|March 16, 2010||Posted by Anthony under apologetics, atheism, Blog, Jesus|
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?
|March 11, 2010||Posted by Anthony under apologetics, Birth Pangs, Christianity and Culture, Jesus, Love, theology|
I fear that this post is going to be construed as sexist. Let me assure the reader that I love women. Some of my best friends are women. In fact, I’m even married to one (and she is not a pillow). People have noted that the female characters in my Birth Pangs series are really strong, independent ladies. But I think I’m still going to be called a sexist.
I had the misfortune to see the movie Twilight this weekend with my wife. I had heard that it was a chick flick. That’s not the misfortunate part. The misfortune consisted in it being, in my estimation, a poorly made movie. Maybe the book is better. It wasn’t a surprise exactly but after the movie was over I asked my wife what she thought and she liked the movie. I asked why and she said something to the effect of the guy showing complete and utter devotion to the girl in the show.
|February 15, 2010||Posted by Anthony under apologetics, atheism, Blog, General, Jesus, pro-life|
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?
|January 23, 2010||Posted by Anthony under apologetics, atheism, Bible Reliability, Blog, General, Jesus, Secular Humanism, theism, theology|
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 […]
|December 29, 2009||Posted by Anthony under Blog, Christianity and Culture, Jesus|
We don’t teach our kids that Santa Claus is ‘real’ but that doesn’t mean I find the idea horrid. See this post for my reasons for not raising my kids to ‘believe in Santa Claus’ and the ironical result that the oldest boy nonetheless… believes in Santa Claus.
Apart from the discussion linked above, this morning I was reminded of another element of the modern day Santa Claus phenom I don’t like.
We celebrated Christmas today as a family because we were traveling over the holiday. In the morning, my oldest- whom I just said believes in Santa despite our efforts- sized up the presents and counted the ones ‘from Santa.’ Some are listed as being from Santa just for his sake.
|November 18, 2009||Posted by Anthony under atheism, Blog, Christianity and Culture, End Times, evolution, General, intelligent design, Jesus, science, scientism, Secular Humanism, theology|
The beginning of the episode starts off with a Catholic priest taking confession from one person after another that has been knocked around a bit by the implications of the arrival of Visitors from space. Their faith has been rattled, for example. Or, they are impressed by the ‘miracle cures’ that the Visitors are able to perform. I have already touched on this in my two previous posts but I’d like to approach it again from a different angle.
Is it really the case that space Visitors will serve as a stumbling block to faith in God? I contend that we cannot actually know that until they arrive (if they exist and if they come) and that our speculations in the meantime are inferences from what we already believe about reality.
In light of the Visitor’s ability to perform miracle cures, I would like to reflect on a quote common in atheistic thought (If I recall correctly, even Dawkins cites it in his Delusion). Arthur Clark said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
This sort of feeds into chronological snobbery of our modern age (and perhaps some past ages) which tries to dismiss the views and experiences of those in the past as being from an “ignorant gaggle of Bronze age fishermen and peripatetic, militant, marauding, murdering, genocidal goat-herders.”
|November 10, 2009||Posted by Anthony under atheism, Bible Reliability, Blog, evolution, General, intelligent design, Jesus, movie reviews, philosophy, scientism, theology|
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.
|November 19, 2006||Posted by Anthony under atheism, Blog, Christianity and Culture, evolution, General, Jesus, manhood, morality, movie reviews, philosophy, Secular Humanism|
In the end, Shaun gets the girl, but it isn’t Shaun the wuss panzy. It’s Shaun that has gone through the trial by ordeal- and for that matter, the girl has discovered that being a girl does not mean being ‘soft’ either. I am convinced that Christianity contains the best explanation for all of this and why even though I abhor horror movies and blood and guts, I feel compelled to suggest this movie.