The Empty Tomb: Reply to Josh and Sean McDowell

(Redated post originally published on 20 November 2012)A friend informed me that Josh and Sean McDowell, in the new (revised?) edition of More Than a Carpenter (MTAC) on page 134, have offered a critique of the relocation hypothesis, which I defended in The Empty Tomb (TET). I have reviewed what they wrote. Here is a rough sketch of how I would respond.First, I could not help but notice similarities between the wording of their comments and the wording of Stephen Davis's review in … [Read more...]

Response to William Lane Craig – Part 13

In Part 10, I argued that Robert Funk was not as certain about Jesus' death on the cross as Craig claims, and I pointed out that three of the seven groundrules proposed by Funk for investigation of the historical Jesus are skeptical in nature, showing that Funk has a generally skeptical view of the historical Jesus.In Part 11, I argued that Funk's specific skeptical beliefs about the Gospel of John imply that gospel to be completely unreliable, and that this by itself casts significant doubt … [Read more...]

Botched Response to The Empty Tomb

(Redated post on 24 October 2011)(This article was written in 2005 or 2006, but sat in my Drafts folder while I was inactive.)Robert M. Price and I are the co-authors of a skeptical anthology on the alleged historicity of the resurrection of Jesus entitled The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave. Steve Hays recently wrote a book-length rebuttal to our book entitled, This Joyful Eastertide. When I first heard about this rebuttal, I have to confess I skipped directly to Hays' rebuttal … [Read more...]

Response to William Lane Craig – Part 12

Here is my main objection to William Craig's case for the resurrection of Jesus:It is not possible for a person to rise from the dead until AFTER that person has actually died. Thus, in order to prove that Jesus rose from the dead, one must first prove that Jesus died on the cross. But in most of William Craig's various books, articles, and debates, he simply ignores this issue. He makes no serious attempt to show that it is an historical fact that Jesus died on the cross.  For that reason, … [Read more...]

I Don’t Care – Part 4

I have previously argued that, contrary to popular opinion, there are ZERO arguments for the existence of God in the famous Five Ways passage by Aquinas in Summa Theologica (Part I, Question 2, Article 3: Whether God Exists?).Now I'm getting into what I do care about, namely the ACTUAL argument(s) that Aquinas gives to prove the existence of God.  Here is one argument (possibly the only one) for the existence of God from Summa Theologica:THE IES ARGUMENT(MC3) There exists an IES be … [Read more...]

I Don’t Care – Part 3

According to the Christian philosopher Peter Kreeft, and many others, Aquinas gives five different arguments for the existence of God.  In the Handbook of Christian Apologetics (IVP, 1994; hereafter: HCA) by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, there is a chapter that lays out twenty different arguments for the existence of God, and the first five arguments are versions of Aquinas' Five Ways:A word about the organization of the arguments.  We have organized them into two basic groups: those wh … [Read more...]

I Don’t Care – Part 2

OK. Maybe I care just a little bit.I summarized my complaint against Aquinas' Five Ways this way (in response to a comment from Jeff Lowder):I'm just pointing out that (a) NONE of the Five Ways is an argument for the existence of God as it stands (in the section called "Whether God Exists?"), and (b) in order to make use of any of the Five Ways as an argument for the existence of God, there is a serious amount of intellectual effort required to fill the logical gap that is located in the … [Read more...]

I Don’t Care

Thomas Aquinas pulled a classic BAIT-AND-SWITCH move in Summa Theologica: “Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, moved by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.”“Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.” “Therefore we cannot but admit the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of … [Read more...]