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...]

Skepticism and Conjunctions

Belief in God and belief in the Christian faith are both vulnerable to skepticism in view of the fact that both beliefs consist in conjuctions.Some of the key divine attributes are:eternally bodiless eternally omnipotent eternally omniscient eternally perfectly morally good the creator of the universeIn order for God to exist, there must be one and only one person who has all five of these divine attributes.If there is an omnipotent person who is evil or morally flawed, … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Wrapping up the Debate

Josh McDowell and various life events have distracted me from the debate with Joe Hinman about the external evidence for the existence of Jesus. (Sorry for the delay, Joe.)I wrote an introductory post about the debate:Introduction to the DebateHinman presented five arguments for the existence of Jesus based on external (non-biblical) evidence:Arguments 1 Through 4 (Talmud, Papias, Polycarp, Josephus)Argument 5 (Web of Historicity)I criticized the five arguments, typically … [Read more...]

Repost: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence (ECREE), Part 2: Is ECREE False? A Reply to William Lane Craig

(This article was originally published on this blog on June 21, 2012. I am reposting because William Lane Craig recently tweeted a link to a video in which he objects to ECREE.)In my last post, I offered a Bayesian interpretation of the principle, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" (ECREE). William Lane Craig, however, disagrees with ECREE. In a response to philosopher Stephen Law, Craig wrote this. This sounds so commonsensical, doesn’t it? But in fact it is demonstrably … [Read more...]