Jesus: True Prophet or False Prophet? – Part 1

In his book The Resurrection of God Incarnate, Richard Swinburne argues that the case for the resurrection of Jesus must include three major components:I. General Background Evidence - evidence for and against the existence of God, and evidence about whether and why God would be likely to perform a miracle, especially raising someone from the dead.II. Prior Historical Evidence - evidence for or against claims that Jesus had certain characteristics, characteristics which based on the p … [Read more...]

The Logic of the Resurrection – Part 7

It is one thing to make a solid case for the claim "Jesus rose from the dead." (JRD), and another thing entirely to make a solid case for the claim "God raised Jesus from the dead." (GRJ).  Showing that (JRD) is true, would not, by itself, show that (GRJ) is true.  The resurrection could have been produced by natural causes, and if there really are supernatural beings (like God), then there might well be MANY (even millions or billions) of supernatural beings (angels, demons, ghosts, spirits, go … [Read more...]

The Logic of the Resurrection – Part 6

In Part 4 of this series, we saw that Theodore Drange interpreted Christian theologian Charles Hodge to be arguing as follows ("Why Resurrect Jesus?" in The Empty Tomb, p. 56) : (2a) (JRD) is a sufficient condition for (JSG). Therefore: (1a) (JRD) is a necessary condition for (JSG). ============ Abbreviations: (JRD) Jesus rose from the dead. (JSG) Jesus is the divine Son of God. ============  In terms of symbolic logic, the argument is this: (2b) (JRD)    (JSG). Therefore: (1b)  (JSG … [Read more...]

What is Faith? – Part 9

Here are some key points from the first section (Relation of Faith to Reason) of Geisler's article "Faith and Reason" (Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, p. 239; hereafter: BECA):The contents of faith "are above reason." and so must be revealed to humans by God. Faith "involves will (freedom) and reason doesn't coerce the will". Some theological truths "have been proved demonstratively" and can be based on reason, such as the existence of God.If we take the second point in … [Read more...]

The Logic of the Resurrection – Index

 The Logic of the Resurrection - Part 1Different assumptions about the existence of God have different implications concerning the resurrection.The Logic of the Resurrection - Part 2As Richard Swinburne has pointed out, a complete case for the resurrection must be a three-legged stool, resting upon general background evidence, prior historical evidence, and posterior historical evidence.The Logic of the Resurrection - Part 3The logic of the resurrection apologetic is … [Read more...]

The Logic of the Resurrection – Part 5

Before I continue to examine Theodore Drange's excellent article "Why Resurrect Jesus?" (The Empty Tomb, p. 55-67), I want to reinforce a key point: an important but neglected aspect of the case for the resurrection of Jesus is what Swinburne calls General Background Evidence, specifically reasons and evidence related to God's alleged purposes.I would ammend the title of Drange's article slightly to: "Why would God Resurrect Someone?"  Unless and until a plausible and defensible argument can … [Read more...]

Another Terrible Atheist Debate Performance

I originally planned to blog my thoughts about this oral debate while I was watching it. Then after I had a rather nasty exchange on Twitter with the atheist debater, I said I wasn't going to write about him anytime soon. Then I thought about it some more. I realized the only reason I was going to engage in self-censorship was to avoid all of the drama associated with criticizing anything to do with this individual's arguments, blog posts, books, or debates. "That's a really bad reason to say … [Read more...]

What is Faith? – Part 8

In the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (1999; hereafter: BECA), Geisler has written a fairly long and detailed article on “Faith and Reason”, and the entire article is basically an exposition of the views of Aquinas about faith and the relationship between faith and reason.There are nine bolded subheadings in Geisler’s article on “Faith and Reason”:1. Relation of Faith to Reason 2. Three Uses of Reason 3. Divine Authority 4. Reason in Support of Faith 5. Distinguishing Fai … [Read more...]