Kreeft’s Case Against the Swoon Theory – Part 12: Evaluation of Premise (C)
WHERE WE ARE In Part 8 of this series, I presented a careful analysis of Peter Kreeft's Objection #4 against the Swoon Theory. In Part 9 of this series, I argued that the key premise (1b) in Objection #4 is supported by an argument consisting of two FALSE premises: premise (B) and premise (3b). Thus, the key premise (1b) is DUBIOUS and might well be FALSE. In Part 10 of this series, I argued that even if we assume the burial account in the Gospel of John to be historical and accurate, the strongest claim it can support is this: 1g. On Friday evening, after Jesus’ body was removed from the cross, it was totally encased in winding sheets (that included between 11 pounds and 90 pounds of spices and a gummy substance). This historical claim is too weak to provide a strong objection against the Swoon Theory. Thus, the argument given by Kreeft and Tacelli for the key premise (1b) FAILS, and in order to repair the argument by replacing one of the false premises of the argument, p ... Read Article
Jack Chick’s “This Was Your Life!”
A believer left a Jack Chick "This Was Your Life" tract in my mailbox. If you ever need proof that we are dealing with the intellectual and emotional level of a child: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQQ-fFdUd34&t ... Read Article
Former Secular Activist AYAAN HIRSI ALI Is Now A Christian
"Yet I would not be truthful if I attributed my embrace of Christianity solely to the realisation that atheism is too weak and divisive a doctrine to fortify us against our menacing foes. I have also turned to Christianity because I ultimately found life without any spiritual solace unendurable — indeed very nearly self-destructive. Atheism failed to answer a simple question: what is the meaning and purpose of life?" See full article here Of course, if you like the Christian worldview but don't believe the supernatural stuff, it's not necessarily an either/or. A secular activist may follow Nietzsche's vision of "Caesar with the soul of Christ." Jesus did not find meaning but bestowed it, transfiguring widow, orphan, stranger and enemy to be lovable. This is the opposite of the Greek ideal of questing for purpose ... Read Article
The Difficulty In Determining How Many People Are Non Religious
One role that I take very seriously is the “numbers guy.” Reporters will email or set up a call with me and ask a lot of factual questions about the share of Americans who are evangelical or non-religious or attend services weekly and they expect that I have the answer. And, I do have AN answer. I don’t have THE answer. Because this is not hard science. We know that when water gets below 32 degrees, it freezes. We just don’t have objective metrics like that in my world. See the article here ... Read Article
Ed’s New Interview with Robert M Price
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4OcLuPR-qU ... Read Article
Two Upcoming Books To Look Out For
At the end of the month, the brand new Society of Biblical Literature study bible in the NRSVUE translation is coming out: In March, Bart Ehrman's new book on Armageddon is coming out: These two volumes are must-haves for anyone interested in the secular critique of religion! ... Read Article
Don’t Like The Vote? Ignore It
Last night was a big win for reproductive rights in Ohio, so of course some Christian Nationalists are urging the Ohio government to ignore the results: ... Read Article
New Polls Have Trump Ahead Of Biden
"According to a breaking New York Times poll, if the election was held today, Donald Trump would win over 300 electoral votes. And a CBS poll has Trump +3 points over Biden. Trump is currently leading in nearly every swing state (Benny Johnson) see: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/05/us/politics/biden-trump-2024-poll.html ... Read Article
The Historical Unreliability of Matthew – Part 4: The Rest of the Birth Story
WHERE WE ARE Most of the stories about Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew were borrowed from the earlier Gospel of Mark. In Part 1 of this series, I provided some general reasons why we should doubt the historical reliability of any changes or additions to the stories about Jesus made by the author of the Gospel of Matthew to the stories about Jesus that came from the Gospel of Mark. One of the biggest and most obvious additions by the author of the Gospel of Matthew to the stories about Jesus from the Gospel of Mark is the addition of the birth story of Jesus, constituting the first two chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. There is no birth story of Jesus at all in the Gospel of Mark. So, if the birth story in the Gospel of Matthew is historically dubious, then that would give us good reason to doubt the historical reliability of any other additions or changes to the stories about Jesus that the author of the ... Read Article
(2/2) Current Events: The Richard Carrier Controversy
So, last time I pointed out Carrier's spicy blog post that religious studies scholars are simply not fact-checking evidence for the existence of Jesus, because if they did more people would agree with Carrier's mythicism. Again, here is Carrier's post: https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/25689 Two of Carrier's peers, Dr. James McGrath and Dr. Kipp Davis have posted a response video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWjdbrm4EHA ... Read Article
(Speaker 6) New Insights Into The New Testament: The Gospels In Review (CONFERENCE)
Robyn Faith Walsh spoke next, and raised the issue that the gospel writers were not literate spokesmen for their faith communities, but highly educated Greek speaking Christians working within a network of writers, as was the practice in the ancient world. Given this, if there are sophisticated Greek literary allusions in the gospels, how does this affect historical claims about Jesus? ... Read Article
New GOP Speaker Mike Johnson
CNN KFILE: GOP House speaker Mike Johnson once wrote in support of the criminalization of gay sex, calling it a "dangerous lifestyle" Get to know the new GOP speaker Mike Johnson, because being a superstitious fundamentalist Christian is still viewed as conducive to wise leadership: James Michael Johnson (born January 30, 1972) is an American politician who is the 56th and current speaker of the United States House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party, Johnson is currently in his fourth term representing Louisiana's 4th congressional district, first being elected in 2016. Johnson is a graduate of Louisiana State University and of Louisiana State's Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Before entering politics, he worked as an attorney in private practice; worked for the conservative Christian legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom; and founded Freedom Guard, a nonprofit legal ministry designed to represent Christian clients in lawsuits. Johnson was a member of the Louisiana House of ... Read Article
The Historical Unreliability of Matthew – Part 3: The Visit of the Magi
WHERE WE ARE Most of the stories about Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew were borrowed from the earlier Gospel of Mark. In Part 1 of this series, I provided some general reasons why we should doubt the historical reliability of any changes or additions to the stories about Jesus made by the author of the Gospel of Matthew to the stories about Jesus that came from the Gospel of Mark. One of the biggest and most obvious additions by the author of the Gospel of Matthew to the stories about Jesus from the Gospel of Mark is the addition of the birth story of Jesus, constituting the first two chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. There is no birth story of Jesus at all in the Gospel of Mark. So, if the birth story in the Gospel of Matthew is historically dubious, then that would give us good reason to doubt the historical reliability of any other additions or changes to the stories about Jesus that the author of the Gospel of Matthew makes to the stories about Jesus borrowed from the Gospel of Mark. In Part ... Read Article
(Speaker 5) New Insights Into The New Testament: The Gospels In Review (CONFERENCE)
Jodi Magness talked about the archaeology evidence from Jesus' day. In some ways, the archaeological record contradicts the biblical record. The archaeological evidence contradicts the biblical record of the walls of Jericho falling down, for instance. If temples always had a commercial areas, why would Jesus have gotten so mad? Magness says perhaps Jesus was mad the temple tax increased, but this is a very debated passage because the text doesn't point in this direction. ... Read Article
(Speaker 4) New Insights Into The New Testament: The Gospels In Review (CONFERENCE)
Mark Goodacre was the next presenter and he raises the issue of the empty tomb. Interestingly, the idea of an empty tomb doesn't fit with what we know of burial practices at that time. All the tombs that have been unearthed from that area and period were communal tombs, and so for instance our earliest narrative account of Jesus in Mark doesn't say the tomb was empty. So, historically, if Jesus' body was discovered missing, there would have still been a lot going on in the tomb. The "empty tomb" is not a term that can be found in the New Testament! The first use of the term is late fourth century by John Crysostom. If this topic interests you, I encourage you to see the replay of Dr. Goodacre's presentation to hear how this relates to the resurrection accounts. ... Read Article