Showing posts from October, 2015

How Does the Discovery of Pottery Owned by an Eshba'al Not Named in the Bible Provide Evidence for the Truth of the OT?

2 Samuel 2:10 - Ish-Bosheth son of Saul was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he reigned two years. The tribe of Judah, however, remained loyal to David. King Ish-Bosheth was the youngest of the sons of King Saul. His name means “Man of Shame” or “Man of Humiliation,” and he apparently lived down to that moniker because he was a weak king who reigned a short time in opposition to King David. His story can largely be found beginning in 2 Samuel 2 and ending with his murder at the hands of his guards in 2 Samuel 4. Ish-Bosheth, however, was known by other names. One of which was Eshba’al (1 Chron. 8:33, 1 Chron. 9:39) which means "fire of the idol."   Interestingly, the name Eshba'al came up in a recent Biblical dig. According to an article in Discovery News entitled " Rare Inscription Bearing Biblical Name Found in Israel ," the name of Eshba'al was discovered on a 3,000 year old piece of pottery in the Valley of Elah.  A rar

Another New Study Explains Away God in the Creation of the Universe

Ho hum. Every few months, some scientist who almost certainly has an animosity towards belief in God will stand up and make an announcement that his/her research has somehow disproven God or the need for God, etc., etc. And every time these types of claims arise, people with cooler heads usually look at the claims and show them for the nonsense that they are. (Of course, true adherents never understand that the arguments have been discredited, but that's why certain arguments like the Argument from Evil continue to pop up as supposedly air-tight arguments against the existence of God.) Today, a good friend who is an atheist posted an article which seems to fall into that category on Facebook. The article is entitled "Origin of the Universe Riddle Solved- and,er, It Wasn't God" Claim Canadian Physicists . According to the article: A group of scientists led by Prof Mir Faizal, at the Dept of Physics and Astronomy, at the University Of Waterloo, Canada, has positiv

Do We Need to Understand Everything about Christianity to be Rational in Our Belief?

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but it strikes me that a problem is unlikely to be fixed until we correctly understand the cause of the problem. If I were a doctor who diagnosed a person as having emphysema when they have vascular disease, I expect that the medications that I prescribe would not be very effective at treatment of the vascular disease. In some cases, the wrong prescription can kill the patient, so it is really important to first achieve a correct diagnosis before working on the cure. The same holds true outside of medicine. I believe that the failure to properly determine the cause of the problem leads to all types of wrong solutions, and too many of today's solution begin with incorrectly determined cause. The Ethics Center, an Australian organization that provides an open forum for the promotion and exploration of ethical questions, recently published a blogpost entitled "I RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE" – HOW TO HAVE A PROPER ARGUMENT . Since I have always been

C.S. Lewis Reviews The Hobbit

Okay, so this is news from 1937, but given that The Hobbit was recently a major motion picture -- in fact, three major motion pictures -- and given that C.S. Lewis was a close friend of J.R.R. Tolkein, I thought it was interesting when the Paris Review ran a re-print of Lewis' 1937 three paragraph review of The Hobbit . The article can be found here: C.S. Lewis reviews The Hobbit , 1937 . What is fascinating is that Lewis is astute enough to recognize that The Hobbit , although it appears to be little more than a children's book, "may prove to be a classic." Once again, he was right.

Does Christianity Set the Moral Bar Low?

The other night, I listened to a Golden Age radio program that featured a phony news interview. Since I didn’t record the program, I am necessarily paraphrasing what I heard, but essentially the sketch had a radio news reporter interview the owner of a company that manufactures ventriloquist dummies. In the vignette, the reporter asked the owner to show him how the ventriloquist dummies work, and the owner responded that he was “not a very good ventriloquist” but that he would give it a try. He apparently picked up one of the dummies and used his inadequate skills to have the dummy say something like, “Hello, I am happy to be here today.” The reporter responded, “I saw your lips move.” The owner countered, “I told you I’m not very good at this.” The reporter then contended, “There’s something wrong with the dummy.”   The owner objects that the dummy is fine, but the reporter insists that the dummy didn’t work because he could see the owner’s lips move. This small vignette actually i

What can be Concluded from the Use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to Remove Faith?

Not long ago, Scarlett Johannsen starred in a movie named Lucy , a sci-fi thriller about a young woman who becomes super-human as the result of ingesting some drugs that she had been forced to carry inside of her body. Movienewz  summarized the basic plot this way: Lucy (Johansson), a woman living in Taipei, Taiwan, works as a drug mule. When Lucy accidentally swallows her cargo, the drug changes her into a metahuman. She can absorb knowledge instantaneously, move objects with her mind and can’t feel pain. The idea behind the movie is the myth that we only use one-tenth of our brain power. Morgan Freeman, who with Samuel L. Jackson seems to be in almost every major motion picture released, plays the wise professor who understands the human brain. During one scene in the movie (as shown on the trailer), the Morgan Freeman character lectures a class about the human mind intoning, “It is estimated most human beings only use 10 percent of the brain’s capacity. Imagine if we could ac

Christianity Doesn't Make Sense? (Part III - Looking at Counter-Arguments)

As I stated in part I , I cannot possibly respond to every possible objection that Christianity doesn’t make sense in a single post. However, I can take the number one post on Google and respond to the points cited therein which the author uses to support the claim that Christianity doesn’t make sense. The article that I reference is, appropriately enough, entitled  Ten Reasons Why Christianity Makes No Sense. I believe each of the reasons cited not only fail to show that Christianity makes no sense, but rather that several of the objections themselves make no sense. I also will note that I will not respond to all ten points for reasons that I will state below. Please note that I will use the author’s own sub-headings for my headings when examining each of the claims that the argument “doesn’t make sense.” In looking at these reasons arguing against the good sense of Christianity, I want to reiterate how the question of whether Christianity makes sense needs to be approached. To arg

Christianity Doesn't Make Sense? (Part II - The Basic Teaching)

As I noted in part I , saying that something doesn’t make “sense” is not a technical term of argumentation. The dictionary says that “doesn’t make sense” is an idiom which can be translated as being incomprehensible or unreasonable. It is my contention that the only legitimate way an argument doesn’t “make sense” is if the argument is internally inconsistent or self-referentially absurd. In other words, when examining a belief for incomprehensibility, the truth of the facts claimed is not the question. The facts are accepted as true and the only question is whether the view point is internally consistent (i.e., “makes sense”) if the facts upon which the viewpoint depends are taken as true. So, does Christianity “make sense”? To answer, I am going to be careful about what is meant by Christianity.   After all, Christianity can be seen as a single basic belief, what C.S. Lewis termed “Mere Christianity,” with a number of variations on the basic teaching where the Bible is either unclea

Christianity Doesn't Make Sense? (Part I)

One claim I hear too often is the claim made by skeptics of various stripes that Christianity “doesn’t make sense.” Try searching the Internet with the search terms, “Christianity doesn’t make sense” and you will find a plethora of websites, blogs and discussion boards that make this statement. My Google search of these terms came up with more than six million results. (Of course, many of these are not people arguing that Christianity makes no sense, but enough of them deal with that topic that it shows that a lot of people hold the opinion that Christianity “makes no sense.”) My response is, “Of course Christianity makes sense,” but to determine who is correct, we need to define our terms. Defining “doesn’t make sense.” Saying that something “doesn’t make sense” is not a technical term of argumentation. The dictionary says that “doesn’t make sense” is an idiom which can be translated as being incomprehensible or unreasonable. It seems to me that there are two senses (pardon t

Historical Validity of The Gospels part 1 (on the 8 levles)

What ever happened to the Bible? Go on any message board where atheists congregate and start a discussion of any kind that invovles using the Bible as an authority and they will immediately say things that sound as though the Bible doesn't even exist. They regard it as such a pile of crap they wont even tolerate the possibility that it might be defended. One time on a message board (CARM) someone said that I have no way of distinguishing which passages are mythology and which are not. This is an atheist who knows me and knows I'm somewhat liberal. This guy was saying I can't distinguish true passages from ad ons but I just choose what I like. I listed a criteria for understanding mythology, it was a criteria based upon historical critical methods . This is what this other atheist responded. We also discussed the validation of the Bible as a historical artifact. I said the Gospels were historical artifacts that testify to the beliefs of the people who