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...]

Norman Geisler’s Case for the Death of Jesus

Let me cut to the chase: Geisler's case for the claim that "Jesus actually died on the cross" is crap. It might be marginally better than William Craig's case, but it is most definitely a hot steaming pile of crap. As with Craig's case, part of the reason Geisler's case fails is that he tries to make his case in just a few pages. (This appears to be a common form of mental illness among Christian apologists.)I'm tempted to work my way slowly through Geisler's case, as I did with Craig's … [Read more...]

The Case for the Death of Jesus

I have written several posts about William Craig's "case" for the death of Jesus in his book The Son Rises. In those posts I showed that Craig made about 81 historical claims, but failed to provide any historical evidence for 85% of those claims, and provided only weak and dubious historical evidence for the other 15% of claims. In short, Craig provided solid historical evidence for ZERO of the 81 historical claims he makes in his "case" for the death of Jesus. He completely failed to show … [Read more...]

Craig’s “Historical Evidence” for the Death of Jesus – Part 8

In the first three paragraphs of William Craig's "case" for the claim that Jesus died on the cross, Craig makes 60 different historical claims, but provides only ONE piece of actual historical evidence for just ONE of the 60 historical claims. Furthermore, the one piece of historical evidence provided by Craig is irrelevant to the historical claim it was supposed to support, based on a modern scholarly translation of the Major Declamations.In paragraph four, Craig makes 22 historical … [Read more...]


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