Debate: The Evidence for Jesus from the Talmud – Wrap-Up Comments

I summarized Joe Hinman's argument from the external evidence of the Talmud this way:1. There are MANY references to Jesus in the Talmud that were censored but that were preserved in some texts. 2. There are A FEW references to Jesus in the Talmud that were not censored. 3. ALL of the references to Jesus in the Talmud speak of Jesus in a way that assumes or implies that Jesus was a flesh‐and‐blood historical figure. 4. IF (1), (2), and (3) are true, THEN the external evidence from the Talm … [Read more...]

Worldviews as Problem-Solving Proposals

Can a worldview be true (or false)?  I have been thinking of a worldview as a set of basic assumptions that contitute a philosophy of life, or a logical structure that approximates a philosophy of life.  On this conception of a worldview, it seems that a worldview is the kind of thing that could be true (or false).However, I have also been thinking, for many years, that worldviews can be understood in terms of problem solving, especially as analogous to problem solving for medical issues.   … [Read more...]

Is Christianity True?

As indicated in a previous post,  for the next four or five years I plan to focus on the question:Is Christianity true?I plan to do most of my Christianity-centered posts on my old Cross Examination blog site, where I have set up the initial logical structure of interconnected blog posts (including a number that only have titles and no content):https://crossexamination.blogspot.com/For the question "Does God exist?"  I will do most of the posts here at The Secular Outpost and wi … [Read more...]

Quibbling over Semantics While Missing the Point

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm a linguistic relativist. I don't think words have objective meanings. I think the meaning of words is relative to time and place. So when I encounter someone who is adamant about defining a word in a different way than I do, I just shrug my shoulders. I'm much more interested in the concepts represented by certain labels than the labels themselves.I recently discovered (or re-discovered) an exchange on this site in which a Christian apologist … [Read more...]

The VICTIMs of Christian Apologetics

My latest video, "The VICTIMs of Christian Apologetics: The Things Apologists Falsely Say Depend on God, But, if God Exists, God Depends on Them," is now available on YouTube. It is a narration of some of the many hundreds of PowerPoint slides I created in preparation for my recent debate with Frank Turek on naturalism vs. theism.This video presentation is a (roughly) 2 hour 30 minute critique of Frank Turek's latest book, Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case. T … [Read more...]

One Christianity or Many Christianities?

I know this is a controversial topic for the people who frequently comment on blog posts here at The Secular Outpost, and my view seems to be the minority view.  Perhaps I am the only person in this crowd who thinks that there is some hope of being able to define "Christianity" in a way that is both reasonable and that is specific enough to allow for an answer to the question "Is Christianity true?"Most of you, I believe, think that there is not just ONE Christianity, but that there are MANY … [Read more...]

My Twelve-Year Plan

In October of 2013, I came up with the idea of a Ten-Year plan to write a four-volume critique of Christianity: Plan for a Multi-Volume Critique of Christianity Some of my posts here at the Secular Outpost have been closely related to the Ten-Year plan and the topics it will cover.In January of this year, I did a short post outlining the high-level logic of my critique of Christianity:Ten-Year Plan: Revised ScopeI thought this plan was a bit ambitious, but I am now considering an … [Read more...]

My Debate with Dr. Frank Turek

Last night I had the privilege of debating the question, "What Best Explains Reality? Naturalism or Theism?", at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas before an estimated crowd of approximately 900 people. Although the breakdown of Christians and atheists was probably 898:2, I truly felt like the audience was respectful. In fact, after the debate, several Christians came up to me and said some version of, "I think you were very brave to defend atheism in Topeka." I explained that I didn't feel … [Read more...]