The 3 proofs of Justin Martyr

I’ve gotten out of the habit of announcing it here, but over at Evangelical Realism we’re working our way through the First Apology of Justin Martyr, just to see how ancient Christianity compares with the modern version. In this week’s installment, Justin wraps up his discussion of the many parallels between the Gospels and a variety of pagan myths, and then tries to prove that these pagan precedents mean that the Gospel alone is true. If you’re a fan of the gymnastics events at the Olympics, you might enjoy watching Justin demonstrate their mental equivalent.

The rest of the [back]story

Like I said yesterday, I decided in my mid-teens that I was going to follow God no matter what men said about Him, and that more than anything else led to my eventual rejection of Christianity. When you try to go beyond what men say about God, to the reality behind the words, you discover that the words are all there is to the reality. Superstition and subjective feelings reinforce the words, but when it comes down to the substance of the faith, it’s just words.

[Read more…]

Oh, Hell.

Over at Evangelical Realism, this week’s post is all about William Lane Craig’s attempt to defend “The Hell with Christianity.” I think he ends up making a rather convincing argument for God being a purely imaginary deity, but see what you think, if you’re interested.

Life in the Kingdom?

Do you live in the buckle on the Bible Belt? Are you a skeptic, unbeliever, or other form of non-Christian sojourner there? The Uncredible Hallq is hosting a discussion for people to share what the secular experience is really like for someone in the midst of the Kingdom of God.

Strange as it may sound for someone who writes about religion so much, there are times when religion seems like this thing that’s “out there” but which doesn’t affect my life. And I guess that’s been true for some parts of my life, particularly when I’ve lived in the “blue” (i.e. liberal) city* of Madison, WI. So let this be a thread for people to talk about their experiences living in “red” parts of the country.

Stop on over if you’ve got an interesting story to tell. Or even a boring one. All perspectives are welcome.


Well darn.

I had a feeling Mighty Timbo was bailing out when he ended his last comment here by saying, “Contact me again when you’re interested in genuine discourse.” A strange thing to say, considering that “genuine discourse”—as opposed to following a Jack Chick style script—is exactly what I have been doing, and what he appears to be trying to extricate himself from. He did, at least, promise to let me keep reviewing the material on his site: “You are always free to use quotes from my site. It is my request that when you do so you provide a link to the page you took the quote from. And you can certainly use anything I say as a springboard for any future articles.”

Except… quite suddenly, his entire web site has disappeared. This is not just a glitch. As of 5:00 AM GMT, his domain was listed as cancelled, and sortly thereafter someone was able to purchase the domain name and point it at The Secular Web.

[Read more…]

The “independent sources” of the New Testament

[Here’s an excerpt from this week’s Evangelical Realism post on Chapter 9 of William Lane Craig’s book, On Guard.]

Ted and Shelly are driving down the road one day when they see an minor accident up ahead, with a policeman and a wrecker already on the scene. Being bloggers, they stop and ask the policeman what happened.

“Oh,” says the policeman, “some bimbo piled into the back end of the car in front of her. She says he passed her, cut her off, and slammed on his brakes, but she had her cell phone out and was probably just texting to her friends and not paying attention to the road. She’s just using road rage as an excuse.”

That afternoon, they both go home and each reports the story on his/her blog. Ted reports that a woman was texting while driving, and caused an accident, and goes off on a rant about texting. Shelly reports that a man deliberately caused a woman to have an accident and that there was little hope of the woman receiving justice due to the sexism of the reporting officer.

Do Ted and Shelly’s blogs constitute independent accounts? Yes and no. They are independent accounts of how the accident was being reported, but they are not independent accounts of the accident itself, because neither Ted nor Shelly saw it happen. The common elements in Ted’s and Shelly’s accounts are due to the fact that they’re sharing a common source for the story, not due to the fact that they’re independently verifying the original incident.

[Read more…]

Speaking of slavery…

If you haven’t yet stopped by Libby Anne’s blog, you should at the very least check out this post about Kirk Cameron and Doug Phillips.

Phillips teaches that a woman is never to be out from under male authority no matter her age or marital condition, and that being under male authority includes complete submission and obedience, because God speaks to women through their male authorities. This is nothing short of slavery.

Christians all too often criticize mainstream Muslims for failing to police the more radical and barbaric of their sects, but turn a blind eye to oppression and medieval morality in their own ranks.

Deceived by appearances

For those of you who may be interested, we’re still going through William Lane Craig’s book On Guard over at my other blog. Here’s an excerpt from today’s installment, discussing the so-called appearance of Jesus to the soon-to-be Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus.

Notice, this is an appearance of Jesus, just like all the others. There’s just one problem. By Acts 9, Jesus had been gone from the earth for 8 whole chapters, having ascended bodily into heaven at the beginning of chapter 1. And there, we’re told, Jesus is going to stay until Judgment Day. The appearance of Jesus to Paul happened at a time when, according to the Bible, Jesus was not even here.

You can read the whole thing at Evangelical Realism.


Uh oh

Via Ed Brayton comes news of a new FtB blog: Biodork. Everybody stop by and say howdy, eh?

But wait, what’s this? The first post I see has her agreeing with Bill O’Reilly? That doesn’t sound good.

Oh, never mind—she just caught Bill in a moment of sanity and lucidity. Carry on. And welcome, Biodork, to our global conspira friendly gathering of like-minded individuals.

I’m my own grandpa

This week at Evangelical Realism, we take a look at one big factor that William Lane Craig leaves out when trying to decide what Jesus must have meant by “the Son of God.” According to the Gospels, Jesus’ mom was impregnated by God Himself, making Jesus God’s (bastard) son—a relationship of mere biology rather than shared divinity. In the process of typing out “the son of God” versus “God the Son,” though, it struck me that the story of the Virgin Birth really wreaks havoc with Trinitarian theology. If Jesus is the son of God, then whom, exactly, is he the son of?

[Read more…]