How Theists Can Avoid God-of-the-Gaps Arguments and Still Argue for God

Background: In the context of a review of Dan Barker's book, Godless, Randal Rauser had a very brief, even cryptic, exchange in the combox for his about God-of-the-Gaps (GOTG) arguments. (See here and here.) That exchange led to his latest post, which you can read for yourself here. I've decided to post my response on my own blog here, with some edits for further clarification.I haven't read Barker's book, so I can only comment on what you have quoted: “Many of these [theistic] argum … [Read more...]

Correction to “Are Atheism and Moral Realism Logically Incompatible?”

The introduction to my post, "Are Atheism and Moral Realism Logically Incompatible?", probably gave readers an impression I did not intend, namely, that, in my exchange at Victor Reppert's Dangerous Idea blog, Steve linked arguments from moral ontology (for theism) and arguments from evil (from atheism).  Steve didn't do that there and I'm sorry if I created that impression. My introduction was aimed at other theists, not necessarily Steve, who I think employ a double standard when refuting so- … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Part 3

Question 1: What are Hinman's Central Claims about Polycarp?As with his discussion about the external evidence of Papias,  Hinman begins his discussion of Polycarp with some strong claims:III. Polycarp: Knew the Apostle John and studied with him. He speaks of where the apostle sat when they studied together.The first sentence is lacking a subject.  But the heading just above the sentence implies that the subject of the sentence is Polycarp.  The first sentence uses the pronoun "him" … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Post on Part #3 Coming Soon

I am working on Part 3 of this series of posts about external evidence for the existence of  Jesus.  Part 3 will focus on analysis and evaluation of Joe Hinman's third argument for the existence of Jesus, which is based on historical claims about Polycarp.I have written the opening section of Part 3, and have an outline for the main points I plan to make.  So, I hope to publish Part 3 of this series on Saturday, July 9th. … [Read more...]

Debate: External Evidence for Jesus – Part 2

========================NOTE: This post is now complete, as of 11:25 pm pacific time on Saturday, July 2, 2016.========================The first sentence of Joe Hinman's argument from the external evidence of Papias makes a very dubious claim:Papias was the student of the Apostle John.By this, Hinman means that Papias had personal, face-to-face conversations with the Apostle John.This claim was explicitly rejected by Eusebius, the the first historian of … [Read more...]

Jerry Coyne Criticizes A.C. Grayling’s Handling of God Arguments, But Coyne Gets It Wrong Himself

Jerry Coyne is a Harvard-educated, brilliant professor of biology who is an expert on biological evolution. His book, Why Evolution Is True, is a "must-read" for anyone interested in, well, why evolution is true.He also likes to write about topics outside of his area of expertise, including the philosophy of religion. As I've explained before, non-experts have the right to write about topics outside their area of expertise, but they owe it to themselves and their readers to make sure they k … [Read more...]

Debate: The External Evidence for Jesus – Part 1

Joe Hinman's first argument for the existence of Jesus is based on references to Jesus in the Talmud: We know Jesus was in the Talmud and that is a fact admitted by Rabbis.  Some references use his name (Yeshua) some use code words such as "such a one" or "Panthera".  The reason codes are used, is that the commentators censored the works and removed overt reverences [sic] to Jesus (although they missed some) to prevent Christians from inflicting persecution.  We have many of the out takes in va … [Read more...]

The Debate about Jesus has Begun

The debate between me and Joe Hinman about the existence of Jesus has begun.We are focusing on just the external (non-biblical) evidence.Joe has published his positive case for the claim that:...the external (not in Bible) evidence is strong enough to warrant belief in Jesus' historicity.Here is a link to Joe's initial post that summarizes his positive case:http://christiancadre.blogspot.hr/2016/06/debate-bradly-bowen-vs-joseph-hinman.htmlJoe has divided his case into … [Read more...]


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