My friend UnkleE and I have been having a wide-ranging discussion on several topics related to Christianity that ultimately come down to epistemology, or how Christians know God's will. The discussion began in my last post, which critiqued a doctrine common to more moderate circles within Christianity. UnkleE had more to say on the subject… Continue reading How Do You Navigate Christianity Without a Compass?
Sometimes, skeptics of Christianity will criticize its approach to justice by asking what happened to the souls of all the people who died before Jesus's ministry, assuming that since they couldn't have had faith in him, they were consigned to Hell. But many Christians believe they can address this issue easily by pointing to Romans… Continue reading The Light Given
Peter, one of the regular readers here, pointed my attention to a post that shows a discrepancy in what the Bible claims about Jacob's descendants spending 400+ years in Egypt. I won't try to summarize it here -- I wouldn't be able to do it justice. Just check it out for yourself: https://isthatinthebible.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/the-story-of-ezer-and-elead-and-what-it-means-for-the-exodus/
Well, it's that time of year again. Regular church attendees are going to have to share their pews with people who have finally decided to make it out for their second service of the year. Their belief that Jesus bled and died so they can gain eternal salvation might be unshakable, but it apparently isn't… Continue reading Which Nativity Story?
For the past few months, my wife and I have been meeting periodically with some family members to discuss our religious differences. The conversations have been interesting. When we tried this during our deconversion six years ago, it didn't go well. Emotions were simply way too high. This time around, we've all come to accept… Continue reading God and Football, or: Facts Should Matter
In the comment thread of my last post, some of us mentioned that it's hard for us to understand the point of view of Christians who believe the Bible can be inspired by God, without holding to the doctrine of inerrancy. unkleE left the following comment: How is it that in everything else in life… Continue reading Is It Fair to Expect Inerrancy from the Bible When We Don’t Expect It from Other Sources?
Several months ago, I received a letter from a childhood friend whom I haven't heard from in a very long time. She and I were both raised in the same fundamentalist branch of Christianity (Church of Christ), and our parents are still very close. Her preacher recently did a series of sermons on evidences for… Continue reading Letter to a Friend
Regular readers of this blog may know that one of the first lines of evidence that caused me to begin questioning my Christian faith had to do with the Book of Daniel. There are a number of issues within the book that have led the majority of scholars to conclude that it was not written… Continue reading Family Ties: Nebuchadnezzar, Nabonidus, Belshazzar, and Nitocris
If you've discussed the resurrection with Christians before, then you're probably familiar with the above argument. Since first century Jews didn't believe in a bodily resurrection like Jesus's, then they're no way the disciples would have believed it without actually witnessing it for themselves. William Lane Craig has used this argument several times: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpSEZV2EER8#t=7m49s He… Continue reading Jewish Disciples Wouldn’t Have Created the Idea of the Resurrection, So It Must Have Really Happened… Right?
Many people are aware that Josephus, a Jewish historian from the late first century, mentions Jesus Christ. In fact, it's often used as evidence that Jesus really existed. Of course, many of those same people are also aware that Josephus's most detailed mention of Jesus, called the Testimonium Flavianum, has been embellished by a later… Continue reading Some Thoughts on Josephus, Jesus, and John the Baptist