Where is the apologist of this age?

Apologists argue that in a secular world, their method is essential; they need to help people overcome intellectual obstacles so that the gospel can be heard fairly. People are laying awake at night wondering, “Does evolution really undermine my faith?” or “Is there evidence for God?” As I pointed out in a previous post, I think this image is largely an exaggeration. While apologetics is thought to be a necessary preliminary task prior to preaching the gospel, if the apostle Paul were writing 1 Corinthians today, he might say, “Where…

Something Greater Than The Crucifixion Is Here: How Jesus Shocked The Pharisees

As we 21st century readers digest the narrative of the New Testament, it might leave us with more questions than we anticipated. It would not be surprising if you have ever wondered what exactly Jesus did wrong. The religious scholars display a bitter rage toward Jesus. On several occasions, the New Testament writers tell us that they tried to have Jesus killed. Jesus shocked the Pharisees. But what he said that led them to murder him might come off as benign to modern readers and we might glance over it.…

God On Trial: Reviewing Some of The Best Objections To Apologetics

Those of us who dabble in philosophy of religion will encounter a range of objections. We might hear Christians using a clearly circular argument against atheism. We might hear an atheist proudly reciting shallow one-liners like “Who created God?” But sometimes there are potent counterarguments that make you stop and think about whether your argument is as sound as you thought. In this article, I will be reviewing some of the best objections to apologetics. Some are objections that I thought of on my own, while others are objections that…

Things Just Happen – Why I Developed A Cynical Interpretation of The Leftovers

Things just happen. Loved ones die. Spouses have affairs. People lose their homes. Millions of people suddenly disappear into thin air, leaving the rest of the world confused and susceptible to false beliefs, forming cults and living with a constant emotional burden. Alright, that last one might not just happen, but that is a synopsis of The Leftovers. Throughout the series, viewers had a lot of questions. What is all of this building up to? What does it mean? Why did all of this happen? After watching the final episodes…

Finding The Historical Jesus Amidst Divisive Scholarship

The identity of Jesus of Nazareth is integral to the Christian message. As Christians, we claim that one’s answer to that question will seal their fate in eternity. Those who put their trust in his promises will receive the fruit of those promises, while those who do not will lose their soul. Jesus has probably been the most influential figure in the last two thousand years. But what should we believe about him? Should we believe in the Jesus of faith? Is the Jesus of faith the same as the…

Ehrman/Price: Did Jesus Exist? Debate Review

Jesus mythicists are those who deny that there ever was a historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth. In this debate, Dr. Bart Ehrman pointed out that mythicists are often perceived as just wanting to drop a bomb on Christian theology. Jesus is the core of Christianity. If there was no Jesus of Nazareth, then Christianity as a theological system will be wholly undone. However, Dr. Ehrman did grant it to Dr. Robert Price (his debate opponent) that he did not have these nefarious motives. This was a pretty interesting debate, because…

How To Practice Religion Without Being Superstitious

As children of Descartes, westerners tend to think of the world in scientific terms. That may account for the increasing secularization of the culture. People are less likely to turn to religion for answers and more likely to turn to science. There is thought to be a vast chasm between religion and science and one must choose one or the other. That position is often based on the experience of the individual. The religious people that they have encountered and the religious sects to which they were exposed were exceedingly…

How To Avoid Being A Hack As A Christian Apologist

Christian apologetics is the practice of providing a defense of the Christian faith. This will be both positive and negative; providing evidence for God and interacting with the arguments of atheists. This effort is meant to win individuals to the faith and to adjust the cultural perception so that Christianity is a reasonable alternative. But this will also mean that how the apologist conducts herself as both a Christian and an intellectual will matter. She will have to learn how to avoid being a hack as a Christian apologist. When…

How Presuppositionalism Is Theistic Fizz; It Makes God A Programmed, Arational Belief

If I were to ask somebody why they believe in God, she might tell me that God is the most plausible explanation for the existence of the universe. She might say that if she were to concede her belief in God, then she would have to concede more than most people would be willing. The intellectual pricetag is too high. The presuppositional apologist might say something similar. The presuppositional apologist might say that all people, everywhere, presuppose that God exists and that this can be demonstrated by showing that God…

Assessing Graham Oppy’s Book, The Best Argument Against God

As Graham Oppy pointed out somewhere in The Best Argument Against God, there are thoughtful, reflective people on both sides of every argument. Unfortunately, most people (atheists and theists) are only familiar with shallow, popular level arguments and they often wield the deadly combination of arrogance and ignorance. This can lead to frustration on both sides, as both sides come to think that this is a problem exclusively with the other side. In truth, it is a problem with human beings, as most of us do not critically examine our…

The Shortcoming of Christian Apologetics From An Apologist

Men such as Dr. Frank Turek and Dr. William Lane Craig were integral to my coming to believe in Christ. Like many others, I can say that my faith would not be what it is today had I not been exposed to the evidence for the existence of God. Christian apologetics is one of the most important endeavors for the modern Christian. Secular professors actively make an effort to uproot the faith. Atheists present themselves as the intelligensia. Men such as Dr. Craig stand as a representation of the fact…

Did Josephus Write About Jesus, Or Was It Entirely A Forgery?

Are there any early accounts or testimonies of the life of Jesus that are independent of the biblical data? Well, before beginning to discuss the data in Josephus, it should be noted that it would be a mistake to discount the biblical data simply because it is a theological text. While Christians do believe that it is divinely inspired, it is also a product of human hands. It is a collection of historical documents and it contains a wealth of information, the best available data that we possess of the…

Can A Historian Use God As An Explanation?

People often think that Christian theology is just something that one has to accept by blind faith, or not. We must either accept a certain number of propositions as tenets of our faith, because there is really no way for us to establish that these things are true. But in the early church, there was a critical piece of evidence to which the disciples appealed: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There were people to whom Jesus appeared that could be interviewed (as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:6, that Jesus…

Bart Ehrman Vs Justin Bass Debate Review

Doctor Bart Ehrman is something like a rock in the shoe of evangelical Christians that is impossible to get out. I take off my shoe and violently labor to shake it out. I reach my hand in, feel around and I do not think it is there. Then I put my shoe back on and the rock is still there. That is not to say that Doctor Ehrman is a pest or that he is annoying (as I intentionally expose myself to his material) but rather than we are confronted…

Did Paul Think That Jesus Was An Actual Human Being?

There is a gap of a couple of decades between the death of Jesus and the earliest biography of his life that we have. This might raise a question about what the earliest Christians thought about Jesus. Did they think the same things that we do? Was their worship akin to our worship? Was their devotion to Jesus as a divine person, the only begotten God, at the Father’s side (John 1:18)? Was he thought of as an actual human being, planted in human history of just a few years…

Is The Gospel of John Reliable?

Christians who indulge in liberal scholarship will hear the testimony that the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are somewhat reliable, while the Gospel of John is not reliable as a historical document. It will be testified that the Gospel of John contains embellished and later details of the Lord Jesus, or that it was written too late to be reliable, or that it was not written by eye-witnesses. The Gospel of John was a theological narrative, of theological reflection, not a historical narrative (so the argument goes). In this…

What Were The Disciples Doing Between Good Friday And Easter?

Yesterday was Good Friday, which is the day that Jesus was murdered for the sins of the world and all of the wrath of God that we deserve was poured out on him. So I made a point to write a few relevant things. I want also to write relevant things about the days leading up to Easter. What were the disciples doing between Good Friday and Easter? That is certainly an interesting question and there is certainly a bit of speculation from historical scholars. Did they expect Jesus to…

Several Reasons That Jesus Existed

Many atheists attempt to lodge the radical assertion that Jesus of Nazareth never even existed. They want to reduce everything about Christian theology to pure mythology, so to not allow a divine foot in the door. To that end, they attempt to say that Jesus of Nazareth was a completely made up characters and there is no evidence that he even existed. The problem is that the overwhelming majority of secular, historical scholars disagree with this claim. There are several reasons that Jesus existed. 1 – The testimony of the…

Several Reasons The Disciples Did Not Hallucinate Jesus

The overwhelming majority of secular scholars hold to the conclusion that the disciples, enemies and skeptics had visions of Jesus of Nazareth, in which he appeared to them alive after his death. Atheist New Testament scholars such as Gerd Ludemann speak for the majority of scholars when he says, “It may be taken as historically certain that the disciples had experiences of Jesus, where he appeared to them alive, after his death.” He just thinks that the disciples hallucinated Jesus. But I think there are several reasons the disciples did…

Is Jesus A Copy Of Pagan Myths?

Many atheist non-historians have made a point to attack the historicity of the gospels, and the historicity of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The point that this is an attack by non-historians is important because historical and theological scholars do not take seriously these claims. The overwhelming majority of historical scholars acknowledge that Jesus of Nazareth was an actual human being, there being more source evidence for his existence than the existence of Tiberius Ceasar (the emperor who reigned at the time of Jesus). Despite that, atheists will still…