Why Minimal Facts Isn’t Enough

Unpopular opinion time: I’m not a fan of the minimal facts argument for the  resurrection. I don’t think it works, and it might even do more harm than good. I know this is a rather spicy take. And I understand people who absolutely love minimal facts might want to click away. But hang on a second! I used to love this argument, too. So put down your torch and pitchforks for just a moment. Hear me out for a few minutes!   When I first got into apologetics, I came across Gary Habermas’ popular talk “The resurrection argument that changed a generation of scholars.” I was blown away. I bought Habermas and Licona’s popular level book … Read more

The Parables of Jesus Disprove the Telephone Game

Skeptics frequently argue that the Gospels are not based on eyewitness accounts. They were composed decades after Jesus’ death by people not familiar with first-century Israel. And they wrote after hearing stories passed down to them. And those stories came from others who heard these stories. It’s one long game of telephone. How can we know if we have the actual words of Jesus?  One piece of evidence that goes against the telephone game theory is the parables of Jesus. The gospels present Jesus as a formal teacher or rabbi, with disciples. NT scholar Peter J. Williams notes that the Gospels use the word disciple or disciples 195 times. They also describe Jesus as a … Read more

Interview: Defending The Gospel of John with Dr. Lydia McGrew

In this interview, I speak with Dr. Lydia McGrew about the reliability of the Gospel of John. Dr. McGrew is a widely published analytic philosopher and author. She received her Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University in 1995. She has published extensively in the theory of knowledge, specializing in formal epistemology and in its application to the evaluation of testimony and to the philosophy of religion. She defends the reliability of the Gospels and Acts in her books Hidden in Plain View: Undesigned Coincidences in the Gospels and Acts, The Mirror or the Mask: Liberating the Gospels From Literary Devices, and most recently The Eye of the Beholder: The Gospel of John as Historical Reportage, … Read more

The Mind-Blowing Meaning Behind the Sign of Jonah

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

Video: God Still Works Miracles Today w/ Dr. Craig Keener

interview with craig keener on miracles

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 a Reasonable Faith Chapter Director located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He’s a former freelance baseball writer and the co-owner of a vintage and handmade decor … Read more

A Case For the Early Dating of Matthew’s Gospel

The majority of modern scholars believe Matthew’s Gospel was written between AD 80 and 90. That’s quite some time after Jesus lived and died. Matthew was likely dead by then, so how could he have written it? After all, during Jesus’ time, a person could expect to live another 30 or more years if they lived to be 20 years old. Matthew would have been in his 70s or 80s when he wrote. While that’s not impossible, it does seem unlikely. So why do scholars assign such a late date? And is late dating worth reconsidering? Let’s dive into the first question. At the risk of oversimplifying, here are the four main arguments for late … Read more

Video: Don’t Blindly Follow “Biblical Scholarly Consensus”

I’ve made a lot of content defending the historical reliability of the gospels. And one of the most common objections I hear is that my views aren’t in line with modern scholarship. And I admit it. If you’re a Christian and you’re looking for evidence for your faith, you and I are guaranteed to lose the credential war. Yes, there are good conservative Christian scholars out there like DA Carson or Craig Blomberg. But they’re a minority voice. The scholarly consensus is against me. I get it.  Here’s the thing though: That doesn’t really bother me, and it shouldn’t bother you. When it comes to biblical scholarship, we have some reasons to be seriously skeptical. … Read more

Why Do the Gospels Contain Unnecessary Details?

The Four Gospels are full of pointless minutia. Have you noticed this? For instance, John tells us there were six waterpots at the wedding in Cana that could hold 20-30 gallons of water each. Well, that’s oddly specific. It serves no obvious theological meaning or literary purpose. Why are statements like these there?  Scholar Lydia McGrew calls these “unnecessary details.” She writes: “An unnecessary detail appears to be there for no special reason; it is just there because the author believed it was true. It lends verisimilitude to the account precisely by being so pointless, and in some cases (though not always) vivid. Such details are thus plausible marks of eyewitness testimony — either from … Read more

Video: Hume’s Stubborn Incredulity Over Miracles (with Dr. Tim McGrew)

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 a Reasonable Faith Chapter Director located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He’s a former freelance baseball writer and the co-owner of a vintage and handmade decor business with his wife, Dawn. He is passionate about the intersection of apologetics and evangelism.

Video: Did the Feeding of the 5000 Really Happen?

According to the Gospels, Jesus fed the 5000 with fives loaves, and two fish. But is this a legend, or a historically reliable account? I believe it is historical, largely due to the evidence of undesigned coincidences. Philosopher Lydia McGrew defines undesigned coincidences as “a notable connection between two or more accounts or texts that doesn’t seem to have been planned by the person or people giving the accounts. Despite their apparent independence, the items fit together like pieces of a puzzle.” These are hard to fake and even more unlikely to come about by pure chance in fictional or manipulated stories. Fictions and forgeries don’t normally converge. Or when they do, it’s in an … Read more

Is Jesus Alive?