Who Would WANT the Christian God Anyway?

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He makes too many big mistakes

If we could pose this question to folks coming out of their weekly worship services: Do they really want the God they worship? …we would hear enthusiastic affirmations, “Oh, Yes, I want the Lord! Our God is so wonderful.” But I wonder. Have they really thought it through? There are several things about this God that are a turnoff. Many of us would put he/she/it near the bottom of a list of gods to follow. Let’s look at a short list.

What About The Emotional Problem of Evil?

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I don't think there is a legitimate category called the "emotional" problem of evil. By definition, horrendous suffering should induce our utter emotional disgust and revulsion. If it didn't, we might be psychopaths. I see this invented category of evil as an apologist's trick of obfuscationism. That's because an unemotional Star Trek character like Spock does not exist. Trying to take away our natural revulsion to horrendous suffering of the highest order is attempting to divorce us from reality. If a god made us to weep uncontrollably at the sight of mass murder, gang rape, or the millions of people who suffer and die due to wars and pandemics, then I think it's a legitimate natural emotional feeling. That inbuilt humane feeling--allegedly created in us by god--justifies the rejection of any god who would allow horrendous suffering to happen if s/he could disallow it. Furthermore, the only type of "pastoral" counseling that can help people who suffer is to hear a good theodicy, and/or to have their petitionary prayers answered. Discus.

My Easter Epiphany

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In the summer of 2002, having completed my master’s thesis in early Christian and early Jewish apocalyptic literature at Princeton, I had relocated to New Haven, Connecticut. I was thrilled! I had been admitted to Yale for advanced graduate language study in preparation for my coming doctoral research. Then a devout Christian, little did I suspect during my summer German reading course that the basis for my religious faith would soon altogether vanish before my eyes. That autumn, along with studies in Syriac, Aramaic, classical Greek, and Hebrew, I began my coursework in classical (Roman) Latin texts. As a matter of strategy, I set to work at further broadening and secularizing my education beyond the traditional confines of Biblical and Christian Studies. 
You see, prior to Princeton, I had graduated with a Master of Divinity with high honors from Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology, the seminary that employed the famous evangelical apologist Dr. William Lane Craig. At Biola, not only were we not to dance, to smoke, to drink, or to watch ‘R-rated’ movies, we also had an unbearably limiting on-campus library, a heavily curated reading collection that promoted the good and holy path of our evangelical Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Despite this naive and parochial beginning to my academic journey, my honest, near-insatiable appetite for truth rapidly outgrew the faith-restrictive sandbox of biblicist evangelicalism. I was now at Yale, studying under some of the top humanist academicians, taking courses that were no longer under the thumb of theologians, contractually signed “confessions,” or religiously motivated institutions. In my Latin reading course in the Classics Department, we were reading Livy’s Latin Ab Urbe Condita Libri, Book 1, Livy’s recounting of the etiological legends of the earliest founding kings of Rome, a canonical history composed in the latter half of the first century B.C.E. I recall the very day, I had been translating Livy on my own, seated in the garden outside of the Sterling Memorial Library, the second largest academic library in North America. Little did I know that by the end of my reading, I would find myself at once crying tears of loss, fear, joy, and unprecedented mental exhilaration. Allow me to share with you now what I had read, in English translation, and the concomitant profound epiphany that for me irreversibly transformed the meaning of Easter and the postmortem tales of Jesus given in the bible. In Book 1, 15-16, the great Roman historian passes along what he had previously confessed to be legendary accounts of Romulus, founding king of Rome (...poeticis magis decora fabulis…; preface 6-7), arguably the foremost iconic figure in Roman classical antiquity; Romulus was, within 2-3 centuries, to be eclipsed by the Jesus of Christianity. Completing his life-story of the deeds of Romulus, Livy finally writes:

Dr. Jaco Gericke: "Christian philosophy of religion as nonsense on stilts"

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In a previous post I responded to Thomas Nagel and Quentin Smith's claims that materialism isn't justified (Nagel), and/or A Vast Majority of Naturalists Hold To Naturalism Unreflectively (Smith). In it I mentioned Dr. Jaco Gericke's critique of Christian  philosophy of religion. I regard Gericke as having a singularly unique understanding of the relationship of biblical scholarship to the philosophy of religion, as he holds doctorates in both (see tag below). 
Of course, I'm honored Geicke recommended my book Unapologetic: Why Philosophy of Religion Must End, saying, “As an introduction to the ever-growing frustration with so-called Christian philosophy among many secular ex-Christian authors, Unapologetic is invaluable reading material for any reader interested in the wide variety of polemical issues it deals with.” My book is an extension of the same kind of arguments Dr. Hector Avalos used regarding Biblical studies in his masterful book, The End of Biblical Studies. Avalos also highly recommended my book Unapologetic.
I was similarly honored that both Gericke and Avalos wrote chapters in my aptly titled anthology, The End of Christianity. I've already posted an excerpt of Dr. Avalos' book, here. Since Dr. Gericke has recently posted his chapter online at academia.edu, below is that same chapter as published in The End of Christianity. Enjoy.

Bible Blunders & Bad Theology, Part 10

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Letting Satan have his way

Since this is Good Friday, we should pay homage to Matthew’s effort to merge Halloween with Easter. He reported that when Jesus died on the cross, many people came alive in their tombs, then on Easter morning walked around Jerusalem. (Matthew 27:52-53) Even many Christians dismiss this as a tall tale, but this is awkward: how can they argue that the resurrection of Jesus isn’t a tall tale as well?

 

Now, on with today’s topic.

 

How much time and energy have Christian apologists devoted to figuring out why God allows so much suffering? In fact, apologetics is quite an industry; there is so much incoherence in Christian theology that has to be dealt with, but especially suffering. I once found a stunning bit of information in a July 1993 article by Peter Steinfels in the religion section of the New York Times. He reported the amazing achievement of scholar Barry Whitney:

On Finding Jesus

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I'm here today to announce my conversion to Christianity. For several years now, I've been blogging at Debunking Christianity, and before that at my own site, arguing against what up until recently I saw as irrational beliefs. But last night, God spoke to me, and I am now saved. Praise the Lord!

Do A Vast Majority of Naturalists Hold To Naturalism Dogmatically and Unreflectively?

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On a forum called "The Student Room" the question above was posed four years ago, reflecting on the musings of several "mainstream" scholars. It received no comments. Perhaps it's time. 
Thomas Nagel caused quite a stir with his book attacking different types of naturalism and highlighted the significant problems that materialism in particular face. Nagel is an atheist. He is also, albeit a hazy one, a naturalist (though he is skeptical of materialism) he is not the first prominent naturalist to highlight the unreflective acceptance many have of materialism. 
Here are other examples:

GCRR Announces the 2021 International eConference on Religious Trauma!

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The Global Center for Religious Research (GCRR) is hosting the 2021 International eConference on Religious Trauma on May 29-30th. This virtual econference will bring together specialists, psychiatrists, and researchers from all over the world to discuss the causes of religious trauma, as well as its manifestations and treatment options for those afflicted with the sometimes adverse effects associated with religion. 
The purpose of this multidisciplinary virtual conference is to advance the clinical and psychological understanding of religious trauma. This two-day conference will provide an interdisciplinary platform for scholars, educators, and practitioners to present their research to international audiences from all different backgrounds.
Religious trauma results from an event, series of events, relationships, or circumstances within or connected to religious beliefs, practices, or structures that is experienced by an individual as overwhelming or disruptive and has lasting adverse effects on a person’s physical, mental, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.
We're Service-Driven, Not Profit-Driven​.​ We Don't Have a Hidden Agenda. GCRR is the Global Leader in Religious Trauma Research. ​We Attract an International Audience. ​All Presentations are Recorded and Distributed for Free. Some conferences actually charge people an extra fee to receive the event video recordings. With GCRR, the $15 ticket price includes receiving the video recording of all presentations so you can watch any talk that you missed (or rewatch any talk all over again).​ Finally, All Event Proceeds Go toward Funding GCRR's Religious Trauma Research Project.

The Persistence of Christian Crazy

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“…it’s a problem for the rest of us…”


“Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” So said John the Baptist when he spotted Jesus heading toward him, according to the opening chapter of John’s gospel (v. 29). This gospel was written well after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 C.E. The Temple had been a great slaughterhouse, doing big business in the ritual killing of animals to atone for sins. John’s theology represents an adjustment, an upgrade from animal to human sacrifice: Jesus is the one and only Lamb whose death is needed to cancel sin. This is ancient superstition, a dramatic example of magical thinking, promoted even today by a vast church bureaucracy.

Dr. David Madison, Debunker Par Excellence!

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I'm a big fan of former Methodist minister and biblical scholar Dr. David Madison, who no longer believes. He understands how best to debunk Christianity. It has to do a great deal with the Bible. Since the Bible makes atheists out of readers--doing so will shock you to the bone--then how much more does reading what Madison says about the Bible. He honors us at DC by writing weekly essays on Friday, plus so much more, as he's also an administrator.  He honored me by asking for a Foreword to his book three years ago, Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief (2nd ed. 2018). With his permission, here it is:

The Paradoxes of Denying Infinity

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It is common for theists — especially those familiar with the Kalam Cosmological Argument and William Lane Craig's defense of it — to deny the existence of actual infinities. And since the question of infinity recently came up in one of the comment threads here, I thought I'd re-publish an old blog post on this, with minor modifications.

It consists of two parts — the main blog post, plus (for those who want to delve a bit deeper into the issue) an addendum on the solution to Zeno's paradox:

Although it may be surprising, no claim I've made has been criticized more by the religious than the claim that there are actual infinities. Every time I so much as mention infinity, someone goes out of their way to "inform" me of the errors of my ways. And yet there appear to be clear cases of infinity all around us. For example, every time you move, you go through an infinite number of subintervals: You first go half of the way, then 3/4 of the way, followed by 7/8, 15/16, and so on, covering what is obviously an infinite series. Nevertheless, you are able to complete the motion.

Three Pillars of My Atheism

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“We have in this century discovered our universe”

My focus in this article will not be suffering—colossal human and animal suffering—that is built into creation, and renders the concept of a caring, competent god incoherent and meaningless. There are three other realities that make Christian theology highly suspect, and contributed mightily to my rejection of the faith; that’s my focus here, but please be assured that the scale of suffering alone blasts Christianity out of the water. Nobody has said it better than Stephen Fry, when he was asked in an interview what he—an outspoken atheist—would say to God if the latter confronted him at the Pearly Gates:

 

“I’d say, bone cancer in children…what’s that about? How dare you? How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault. It's not right. It's utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain? That's what I would say.”

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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This is my day! I am probably 1/4th Irish. On this day I celebrate the memory of my Great Grandfather Tom Loftus, who was a co-founder of the American Baseball League with Ban Johnson and Charles Comiskey. See here!

In Defense of the New Atheists: An Excerpt From My Book "Unapologetic"

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    It's time for atheist philosophers of religion to end their own sub-discipline under Philosophy proper. I explain in detail what I mean in my book Unapologetic: Why Philosophy of Religion Must End (2016). Below is an excerpt from it where I defend the new atheists Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens and Stenger from the philosophical elites. A few months ago I defended Hitchens' Razor. You can see the same dismissive attitude in both of these essays. I have no personal axe to grind. It's a principled disagreement. You can comment but before I'll respond you should first read my book.

The College/Seminary/University Transcripts of John W. Loftus

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I recently realized I hadn't shared my transcripts before. If you wonder what I know that makes my critique of Christianity quite powerful it's because I know the beast very well, having been taught a lot of things by the best of the lot. See what you think the next time someone calls me a "pop atheist", like Matthew Flannagan did recently, whom I regard as one of the most disingenuous Christian apologists out there (and there are plenty of them).     
---1977 B.R.E from Great Lakes Bible/Christian College [GLCC]/ Major: New Testament. Minor: Christian Ministries.
---1982 M.A. and M.Div from Lincoln Christian Seminary/University [LCS]. Major: Theology/Philosophy. Half of my hours were taken under James D. Strauss [JDS]
---1985 Th.M. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School [TEDS]. Major: Philosophy of Religion. Half of my hours were taken under William Lane Craig. [WLC] I've written a great deal about him and recommended the book Unreasonable Faith as a good response. 
---1986-1988 Ph.D studies at Marquette University [MU]. Double Major: Theology & Ethics. 

A Flare-up of Atheism in 1849

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“No preachers at my funeral, please”


Not long after the dawn of this new century, a New Atheism was born—at least it’s been called that. The best selling books by Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett stunned the Christian world: so much eloquent, outspoken criticism of theism. Perhaps the adjective “new” was meant to suggest that it was a fad, but these famous books spurred many other authors. By my count, well over four hundred books have now appeared since 2000, explaining in detail the falsification of theism, Christianity especially. These include, by the way, the five anthologies published by John Loftus—with two more in the works. In 2011, The Clergy Project was established, which is a support group for clergy who have become atheists. If there is no such thing as “new” atheism, there is a new level of energy and determination.

Andrew Loke on the Resurrection: A Skeptic's Review, by Eric Bess

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Andrew T. E. Loke 2020, Investigating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: A New Transdisciplinary Approach [New York: Routledge]
Despite the great fanfare for this book I observed in some quarters, this book didn't live up to its hype.
Loke's original contribution in this book is to condense all naturalistic alternatives to Jesus's supernatural resurrection to a few categories, then attempt to rebut them as viable explanations of our historical data, leaving the resurrection as the only alternative available. However, if his arguments against naturalistic explanations were poor, or if he couldn't cover all arguments one might offer for a given alternative (for example, by only refuting bad arguments) this would defeat the stated purpose of the book.
As it stands, I believe that's exactly the case. There's much I could say about this volume in terms of many individual arguments it makes that I perceive to be seriously wrong. But for the purpose of this review I'll focus on the following list of five criticisms: 1) Loke's book is extremely repetitive. 2) Loke is uncritically biased in ways that are patently obvious. 3) Loke misrepresents opposing scholarship. 4) Loke relies superficially on a book on rumor psychology when he should have looked more into the psychology of religion. 5) Loke thinks persecution solves almost any deficiency in his argumentation that results from his lack of evidence.
I will now elaborate on each of these points.

The Prophecies of Q, by Adrienne LaFrance

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A new religion is born of dangerous American conspiracies. The Atlantic magazine is doing a superior take down of it HERE. To learn about its origins, predictions, and conjectures on who Q is read this recent LINK.

Required Reading, Julia Galef's Book "The Scout Mindset"

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Julia Galef is the host of the popular Rationally Speaking podcast. She has an excellent book coming out titled, The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't. From what I can tell based upon her TED Talk below, her book could help believers look at their own religion as nonbelievers, outsiders. It's the best way to approach what we believe in a wide array of areas, dispassionately seeking the truth as best as possible. Required reading!

All Things Are Possible . . . in Books, Films, and Campfire Tales

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    Those who have lived long enough will recall the Cecil B. DeMille 1956 cinematic classic The Ten Commandments, starring Anne Baxter, Yul Brynner, and Charlton Heston, the blockbuster Hollywood portrayal of Moses (played by Heston) as he leads the classical Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt and through Sinai to the “promised land” of Canaan. As a child, I literally shook with excitement during the climactic scene where Moses raises his divine staff over the Red Sea, only to observe the spectacle of Yahweh parting those millions upon millions of gallons of water so that His chosen people may pass, escaping the encroachment of Pharaoh’s armies. The god of Moses surely had unmatched might . . .  on the silver screen, that is!

Bible Blunders & Bad Theology, Part 9

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How did Mark find out about the Last Supper?

I sometimes indulge the frivolous thought that New Testament scholarship might have derived some of its inspiration from great mystery writers, e.g., Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), Agatha Christie (1890-1976), and Dorothy L. Sayers (1983-1957). These authors imagined complex plots and their sleuths, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Lord Peter Wimsey, applied considerable ingenuity to discover whodunit. New Testament scholars, who have thrived when these authors were in their prime—and beyond—face one of the biggest whodunits ever, actually a multi-layered whodunit: how did Christianity come to be, how are the New Testament documents related, and how in the world can we figure out who Jesus really was, if he really was? Scholars have yet to agree on a methodology for identifying genuine historical data in the gospels—and they continue sleuthing to unravel multiple mysteries.

The Fueling of Christian Hate

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Arrogant and aggressive ignorance


When I gave up my ordination and left the ministry in 1977, I managed a successful transition to a business career. This was long before the existence of The Clergy Project, which today provides support for clergy who have become atheists and are trying to move on; I had to wing it reinventing myself. A couple of year before that I had also been divorced, after ten years of marriage. I had known since I was a teenager that I was gay, but in rural Indiana in the 1950s gay people did not exist. Well of course they did, but remained deeply closeted and out of sight. There were certainly no famous role models, such as Neil Patrick Harris, for example. Hence I had followed the script I was expected to follow—pretty perfectly too: I married a missionary’s daughter.

It's Hogwash To Say Deductive Arguments Produce Certain Conclusions While Inductive Arguments Are Weaker by Comparison!!

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Johannes Y K Hui recently claimed something odd:
(1) Every SOUND deductive argument’s conclusion is impossible to be false. [A sound deductive argument would be one that has all true premises and a valid form/structure. A sound deductive argument/reasoning would produce a conclusion that is impossible to be false; such a sound deductive conclusion would be guaranteed true with 100% certainty.]

(2) Every cogent/strong non-deductive argument’s conclusion is possible to be false. [In contrast, a cogent/strong non-deductive or probabilistic argument at best produces only a conclusion that is only probably true; its conclusion is always possible to be false.]

Because of the above, when the conclusion of a non-deductive or probabilistic argument contradicts that of a sound deductive argument, the conclusion of the non-deductive argument would be guaranteed false with 100% certainty.

Given the above two points, because there exists sound deductive arguments that produced the conclusion that “the God of Classical Christian Theism exists extramentally” (which would be guaranteed to be true with 100% certainty given the nature of SOUND deductive arguments), any non-deductive argument (such as all those evidential probabilistic arguments making use of the existence of sufferings) that concludes with “the God of Classical Christian Theism probably does not exist extra-mentally” would be totally negated.
As a former college instructor in logic and critical thinking who taught students who were police officers, detectives, and lawyers, allow me to teach you something useful. The only thing certain in a valid deductive argument is the logical structure of the argument itself. Many philosophy novices fail to get this point.

Remarkable Resistance to Rational Inquiry

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Knowing God for sure can be a health risk

Quite a few of the most vocal Christians in the land—of the TV evangelist variety—assured their fans that God told them Trump would be reelected; how did they get it so wrong? Many other Christian leaders have gone right ahead with large church gatherings during the pandemic, confident that faith is sufficient protection against the virus; they were enough in tune with God to know this. But their meetings turned into super spreader events; did God’s word get garbled? How does it happen that super devout folks are so sure that God talks to them?

Conspiratorial Theories and Religious Beliefs

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Here is a fantastic lesson in conspiratorial theories, and how to break free from them. It's an excellent case study! I liken conspiracy theories to religous beliefs. The same types of illegitimate justifications are used, and the refusal to admit they're wrong are exactly the same.

We just watched a Netflix Series called Crime Scene: The Vanishing at Cecil Hotel. It's four episodes long. It was riveting, having to do with the vanishing of hotel guest Elisa Lam. Lots of internet sleuths got involved when a video of her getting in and out of an elevator surfaced. All kinds of theories were proposed. One by one they were shown wrong by either the evidence, or the lack of evidence.

The sleuths slowly gravitated toward conspiracy theories as this happened. They thought coincidences were evidence, like the parallels with a movie called "Dark Waters". The fact is, coincidences are not equivalent to objective evidence, because if we look hard enough and long enough we will see plenty of them!

When the truth came out in the fourth episode we see the sleuths having a hard time accepting the truth, since they had so much invested in the case.

Don't research this case first, as it will spoil it. Watch this series first. Then think of Trump and those who continue believing his lie that his last election was stolen from him.

----

PS Isn't it telling that since Dominion Voting Systems has sued people to the tune of billions of dollars that Trump has stopped calling the election a fraud?

What Does the Problem of Suffering Conclude?

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As the editor of a forthcoming anthology on God and Horrendous Suffering, an apologist said this to me:
John I’m so so confused why you believe that an argument against God using evil is very effective. At best it would only bring into question what kind of God.
My response: Two things: 1) The argument from evil shows your SPECIFIC god doesn't exist. 2) The cavalier manner in which you respond like this reveals something very important, that you would believe in a different god if the argument succeeds, one that does evil, rather than give up your faith. That means above all, you value faith for faith's sake. Since this is quite clear, no argument can persuade you to abandon faith itself. You would simply continue moving the goal posts. Given this FACT a dialogue with you is a waste of my time. It is YOU who needs to get honest by fact checking your faith against the objective evidence. I have already done so.

Answering Two Objections Against Miracles

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As I'm the editor of a highly acclaimed anthology on miracles, Phil Bair wants to debate me. He has some impressive credentials. So I asked him what his objections were. He offered two of them.
You already know one of my objections: you have no criteria for identifying what qualifies as "extraordinary evidence" for an extraordinary claim. If there is no criteria, that presents three problems. 1. your principle is subjective, 2. you have no basis for telling us our evidence is not extraordinary enough, and 3. we have no way of knowing whether our evidence would satisfy anyone who holds to this principle because they are unwilling to give us any guide for determining this. If you expect us to satisfy the requirement, you have to give us a way of measuring that aspect of the evidence.
In answer this is what I call obfuscationist apologetics. The attempt is to get sidetracked into interesting issues that are beside the point. Rather than clarifying the issue to be addressed the goal is to distract us away from it, or to muddy the waters for the unwary.

First, this is not my problem. This is a problem for Bair's god. His god should know what would be convincing for rational people who cannot believe. The question then becomes why such a god who wants us to believe or be damned, is not providing it. Second, if I were to go further I would say it must be sufficient objective evidence. The reason why this is the case is because there's no objective evidence at all for any of the miracles that form the basis for Bair's Christian faith. Third, as to offering criteria goes I would offer clear-cut obvious concrete examples instead, like the unevidenced belief that a virgin gave birth to the second person of a Trinitarian god in an ancient pre-scientific superstitious age, best described as one of Kooks and Quacks of the Roman Empire. Then I would ask Bair to state his criteria for believing such an extraordinary claim, to see if included, was any objective evidence at all, which isn't. Hence I could simply dismiss his claim, which should be the end of it, per Hitchens' Razor.
The other objection I have is that your rejection for miracles does not rest on the principles endemic in the discipline of historiography. They rely on philosophical presuppositions rather than historiographical principles. That philosophical bias does not establish a basis for rejecting historical claims that don't conform to it. This forces the investigator to accept explanations for historical events even if they are false, and forces him to reject explanations even if they are true. Based on this, my contention is that you are simply defining historical methodologies out of existence in order to defeat them in a way you find convenient but not in a way that honestly addresses the merits of the evidence.
Will someone please tell me why Bair accuses me of that which Bair is guilty of doing? Methinks he doth protest too much. This link of arguments should refute such an unfounded hypocrtical claim. Let me just quote one passage from that previous link, something Dr. Bart Ehrman said in his book, Jesus Interrupted, about the historian and miracles here:
Why was the tomb supposedly empty? I say supposedly because, frankly, I don't know that it was. Our very first reference to Jesus' tomb being empty is in the Gospel of Mark, written forty years later by someone living in a different country who had heard it was empty. How would he know?...Suppose...that Jesus was buried by Joseph of Arimathea...and then a couple of Jesus' followers, not among the twelve, decided that night to move the body somewhere more appropriate...But a couple of Roman legionnaires are passing by, and catch these followers carrying the shrouded corpse through the streets. They suspect foul play and confront the followers, who pull their swords as the disciples did in Gethsemane. The soldiers, expert in swordplay, kill them on the spot. They now have three bodies, and no idea where the first one came from. Not knowing what to do with them, they commandeer a cart and take the corpses out to Gehenna, outside town, and dump them. Within three or four days the bodies have deteriorated beyond recognition. Jesus' original tomb is empty, and no one seems to know why. Is this scenario likely? Not at all. Am I proposing this is what really happened? Absolutely not. Is it more probable that something like this happened than that a miracle happened and Jesus left the tomb to ascend to heaven? Absolutely! From a purely historical point of view, a highly unlikely event is far more probable than a virtually impossible one..." [See pages 171-179]

Ravi Zacharias Was a Sexual Predator

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Surprise surprise! Ravi Zacharias was a sexual predator, and his organization refused to believe his accusers, or to seriously investigate them, until after he died. Now they have done so, and they find him guilty, and ask forgiveness for not investigating them.

I've known of Ravi since my graduation at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1985, when he was honored by being the commencement speaker. I remember being very impressed with him at the time. That was the day this photo was taken of me with my two mentors, Dr. Craig and Dr. Strauss.

The Curious Lack of Christian Curiosity

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Bible skepticism is risky business


How is history written—real history? What is the labor required to give accurate accounts of events in the past? David McCullough’s The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris provides a good example. His 450 pages of text—describing the Paris sojourns of Mary Cassatt and Samuel Morse, among many others—are followed by 76 pages listing his sources: exactly where he found the information. McCullough spent a lot of time digging in libraries and archives.

Jesus and the Capitol Insurrection

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We’re Still in Deep Trouble 


“Jesus 2020” and “Jesus is my savior, Trump Is My President.” These were two of the big signs I saw during TV coverage of the Capitol insurrection. I wondered just how many of the insurrectionists thought of themselves as Christians. Many evangelical leaders have identified Trump as a godsend—literally. So maybe these were Christian soldiers, “…marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banners go!” Contemporary crusaders.