My 1998 Article: William Lane Craig: Christian Theism’s Hired Gun

flew-craig

On April 3, 1998, Christian philosopher William Lane Craig debated Oxford chemist Peter W. Atkins (pictured at right) on the existence of God at the chapel of the Carter Presidential Center in Craig's hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. According to one of the Christian organizers of the event, former President Carter had shown interest in introducing the debaters, but was out of the country at the time. William F. Buckley, Jr., of "Firing Line" fame, served as the moderator.The Craig-Atkins … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 9

MJH - Source Matrix

The current version of the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis (MJH) has five parts:======================= There was a flesh-and-blood person who was… 1A. named Yeshu’a, and 2A. an adherent of Judaism, and a male descendant of the Hebrew people, and 3A. living in Palestine as an adult (in his twenties and/or thirties) in the 20s C.E., and 4A. known to be a preacher and teacher of religious beliefs and moral values, and 5B. crucified in Jerusalem by the Romans around 30 C.E. (between 28 and 33 C. … [Read more...]

Coyne Declines Craig’s Debate Invitation; Craig Declines Mine

I contacted William Lane Craig a few days ago to see if he was open to scheduling a a debate in 2014. He declined, on the grounds that he is really scaling back his speaking engagements so that he can focus on his book about God and abstract objects, part of which will be delivered as a series of lectures in 2015.Apparently, however, he is not completely withdrawing from the debate circuit. Jerry Coyne just declined an invitation to debate Craig.Since a Craig-Coyne debate isn't going to … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 2

Although there is an extensive discussion of the meaning of the claim 'God is a necessary being' by Richard Swinburne in his bookThe Coherence of Theism (revised edition, hereafter: COT), the main passages that I'm interested in understanding are found in a shorter and more popular book: Is There a God? (hereafter: ITAG), also by Swinburne.In COT, Swinburne specifies two implications of the claim that 'God is a necessary being':However, most theists, and certainly most theologians, have … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 8

In Did Jesus Exist?(hereafter: DJE) Bart Ehrman argues for something like the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis (MJH), which I have clarified and tweaked a bit to get to this formulation:======================= There was a flesh-and-blood person who was... 1A. named Yeshu'a, and 2A. an adherent of Judaism, and a male descendant of the Hebrew people, and 3A. living in Palestine as an adult (in his twenties and/or thirties) in the 20s C.E., and 4A. known to be a preacher and teacher of religious … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 1

In his book The Coherence of Theism (Revised edition, hereafter: COT), Swinburne defends the claim that the sentence 'God exists' makes a coherent statement.In Part II of COT, Swinburne defends the coherence of the concept of "a contingent God", which is basically the traditional concept of God minus the attribute of 'necessary being'. In Part III, Swinburne analyzes, clarifies, and defines the attribute 'necessary being', but he concludes that when this attribute is added back into the … [Read more...]

On Generalizing about the Other Side’s Dishonesty and Ignorance

Randal Rauser and Chriss Halquist have been exchanging a series of posts about the alleged dishonesty and igorance of apologists. (See Randal's latest post here.)If Randal's post is an accurate summary of the exchange with Hallquist--and I have no reason to doubt that it is--then my technical judgment of this exchange can be summed up in one word: "ouch." With all due respect to Christ, Randal's post seems to be a very solid critique.So What? Why This MattersThe … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 7

For the following discussion of the chronology of Jesus' ministry, I'm drawing upon the evidence and reasoning and conclusions presented by John P. Meier in his book A Marginal Jew, Volume 1: The Roots of the Problem and the Person, Chapter 11 "'In the Fifteenth Year'...A Chronology of Jesus' Life" (hereafter: AMJv1).Jesus was crucified sometime during the rule of Pilate over Judea:The Four Gospels (and various streams of earlier traditions within them), the Acts of the Apostles, … [Read more...]


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