    No, Obama is gone and Hillary failed.

    The Sisters don’t have to provide birth control and Masterpiece Bakery can get back to baking cakes.

  5. Don’t see too much love for the poor and powerless from that crowd . I see a lot of predation and attacks on them for cheap political brownie points and profit.

    Mammon is whom they pray to.

  6. God is just a concept of a being which is used to influence people in one way or another. There is no physical being that controls the universe. If anyone has any contradictory evidence, I am open to learn.

  7. And the Church can get back to taking in billions of dollars in donations every year without having to pay any income taxes. I wish my boss would just “donate” money to me for working my assss off so I can make payments on my house and put my children through advanced education without a lifetime of debt and filing tax returns. Speaking of tax returns, President Trump is afraid to be forthcoming and show good faith to the American public.

  8. The concept of this “invisible God” is a being that is all loving, all forgiving, and all merciful, even though I have seen examples of just the opposite throughout my life and in many parts of the world.

  9. And if Matthew 19: 16-30, Mark 10: 17-31, and Luke 18: 18-30 are true, then God’s love for the rich is very limited. Golly gee! I guess anybody can find whatever they want in the Bible. How very convenient.

  10. I have never belonged to a Church that has taken any official position on voting accessibility, denial of public education, denial of collective bargaining, denial of healthcare, zoning laws, net neutrality, or laws regarding financial fraud. Maybe some do, but I am not aware of them.

    Since you apparently are, kindly name the specific denomination, place, and date of when they officially adopted those positions in Resolutions at a National Convention of similar venue. I would be interested to know.

    But you’re darn right we are going to fight to protect the most vulnerable and helpless among us from being slaughtered by abortion – whether that takes place in the womb, halfway out of the birth canal, or all the way out!

    And as for changing one’s legal gender – well, we are against lying, too!

  11. “There is no physical being that controls the universe.”

    Golly, Christians believe that too.

    Glad to see you are on board with that aspect of traditional Christian teaching, squeek!

  12. Read your Bible again please. God “is not a respecter of persons” on EITHER end of the income scale, and God just ain’t into man’s secular Class-Warfare craziness.

  13. Just the opposite, as Christians believe that Jesus is the actual son of God, born of a virgin mother impregnated by the Almighty, and that it was God’s divine plan that his only begotten Son should die a torturous death for you sins. They believe that God physically made the world, and everything in it, in just six earth days and that he was tired and rested on the seventh day, which is why you rest on the seventh day and worship Him on his day off.

  14. The invisible part is the coolest. I can’t wait to be able to sneak up behind Spuddie and scare some color into him.

  15. All of the conservative church people who vote for Republicans are in support of all of the positions I mentioned. They are also in support of widening the wealth divide, letting the public infrastructure crumble and placing the federal government in flat broke status. They are also in support of recruiting any number of foreign guest workers to prevent wages from rising for low-end jobs. Oddly, many of them do not seem to know what all they elect on purpose. That is the hoodoo of the churches who have led their flocks to vote anti-abortion—–and now the even bigger biggie—-anti-LGBT. Some of the church people know they are being played and don’t care. Some—–maybe you—-haven’t a clue what Republicans actually do.

  16. The idiocy of prayer and prayer breakfasts:

    Free Will and Future are inherent to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, it is not possible to
    alter life with prayers. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variability/randomness of Nature..

    So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and prayer breakfast invites and stop worshiping/revering cows/Trump or bowing to Mecca five times a day. Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings.

  17. “plays up evangelical interests” Good to see no bias in this article

  18. Trump praised religious traditions for “the abolition of civil rights”… The media is calling this a “gaffe”, but in truth, it wasn’t.

  19. No physical being controls the world. Only God controls the world, and God is not a physical being.

    It was God’s divine plan that his Ever-existing and Pre-eternal Word enter into an incarnate union with our human nature, taking on everything we have, in order that we might share in everything he has, thus opening to us the path to become “partakers of the Divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Thus Christianity can be best summed up in the words of Athanasius: “God became man so that man might become god.”

    There is no indication that God was tired after creating the cosmos. The Hebrew word yis-bot in Genesis 2:2 is the same word that is used in Joshua 5:12 for the ceasing of the manna. Obviously the manna was not tired; the word indicates the ceasing/ending of an action – in Joshua, the ending of the manna being sent; in Genesis, the ending of God’s work of creating the universe.

    Christians do not observe the seventh day (Saturday) as a day of worship. Jews do that. Christians worship on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, in honor of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    You seem to have little grasp of traditional Christian teachings and practices.

  20. So, as I suspected, you are unable to cite any denomination that actually endorsed the positions you enumerated. Just a vague broad allegation that “conservative church people” do. Got it.

    Not all “conservative church people” are Evangelicals -although the left seems to think they are synonymous – and they do not all have the same views on all the topics you mentioned. You have been engaging in stereotyping.

  21. I’m not a fool, Rick. Stop baiting me with the BS. I know who elects Republicans and I have known for 40 years. You know too. Eighty-one percent of white church voters who refer to themselves as “born again” voted for Trump and they vote for every other Republican in every House or Senate election. They fill the statehouses with them. They are putting people in to comply with every initiative of the American Legislative Exchange Council, with every position of the Heritage Foundation, The Cato Institute, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and for that matter, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

    So, “as you suspected”, I am not biting your harassment. Knock it off or I will just block you along with Mark the Menace.

  22. That is the beauty of the Bible. Anything you want to prove and anything I want to prove, we can find a verse in the Bible to prove it. In fact, I have heard that there are Bible colleges that offer degrees in Proof Texting.

  23. “It was God’s divine plan that his Ever-existing and Pre-eternal Word enter into an incarnate union with our human nature”

    So God knew that the Paradise He created was a screw-up even before it screwed-up?

  24. Your useless verbiage cannot disguise the fact that you could not name a single denomination that actually endorsed most of the positions you were bloviating about.

    Except, of course, killing children and lying.

  25. Man has free will, so he can “screw-up”. Something you gladly do every day, no doubt.

    Glad to see you gave up the foolish idea that Christians observe the Sabbath.

    That shows that you are educable.

  26. Isn’t it time for your rabies shot?

    And did you remember to get spayed or neutered yet?

  27. Nice avoidance. So God’s divine plan was to give man free-will knowing that man would screw-up. Doesn’t sound like God is using his higher level thinking skills as well as He should.

  28. It does not matter what day you choose, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, it is one earth day because the Lord rested on the seventh day. That is traditional in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, even if we know that the world and everything in it was not created in six earth days. They all believe that Adam and Eve were the first two humans and that is not true either.

  29. So you would like to live like a robot with no free will?

    Sounds like you need some practice in higher level thinking skills!

    Off to the Borg collective with you!

  30. If God is the all-powerful and all-knowing guy the Christians claim he is, He should be able to create free choice without including murder, rape, lying, thieving, etc among the choices. Since murder, rape, lying, thieving, etc. are among the choices, that would suggest that God is not as powerful and as knowing as Christians claim He is. Or maybe He is just not a very nice guy, who enjoys seeing others (including His Son) suffer.

  31. And, you’re blocked. As I tell all the others, think of it as a restraining order I personally enforce upon people who play the “in your face” game with me. Find someone else to bother. Write your own comments. Whatever. Your days of harassing me are over.

  32. “I have heard that there are Bible colleges that offer degrees in Proof Texting.”

    I’m sure you’ve “heard” a lot of things. If you want to sort your “approvals” and “disapprovals” in life on the basis of rumors, go right head. It’s already evident that accepting (negative) rumors – and spreading them – is a consistent element of your rhetorical schtick anyway.

  33. What it “sounds like” is that you are using your own human (and very limited) mode of thinking to pass judgment on something that is completely and forever beyond your (or anyone’s) comprehension.

  34. “something that is completely and forever beyond your (or anyone’s) comprehension.”

    There must be people somewhere who can understand medieval superstitions.

  35. “accepting (negative) rumors – and spreading them”

    Like the rumor that some lady a long time ago got fooled by a talking snake and because of that we are all sinners?

  36. Isn’t it time you stopped believing in Santa Claus?

  37. Or maybe you are just not very smart.

    You are saying God should be able to create free choice that is limited in choice – in other words, he should be able to create free will that is not actually free. But that is a contradiction, and cannot be done. A thing cannot be simultaneously free and not-free.

    God can do all things that can be done, but the creation of a logical contradiction is not a thing that can be done.

  38. Blocking is a tacit admission that you are unable to logically defend your position. It is the refuge of the weak and feeble minded.

  39. “Medieval superstitions” — LOL!
    Humanity’s enduring awe before a transcendent God cannot be measured by any one historical era’s expression of it

    Here are some contemporary expressions of it:

    “I believe in the concept of God and in His existence.” — Charles H. Townes, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics in 1964

    “If I consider reality as I experience it, the primary experience I have is of my own existence as a unique self-conscious being which I believe is God-created.” — Sir John Eccles, 1963 Nobel Prize winner in physiology and medicine

    “(I cannot) be an atheist. We must admit that there exists an incomprehensible power or force with limitless foresight and knowledge that started the whole universe going in the first place.” — Christian B. Anfinsen, 1972 winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry

    You need to bring your stereotypes up to date.

  40. “the creation of a logical contradiction is not a thing that can be done”

    It is not a logical contradiction. But for sake of argument, let’s say it is. Then you are asserting that the infinite God is subject to finite human logic. That is a logical contradiction

  41. He can’t. You can’t “stop” something you’re not doing.

  42. So – using your own standards of thought (what else?), you’re saying “I just out-thought God!”

    And yet, then you came up with this (below, in responding to R.B.):

    “…asserting that the infinite God is subject to finite human logic… is a logical contradiction.”

    And thus you condemn your own denigration of God’s thinking as a logical fail.

  43. At the very least he should able to get you to knock it off, eh?

    Have you considered the option that you are without the beginning of a clue?

    That would tend to pull the whole thing together.

  44. “It is not a logical contradiction.”

    Because you said it?

  45. You are going from A to D without any B or C to connect them. Since this is the way your mind works, is that also the way God’s mind works. That would explain why Paradise was such a screw-up.

  46. Certainly based on a sample of one – you – and your posts, sinner seems to work quite well.

  47. Now if we could just explain you.

    Tell us about your parents.

  48. “Canis” is Latin for dog.

    It can be masculine or feminine.

    But “Pulchrae” is a feminine adjective meaning “beautiful”.

    “Pulchre” would be masculine.

    So “CanisPulchrae” is “beautiful bitch”, and “spay” would be the appropriate procedure.

  49. Are Christians obligated to be a$$holes like you? Seems to be the norm here.

  50. No – I went directly from “A” (using your own human logic to pass judgment on God) to “B” (saying an infinite God cannot be subjected to human logic). “C” and “D” are out of a job.

    Contradicting yourself within seconds – yet not noticing. If that’s the way your mind works…’nuff said

  51. Logic has its origin in God, the Divine Logos, and of course God is subject to Himself.

    No contradiction.

  52. Sorry that you are so out of your depth and threatened when faced with rational thought that you are reduced to such adolescent name calling.

    Perhaps you should stick to reading venues more appropriate to your level – say, “Highlights” magazine.

  53. “Rational thought” such as Jesus was born of a virgin? You should stick to the fantasy fiction you prefer, but don’t try to claim it’s “rational”.

  54. Logic does not have its origin in God. In John’s time, the Greek word logos did not mean logic. It meant word or statement. At best, the Divine Logos is, by extension, the true word of God. Systematic logic is a finite human construct used to test the validity of finite human assertions.

    I admit, of course, that my thinking on this is modern rather than medieval.

  55. It certainly explains why this individual is “always puzzled”.

  56. The word logos has several meanings in ancient Greek. One of the major ones is “reason, rational thought”.It is used in this sense by Plato, Aristotle, and countless others.

    Your thinking on this is neither modern nor medieval. It is simply erroneous.

  57. Mark Connelly is a li​ar and an as​shole.

  58. Mark Connelly is a lia​r and an assho​le.

  59. Mark Connelly is a li​a​r and an assho​le.

  60. Mark Connelly is a li​ar and an assho​le.

  61. In not one of those philosophers is logos synonymous with logic, although the Medieval Schoolmen did put that interpretation on it because it fit their theological purposes.

  62. Look it up in your Liddell and Scott. Clear examples of logos meaning “reason, rational thought”, in ancient writers.
    For example: orthos logos (Plato), ouk ekei logon (Sophocles), etc. Also, logikos as used by Aristotle, and he logike in Cicero.

  63. Its good that these National Prayer Breakfasts are going on.

    1 John 5:14. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

    By keeping in sincere contact with GOD, one can become purposed for the things of God through Jesus Christ.

    Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  64. Trump and his evangelical buddies should read Matthew 6:5-8.

  65. Those Bible quotes, like the vast majority of Bible quotes, have every bit as much credibility as Trump Tweets.

  66. So any thinking, intelligent human should be able to conclude that Jesus was born of a virgin? Then spell it out for me.

  67. Many have assailed the Bible. If past performance is indicative of future trends, the Bible, its credibility and its quotes will be around long after tweeting has been replaced by something else.

  68. God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.

  69. I remember John 1:1 in my greek interlinear translation translated logos as word in reference to Jesus.

  70. No it will not as rigorous historic testing will continue to show that only 10% of the NT is authentic.

  71. That the God who created the cosmos ex nihilo could similarly create a child in the womb of a virgin is a coherent, rational conclusion. To maintain that one who did a greater thing could not do a similar lesser thing is neither coherent nor reasonable.

  72. yes it would if said historical testing was indeed rigorous and would INCLUDE miracles as an actual event instead of ignoring them; that would account for the other 90% of the the New Testaments authentication.

  73. Well I believe we have addressed the inauthentic nature of Jesus’ miracles in the past but maybe you did not see them. Let us start with the big one the physical resurrection/Easter.

    The Resurrection is fiction

    i.e. it was added to make Jesus akin to the Caesars and Greek half gods/half men myths.

    (1a) Mark8:31-33 = Matt 16:2l-23 = Luke 9:22, (1b) Mark 9:9b = Matt 17:9b, (1c) Mark
    9:12b = Matt 17:12b, (1d) Mark 9:30-32= Matt 17:22-23 = Luke 9:43b-45, (1e)
    Luke 17:25, (1f) Mark 10:32-34 = Matt 20:17-19 = Luke 18:31-34, (1g) Matt
    26:1-2, (1h) Mark 14:21 = Matt 26:24 = Luke 22:22, (1i) Mark 14:41= Matt
    26:45b,(1j) Luke 24:7

    Conclusion: Many references but only a single attestation
    and from the Second stratum (60-80 AD).

    Added details can be found at:

  74. There is zero evidence that a “virgin birth” occurred — no more evidence for that than for the existence of unicorns. That’s what reason tells me. Neither is there any evidence that “God…created the cosmos ex nihilo”.

  75. Now for other historically nil “miracles” like the changing of water into wine: John 2: 1-11 See e.g. for why it fails rigorous testing.
    Raising of Lazarus- See
    Multiplication of loaves and fish – See
    Virgin conception – See
    Leper cure- See Professor G. Ludemann’s study in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 13-14
    Centurion’s son cured- See
    Cure at the well – See Professor G. Ludemann’s study in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 14-15
    aSBlind man healed- Ditto, pp. 44-55, one “miracle” that may have occurred but questions remain as to how blind this fellow was.
    The sowing “miracle”-
    Healingsand Exorcisms – See
    Crowds are Cured- See

    Demons silenced – See

    Two women cured- See

  76. Now for other historically nil “miracles” like the changing of water into wine: John 2: 1-11 See e.g. for why it fails rigorous testing.

    Raising of Lazarus- See

    Multiplication of loaves and fish – See

    Virgin conception – See

    Leper cure- See Professor G. Ludemann’s study in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 13-14

    Centurion’s son cured- See

    Cure at the well – See Professor G. Ludemann’s study in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 14-15

    Blind man healed- Ditto, pp. 44-55, one “miracle” that may have occurred but questions remain as to how blind this fellow was.

    The sowing “miracle”-

    Healingsand Exorcisms – See

    Crowds are Cured- See

    Demons silenced – See

    and Professor G. Ludemann’s discussion and conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 35-38 and Professor G. Ludemann’s discussion and conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 35-38

    Added “miracle” reviews later:

  77. The big in big “miracles:
    aster and why it fails rigorous historic testing:
    The Resurrection is fiction i.e. it was added to make Jesus akin to the Caesars and Greek half gods/half men (1a) Mark
    8:31-33 = Matt 16:2l-23 = Luke 9:22, (1b) Mark 9:9b = Matt 17:9b, (1c) Mark
    :12b = Matt 17:12b, (1d) Mark 9:30-32= Matt 17:22-23 = Luke 9:43b-45, (1e)
    Luke 17:25, (1f) Mark 10:32-34 = Matt 20:17-19 = Luke 18:31-34, (1g) Matt
    26:1-2, (1h) Mark 14:21 = Matt 26:24 = Luke 22:22, (1i) Mark 14:41= Matt

    26:45b,(1j) Luke 24:7

    Conclusion: Many references but only a single attestation

    and from the Second stratum (60-80 AD).

    And then there is this:

    From the course notes of a large Catholic
    university’s graduate theology class:

    “Heaven is a Spirit state (no
    physical bodies abide so where is the resurrected, ascended body????)

    Christ’s and Mary’s bodies are therefore
    not in Heaven. For one thing, Paul in 1 Cor 15 speaks of the body of the dead
    as transformed into a “spiritual body.” No one knows exactly what he
    meant by this term.

    Most believe that it to mean that the
    personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we
    were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    The physical Resurrection (meaning a
    resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus’ crucified corpse),
    and Assumption (Mary’s

    corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus’
    earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke’s Gospel records it. The
    Assumption ties Jesus’ mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus’
    followers The Assumption has

    multiple layers of symbolism, some are
    related to Mary’s special role as “Christ bearer” (theotokos). It
    does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus’ Virgin-Mother (another
    biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would

    derived by worms upon her death. Mary’s assumption also shows God’s positive
    regard, not only for Christ’s male body, but also for female


    Amazing how this agrees with Professor
    Crossan and many other contemporary NT exegetes’ conclusions based on
    attestations and stratums.

    Some added tidbits:

  78. Now you are moving the goalposts, a common trick of yours.

    I demonstrated that the idea that the God who created a greater thing (the cosmos) could also be expected to be able to a lesser thing (a child in a virgin womb) entailed a valid, logical, and coherent line of reasoning. This was in response to you claim that the virgin birth did not entail “Rational thought”.

    But now you are bringing up two different topics, namely: 1. “Evidence” (of unspecified nature) for the virgin birth; and 2. “Evidence” (again of unspecified nature) for the existence of God.

    These are separate questions, which do not impact whether the statement “The God who created a greater thing could also create a lesser thing” is a valid, coherent, and logical line of reasoning.

    You are switching the goalposts by addressing instead the premise of my statement, and not whether or not my statement in itself constituted a valid, coherent, and logical line of reasoning. Given my premise, my statement is indeed, valid, etc.

    You may reject my premise (as I may reject yours), but that is a different question than the logical coherence of my statement.

  79. These are all conclusions as given by the Jesus Seminar
    As Mark Mark Connelly explained ”

    “In short, the Jesus Seminar was comprised of non-believers, a significant number of which eventually exited Christianity.”

    Since they remove important components from consideration in their investigatory processes, emphasizing the teaching of the historical Jesus while rejecting miracles, the virgin birth or his bodily resurrection, the Jesus Seminar cannot be relied upon to rigorously test anything.

  80. You might want to reread the references i.e. Professor Crossan and Professor Luedemann’s conclusions plus others besides those of the Jesus Seminar . They normally all agree supporting the rigour of the process.

  81. I disagree, but that is immaterial as to whether or not my statement is logically coherent. It is, whether you agree with the premise of not, or whether the premise is correct or not. It is a logically coherent statement.

    You are welcome to try and prove otherwise.

  82. That is some twisted, wacky logic. You start with an unproven assertion, and claim that everything that follows from that unproven assertion is “logical”. No, that doesn’t fly. I might as well argue that there are unicorns, ad because there are unicorns, there are also leprechauns.

  83. Since I guessed you missed it, let me bring you up to speed.

    We both start with unprovable assertions. I, that God exists; you, that God does not exist.

    Given my premise, my conclusions follow logically, coherently, and rationally.

    Whining that you do not accept my premise does not change that.

    I recognize that you start from a different premise, which can logically lead to a different conclusion.

    Both chains of reasoning can be recognized as coherent, rational, and logical.

    The difference lies in the different premises – the different unprovable assertions – with which we start.

    That is why we cannot agree.

  84. I never asserted that God didn’t exist.

    You find it necessary to make logic and reason meaningless — because you fear uncertainty. Your religion is fear.

  85. John Dominic Crossan, noted member of the Jesus Seminar

    Yes, forget about the Jesus Seminar:

    The Seminar was happy with a miracle-free Jesus, a fictional resurrection, a Jesus whose sayings were as remarkable as “And how are you today, Mrs. Jones?” It used and disused standard forms of biblical criticism selectively and often inexplicably to offer readers a “Jesus they never knew,” a Galilean peasant, a cynic, a de-eschatologized prophet, a craftsman whose dad was a day-laborer in nearby Sepphoris. As long ago as 1993, it became clear that the Jesus Seminar was yet another attempt to break open the tomb where once Jesus lay to find a note that read “Gone Fishing,” in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.

    Professo Gerd Lüdemann was a Christian who left the faith and weighs in the latter part of the aporetic conflict of the “Bodily Resurrection of Jesus” vs ” visions of Jesus by his followers interpreted as the Resurrection.” He conveys the event where 500 people saw Jesus and later the Pentecost as being legends based upon a common group hallucination in which people had a really good time and felt like Jesus was there with them.

    The type of postulations Lüdemann purports are inconsistent with what we know about science, medicine group psychology and mass hysteria and certainly collective hallucinations.

  86. In your search for the real Jesus, I highly recommend finding him yourself by reading the studies of many historic Jesus exegetes such as:
    Alvar Ellegård
    G. A. Wells
    Jesus the Hellenistic Hero
    Gregory Riley
    Jesus the Revolutionary
    obert Eisenman
    Jesus the Wisdom Sage
    ohn Dominic Crossan
    Robert Funk
    RBurton Mack
    Stephen J. Patterson Jesus the Man of the Spirit
    Marcus Borg
    Stevan Davies
    Geza Vermes
    Jesus the Prophet of Social Change
    Richard Horsley
    Hyam Maccoby
    Gerd Theissen
    Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet
    Bart Ehrman
    Paula Fredriksen
    Gerd Lüdemann
    John P. Meier
    tE. P. Sanders
    hJesus the Savior
    eLuke Timothy Johnson
    Robert H. Stein

    N. T. Wright

  87. LOL. It is the unspoken assumption without which your entire argument falls to the ground.

  88. Bottom line here: You can neither prove the existence of God or the virgin birth of his “son”. Laugh at that.

  89. Another bottom line: You cannot prove God does not exist, and that therefore the virgin birth is therefore impossible.

    And you never did prove that my statement was not a logical and coherent statement.

    Still LOL.

  90. Not wasting my time with your ridiculous BS anymore.

  91. So will brain-deadening fundamentalism.

    Its “credibility”? The bible has as much credibility as does “The Cat In The Hat”. It’s literature.

  92. “the Jesus Seminar was comprised of non-believers”

    You’d like to believe that, but that is false. One doesn’t have to be a literalist-fundamentalist to be a “believer”. And one doesn’t have to check your reason, logic and intelligence at the door of the Church to investigate the circumstances and parameters of the life of Jesus.

  93. Logical thought is not for the faint of heart.

    That is why you fail.

  94. The Jesus Seminar as a whole left their reason, logic and intelligence at the door to investigate the circumstances and parameters of the life of Jesus. That is why many scholars do not find their conclusions credible. Some tried again with the Jesus Project, to correct the mistakes of the Jesus Seminar.

  95. They only call it class warfare when the oppressed fight back.

  96. Thank you for the list.
    How about one with authors who DO accept the possibility of miracles?

  97. Right, your fundamentalist friends were threatened by actual facts.

  98. From the above list, Luke Timothy Johnson and Bishop N. T. Wright.

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