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Showing posts from January, 2010

Some Interesting Lukan Scholarship, including the Census Revisted, Again

I finally got around to ordering a book that was on my Amazon Wish List. It was one of those that I could not remember exactly why it ended up on my list but I am glad it did: Paul, Luke and the Graeco-Roman World. It is a part of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Series; Volume 217 to be exact. It is one of those topically oriented compilation of articles in honor of a leading New Testament Scholar. This one honors Sandy Wedderburn.

The book contains many interesting articles but I have only had time to fully read two of them. The first is a critique of Loveday Alexander’s conclusion that the Gospel of Luke is akin to ancient scientific treatises, by David Aune: "Luke 1.1-4: Historical or Scientific Proomiion." Aune is well-positioned to write such a critique given his past work in the study of New Testament genre. He raises some excellent points, but the article is relatively short and is more of a launching pad for areas of further investigation.

Th…

A Thought by Lewis on The Spiritual Body

Little is said in the Bible about the spiritual body, i.e., the body that we will have in heaven. Not that Christians have been without understanding about various aspects of the resurrection body. The early Christians used a seed analogy to differentiate between the present earthly body and the resurrection body. 1 Corinthians 15:39-45 points out that our present bodies will have a different flesh than our resurrected bodies. Several verses about the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus also give us some hints as to what our post-resurrection bodies will be like. (A good summary of the Biblical teaching can be found in the Blue Letter Bible article on the spiritual body.)

It is certainly true that our life in the world to come will be fundamentally different than the present life. In Matthew 22:22-32, Jesus reminds us that the marriages of this life do not carry forward to the next life. Luke 24 suggests that the spiritual body can eat, but does not necessarily need to do so. But th…

The Lie about Christians Being More Likely to Go to Prision

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One attempt at this bogus atheist social sciences can be found on a site by Rod Swift. Swift wrote to the bureaus of prisons for stats, but unfortunately demonstrates that he doesn't know how to read a table.

I can't reproduce the table here without screwing up the side bar, but I will link to the tables, please read them here. 


Scroll to where it says: "Prison Incarceration and Religious Preference Futher Information"



Look at that link becuase it's extremely important. If you study the two tables you see they are very different but they are supposed to be the same table. I did not make that up, it's on Adherents.com. What that means is that the stats have been re configured by someone.

What's really interesting is what Adherents.com has to say about these stats and Swift's website. Here is a letter by researcher on Adherents.com who checked out Swift's data: Adherents.com

David Rice has written to us (23 October 2002) concerning the origin of the…

You Believe All Non-Christians Are Going to Hell, Don't You?

It is the question that has derailed more than one well-meaning Internet apologist. Skipping along the vast digital superhighway, our hero, the intrepid Internet apologist, cruises from atheist bulletin board to skeptical blog responding to the all too common ill-informed objections to the historicity of Jesus or the existence of God. Suddenly, he runs into the incensed atheist (the second most common of the breed next to the loud-mouthed boor) who says something akin to what this forgotten atheist on some forgettable infidel bulletin board said:

The whole idea that anyone who doesn't ascribe to belief not only in a higher power, BUT in this one particular 'God' over all others, when there is no real evidence that this god is right or the others wrong, would go to hell for eternity...this whole idea just seems to me idiotic. Like not only atheists, but all Hitler's Jewish victims would be in hell, Gandhi and the Dali Lama in hell......but Ted Bundy could say "I…

Atheist Bus Ad: What Exactly are We Worrying About?

"There's probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." So says the silly atheist advertisement that has been making its way around London on the side of buses. While Ariane Sherine is the inspiration behind the cruising commercials, Richard Dawkins has inserted his publicity seeking self (or accepted an invitation to have his publicity seeking self partake) as the face of the movement. I earlier commented on Dawkins' interview with an irrelevant atheist interviewer in a blog entitled It's Easy Not to Worry When You Ignore the Problems, but now I want to return to what originally drove me to the story.

On the Last Laugh, blogger Laughing Boy published a short article about the advertisement. Entitled Dick says, "Enjoy your life", Laughing Boy posted a photo of Richard Dawkins standing between the memorable Ariane Sherine and the forgettable Polly Toynbee clearly showing Dawkins' right hand resting rather low (some would say scandalously lo…

Whose Box Is It Anyway?

Do Christians live inside an intellectual box? That's the opinion of the self-promoting John Loftus in a blog on Debunking Christianity entitled Christians Live in an Intellectual Box and Cannot Think Outside of it. He wrote it in response to a series of very good questions that Brad Haggard wrote responding to a post by Loftus. Loftus clearly ducked Brad, but when I chimed in and pointed out a problem, Mr. Loftus decided to fire off his "see how smart I am that I can respond to you" post when he really makes no good response at all. And much as I don't like to give any blog space to Loftus and his arguments (because he almost invariably takes the opportunity to plug his apparently weak book in the comments), I thought it was appropriate to respond.

Let's look at what Mr. Loftus said.

Brad asked:

How exactly do you imagine God would have given us the knowledge? Would it be written revelation, instincts, or some sort of self-presenting knowledge?
I’m arguing at a mo…