Downtown Los Angeles, circa 1983

Downtown Los Angeles, circa 1983
STMcC in downtown Los Angeles, circa 1983

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Atheists, Be Afraid. Be VERY AFRAID!

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THE RESURRECTION OF THE SHROUD:
New Scientific, Medical And Archeological Evidence

by Mark Antonacci
published: 2000
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Five Stars? Oh! You'd better believe it!
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Some previous reviewers have done a very admirable job in extolling this "WONDER-FULL" book. I merely wish to add my voice to the chorus singing its praises.
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THE SHROUD OF TURIN is an ancient burial cloth containing the mysterious image of a Man who had evidently been crucified -- believed by many to be Jesus Christ. The internationally renowned Peruvian poet, Yoey O'Dogherty, once wrote, "Nothing astounds like Truth." And the truth that has made The Shroud the most studied and least understood artifact on planet Earth is astounding indeed!
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About 4 years ago, I happened to catch the author, MARK ANTONACCI, being interviewed on a radio program and found his statements so interesting that I went right out and acquired a copy of his book 'THE RESURRECTION OF THE SHROUD'. From a young age, I had been intrigued by the implications of the Shroud although my knowledge was limited. Like countless millions of other people, when the 1988 Carbon-14 dating test results were announced, "proving" the Shroud to be a hoax conceived between 1260 and 1390 A.D., I thought, "Well, so it goes." Of course, I've learned A LOT about human nature and some so-called "scientists" since then. I'm not so gullible anymore, and after reading 'THE RESURRECTION OF THE SHROUD' I'm more intrigued than ever by this extraordinary treasure!
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In the preface, the former agnostic, Mark Antonacci, relates how he was somewhat mysteriously goaded into investigating the Shroud, and how in pacing his apartment, reluctantly pondering some of its unfathomable anomalies, it suddenly hit him in midstep: "If all of the possible implications from the scientific examination were true, it would not be bad news -- it would be good news."
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Give Antonacci plenty of credit for having been an intellectually honest skeptic, unlike the flapjack who wrote the Kirkus review. That writer says that 'THE RESURRECTION OF THE SHROUD' "is unlikely to win any converts among empirical-minded skeptics." BALDERDASH! That is EXACTLY the sort of person who will be knocked for a loop by this great book! Actually, it is the intellectually dishonest (scared out of his wits) individual who will not permit himself to be converted, who will dismiss it. I know there are willfully ignorant people out there, but you'd hope that they could at least be a bit more imaginative and less blatant in their efforts to mislead others with their bias.
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True, the book explores some fairly heavy scientific principles, but necessarily so. Unless the reader understands the science behind it, he or she will fail to appreciate the incomprehensible attributes of the Shroud. But if it makes you feel any better, I can tell you with perfect honesty that I'm one of the least mathematically and scientifically-minded people on God's green earth! I must be operating from the "left field" side of the brain, or something. And if I could follow the science, so will you. I found the information unspeakably fascinating because of its portent.
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Once you've grasped the complexity of it, you'll understand why John Walsh has written, "The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Jesus Christ in existence... or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever products of the human mind and hand on record. It is one or the other; there is no middle ground." And how the respected scientist John Heller could claim that, "If you were to give me a budget of ten million dollars and told me to make a replica of it [the Shroud]... I would not know how to do it."
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You'll learn why the faction that wants us to believe that the Shroud (which displays many anomalies that contemporary science can't even explain) is the handiwork of a medieval artist doesn't have a leg to stand on. And why the Carbon-14 dating procedure, which supposedly put the final nail in the Shroud's coffin, was unreliable to say the least!
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Antonacci's book examines the Shroud from every conceivable angle, including the very possible and enlightening connection between It and the Mandylion -- gee whillikers! (Oops. Is one still allowed to say, "gee whillikers" in 2005?) It left this reader thoroughly mesmerized. Buy the book and be amazed. Be VERY AMAZED!
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I could go on all day about this book, but I'm going to pack it in here. I gotta go find that deceptive Kirkus reviewer now and take him out to the woodshed. (Oh, come on, I'm only kidding! I know that God wouldn't approve of that. ...Or would He? Doesn't The Bible say, "Spare the rod, spoil the Kirkus reviewer"?)
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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9 comments:

  1. The Shroud is certainly a fascinating object from an archaeological and historical perspective. Although I am an Atheist (and not at all afraid), it seems plausible that such a man as Jesus did exist; a prophet who was crucified by the Romans, so why not his burial cloth? What one believes beyond that is a personal matter. I had heard about the debunking but not the resurrection. Interesting!

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    1. DEBBIE ~
      Thanks for stopping by. And I apologize for the lateness of my reply but I was pretty busy yesterday and spent almost no time on the computer.

      No disrespect meant whatsoever, but in truth, "I DON'T BELIEVE IN ATHEISTS."

      Yes, I know that sounds like a joke, and I do intend the humor in it. But, the humor is just the thin candy shell covering a truth that I really do firmly hold.

      In my whole life, I've only ever known one person whom I considered to be a genuine atheist. I'm sure there are others out there, but they are very, Very, VERY few in number.

      So, when I say that "I DON'T BELIEVE IN ATHEISTS" (which I've been saying for decades), truthfully, it's an exaggeration, but only a very slight one.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Check out my new blog @
      (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
    2. Well, now you know two. ☺ There's no reason people with different religious beliefs can't be friends, as long as one doesn't try to 'convert' the other. My best friend from high school is a devout Roman Catholic and we're still as close as sisters, more than 45 years later.

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    3. DEBBIE ~
      I totally agree that people with different religious beliefs can be good friends. However, the part about one trying to convert another opens a different can of worms.

      I am not the type who goes around constantly speaking about my Spiritual convictions, because those people often bore me, too. But I do frequently WRITE about them, where people are free to read it or move on.

      I'm not a conventional Christian, but a Maverick Christian. Nevertheless, I feel the conventional or orthodox Christians often get a bum rap for attempting to "convert" people to Christianity. I have some sympathy for their situation because I understand what many non-Christians do not:

      When Christians attempt to speak the "Gospel" ("Good News") and convince others of it, they are merely following the instructions given to them by Jesus, their Savior. It's known as "The Great Commission":

      Matthew 28:16-20
      New King James Version (NKJV)

      Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him ... And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

      When I was younger, before I believed in Christ and The Bible, I used to view those Christians as simply annoying. But they really ought to be cut some slack because they are doing what their Holy King told them to. Also, they sincerely believe that one who dies without faith in Christ will spend eternity in hell. (That's not my view, but theirs.) So, although they may at times just seem to be pestering people, they genuinely have their best interest at heart.

      Atheism: Please understand, no insult intended at all, but I've found that nearly every atheist I've ever gotten to know, the root of their atheism was not so much disbelief but an anger or resentment they were holding against God for one thing or another. I have never met one person who undertook a serious, objective study of The Bible and the evidence for God and remained atheistic. It is my sincere belief that it is not possible, because I am very familiar with the copious evidence that exists.

      Anyway, off my soap box now and onto Happy Hour, because I haven't even been drunk once yet today. [;o)

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Check out my new blog @
      (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  2. 'Maverick Christian' sounds intriguing. ☺ It's not possible to be resentful of or angry towards something you don't believe exists, Stephen. My parents were not religious and I did not grow up in any church. However, I was curious about religion at a young age and my parents let me explore. I attended Synagogue with my Jewish friends, Catholic church and Protestant Sunday school with others. Religion has a lot of worthwhile moral teachings, but you can have the same ethics without being religious. I didn't buy the whole 'supreme being' idea then and still don't. Too much of a skeptic and a cynic.

    Parting thought: It's pretty funny to tell an Atheist they're going to Hell. ;)

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    1. Howdy, DEBBIE ~

      >>... It's not possible to be resentful of or angry towards something you don't believe exists

      I don't think you've caught the meaning that I've implied. I'm saying that down deep, the vast majority of self-professed atheists (perhaps even all of them) actually suspect there really is a Creator. But they're upset with Him about things He didn't do or things He allowed to happen to them or people they care / cared about.

      Some decided they'll get even with Him by denouncing His existence. Others take the tack that if a good God really existed, He would not have allowed the outcome that occurred, therefore -- based on their limited human understanding about how things OUGHT to work -- they decide there must not be a good God. Even though at their soul level, they still suspect there may indeed be a Creator.

      A lifetime of talking to people and analyzing situations has led me to this conclusion.

      The only person I've met whom I think MAY have been a genuine atheist was named Kurt. I had many in-depth conversations over the course of about 2 years with Kurt before he even revealed to me that he was an atheist. And when he did, it was only because it was necessary in order to continue our dialogue. (At the same time, Kurt seemed to have hated his mother and had a troubled family life in his youth, which MAY have also had something to do with his worldview.)

      >>... My parents were not religious and I did not grow up in any church. However, I was curious about religion at a young age and my parents let me explore...

      That's good. My Ma was a lapsed Catholic and my Pa was more into New Age teachings. We went to church on Easter Sundays and that was about it. My current religious beliefs did not really begin to develop until I had a very unexpected Spiritual experience at the age of 34 or 35. I really was not prepared and capable of wrapping my mind around these things at a young age.

      >.... you can have the same ethics without being religious.

      True. However, if there is no real foundation for them, they may not hold up through times of stressful dilemmas and when very inconvenient.

      There is also the question of the origin of one's underlying sense of right and wrong (this has been addressed by the brilliant C.S. Lewis), especially in light of the fact that a moral sense is in direct opposition to Evolutionary theories based on a survival-of-the-fittest, natural selection paradigm.

      >>... It's pretty funny to tell an Atheist they're going to Hell.

      I, of course, would never tell anyone they're destined for hell. That's not my jurisdiction and way above my pay grade. Nevertheless, I don't totally follow the logic of that statement. If I tell a guy he will die if he jumps off the Empire State building, it doesn't make me wrong simply because the guy may not believe in the law of gravity.

      Oh, well. Last night I had a dream: I walked into a gas station convenience store while the song 'GUT FEELING' by Devo was playing over and over in my mind like a torturous earworm. I bought a pale blue-green donut from Homer Simpson and wanted a cup of coffee to go with it. Homer said they were out of coffee and I replied, "I guess it'll have to be a cup of tea then. But I thought donuts and coffee were the standard combination."
      Homer Simpson said, "If you want to wait, I can make some coffee." But he seemed annoyed just by the thought of it.
      Me: "How long of a wait?"
      Homer: "Three minutes."
      Me: "What?"
      Homer: "THREE MINUTES!!"
      Me: "OK, I'll wait."
      So, three minutes later I left the convenience store with a cup of Folgers instant coffee and the donut, which I drove away in, as it was now a pale blue-green donut car.

      Rather than discussing religion, maybe we'd have better luck analyzing my dream together? Ha! I just jest. (...Although that really was a dream I had last night.)

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  3. "I don't think you've caught the meaning that I've implied. I'm saying that down deep, the vast majority of self-professed atheists (perhaps even all of them) actually suspect there really is a Creator. But they're upset with Him about things He didn't do or things He allowed to happen to them or people they care / cared about."
    I understood what you were saying and stand by my original comment. I too had a dysfunctional childhood but 'God' had nothing to do with that, because, in my opinion, there's no such being. My parents were solely responsible.

    "if there is no real foundation for them, they may not hold up through times of stressful dilemmas and when very inconvenient." I respectfully disagree. In 62 years of life, I've experienced plenty of stressful dilemmas and yet, consider myself a good and honest person. And that has absolutely nothing to do with religion.

    "I don't totally follow the logic of that statement." Gravity is a scientific fact. Hell is not.

    A pale, blue/green anything sounds gross. ☺ And instant coffee you have to pay for? Ick!

    People with two completely different and steadfast viewpoints are never going to change each other's minds, so yes, perhaps we should change the subject. I've met a few Christians who actually did condemn me to hell and even called me names, because I didn't buy what they were selling. Not very Christian of them! It does my heart good to know you're not like that. Thank you.

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    1. Part 1 Of 2:

      HiYa, DEBBIE! ~
      Very late with my reply. Too many irons in the fire and too many beers in the fridge.

      First, I want you to know that the overriding Truth of my life is Spiritual: my reAlationship with God and Christ. Therefore, you will find a great many reviews related to that posted on this blog in the future. I want you to know that I more than welcome you to comment on each and every one of them. I actually hope you will. But know that it will likely always go 'round and 'round like this discussion. Nevertheless, I don't mind if you don't mind. [;o)

      Since my '94 Baptism by The Holy Spirit, I am not just capable of discussing these things, but feel I've been commissioned to do so. (Although I am a "Maverick" Christian, I too am under the obligation of "The Great Commission". Although I try not to be too overbearing about it.)

      It's unfortunate that some Christians have called you names and condemned you to hell (as if they had the power to do so). I've known a lot of Christians who were their religion's own worst enemies, not really understanding The Scriptures and being the sort of people whom Christ Himself criticized. (Jesus said that not everyone who considers him "Lord" will necessarily be going to Heaven. You've likely encountered some of those people whom Jesus spoke of.) I've known Christians I would not care to hang out with, even if THEY offered to buy the beer! And to the contrary, many of the most wonderful people I've ever known were also Christians.

      As the saying goes: "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven."

      I am not stating that you could not necessarily maintain your moral / ethical positions under stressful dilemmas and when very inconvenient. But regardless, many can't and haven't. As Jesus said, one needs to build on a strong foundation in order to withstand the storms of life.

      >>... [I] "consider myself a good and honest person. And that has absolutely nothing to do with religion."

      And what's especially interesting is that even Jesus Christ Himself balked when someone called him good:

      Luke 18: 18-19
      Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
      So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God."


      Continued Below...

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    2. Part 2 Of 2:

      >>... "Gravity is a scientific fact. Hell is not."

      The bottom line is this: Either some Ultra-Super-Intelligent Force created everything we see, or everything came to exist and operates by purely accidental and fortunate evolutionary mutations. Those are the only two options.

      The latter proposition is completely, utterly untenable. It is quite literally -- literally -- mathematically impossible. (Yes, I've seen the math done many times.) As just one example, (Link:] the complexity of a single cell rules out any chance of life occurring by accident and then evolving via random mutations.

      ALL of the science and circumstantial evidence is on the side of God. And all of the Evolutionary "theories" have been foisted on the unsuspecting public by people engaged in personal warfare (whether consciously or subconsciously) with their Creator.

      Lyall Watson wrote in Science Digest: "The fossils that decorate our family tree are so scarce that there are still more scientists than specimens. The remarkable fact is that all the physical evidence we have for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a single coffin".

      And, in truth, Debbie, even THAT was an exaggeration. (See the 1,007-pages book 'SCIENCE VS. EVOLUTION' or 'SIGNATURE IN THE CELL', the 611-pages by Dr. Stephen Meyer, whom Richard Dawkins has repeatedly refused to debate.)

      Debbie, I have many other exceptional books I'd love to recommend to you should you ever decide to further examine the science and circumstantial evidence regarding this question.

      But in closing, I'll add that if all the evidence points to the God of The Bible (and it does), then hell is a fact. Even if I, as a Maverick Christian, would argue that hell is more of a state of mind than an actual "place".

      Bless And Be Blessed.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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