More Than the Sum of Our Senses

I'm still reading Timothy Keller's book. He's very much a fan of presuppositional apologetics, like this one in which he argues that an intelligent being that came about through evolution wouldn't be able to trust its own reasoning abilities:Evolutionists say that if God makes sense to us, it is not because he is really there, it's only because that belief helped us survive and so we are hardwired for it. However, if we can't trust our belief-forming faculties to tell us the truth about … [Read more...]

The Untrustworthiness of Inherited Beliefs

I read apologetics books every so often just to keep in practice, and this week I'm tackling Timothy Keller's The Reason for God. So far, I'm supremely unimpressed: it's mostly just reheated C.S. Lewis leftovers (seriously, his answer to almost every question is a quote of Lewis), spiced with that old apologist standby, blatant dishonesty (e.g., he writes that medieval slavery only occurred "over strenuous papal opposition").I did see one argument that I don't think I've addressed before, so … [Read more...]

Human Love and Divine Hiddenness


Back in June, I felt compelled to respond to a blog post by one of my Patheos colleagues, Bad Catholic, offering an apologetic for the argument from divine hiddenness:God is love. What merit is it to know of God's existence as a man knows the existence of his right foot? God doesn't want our observation, nor our pitiful attempts to "prove" his existence — he wants our love.This is one of the most obviously question-begging arguments out there. As I wrote in "One More Burning Bush", i … [Read more...]

The Compliment of Taking Religion Seriously


Tanya M. Luhrmann, an anthropology professor at Stanford, wrote an op-ed last month titled "Belief Is the Least Part of Faith", arguing that belief in the supernatural doesn't play the pivotal role in religion that secularists think it does. This, she claims, makes philosophical debates about God's existence largely irrelevant. (Unmentioned in the piece, Luhrmann has been a beneficiary of the Templeton Foundation, which explains a lot.)Why do people believe in God? What is our evidence … [Read more...]

The Biggest Challenges to Staying Christian


On Patheos' evangelical Christian channel, Peter Enns has been soliciting comments from his readers about what the greatest challenges are to remaining Christian. He got hundreds of responses, and he's compiled a list of five common themes in the answers:1. The Bible, namely inerrancy. This was the most commonly cited challenge, whether implicitly or explicitly, and it lay behind most of the others mentioned. The pressure many of you expressed was the expectation of holding specifically … [Read more...]

My Interview on the Jesse Lee Peterson Show


Earlier today, I was on a radio show hosted by Jesse Lee Peterson, an ultra-right-wing black conservative minister who's defended slavery and advocated an end to women's suffrage. We talked about how I became an atheist, my book, and my petition to advance feminism and diversity in the atheist community. You'd better believe it was a lively hour! If you didn't get the chance to listen live, you can hear an archived version through iTunes … [Read more...]

The Menace of Hipster Atheists


Over on One News Now, Peter Heck is very concerned, in a column entitled "As Atheism Rises, America Declines". Like the Catholic apologists I wrote about earlier this week, Heck has noticed that atheists are making demographic gains - but his diagnosis of the cause leaves something to be desired:A prosperous society built upon the back of the very values espoused in the Judeo-Christian worldview inevitably yields to satisfaction, complacency and arrogance - the belief that our material … [Read more...]

Rebutting Reasonable Faith: The Evangelical Conspiracy Theory

In "The Aura of Infallibility", I mentioned William Lane Craig's belief in something he calls the "self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit", which he considers to be the most persuasive, crowning argument for Christianity. Basically, all it boils down to is that Craig has a really strong feeling that Christianity is true, and he believes that that feeling should be privileged above any and all evidence.As Craig himself puts it, in question #136:For not only should I continue to have … [Read more...]

The Mormon Test

This is a guest post by Leah of Unequally Yoked.  Adam is on vacation.When in argument with Christians, it can be hard to find a good way to explain why you doubt their precepts.  John Loftus has a good idea with his Outsider's Test for Faith, but most Christians believe that their faith can pass the test; it's hard to show them how their faith looks if you haven't been steeped in it.Sometimes I've tried comparing and contrasting with other, conflicting denominations and asking why I should f … [Read more...]

The Language of God: Truth Seekers

The Language of God, Chapter 11By B.J. Marshall Aside from summarizing the points he's made in previous chapters, Collins uses this final chapter as his last chance to be a Christian apologist, but he surprisingly leaves the door open for other options.First, I feel compelled to highlight Collins' honesty. He states that, after twenty eight years as a believer, "the Moral Law still stands out for me as the strongest signpost to God" (p.218). I appreciate the candor because it's sometimes … [Read more...]