What is Christianity? Part 16

In his book Naming the Elephant (hereafter: NTE), the Christian apologist James Sire raises various objections against his previous analysis of the concept of a “worldview” that he had presented in his earlier book The Universe Next Door (hereafter: TUND).I have reviewed three of Sire’s objections to his earlier cognitivist analysis of the concept of a “worldview” and argued that those objections were unsuccessful (see previous posts 10, 11, 12, and 13).In post 15, I argued that Sire's be … [Read more...]

Half of a Debate about the Existence of Jesus

Joe Hinman has requested that I debate him about the existence of Jesus, and I have agreed to do so.We will not, however, attempt to answer the BIG question: Did Jesus exist?  But we will be arguing about a significant issue closely related to that question:Does the external evidence warrant the belief that Jesus existed?The phrase "external evidence" means evidence other than evidence from the Bible.  So, we are excluding the internal evidence from the four canonical Gospels, from Ac … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exist? Paul Maier’s Complete Failure

Christian apologists often write CRAP, crap that is taken by sheeple in the pews to be POWERFUL ARGUMENTS.  I suspect that Christian apologists often write crap precisely because they write for a generally ignorant and highly biased audience who will buy their books by the millions and show deference to the GREAT SCHOLARSHIP in the books and articles of Christian apologetics, despite the intellectual shoddiness of the vast majority of books and articles written by Christian apologists.One … [Read more...]

What Does “Supernatural” Mean? Part 2

====================== Keith Augustine Perhaps in lieu of starting from scratch on this issue, readers might want to consider what others have already said on this issue.  ...======================I plan to take Keith Augustine's advice, just not this week.  Maybe next week, or maybe next month.  See his comments on the first post in this series, where he provides various links to web articles on this subject (I have added copies of Augustine's comments at the end of this current … [Read more...]

What is Christianity? Part 14

Here are the main conclusions and claims that I have argued for or asserted in previous posts:A religion is fundamentally about ideas, claims, and beliefs (see post #1). Christianity is a religion (see posts #2 & #3). Christianity is NOT a relationship with Jesus Christ, because Christianity can be true or false, but a relationship cannot be true or false (see posts #2 & #3). In his book Worldviews, the religious studies scholar Ninian Smart asserts that there are six dif … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exist? Ehrman’s Complete Failure – Part 5

Because my main objection to a key argument in Chapter 3 of Bart Ehrman's book Did Jesus Exist? (hereafter: DJE) is a strong and decisive objection (i.e. Ehrman provided ZERO historical facts to support the main historical premise of a key argument),  I have felt some concern that my identification or interpretation of the ABSIG argument (Agreements Between Seven "Independent" Gospels) might have been incorrect or inaccurate.  In my view, Ehrman is an intelligent and knowlegable N.T. scholar, so … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exist? Ehrman’s Complete Failure – Part 4

A Brief Review of My Previous ObjectionsOne key argument for the existence of Jesus presented by Bart Ehrman in Chapter 3 of Did Jesus Exist? (hereafter: DJE) is based on an historical claim about alleged Agreements Between Seven "Independent" Gospels:(ABSIG) There are seven Gospels which were written within "a hundred years after the traditional date of Jesus's death" (DJE, p.78) that are "either completely or partially independent" from each other (DJE, p.78) and yet they "agree on … [Read more...]

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...]


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