Geisler & Turek Rebuttal, Part 7: Chapter 8

Chapter 8. Miracles: Signs of God or Gullibility?  As I read them, Geisler and Turek (G&T) seek to establish four points: (1) If God exists, then miracles are possible; (2) Hume's argument against the credibility of miracle claims is a failure; (3) miracles can be used to confirm a message from God (i.e., as acts of God to confirm a word from God); and (4) we don’t observe Biblical-quality miracles today because such miracles are not needed to confirm a new revelation from G … [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...]

Jesus on Faith – Part 6

Here is the "Doubting Thomas" story from Chapter 20 of the Gospel of John:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, t … [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...]

Matthew Ferguson: History, Probability, and Miracles (2013)

Historian Matthew Ferguson uses Bayes' Theorem to analyze the historicity of miracle claims. Among other things, Ferguson compares the historical evidence for a purported miracle by Vespasian to the historical evidence for the purported resurrection of Jesus.LINKNote: as always, links do not constitute endorsement. … [Read more...]

Matthew Ferguson: Knocking Out the Pillars of the “Minimal Facts” Apologetic (2013)

I have only skimmed this article, but it appears to be a very comprehensive rebuttal to the "minimal facts" apologetics favored by several Christian apologists, including Licona, Habermas, and Craig.LINKNote: as always, links do not necessarily constitute endorsement.We'd love to know what you think of the article. Please feel free to debate in the combox below. … [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...]

Why I am Not Concerned about Christian Theist Philosophers of Religion

One reason I am not concerned about the prevalence of Christian theists in the field of philosophy of religion is that they do a nice job of arguing against each other.William Lane Craig's favorite argument for the existence of God is the Kalam cosmological argument. I'm happy that there are some atheist philosophers who challenge this argument, but there are good objections raised against this argument by Christian theist philosophers.For example, Richard Swinburne rejects this … [Read more...]


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