Showing posts from May, 2017

Jesus Mythers Treat Sources Dishonestly

Bruno Bauer (1809-1882) Early Jesus Myther Jesus mythers want to  convey the impression that they are scrupulous historians concerned with historical evidence only. The truth is they have total contempt for real historians and they have created their own absurd standard that real  historians don't use.When I was working as a teaching assistant at UTD one prof for whom I TAed was Gavin Hambley who obtained his Ph,D. from Cambridge and who had a big name in Asian studies. I asked him once what he thought about the Jesus myther theory he literally said "they are idiots." He went on to explain if we followed their standards of historical proof we would know nothing about the ancient world. Let's look at some of the standards they advocate. Kennith Harding demonstrates a pervasive attitude among Jesus Mythers: ......What is a good source? A contemporary historian -- that is to say, an historian that lived and wrote during the time in which Christ is said to h

Restoring Apologetics to Evangelism, Part 5

Problem: Personal testimony evangelism requires building a “ten ton bridge” to present the Gospel. The presentation of personal testimony implies an invitation to examine our lives to see if Christianity is true. That in turn implies that the person has to know us well in order to know, or be more sure, that Christianity is true.  And what’s that mean in turn? It means that any actual decision for the Gospel can be forestalled by someone on the pretense of getting to know us better (though they may not tell us that). Or, it can cause us to hedge in presentation, thinking that a person doesn't know us well enough to present the Gospel to them.  Of course, there are those who will make a decision, as it is said, based on knowing us for just a little while; just as people make snap decisions every day for every reason. But we don’t regard such decisions as well-informed or judicious in other contexts, so why here? The Apostles didn’t have to play

Bayes Theorem And Probability of God: No Dice!

  It is understandable that naturalistic thinkers are uneasy with the concept of miracles. So should we all be watchful not to believe too quickly because its easy to get caught up in private reasons and ignore reason itself. Thus has more than one intelligent person been taken by both scams and honest mistakes. By the the same token it is equally a  danger that one will remain too long in the skeptical place and become overly committed to doubting everything. From that position the circular reasoning of the naturalist seems so reasonable. There’s never been any proof of miracles before so we can’t accept that there is any now. But that’s only because we keep making the same assumption and thus have always dismissed the evidence that was valid.             At this point most atheists will interject the ECREE issue (or ECREP—extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, or “proof”). That would justify the notion of remaining skeptical about miracle evidence even

Why Christian Theism Is Almost Certainly True: A Reply to Cale Nearing

Some days ago at the Facebook group "Reasonable Faith Debunked" atheist Cale Nearing [1] laid out what he calls "A positive argument for atheism." The basic idea behind the argument, as I see it, is that since the evidence for theism is compatible not only with theism but with any number of coherent and mutually exclusive hypotheses explaining the origin and life-permitting structure of our universe, the probability of theism being the one true hypothesis is very low; and, since atheism is simply the negation of theism, the probability that atheism is true is very high. Or as Nearing asserts, "Any rational inductor will conclude that Theism is almost certainly false, and therefore that Atheism (the negation of theism) is almost certainly true."   Now the argument as Nearing presents it appears quite sophisticated, making extensive use of the probability calculus generally and Bayes' Theorem in particular. Despite this apparent sophistication, ho