Below is the MP3 of the KFUO radio broadcast on July 14th. My segment is the last one, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The topic is, broadly, ‘the uniqueness of Christianity.’
Category: Bible Reliability
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.
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.
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 …
I have already addressed this in several places- here, and here- so I won’t dwell on things much. Instead, I want to reflect on an article I just read regarding the Vatican participating in an astrobiology conference to discuss the question.
In my previous posts, I argued that if aliens appeared, they might fly in the face of current expectations that are drenched in an evolutionary (and atheistic) outlook. Namely, we may find that these intelligent agents believe in God. They may not, as Richard Dawkins smugly posits, inquire first as to whether not humans have ‘discovered’ evolution. Let us allow that it is a possibility… but they may also possibly have a concept of God and creation that is identical, in theological principle, to what we see in the Christian Scriptures. Naturally, they may have a belief system identical to other systems.
My point is that they may deviate a great deal from the common narrative of aliens either being hostile consumers of resources or super-intelligent, highly technological and benevolent agents that have transcended petty human foibles and myths. In this narrative, both sides assume not just evolution but atheistic presuppositions.
So ABC’s “V” was on again tonight. I enjoyed it. It lacked the same punch as the first episode but I still liked it. It seems a little hurried to me. Maybe there are too many commercials? I’ve seen other hour long shows that seemed to really carry a narrative so I know its possible. I can’t put my finger on it with “V” but it isn’t enough (yet) to push me away from future viewings.
In my previous post, I hoped that I would see some metaphysical conversation. Perhaps its too early in the series, but there wasn’t much in that regards. Ie, unlike the first episode, this one seemed to lack substance. It still got me thinking anyway. I will now outline some of those thoughts.
The visual effects are far superior to the previous incarnation of the series. Indeed, far superior to any show from the 80’s and earlier. The miracle of CGI!
But isn’t it interesting that we are able to recognize that just because the space ships we see hovering over American cities in this show, despite their incredible life like detail, are fictional? This uncanny ability (most) people have is interesting given our “Seeing is believing” society. There is a great deal on television, movie, and computer screens that appears to be absolutely real. Yet, we know it isn’t.
As of this writing, I am facilitating a course/discussion regarding the decline of Christianity in America. Someone made a point in the discussion that is similar to one I’ve made previously… but I can’t find where I made it so I’m making it anew. 🙂
The question begins with a look at the measured increase in self-identified ‘religious nones’ in America since around 1990. (This data can be found linked to here.) In 1990, some 8% of Americans identified themselves as having no religion. Today, that figure has doubled. In the meantime, there has been a drop in those identifying themselves as Christians, from about 86% to 76% of the nation’s population. Some back of the napkin calculation suggests that some 30,000,000 fewer people call themselves Christian than did in 1990 with a significant portion of these falling into the ‘religious none’ category.
However, of note, the number of outright atheists has seen only a moderate increase. Even many of the ‘religious nones’ say they believe something.