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Book Review: How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test for Faith, by David Marshall

Book Review: How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test for Faith, by David Marshall

Book Review How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test: The Inside Story by David Marshall. (Full disclosure: David Marshall is a friend and a contributor to True Reason, in which he wrote an early, brief form of part of the argument in How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test. This review is based on a draft David sent me before final editing, so I will not be quoting much from it.) In the earliest days of the church there was a skeptic named…

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Ehrman Errs on Jesus’ Authority To Forgive

Ehrman Errs on Jesus’ Authority To Forgive

I ran across this charming nugget from Bart Ehrman yesterday: When Jesus forgives sins, he never says “I forgive you,” as God might say, but “your sins are forgiven,” which means that God has forgiven the sins. This prerogative for pronouncing sins forgiven was otherwise reserved for Jewish priests in honor of sacrifices that worshipers made at the temple. Ehrman, Bart D. (2014-03-25). How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (p. 127). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition….

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God With Us!

God With Us!

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:23) I’ve just blogged again about the New Testament’s treatment of Jesus as God. This is relevant to the day; it is at the heart of the Christmas story: Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. As my favorite Christmas-and-Easter passage, Philippians 2:5-11, puts it: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was…

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Responding to Dale Tuggy on Jesus and Faith

Responding to Dale Tuggy on Jesus and Faith

I got a bit of pushback from Dule Tuggy, professor of philosophy at SUNY Fredonia, on my posts about Jesus and faith. Dr. Tuggy’s series on my posts begins here. His view is that although Jesus is never spoken of as having faith, nevertheless he demonstrated faith: I’ll stick to this point: the gospels don’t need to say that Jesus had faith in God, because they clearly portray Jesus’s faith in God. Before I respond to that, let’s jump ahead to…

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The Dogmatically Self-Assured Reza Aslan

The Dogmatically Self-Assured Reza Aslan

Book Review I’ve been doing some work recently on the theory that Jesus Christ was a legendary figure, so I thought I should read Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Plenty of other people have been reading it. It’s a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and has been named one of the year’s best books by Good Housekeeping, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Bookish, according to its Amazon web page. I’ll say this much for it:…

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How Jesus’ Not Having Faith In God Affirms His Deity

How Jesus’ Not Having Faith In God Affirms His Deity

I was looking over my bookshelf the other day when Fulton Oursler’s The Greatest Faith Ever Known caught my eye. I’ve never read it (like too many other books I own), but I know it’s about the apostle Paul. And it got me wondering: didn’t Jesus have the greatest faith ever known? No, he didn’t, at least not according to the Gospels. Jesus uses the word “faith” 41 times in the Gospels (English Standard Version), and in every case he was…

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How real was Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross?

How real was Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross?

It never occurred to me, when I wrote my Touchstone article on the Jesus-legend theory, how many readers would find it hard to understand Jesus’ sacrifice as being truly genuine. Recently Andy wrote, it is inconceivable to me how an infinite being could “sacrifice” anything – if Jesus was God allmighty, and he knew that he was, then he was never in any real danger and didn´t sacrifice anything. To “sacrifice” means to give up something valuable – but what…

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I don’t understand indifference toward Jesus Christ

I don’t understand indifference toward Jesus Christ

Of all the possible ways to think about Jesus Christ, the one that baffles me most is indifference. He is the most remarkable character in all history and literature, and for that reason alone he deserves a close look. I don’t think that’s disputable. Obviously there’s debate as to whether he’s an historical character or a fictional one. The thing is, though, either way, he stands out above all the rest. He stands out in the eyes of the other…

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Something Different About This Philosopher

Something Different About This Philosopher

A philosopher came through the university, explaining the purpose of life, the way to happiness, the answer to the question of immortality, and the truth about right and wrong, good and evil. He spoke plainly. He avoided argument except over his right he speak; for he spoke on his own authority, and as if speaking for God himself: “It is true because because God says so, and I speak for God. My words are attested by the power of my…

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