Christian NT Scholar and Apologist Michael Licona Loses Job After Questioning Matthew 27

As reported by Christianity Today (see here), New Testament scholar Michael Licona has apparently lost both his job as research professor of New Testament at Southern Evangelical Seminary and been ousted as apologetics coordinator for the North America Mission Board (NAMB). Why? In his 700-page book defending the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection, Licona proposed that the story of the resurrection of the saints described in Matthew 27 might be metaphorical rather than literal history. Why is this a problem? As a… Read more

Baggini on selective mystery

Just in case Julian Baggini fails to promote his latest Heathen’s Progress article, here’s the link: ‘You just don’t understand my religion’ is not good enough. And here is the best part:Too often I find that faith is mysterious only selectively. Believers constantly attribute all sorts of qualities to their gods and have a list of doctrines as long as your arm. It is only when the questions get tough that, suddenly, their God disappears in a puff of mystery. Ineffability… Read more

Help Wanted – Part 3

A key premise in Swinburne’s (deductive) argument in defense of his inductive version of the Cosmological argument (TCA) goes like this:(TCA9) The probability that there will be a complex physical universe given that God does not exist is low. (EOG, p.151) Based on Swinburne’s explanation of his reasoning in support of this premise (in email dated 10/24/11), I understand his argument for (TCA9) to be (roughly) as follows:1. P(e&~h&~c&k;) is approximately equal to P(eI~h&~c&k;) 2. P(eI~h&~c&k;) is approximately equal to… Read more

Peter Atkins’ Opening and Closing Statements for the Craig-Atkins Debate (2011)

(Posted with the permission of Peter Atkins.)Opening StatementMy immediate task is to set out my stall, not to respond to Dr Craig’s arguments at this stage: that will come later. It is, in fact, my task to bring you forward from the eleventh century, where you have been immersed with considerable erudition for the past 20 minutes, to the twenty-first century, and to present arguments based on a thousand years of increasing knowledge about the world. Dr Craig would have… Read more

Bede Rundle’s Obituary; Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing

Philosopher Bede Rundle has died.If you hadn’t heard of him and you are reading this blog, then you will almost certainly want to read his book, Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Oxford University Press, 2004). Here’s a summary of Rundle’s argument, taken from his obituary:Since this universe is contingent, that is to say it might not have existed, at some point it did not exist, and at a later point it came into existence. Since something can only… Read more

Who’s Being Indoctrinated?

Perhaps you’ve heard of Mason Crumpacker, the 9-year-old girl from Dallas who had a tete-a-tete with Christopher Hitchens last month at the Texas Freethought Convention (details here).  Dallas Morning News reporter Tod Robberson later interviewed her (long version here) and Dallasites were in for a surprise. Yes, there are children who say things like this– I personally think the story of Adam and Eve doesn’t really make sense. What proof is there of a Garden of Eden? What proof is… Read more

Please Welcome Louise Antony to the Secular Outpost!

I’m pleased to announce another new contributor to The Secular Outpost: Dr. Louise Antony, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachussetts. Her work in the philosophy of religion includes editing the excellent book, Philosophers Without Gods (Oxford University Press, 2007) — (see here for her chapter); writing a commentary for the book transcript of the Craig-Kurtz debate on morality without God; and debating William Lane Craig on whether God is necessary for morality. She also edited (with Norbert Hornstein) Chomsky… Read more

‘In God we trust,’ when politically convenient

The House of Representatives on November 1 voted in favor of a Congressional resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto and supporting its placement on public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions. This House Concurrent Resolution 13, which passed by a vote of 396 to 9, with 2 voting present, was sponsored by Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA). He added, “As our nation faces challenging times, it is appropriate for Members of Congress and our nation –… Read more

New Chick tracts

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LINK: Chapter-by-Chapter Critique of William Lane Craig’s, “On Guard”

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