Happy Easter Dr. Craig

Last year I wrote several posts criticizing William Lane Craig's case for the resurrection.  Here are several excerpts from those posts (plus links, in case you want to read the full post from which an excerpt was taken):===========Some Skeptical Thoughts on the Resurrection[excerpt:]1. Geisler vs. CraigNorman Geisler makes an excellent point in his book When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences (co-authored with Ron Brooks):Before that we can show that Jesus ro … [Read more...]

Lessing’s Broad Ditch and Brad’s Lesser Ditch

LESSING'S BROAD DITCHQuotations are from Lessing's essay "On the Proof of the Spirit and of Power" from Lessing's Theological Writings (hereafter: LTW), edited by Henry Chadwick.Reports of Miracles are not the same as Direct Observation of Miracles"The problem is that reports of fulfilled prophecies are not fulfilled prophecies; that reports of miracles are not miracles." (LTW,p.52)"What is asserted is only that the reports which we have of these prophecies and miracles are as r … [Read more...]

“A Leap of Faith”

In a comment on my most recent post about Jesus' use of the word "faith", Stig Martinsen points to the phrase "a leap of faith" as evidence that Christians sometimes speak of "faith" in a way that implies belief that goes beyond reason or evidence.  I don't plan to reply to his point here, but I think this phrase has an interesting history that is worth reading and thinking about.According to the Wikipedia article on "Leap of Faith", this phrase is generally associated with the philosopher … [Read more...]

Critical Thinking and Skepticism

In a recent post advocating the end of Philosophy of Religion, John Loftus commented that PoR classes are often taught with the primary goal of teaching students to think critically,  and he objected that "Teaching students to be critical thinkers is very important but teaching them to have a skeptical disposition is more important."I would argue, however, that (a) skepticism is good and rational only to the extent that it arises out of critical thinking and conforms to the principles and sta … [Read more...]

Norman Geisler’s Case for the Death of Jesus – Part 4

Part of Geisler's case for the claim that "Jesus actually died on the cross" is based on the spear-wound story, which is found only in the historically unreliable Fourth gospel.One general reason for doubting the historicity and reliability of the spear-wound story is this:GR3. The Passion narratives of the gospels are historically unreliable(GR3) is supported by various cautions and doubts expressed by Raymond Brown (a leading N.T. scholar who is an expert on the Passion Narratives) … [Read more...]

Norman Geisler’s Case for the Death of Jesus – Part 3

In previous posts I have argued that only two of Geisler's eight reasons for the claim that "Jesus actually died on the cross" are worthy of serious consideration. One of those two reasons is based on the spear-wound story, which is found ONLY in the historically unreliable Fourth gospel (John 19:31-37).There are many reasons to doubt the historicity and reliability of the spear-wound story, but I have started with four general reasons:GR1. The gospels are historically … [Read more...]

Norman Geisler’s Case for the Death of Jesus – Part 2

In When Skeptics Ask, Norman Geisler presents eight reasons in support of the claim that Jesus actually died on the cross. In my previous post on this subject I argued that six of those reasons should be quickly set aside as weak or defective reasons. In my view, only two reasons out of the eight reasons are worthy of serious consideration.Both of the remaining two reasons are related to various alleged wounds and injuries of Jesus that supposedly occurred just prior to or during the … [Read more...]

The Case for the Death of Jesus – Part 2

John Probability Tree

A challenge (or two) to my previous post "The Case for the Death of Jesus" came from a reader "hardindr". Another reader, Tom Hanson, commented "Personally I'm with hardindr." So in this post I will respond to comments from hardindr, with the intention of also responding to Tom Hanson's concerns.Here is the first comment by hardindr:All of these lengthy blog entries on this subject have confused me. Does the author of them seriously believe that it isn't a historical fact that Jesus of … [Read more...]


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