Category: atheism

Essay published on Apologetics315.com on Christianity and the nature of Judaism

Apologetics315 is publishing an essay series on the veracity of Christianity. I was asked to contribute an essay. That essay was published today. You should take some time to check out the other essays, too.

Much ink has been spilled in defense of the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus, and I myself have spilled my fair share. Similarly, the stunning explosion of the Christian Church within the Roman Empire has been raised as a phenomenon that requires explanation and a dead man rising from the dead is the best one. These efforts are valid, but their weight cannot be appreciated without first knowing the context behind the arguments. We must understand the Jewish people, their history and religion.

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Comparing Apples to Oranges Without Even Knowing it

To begin with, Mr. Pulliam, the blogger, says, “even if the gospels do record eyewitness testimony, that is no guarantee of their accuracy.” Responding to a book on the subject, Mr. Pulliam says, “Bauckham maintains that the gospels are reliable history because the accounts contained in them are either from eyewitness testimonies or very close to eyewitness testimonies.”

If Bauckham really presents his argument in this fashion it will be the first that I’ve heard it that way. I would think that it is pretty foolish to infer that simply because the gospels are (or are derived from) eyewitness testimonies that makes them reliable. That would be pretty dumb. Eyewitness testimony needs to be checked out, just like we need to check out the information that comes to us by any other epistemological method.

Who has suggested otherwise? Bauckham? On Mr. Pulliam’s telling… but given the weakness of eyewitness testimony which Mr. Pulliam putatively has proven- Mr. Pulliam’s recounting of Bauckham’s position cannot be simply trusted since this recounting is, of course, eyewitness testimony: Mr. Pulliam’s.

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post on apologetics careers made public

A few years ago I published a post contending that the Church needs to create apologetics positions within congregations, but kept the post private and pass word protected.  It was originally intended to be read by a narrow audience, so keep that in mind as you read it.  You can read it here.

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My Letters from Antony Flew About “There is a God.”

In this post find published letters from Antony Flew to Christian apologist Anthony Horvath that bear on the question of whether or not Flew’s book “There is a God” accurately reflects Flew’s views.

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Antony Flew dies…

Anthony Flew, once a prominent atheist, dies at 87 LONDON — Antony Flew, an academic philosopher who expounded atheism for most of his life but made a late conversion to belief in a creator, has died at age 87, his family said in a notice published Wednesday. Flew died on April 8 following a long […]

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How to smell out a bad faith debater and recognize a good faith one

This is a work in progress and will be updated as necessary. I’ve been arguing with people my whole life.  Ask my family.  I’ve been debating apologetics issues since the Internet appeared and have a lot of experience with it.  Over the last couple of years, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is not […]

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Methodological Naturalism, Falsifiability, and Evolution: A Challenge

# In order for something to be considered robust science, it needs to be falsifiable.
# Modern evolutionary theory is usually presented so that it entails unintelligent operations.
# To falsify the claim that something is driven by unintelligent forces one would have to show how intelligent forces were at work.
# Evolutionary apologists insist (with heapings of derision) that such a showing is outside the bounds of science.
# But if showing design is outside the bounds of science than there is no reliable and objective way to conclude scientifically that something is not designed.
# Therefore, macroevolutionary theory cannot be scientifically falsified at the point that it is the result of unguided natural processes since they reject as unscientific the very things that could falsify it.

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The Culture War is Over and We Lost? So… guerrilla warfare…

Something I’ve been pondering for awhile is this: Is the culture war over? And did we lose it?

I part company with those who seek to Christianize the culture as though this in itself is a noble goal. It seems to me that this would in effect merely make our culture a ‘white washed tomb.’ More important than the culture are the people within it and their state of mind and eternal fates. Nonetheless, people are strongly influenced by the culture at large whether they know it or not or admit it or not. An unfriendly culture will make it harder for people to receive the Gospel.

I believe that. To an extent. I note, however, that the Christian Church itself exploded into existence within a culture that was not yet, by virtue of the fact that there wasn’t a pervasive Christianity to Christianize, Christian.

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Messiah Claimants Throughout History

A long time ago I engaged in some online debates attempting to demonstrate that Jesus was the Messiah. My opponents were atheists and a Noachide- in other words, I was fighting off both sides. Sad to say, I had to turn my attention elsewhere and the thread dropped. Here is the original conversation.

I mention this for two reasons. First of all, I wanted to attack the prevailing sentiment that Messiahs are a dime a dozen and that religions derived from them are plentiful- thus, Christianity is nothing special. The truth, however, is that 99% of all messianic movements were brutally crushed… even Jesus was crushed, and yet he, and only he, gave rise to an entirely new religion with billions of followers. Odd. It requires explanation.

The second thing that I wanted to demonstrate was that there was at the time of Jesus an intense expectation for a Messiah. There had to be a reason for this. The reason I propose as the best explanation is that the first century Jews interpreted the Old Testament in such a way as to believe that the Messiah was to be expected ‘soon.’ Jews today reject these interpretations today, but surely what matters is what they believed then?

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Video rebuts charge Hitler was a Christian in under three minutes

ACM intern Abby put together this video on behalf of Joseph Keysor’s “Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Bible” that effectively shuts down the argument that Hitler was a Christian by a simple little piece of logic. Learn more and see how you can win up to $300 and a free copy of the book by […]

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On Free Will, Fair Trials, and the Problem of Evil

Here is the part of Mark’s argument where I saw a parallel: the KSM trial won’t be a ‘show trial’ because the outcome isn’t rigged. I retorted that there was no doubt in my mind that if KSM was declared innocent, whether on the merits of the case or because of a technicality, there was no way that KSM wouldn’t end up in custody again, which is in effect an unfair trial under the constitution, for if a person is declared innocent under the constitution, he is free to go. Mark replied that what happens after the trial is irrelevant to the fairness of the trial.

I will leave aside other aspects of the conversation which you can read for yourself.

I find this to be an interesting argument that seems to be the same argument that many atheists appear to be running with when they decide that it is likely that God doesn’t exist because a loving, omnipotent and omniscient God wouldn’t allow such horrible evils to occur.

What is the alternative? Let us imagine that every time someone did an evil thing, God swooped in and prevented it. If this happened, would we imagine that that person really had free will?

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The Epistemological Bottleneck And God’s Respect for Human Inquiry

One of the enduring criticisms against Christianity is that it is anti-knowledge, education, and learning.  This blog has taken aim at this criticism before, most notably taking Richard Dawkins to task for his misuse of an Augustine quote ostensibly about ‘curiosity.’  I currently have an open challenge to Dawkins to repudiate his use of that […]

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Planned Parenthood And Their Hypocritical Concern for Haiti

So what? They are sick. Who cares? Well, while it probably turns the stomach of the average American to think that what Haiti really needs now is abortion technology and won’t pay a dime to support Planned Parenthood’s operations, in fact the average American is already responsible for doing just that: they elected Barack Obama, who, in one of his first acts as new president, restored United States funding of the UNFPA. Moreover, our tax dollars support Planned Parenthood.

It is a bizarre irony that generous Americans are working so hard to help the people of Haiti and suffering people all over the globe while at the same time the American government is working hard to fund organizations that believe that it is better for us all if there were fewer of these people to begin with.

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The Silence of the Wolves: Atheists Turn Docile in Face of the Facts

Richard Dawkins, Richard Carrier, Dan Barker, Austin Cline. I add this to cap off the general lesson that I would like to draw here, as the four names I have listed here are prominent atheistic spokespersons: atheists are not the vanguards of reason that they would like us to believe they are; they make mistakes just like everyone else, and no one should think that they are above being too proud to admit it when they are. These examples I have given are minor in the grand scheme of things but I submit that they illustrate why no one should ever defer thinking to anyone else, regardless of how smart they insist they are, how many degrees they have, how high their IQ is, or even if they currently represent the consensus position on a topic, be it evolution, global warming, climate change, etc, etc, etc, etc.

The intellectual elite which I have called out in this post answer to a higher standard and I hope that this post will elicit some acknowledgment that their arguments are not always as rock solid as they suggest. I predict quite the opposite, so again: remember in your skepticism to be skeptical too of the skeptics.

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