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Can Science Survive Dan Brown? (Review of His Novel Origin)

Can Science Survive Dan Brown? (Review of His Novel Origin)

Book Review Someone who knows something faith and science had better do it, I thought, so I guess I’ll read Dan Brown’s latest novel. Pardon my reluctance, but I knew something about Brown’s reputation as a writer. It’s called Origin: A Novel. I’d heard about it via news of his pronouncement that “God cannot survive science.” A more honest intellect might wonder whether science can survive Dan Brown. Don’t Worry, I’m Only Spoiling His Sermon I can’t explain that without revealing…

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“How Would Jesus Blog” and Our Responsibility to Answer Our Critics

“How Would Jesus Blog” and Our Responsibility to Answer Our Critics

My friend Eric Chabot, Ratio Christi director at Ohio State University, emailed me this question about How Would Jesus Blog? It’s a good one, so I obtained permission from him to post it along with my answer. Eric’s Question: Shouldn’t We Answer Our Critics? So what are your thoughts on this: In his book Introducing Apologetics: Cultivating Christian Commitment, James Taylor lists three kinds of people who we will encounter when doing evangelism. If anything, if we do evangelism and encounter…

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So You Want An Unbiased Opinion On Christianity? You’re Piling On More Bias Than You Think!

So You Want An Unbiased Opinion On Christianity? You’re Piling On More Bias Than You Think!

Book Review: The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails. Part Two Bias To the Max Jason Long survey’s persuasion theory in chapter 3 of John Loftus’s The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails. Similar critiques apply to what I wrote about the rest of the book’s part one. But there’s one thing in particular that bears analysis. It’s the idea that you can’t trust a biased opinion. Sounds reasonable enough, right? Long puts it this way: Scholars who begin with no emotional investment in…

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Fifty or a Thousand Simple Questions for Every Christian

Fifty or a Thousand Simple Questions for Every Christian

A while back I picked up a book  titled 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian. I was thinking it might provide an interesting source of discussion here on the blog. I finally got into it this week, and the first thing I discovered was that its author, Guy Harrison, gave it the wrong name. There are a lot more than fifty questions. A rough computer search turned up almost 900 question marks, meaning the title was off by a factor…

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Atheists’ Skepticism as Better Explanation?

Atheists’ Skepticism as Better Explanation?

There are many ironies in the list of “better explanations” atheists graciously provided in response to a recent blog post here, but perhaps none greater than atheists’ skepticism: I figure if there’s an atheist worldview it might be the same as the scientific worldview, which means questioning things and looking for physical evidence, unlike the religious worldview which means trusting and submitting to authority. There’s a sentiment in there that’s echoed in comments like, Skepticism is a better method for…

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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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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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Jesus’ Final Words: Mark 16

Jesus’ Final Words: Mark 16

We don’t know for sure what Jesus’ final words were in the Gospel of Mark. The closing verses of the book, Mark 16:9-20, are in doubt as to their authenticity. The Bible Knowledge Commentary tells us, The external evidence includes the following: (1) The two earliest (fourth century) uncial manuscripts (Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) omit the verses though their respective scribes left some blank space after verse 8, suggesting that they knew of a longer ending but did not have it…

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Thinking Is Hard. Therefore … ?

Thinking Is Hard. Therefore … ?

Thinking is hard. That’s exactly right. This sign from the Reason Rally came to mind this morning when I read d’s recent comment on skepticism: The skeptic case doesn’t rely on demonstrating that some alternative possibility is true, just that there are some which can’t be shown to be false. The case for the resurrection depends on demonstrating every alternative possibility is false, or less probable than the resurrection. I’ll explain the connection in a moment. First I want to…

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