Did Jesus Exist? Ehrman’s Complete Failure – Part 3

The Independence of Passages vs. BooksAmong the seven "independent" Gospels to which Ehrman's ABSIG (Agreements Between Seven Independent Gospels) refer are the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Mark.A "basic aspect" of the life or death of Jesus is the claim that Jesus was crucified by the Romans.  There is agreement between Matthew and Mark on this "basic aspect":And they [the soldiers] crucified him [Jesus], and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each s … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exist? Ehrman’s Complete Failure – Part 2

Existence vs. Basic Aspects/Attributes"Did Jesus exist?" - What does this question mean?Clarity is a gateway standard of critical thinking.  If you are UNCLEAR about the meaning of a question, then your thinking about that question will also be unclear, and your thinking will probably not be very useful or productive or logical so long as you remain UNCLEAR about the question at issue.On the one hand, it is certain that there was no Jewish man who lived in Palestine in the first cent … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exist? Ehrman’s Complete Failure – Part 1

I was recently asked to participate in a public discussion/debate about the question "Did Jesus Exist?".  I don't plan to argue in favor of the mythicist position, just because I don't think I would do it justice.  I'm not a mythicist, and I have not studied any mythicists in recent years (I read some of G.A. Wells books years ago, and I read Earl Doherty's The Jesus Puzzle some years ago).  But I do have significant doubts about the existence of Jesus, and especially about the strength of the hi … [Read more...]

What is Christianity? Part 13

Worldview as a Way of Life?The third objection that James Sire raises against his older conception of worldviews, is that it makes more sense to understand a worldview as being “a way of life” (NTE, p.97) rather than to understand a worldview as being “a system of thought” (NTE, p.98) because of “the practical, lived reality of worldviews…” (NTE, p.100).The sub-section of Chapter 5 where Sire presents this third objection is called “Worldview as a Way of Life” (NTE, p.98-100).  The first … [Read more...]

What is Christianity? Part 12

Sire's First Two ObjectionsShortly after the turn of the century, the Christian apologist James Sire revised his understanding of the concept of a “worldview” and wrote a book advocating this revised understanding: Naming the Elephant (hereafter: NTE).  Some of the the key changes that Sire makes to his conception of a “worldview” are defended in Chapter 5 of NTE.  In Chapter 1 of NTE, Sire summarizes the issues covered in Chapter 5 of NTE:Is a worldview primarily an intellectual system, … [Read more...]

What is Christianity? Part 11

Shortly after the turn of the century, the Christian apologist James Sire revised his understanding of the concept of a “worldview” and wrote a book advocating this revised understanding: Naming the Elephant (hereafter: NTE).  Some of the the key changes that Sire makes to his conception of a “worldview” are defended in Chapter 5 of NTE:…the discussion so far has proceeded as if a worldview were a set of propositions or beliefs that serve as answers to a systematic set of [basic philosophica … [Read more...]

What is Christianity? Part 10

As Ninian Smart points out, there are secular worldviews as well as religious worldviews.   According to Smart, a religion is a religious worldview as opposed to a secular worldview.  Marxism and Secular Humanism are examples of secular worldviews.  Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam are examples of religions or religious worldviews.Smart, however, asserts that worldviews (both religious and secular) encompass six dimensions:The doctrinal or philosophical dimension The narrative … [Read more...]

What is Christianity? INDEX

The primary goal of my Ten Year Plan is to evaluate Christianity, to answer the question "Is Christianity true or is it false?"I have started a couple of series of posts related to this project. One series related to the project is called "What is Christianity?".  Here is a list of the posts in that series (so far), with brief  quotes from each post, to provide an idea of the content of that post:What is Christianity? - Part 1I am a cognitivist when it comes to the concept of a “re … [Read more...]