Hi there. I wouldn't describe Perry's arguments as "weak". I would use "typical" and "predictable". As are my arguments no doubt.
Just for the record, and so as to insult no ones intelligence here, I have a problem with the judgmental aspects of Perry's faith specificially, and he and I have gone around a time or two before. I have no problem with him believing that Jesus is god as that is a personal decision he has made. I generally have no problem engaging you Perry, except that the point of this entire thread seems to have been lost on you. It wasn't an attack on your faith, or Christianity. It was an invitation to consider an overview of history, not doctrine. What one chooses to believe, regardless of how the dogma was passed on, is not as important to me as it once was. Most of us believe in things we cannot prove to one degree or another. As long as there is no organized effort to enforce personal religious beliefs on others in the public domain, I am fine with people worshipping how they will. (as always, if they want to discuss said beliefs with me, and I am in the mood, its always a good conversation)
As I have stated previoiusly, quoting myself, this thread was merely about learning the history and evolution of Christian faith. I think it healthy to read up. In spite of Ehrmans critics, I simply respond to have anyone read a couple of his books. He isn't lying. Beyond that, do your own research, its all there.
Password, I do not always agree with you, but I respect you very much. However, this thread is not an attack on Christian beliefs. It's about learning of the history of Christianity from the 1st through the 4th centuries. Even if it is one's belief that Gnostic views of Christianity was always viewed as heritical by the Church fathers (debatable I might add because most writings that weren't in line with the newly cannonized NT were destroyed) it harms no one to read up on it. It's fascinating really. And the most important thing for me is that it represents honesty. It isn't my intention to destroy anyone's faith, or to mock Christians.
Password, I think understanding that Christianity is one of many ancient faiths still with us (Judaism, Islam, etc) is not, in of itself, instructive as to its veracity. Age alone means nothing. But having said that, if you feel that it is a criteria that matters, I will merely point out that older faiths exist, and leave it at that.
Again, my invitation, plain and simple, is for all of us to take responsibility for knowing what we believe in matters of faith, and to be honest. I respect less a theist who refuses to look at potentially damning information regarding ones faith then someone who has at least considered it. Remember, as JW's, we couldn't look at negative info on our old faith, because it would damage it. Why in the world would anyone think it proper to keep up that tradition, even if they have gone more mainstream in their Christian faith?