Showing posts from October, 2009

Funniest Historical Jesus Cartoon Ever

This was published in my newspaper yesterday, but it was from 2007. I almost spit out my oatmeal when I read it. Click here to read. While I expect the people who have bought into the arguments like the Jesus Tomb won't find it amusing, those of you who have analyzed the arguments and found them wanting will find this quite amusing.

Bad Santa

Skeptics and atheists often compare belief in God to belief in Santa Claus, the main element of the analogy being that there is insufficient evidence to believe either of them exists, although we cannot conclusively dis prove that they do not. Another element is that both (presumably) are childish beliefs that we grow out of as adults. Finally, belief in both persons is said to be the result of wishful thinking, and leads to manifest absurdities (how does Santa manage to visit all the little boys and girls between midnight and morning on Christmas Day?). Atheists never tire of this rhetorical zinger, which leads me to doubt their basic intelligence. None of the elements of this analogy are even remotely plausible. The biggest dis-analogy, which I am amazed no one seems to have noticed, is that Santa Claus has never been anything other than a fictional character (I am talking here of the popular version involving red-nosed reindeer, the base at the North Pole, etc. not of the various

A Good Quote

In his short essay entitled "On the Reading of Old Books", C.S. Lewis says that it is important to read old books in order to be less suseptible to the prejudices and outlook of one's own age. Lewis notes: Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means old books. Lewis recommends the reading of one old book for every three new ones -- a habit I highly endorse. And while reading the old books help point out the characteristic mistakes of our own period, they also point out when a particular attitude that is thought to be new to our own period is actually much older. These attitudes, moreover, are not only reflected in the non-fiction work, but the fiction work may sometimes illustrate an attitude or outlook with much more grace and eloquence than can be found in the non-fiction arena.

Humanism And Its Aspirations (subject to change)

This is a bit of a cheap shot, as I'll explain later. But I thought it might be an interesting way of opening a discussion on the philosophical merits of the third edition of the Humanist Manifesto--which returns to the optimistic outlook of the first version, without the numerous specific 'doctrinal points' of the first (1933) and second (1973) versions. Most notably, the third version eliminates language intending to thus start a new secular "religion" (which probably wouldn't fly well with the common secular critique of the bloody abuses of 20th century atheistic regimes on the ground that they had become secular "religions"); and the promotion of this new "religion" through classroom indoctrination of children. (A quick resource for links to SecHum documents and their history, can be found here on Wikipedia .) The new edition, released in 2003 by the American Humanist Association, is admirably brief; and will be printed below--with an u

The Shroud, again....

Have you ever gone to the kitchen to get a banana or some other healthy snack and found yourself staring smack dab at a big chocolate chip cookie? It is a decadent pleasure -- one that we ought to feel guilty about enjoying, but one that we can't help but sample because it is simply so enjoyable. That's the way I feel about the Shroud of Turin. We are, after all, a serious blog for Christian apologists. We discuss the veracity of scriptures and the meaning of rather in-depth phrases in response to the challenges that we encounter on our trip around the Internet. But then, I see the Shroud. The Shroud of Turin - it is like the chocolate chip cookie. It isn't something that should side-track our effort to establish the truth of the Gospels and the Lordship of Jesus Christ, but it is a fun little side attraction on the way. Over the past few years, I have blogged on several occasions about the Shroud. Let me make this clear: I don't know if the Shroud is the actual burial

Lost Manichean Documents on Display

In St. Augustine's Confessions, he explains that for a period of time he became a follower of the Manichean teaching. As explained by the New Advent Encyclopedia, Manich├Žism is a religion founded by the Persian Mani in the latter half of the third century. It purported to be the true synthesis of all the religious systems then known, and actually consisted of Zoroastrian Dualism, Babylonian folklore, Buddhist ethics, and some small and superficial, additions of Christian elements. As the theory of two eternal principles, good and evil, is predominant in this fusion of ideas and gives color to the whole, Manich├Žism is classified as a form of religious Dualism. While the religion has died out sometime after 1000 A.D., the religion is important because it was one of the many religions which competed with Christianity while Christianity was still growing. Certainly, it is in contrast with his early experience with Manicheanism that St. Augustine's understanding of Christian theolog