God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 4

Previously, I argued that it is not possible to become eternal. Recall that a person P is eternal if and only if P has always existed and P will always continue to exist. Here is a step-by-step proof showing that it is impossible for a person to become eternal: <------------|-----------|--------------> ................t1...........t2 1. At time t1 person P is NOT eternal AND at a later moment t2 P is eternal. (supposition for indirect proof/reduction to absurdity) 2. At time t1 … [Read more...]

Rob Lovering’s New Book: God and Evidence: Problems for Theistic Philosophers

God and Evidence: Problems for Theistic Philosophers (Continuum, 2013). Here's the blurb: God and Evidence presents a new set of compelling problems for theistic philosophers. The problems pertain to three types of theistic philosopher, which Lovering defines here as 'theistic inferentialists,' 'theistic non-inferentialists,' and 'theistic fideists.' Theistic inferentialists believe that God exists, that there is inferential probabilifying evidence of God's existence, and that this evidence is … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 3

Richard Swinburne analyzes the concept of 'necessary being' into two implications (COT, p.241-242): 1. It is not a matter of fortunate accident that there is a God; he exists necessarily. 2. God is necessarily the kind of being which he is; God does not just happen to have the properties which he does. In his simpler and more popular book on God (Is There a God?), Swinburne clarifies these implications further in terms of the concept of 'essential properties': But theism does not claim … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 11

I will now take a brief break from answering the 44 questions about Mark, Q, M, and L. For your reading enjoyment, I bring you John Crossan's brief defense of the historicity of the crucifixion of Jesus: Jesus' death by execution under Pontius Pilate is as sure as anything historical can ever be. For, if no follower of Jesus had written anything for one hundred years after his crucifixion, we would still know about him from two authors not among his supporters. Their names are Flavious … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 10

In my previous post on this topic, I argued that we need to answer 44 specific questions in order to come up with fact-based initial evaluation of Bart Ehrman's Seven Gospels Argument (SGA). The first question is whether Mark (one of the seven sources that Ehrman points us to) confirms the following attribute claim: A1. Yeshu’a was a flesh-and-blood person. Because Mark is the most extensive source of the seven, one would expect that Mark would confirm all or nearly all of the … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 9

MJH - Source Matrix

The current version of the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis (MJH) has five parts: ======================= There was a flesh-and-blood person who was… 1A. named Yeshu’a, and 2A. an adherent of Judaism, and a male descendant of the Hebrew people, and 3A. living in Palestine as an adult (in his twenties and/or thirties) in the 20s C.E., and 4A. known to be a preacher and teacher of religious beliefs and moral values, and 5B. crucified in Jerusalem by the Romans around 30 C.E. (between 28 and … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 2

Although there is an extensive discussion of the meaning of the claim 'God is a necessary being' by Richard Swinburne in his bookThe Coherence of Theism (revised edition, hereafter: COT), the main passages that I'm interested in understanding are found in a shorter and more popular book: Is There a God? (hereafter: ITAG), also by Swinburne. In COT, Swinburne specifies two implications of the claim that 'God is a necessary being': However, most theists, and certainly most theologians, have … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 8

In Did Jesus Exist?(hereafter: DJE) Bart Ehrman argues for something like the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis (MJH), which I have clarified and tweaked a bit to get to this formulation: ======================= There was a flesh-and-blood person who was... 1A. named Yeshu'a, and 2A. an adherent of Judaism, and a male descendant of the Hebrew people, and 3A. living in Palestine as an adult (in his twenties and/or thirties) in the 20s C.E., and 4A. known to be a preacher and teacher of religious … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 1

In his book The Coherence of Theism (Revised edition, hereafter: COT), Swinburne defends the claim that the sentence 'God exists' makes a coherent statement. In Part II of COT, Swinburne defends the coherence of the concept of "a contingent God", which is basically the traditional concept of God minus the attribute of 'necessary being'. In Part III, Swinburne analyzes, clarifies, and defines the attribute 'necessary being', but he concludes that when this attribute is added back into the … [Read more...]

Did Jesus Exit? – Part 7

For the following discussion of the chronology of Jesus' ministry, I'm drawing upon the evidence and reasoning and conclusions presented by John P. Meier in his book A Marginal Jew, Volume 1: The Roots of the Problem and the Person, Chapter 11 "'In the Fifteenth Year'...A Chronology of Jesus' Life" (hereafter: AMJv1). Jesus was crucified sometime during the rule of Pilate over Judea: The Four Gospels (and various streams of earlier traditions within them), the Acts of the Apostles, … [Read more...]