Miracle claims from ancient times are all over the place, and relying on them as proof for religious beliefs can be a real puzzle. You don’t want to be a stubborn Humean skeptic and just brush off every miracle story you hear, but you also don’t want to fall for just any wild tale. It’s all about finding that sweet spot between skepticism and openness, so you don’t get sucked into wasting your time investigating any and every old miracle claim out there. Anyway, in a recent video, I discussed the DOUBTS filter—a concept coined by philosopher Tim McGrew and utilized in his debate with Zachary Moore. Here’s a concise overview of the criteria: These … Read more
So, I finally got around to watching Atheologica’s video response to me on why I think atheists should reconsider Christianity. It seems like he misses the mark on a couple of key points: First, Derreck appears to want to diminish the significance of the criteria, basically saying it commits the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy. For a quick review, these are the criteria: Yeah, I don’t understand why a skeptic would dislike this filter unless they’re just completely closed-minded when it comes to miracles. It’s obvious that these criteria serve to reduce the likelihood of a genuine miracle occurrence, and I fail to see how anyone could argue against that, or why we should dismiss the criteria … Read more
So The Non-Alchemist apparently didn’t like my take on Reverend Brandan Robertson’s challenge to Christians to stop claiming they can prove the resurrection. Instead of engaging in a back-and-forth of responses that could go on indefinitely and potentially lose our audience’s interest, I’ve decided to share my thoughts on the matter in a blog post. The Non-Alchemist can choose to have the final word in any format he prefers or simply ignore this. It’s entirely his decision. My original video is here. His response is here. Here’s how he starts off: Here’s critically acclaimed Bible scholar Erik Manning getting upset at a pastor on TikTok: Brandan Robertson: Christians, stop claiming that you can prove the resurrection. … Read more
In my refreshingly friendly discussion with Derek Lambert from the MythVision Podcast, my biggest takeaway was that I don’t see how his mythic theory is falsifiable. Please bear with my post-discussion shower thoughts here. I wish I had this clarity during the conversation but I think we’ve all been there when the light bulb turns on in our heads and we think “oh, right. This is what I should’ve said to X! Ugh!” Anywho, Derek is willing to admit that the Gospel authors display historical knowledge about the geography, customs, and culture of the times, but he doesn’t see this as counting towards their historical accuracy. Derek essentially argues that even if many factual items … Read more
Recently I stumbled across what I thought was a rather silly meme: Oof. Here’s the thing: No matter if you believe Jonah is historical or ahistorical (and some Christians, like C.S. Lewis, believed it was the latter), this meme misses the point. Science tells us what nature does when left to itself; miracles happen because nature is not left to itself. Whoever wrote the book of Jonah probably understood that human beings don’t normally get swallowed by whales, let alone survive if they did. But did Jonah survive? No, and yes. Let’s read Jonah’s parts of the prayer from the whale’s belly: Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the … Read more
Here is my interview with Dr. Craig Keener, Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Seminary, on his new book Miracles Today: The Supernatural Work of God in the Modern World. In this book, Dr. Keener argues that the miracles we read about in the New Testament continue until this present day. He documents many witness reports of powerful, verifiable miracle reports, including people being raised from the dead. The book is due to be released on October 19, 2021. You can pre-order his book on Amazon here. Erik ManningErik is the creative force behind the YouTube channel Testify, which is an educational channel built to help inspire people’s confidence in the text of the New … Read more
David Hume is celebrated for defeating the argument against miracles. But did he? Actually, if his argument is taken to its logical conclusion, it would be a science-stopper. For instance, did you know that scientists, using reasoning like Hume’s, once denied the existence of meteorites? Dr. Tim McGrew demolishes David Hume’s argument against miracles. This is an excerpt of a talk made at New Orleans Baptist Seminary. Erik ManningErik is the creative force behind the YouTube channel Testify, which is an educational channel built to help inspire people’s confidence in the text of the New Testament and the truth of the Christian faith.
Have you ever heard atheists refer to God as the magical sky wizard? Who am I kidding? Of course, you have. It’s an internet atheist staple. But since it’s so common, let’s try and steelman their ridicule and understand what they’re trying to say. Erik ManningErik is the creative force behind the YouTube channel Testify, which is an educational channel built to help inspire people’s confidence in the text of the New Testament and the truth of the Christian faith.
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
Some skeptics say that Jesus was nothing but an obscure, itinerant peasant preacher. How on earth did he become viewed as Israel’s Messiah and the Son of God? After all, why should anyone pay attention to a Messiah who was little more than a vagabond teacher who got himself crucified? Enter miracle stories. The gospel writers invented them to turn Jesus into more than just preacher of parables. So they transformed him into a figure that outdid Moses, Elijah, and Elisha combined in terms of working wondrous deeds. To do that, they invented legends of him performing impressive healings and miracles in front of big crowds. The problem with this legendary development theory is it … Read more