Swinburne’s Teleological Argument from Spatial Order

In Chapter 8 of The Existence of God, 2nd edition (hereafter: EOG), Richard Swinburne defends two teleological arguments for the existence of God.  The first one he calls the Teleological Argument from Temporal Order (TATO).  The factual premise of TATO is that a universe governed by simple natural laws exists.  The second argument he calls the Teleological Argument from Spatial Order (TASO).  The factual premise of TASO is that a universe (governed by simple natural … [Read more...]

Checklist: Evaluating Claims about Jesus – Part 6

This post will briefly discuss the two final tests of "eyewitness evidence" (or rather, tests of the historical reliability and trustworthiness of the Gospel accounts) from The Case for Christ (CFC) by Lee Strobel.7. THE CORROBORATION TESTI introduced this next test by asking Blomberg, "When the gospels mention people, places, and events, do they check out to be correct in cases in which they can be independently verified?"  Often such corroboration is invaluable in assessing whether a … [Read more...]

Checklist: Evaluating Claims about Jesus – Part 5

In the Chapter 2 of The Case for Christ (hereafter CFC), Lee Stobel puts forward eight tests for determining the credibility and reliability of the Gospels.  I briefly discussed four of those tests in Part 3 of this series.  In this post I briefly discuss two more of  the tests.5. THE BIAS TESTThis test analyzes whether the Gospel writers had any biases that would have colored their work.  Did they have any vested interest in skewing the material they were reporting on? (CFC, … [Read more...]

Checklist: Evaluating Claims about Jesus – Part 4

A reader comment (by 'downtown dave') on Part 3 of this series suggests that I take a look at Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ (hereafter: CFC).  I don't find Strobel's case to be persuasive, but the criteria for evaluation of the Gospels that he puts forward in Chapter 2  ("Testing the Eyewitness Evidence" ) seem reasonable and helpful, even if the eight tests he outlines fall short of being a comprehensive list of criteria for evaluation of historical claims about Jesus. … [Read more...]

Argument Against the Resurrection of Jesus – Part 23

In Joseph "Rick" Reinckens's webpage A Lawyer Examines the Swoon Theory we get a short snippet from Origen that allegedly confirms a Roman practice of stabbing victims of crucifixion with a spear: In his Commentary on Matthew, Origen, one of the early Church Fathers, says the lance thrust to Jesus was administered "according to Roman custom, below the armpit."  (See Humber, Thomas.  The Sacred Shroud. New York, Pocket Books, 1977)Neither Reinckens nor Humber give us … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Case for God – Part 5

The first phase of Swinburne's case for God is in his book The Coherence of Theism, where he argues that the sentence 'God exists' is a meaningful declarative sentence that makes a coherent statement.  The middle section of this book covers his concept of a 'contingent' God, which is basically the God of traditional theism minus the problematic belief that God is a necessary being.I won't try to give a blow-by-blow account of these important chapters, but will give a general description of … [Read more...]

Checklist: Evaluating Claims about Jesus – Part 3

This is an excerpt from Part 17 of my Argument Against the Resurrection of Jesus posts:=================================Doubting the Doubting Thomas StoryWhy doubt the Doubting Thomas story? There are three different kinds of considerations that support a skeptical view of the Doubting Thomas story.1. General Problems with the Gospels – including the Fourth Gospela. It was written by a Christian believer with the purpose of promoting Christian beliefs.b. It was probably not … [Read more...]

Checklist: Evaluating Claims about Jesus – Part 2

This is an excerpt from Part 17 of my Argument Against the Resurrection of Jesus posts:=================================Doubting the Doubting Thomas StoryWhy doubt the Doubting Thomas story? There are three different kinds of considerations that support a skeptical view of the Doubting Thomas story.1. General Problems with the Gospels – including the Fourth Gospela. It was written by a Christian believer with the purpose of promoting Christian beliefs.b. It was probably not written … [Read more...]


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