No, Hebrews 11:1 isn’t Advocating Blind Faith

Many atheists play word games when it comes to defining the word “faith.” They’ll reduce all religious faith to blind faith and then subject it to ridicule. That’s an easy way to score rhetorical points, but it’s also an anti-intellectual way to shut-down a serious discussion. The majority of Christian theologians throughout the centuries haven’t defined the faith this way.  That doesn’t stop critics from trying to redefine faith. In my last post, I discussed how atheists co-opt John 20:29 as a proof-text that Jesus praised blind faith when he rebuked Thomas. We saw from the context of John that the critic is way off-base, but the skeptics have another go-to passage to show that … Read more

Was Jesus Praising Blind Faith When He Said: “Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen and yet Believe”?

Sorry Mark Twain, but faith is not “believing what you know ain’t so.” Many skeptics try to redefine faith into belief without evidence, or contrary to the evidence. For example, atheist philosopher Peter Boghossian says that faith is “belief without evidence” or in other words ”pretending to know what you don’t know.” Faith as painted as a cop-out for having to think. Thinking Christians will often retort that faith is far from blind. After all, faith means trust and you cannot trust that which have you zero evidence for. Christian mathematician and philosopher John Lennox would be in agreement with Christian theologians throughout the centuries when he says that “faith is not a leap in … Read more

Episode 6: the Mirror or the Mask? An Interview With Dr. Lydia McGrew

In my first ever podcast interview, I interview scholar Dr. Lydia McGrew regarding her upcoming book Liberating the Gospels from Literary Devices, which comes up December 10th and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.com. The book has been positively reviewed by noted Christian scholars like Peter J. Williams, JP Moreland, and Craig Blomberg. She is a widely published analytic philosopher, specializing in formal and classical theory of knowledge, testimony, and the philosophy of religion. She received her PhD in English from Vanderbilt University in 1995. She is the author of the widely acclaimed Hidden in Plain View: Undesigned Coincidences in the Gospels and Acts (DeWard, 2017), which defends the reliability of the New Testament using a long-neglected argument from … Read more

Did Herod Really Order the Massacre of the Innocents, or Did Matthew Just Make Up a Story?

When we think of the Christmas story, our minds go to some dingy, yet warm and cozy places. We picture Mary, Joseph and a swaddling baby in a manger. We see angels, shepherds and the Magi bearing gifts. I can almost hear “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” now. But smack dab in the middle of the Christmas story is a grim and gory tale. In Matthew 2:16 we read of Herod learning of the Messianic king’s birth, feeling threatened and then ordering the slaughter of all the male children 2 and under in Bethlehem. It’s a grizzly story, but it’s a part of the account of the birth of Christ nonetheless. But not everyone believes … Read more

Is Bart Ehrman right when he says Ephesians and Colossians were Forged?

Out of the 13 letters of Paul found in the New Testament, skeptical critics like Bart Ehrman will only grant that 7 of them are genuine. (Those would be Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon, in case you were wondering) That leaves Christians in a precarious situation — either throw out six books in their Bible or acknowledge that the New Testament contains some pious lies. Whoever wrote these letters passed themselves off as Paul.  They didn’t practice what they preached when they admonished believers to “put away falsehood”. (Eph. 4:25) But if Ehrman’s arguments turn out to be weak and there’s good evidence that Paul wrote all of the letters, then … Read more

Episode 5 – Fulfilled Prophecy or Fish Story? Jesus and the Sign of Jonah

When arguing for the resurrection of Jesus, Christian apologists often make a historical case for the empty tomb and the appearances of Jesus that occurred after his death. I’d be the last person in the world to say that isn’t a legitimate way to argue, but there’s an additional reason to believe in the resurrection that flies under the radar: Jesus’ resurrection was a fulfillment of Scripture. The New Testament writers are pretty emphatic on this point.  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead… (Luke 24:45-46) For I delivered to you … Read more

Episode 4 – 18 Passages That Prove Bart Ehrman Wrong: Mark Believes Jesus is God

Bart Ehrman says that Mark has a much lower Christology than John does. Since Mark is the first gospel to be written, there’s some obvious legendary development that happened. But is that really true? Here I go over 18 different passages that show that Mark had just as high of a Christology as John. NOTES: Does the Gospel of Mark Present Jesus as God? – Michael J. Kruger 18 Passages From Mark’s Gospel That Prove That Mark Had a High Christology Bart Ehrman Stumbles Upon the Deity of Christ – Brant Pitre asks Erhman about the deity of Christ in Mark The Case for Jesus (book) – Brant Pitre Erik ManningErik is a Reasonable Faith … Read more

John Douglas’ Criterion: A Common Sense Guide for Judging Historical Miracle Claims For People Who Want to Avoid Being Totally Closed-Minded

Christian doctrine is predicated on Jesus’ miracles. This is especially true concerning the resurrection. But don’t other religions make miracle claims too? With so many miracle claims in so many other faiths, how can anyone use miracles as evidence for a particular religion? This was one of the famous 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume’s favorite arguments against Christianity. His essay Of Miracles is still considered by many to be the death-knell to anyone who would try and argue for signs and wonders as an evidential basis for their faith. Hume wrote: “…that there is no testimony for any, even those which have not been expressly detected, that is not opposed by an infinite number of … Read more

Is Bart Ehrman Right When He Says That 2 Thessalonians is a Forgery?

When Christians read Paul’s letters, they don’t treat them like any old letter. Paul’s epistles are part of God’s inspired word. But out of the 13 letters of Paul, skeptical critics like Bart Ehrman say that only 7 of them were truly written by the apostle. That would be 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1+2 Corinthians, Philippians, Philemon, and Romans, in case you were wondering. The rest are forgeries. If true, this is corrosive for the believer’s trust in the Bible. Ehrman lays down some unwelcome practical application for the faithful regarding forgery in the Bible: “…the authors of these lies were no doubt like nearly everyone else in the world, ancient and modern; they too probably … Read more

Is There a Contradiction in the Lists of Jesus’ Twelve Disciples? No, The Names Provide Surprising Evidence for the Gospels

The late Christopher Hitchens said, “The New Testament is a work of crude carpentry, hammered together long after its purported events, and full of improvised attempts to make things come out right.” One example of this alleged makeshift handiwork is the names of the Twelve. If the gospel writers can’t get the names of Jesus’ disciples straight, how can we trust them with other details?  On the face of it, it looks like Matthew and Luke contradict: Matthew 10:2-4: “The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, … Read more