The Rise of the NONES
The rapid, unprecedented growth of the "nones" continues apace. The nonreligious are now larger than any single religious group in America, and they've become the majority in several states. See Article Here ... Read Article
Christian Apologists are UNCLEAR about the Swoon Theory
No Christian apologist has made a strong and solid case for the resurrection of Jesus. One reason for this is that no Christian apologist has made a strong and solid case AGAINST the Swoon Theory, which is one skeptical alternative to the Christian view that Jesus died on the cross, was buried in a stone tomb, and a couple of days later God raised Jesus from the dead. There are many different problems with the cases that Christian apologists have made against the Swoon Theory, but one of the key reasons why Christian apologists have consistently FAILED to make a strong and solid case against the Swoon Theory is that they are UNCLEAR about the concept. Christian apologists don't have a clear understanding of what the phrase "the Swoon Theory" means. As a result, they literally do not know what they are talking about when they talk about "the Swoon Theory". You cannot make a strong and solid case against a claim unless you first have a clear understanding of what that claim means. A KEY PROBLE ... Read Article
Habermas & Licona on the Swoon Theory
THE QUESTION AT ISSUE In their book The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (published in 2004), Gary Habermas and Michael Licona present three objections against the Swoon Theory, on pages 99 through 103. My Christian friend David Diaz, however, disagrees with the above claim: Habermas and Licona are NOT writing about the “Swoon Theory,” per se; they are writing about what they call the “Apparent Death Theory.” If Habermas and Licona believed that the Swoon Theory was dead, then they would have no need to challenge the “Swoon Theory,” per se. Indeed, this is why they didn’t. Recent comments by David Diaz on my post "21st Century Christian Apologists on the Swoon Theory – Part 4: Gary Habermas & Michael Licona" which was published on 1/26/2024 But it is OBVIOUS and VERY CLEAR, that Habermas and Licona ARE writing about the Swoon Theory and they ARE challenging the Swoon Theory on pages 99 through 103 of their book The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. I guess that wh ... Read Article
The Christ Myth Theory In Question
I'm doing an exchange with Richard Carrier on The Christ Myth Theory. Below are my general thoughts: I think mythicism misses the mark because it is so focused on what Jesus is supposed to have done as the ultimate blood magic death, it ignores what we did to Jesus.  The form of the gospels have caused some confusion because information about Jesus is attained by mining scripture.  However, this is what the DSS writers did with their Teacher of Righteousness, and so the haggadic midrash technique seems to be applied to historical people like John the Baptist as the new and grater Elijah.  Moreover, Plutarch’s preface to the Vitae Parallelae: Alexander et Caesar or Life of Alexander: For it is not histories we are writing (historias graphomen) but lives (Bious); it is not always the most famous deeds which illuminate a man’s virtues and vices (aretes e kakias ); often a clearer insight into a man’s character is revealed by a small detail, a remark, or a joke (pragma Braxu … re ... Read Article
21st Century Christian Apologists on the Swoon Theory – Part 4: Gary Habermas & Michael Licona
WHERE WE ARE I am in the process of reviewing objections to the Swoon Theory found in four books published by Christian apologists in the 21st century. I am trying to determine how many of these objections correspond to the nine objections against the Swoon Theory raised by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli in their Handbook of Christian Apologetics (published in 1994, hereafter: HCA) and how many of them are different objections than the objections presented in HCA. In this current post, I will examine objections to the Swoon Theory presented in The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona, which was published in 2004. THE CASE FOR THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS BY HABERMAS & LICONA Habermas and Licona only write about three pages on the Swoon Theory. The discussion starts with a couple of sentences at the bottom of page 99; there is a full page of text on page 100; there is less than half a page of text on page 101 (a diagram takes up mo ... Read Article
21st Century Christian Apologists on the Swoon Theory – Part 3: Sean & Josh McDowell
WHERE WE ARE I am in the process of reviewing objections to the Swoon Theory found in four books published by Christian apologists in the 21st century. I am trying to determine how many of these objections correspond to the nine objections against the Swoon Theory raised by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli in their Handbook of Christian Apologetics (published in 1994, hereafter: HCA) and how many of them are different objections than the objections presented in HCA. In Part 1 of this series, I showed that almost all of the objections to the Swoon Theory by William Craig in Reasonable Faith (3rd edition, published in 2008) correspond to objections to the Swoon Theory raised by Kreeft and Tacelli in HCA. There was one objection made by Craig that was not also presented in HCA. In Part 2 of this series, I showed that most of the objections to the Swoon Theory by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek in I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist (published in 2004) correspond to objections raised in HCA. Th ... Read Article
21st Century Christian Apologists on the Swoon Theory – Part 2: Norman Geisler & Frank Turek
WHERE WE ARE I have carefully analyzed and evaluated the nine objections that Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli present against the Swoon Theory in their Handbook of Christian Apologetics (hereafter: HCA), which was published in 1994. I have concluded that all nine objections FAIL because they are BAD ARGUMENTS. My Christian friend David Diaz suggested that I examine more recent critiques of the Swoon Theory, so I am looking at four books by Christian apologists that were published in the 21st century, and comparing the objections against the Swoon Theory in those books with the nine objections raised by Kreeft and Tacelli in HCA. I will determine how much of the more recent critiques use the same objections as Kreeft and Tacelli, and I will identify any other objections that were not made in HCA. In Part 1 of this series, I looked at the objections against the Swoon Theory in William Lane Craig's book Reasonable Faith (3rd edition), which was published in 2008. Almost all of Craig's objections cor ... Read Article
21st Century Christian Apologists on the Swoon Theory – Part 1: Willaim Lane Craig
My Christian friend David Diaz made this comment on one of my recent posts: Kreeft, now 86 years old, had a long and distinguished career but has been long removed from the cutting edge of apologetics. I would suggest that you acknowledge this when critiquing his brief treatment of the resurrection in his Handbook. I would love to see your critiques of more recent apologetic treatments of the resurrection that are more comprehensive and detailed. I have just taken a look at more recent (i.e. 21st century) discussions of the Swoon Theory (or Apparent Death Theory) by Josh McDowell, Norman Geisler, William Craig, and Gary Habermas: Evidence for the Resurrection by Josh and Sean McDowell, published in 2009. I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, published in 2004. Reasonable Faith by William Craig, 3rd edition, published in 2008. The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona, published in ... Read Article
Kreeft’s Case Against the Swoon Theory – Part 39: A Careful Analysis of Objection #8
WHERE WE ARE In Chapter 8 of their Handbook of Christian Apologetics (hereafter: HCA), Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli attempt to prove that God raised Jesus from the dead. Their case consists mainly of attempts to refute some skeptical theories about the alleged resurrection of Jesus. One of those skeptical theories is the Swoon Theory. Kreeft and Tacelli raise nine objections against the Swoon Theory in order to try to show that this skeptical theory is FALSE: However, in the previous 38 posts in this series, I have shown that eight of their nine objections against the Swoon Theory FAIL. If all nine of their objections FAIL, then their attempt to refute the Swoon Theory FAILS and that means that their case for the resurrection of Jesus also FAILS. At this point, the only hope for success of the case by Kreeft and Tacelli for the resurrection of Jesus is that Objection #8 (Where Did Jesus Go?) turns out to be a strong and solid objection against the Swoon Theory. Since all of the other o ... Read Article
Kreeft’s Case Against the Swoon Theory – Part 38: Evaluation of the Argument for Premise (1a)
WHERE WE ARE I am in the process of evaluating Objection #1 (The Deadliness of Roman Crucifixion) against the Swoon Theory. In Part 36 of this series, I provided a careful analysis of the argument constituting Objection #1. In Part 37 of this series, I did an initial evaluation of the key premise (1a), and gave good reasons for the view that (1a) is DUBIOUS, as well as a good reason for the view that (1a) is FALSE. Before we confidently conclude that the key premise (1a) is FALSE, we should examine the argument given in support of premise (1a), and that is what I will be doing in this current post. THE SUB-ARGUMENT FOR THE KEY PREMISE (1a) C. All Roman soldiers were highly motivated to make sure that they never let a capital prisoner escape, and that no person they crucified ever survived the crucifixion. 2a. Roman military procedures for crucifixion were very careful to eliminate the possibility of a person surviving crucifixion. THEREFORE: 6a. No Roman soldier ever bungled ... Read Article
Biblical Forgeries With Bart Ehrman
We will not be going over the old ground of what forgery is (an author falsely claiming to be a famous person) or how it was justified in the ancient world, even among writers who urge high ethical standards (!). We are instead interested in the startling scholarly claim that of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, only eight of them were probably written by the person to whom they are attributed. In some cases the attributions are made by later readers (the author of Mark does not claim to be Mark); but in many cases the authors themselves make the false claim (2 Peter claims to be written by Peter). We might understand how one or two books like this managed to get into the Christian New Testament. But nineteen? (Bart Ehrman) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYH1sUu_1Z8 ... Read Article
Trump the Messiah
More and more scrutiny is coming regarding the narrative that Trump is God's chosen one. Iowa Evangelical pastors condemn 'sickening' video portraying Trump as messianic figure. See HERE. Christian Site: Trump Is “God’s Chosen Instrument.” See HERE ... Read Article
Kreeft’s Case Against the Swoon Theory – Part 37: Initial Evaluation of Premise (1a)
THE FINAL INFERENCES IN OBJECTION #1 1a. Jesus could not have survived crucifixion by Roman soldiers. THEREFORE: B. Jesus did NOT survive crucifixion by Roman soldiers. THEREFORE: A. The Swoon Theory is false. EVALUATION OF THE FINAL INFERENCES IN OBJECTION #1 The logic of the final inferences in the argument constituting Objection #1 (The Deadliness of Roman Crucifixion) is fine. So, the only question at issue is whether premise (1a) is true. If Kreeft and Tacelli simply asserted or assumed that premise (1a) was true, then they would be guilty of the FALLACY OF BEGGING THE QUESTION because those who accept or defend the Swoon Theory believe that a person CAN survive crucifixion by Roman soldiers. Furthermore, the claim made by premise (1a) is NOT obviously true. Therefore, Kreeft and Tacelli must provide a strong and compelling argument for premise (1a) in order for this objection to be successful. If they have provided a weak or defective argument in support of ... Read Article
Penal Substitution Atonement (PSA)
This looks interesting. Spartan Theology shared he will be debating on the topic of PSA, which is one of my interests. I'll have to follow up on this. Here is his opening statement: ... Read Article
Kreeft’s Case Against the Swoon Theory – Part 36: A Careful Analysis of Objection #1
OBJECTION #1: THE DEADLINESS OF ROMAN CRUCIFIXION Objection #1 by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli against the Swoon Theory in their Handbook of Christian Apologetics (hereafter: HCA) does not rest on Gospel passages: Jesus could not have survived crucifixion. Roman procedures were very careful to eliminate that possibility. Roman law even laid the death penalty on any soldier who let a capital prisoner escape in any way, including bungling a crucifixion. It was never done.                (HCA, p.183) The Gospels do not specify “Roman procedures” for executions or crucifixions. The Gospels do not specify what punishment was given to Roman soldiers who let a capital prisoner escape or who bungle a crucifixion. The Gospels do not assert generalizations about the deadliness of Roman crucifixion or about how Roman crucifixion ALWAYS resulted in the death of a crucified person. None of Kreeft’s explicitly stated historical ... Read Article